Alternatives to Microsoft Certifications

  • Jonathan-Fussell

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 232

    Is there any good alternatives to Microsoft's certification route?

    I found the process of dealing with Microsoft's website traumatic at best. (5 attempts to book my Database Fundamentals Exam, many attempts to view the results from my Querying SQL Server Exam which I didn't pass and then 20 minutes of messing around to active my VS Pro subscription)

    My experience puts me off using there services as an end user however love working with SQL Server which I find to be a solid product.

    Thanks,

    Jon.

  • DamianC

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7801

    Sites like Udemy, Lynda and Pluralsight have courses that you can take and then post on professional networking sites like linked-in

    The ones I have done don't come with an exam so there's no 'certification'

    More employers and agencies are starting to look at sites like linked-in in conjunction with a cv when assessing suitability for a role

    Not sure anything will beat proper MS certification for MS products though

    - Damian

  • patrick.w.wheeler

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1686

    Great points

    I initially tried this strategy, but my LinkedIn became bloated with these "certificates" and began to look terrible to be quite honest. I ended up listening them under courses but even then it became bloated still.

    I ended up biting the bullet studying for a year and taking 461 passing finally.

    Currently I am studying for 463, been at it for 3 months with a failure under my belt.

    At the end of the day MS won out and I am going to get the 2012/2014 MCSA and then take one more exam and get my MCSE for Data Management and Analysis.

    I figured it's an evergreen certificate and I'll forever be done with the MS certification exams!

    Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 - Certified

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 995116

    To be honest, I've found a good number of people that have achieved certification that can't actually do much for real. One of the best ways to learn is to pick a subject and practice it over and over, then find a new way and practice that over and over. Once you truly understand it, teach others (writing articles on sites like SSC that allow easy feedback is an excellent method) because if you can't explain it simply enough for others to understand, you don't actually know it well enough.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • RTaylor2208

    SSChampion

    Points: 13188

    I 100% agree with Jeff, having worked with many people that have been MS certified some people can take that knowledge and use it properly, some just learned enough to pass an exam.

    I don't write blogs etc as mainly I don't have time at work and family life is more important. But the team I work in including myself regularly run internal sessions with other DBA's \ DB Engineers \ BI Developers presenting various parts of the SQL product suite to help people get a better understanding of how things work.

    I'm fortunate enough to work with some very bright people so whilst I'm a senior member of the team there is always something new to learn.

    It sounds to me like you don't necessarily work that in depth with SQL server given your time scale for the first exam. All you can do is study, practice with every activity in the training kits and try and come up with problems that you can solve using what your learning.

    MCITP SQL 2005, MCSA SQL 2012

  • patrick.w.wheeler

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1686

    I proudly list my lone certificate on my resume in the summary and in the certification / educational section, now I have a complex.......

    Does listing a certification hurt you? If some list a MS SQL Server Certification, does that hurt their chances of getting a job?

    Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 - Certified

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 995116

    patrick.w.wheeler (12/14/2016)


    I proudly list my lone certificate on my resume in the summary and in the certification / educational section, now I have a complex.......

    Does listing a certification hurt you? If some list a MS SQL Server Certification, does that hurt their chances of getting a job?

    It won't hurt on your resume, especially with me because I don't consider any of the alphabet soup that someone may have behind their name. Other people give preference to people with such things on their resume and it certainly helps with those bloody automated resume scanners.

    Where it may hurt is on the interview. People tend to expect more (as they should) during the interview if the candidate has one or more certifications.

    Of course, that makes it a bit of a catch 22. Certs can help you get your resume recognized and get you an interview but the interview may be tougher because people expect more from someone with certs. Except for someone like me... I ask everyone similar questions and engage in similar follow up discussion for each question regardless of papered pedigree.

    If you worked to understand what was taught during the rigor of study for your certification, then do be proud of it and list it because you deserve the honor and won't have a problem during the interview. If you're one of these people (and it doesn't sound like you are) that simply did rote memorization and studied brain dumps/interview questions instead of achieving a true understanding of the subject matter, then the cert will kill you during an interview with someone that does know their stuff.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

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