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Careful with the New MCM Requirements

Ever since I first heard about the Microsoft Certified Master program I have been interested. The prestige of the certification and the promise of future riches are what draw many people in but for me the big selling point is the challenge. One of the big obstacles I had to pursuing the MCM was that I had not acquired any of the required certifications. A few weeks ago I decided to get out of my own way by removing the certification excuse.

My first step in getting certified was to figure out what certifications I needed. Since I knew I may someday want to take a shot at the MCM I looked up the required certifications on the MCM page. This is where I got into a bit of trouble. The page I went to listed the required certification as “MCITP: Database Administrator SQL Server” and “MCITP: Database Developer SQL Server”. As this page shows, the 2008 versions of the certifications include 2008 in their names. After some careful reading I decided I should sign up for the SQL 2005 tests.

Last week, while looking over the MCM Readiness Videos, I realized my mistake. On the front page there is a link to the New Path to Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and on that page the required certifications are clearly specified as the SQL 2008 versions. From the beginning I had planned to take the upgrade tests to cover the SQL 2008 certifications as well as the SQL 2005 certifications so I will end up where I need to be anyway and get some extra bullet points for my resume.

So there is my cautionary tale. Be careful with the new MCM requirements. You only need the SQL 2008 certifications now. If you have already started down the 2005 path then at least you know you are not alone. I should add that I have been in contact with the right people (not naming here since they may or may not be part of the first line support) to get the incorrect page updated. It may take a couple of weeks to get the incorrect page updated with the coming holiday but I am confident they will get it taken care of.

If you are thinking about the MCM, I say go for it. I can only see them making it more difficult to get once more people start to achieve it.


Posted by Jason Brimhall on 23 November 2010

It is definitely worth pursuing.  Thanks for the heads-up.

Posted by @DBA_ANDY on 24 November 2010

My catch was the requirement to be both a DBA and a DBD....I guess I probably won't ever become a Master.

Posted by David Levy on 25 November 2010

Andy - I hope you will reconsider. To me the development portion is more than 2/3 of being a DBA. The majority of my day is spent on code reviews, performance tuning and mentoring / co-development.

Focusing strictly on the operations side limits your opportunities to collect wins and build the relationships necessary to grow your career or even prevent outsourcing.

Quite often, I hear people asking the community how to save their jobs. I always shake my head and think to myself that they should have started a long time ago.

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