Career, Certification, MCSA?2012? 2016?

  • ck_claudio


    Points: 20

    Hello all, 

    I'm currently a Jnr DBA working in a company for at least 2 years. 

    I do plan to change job because I believe where I am currently haven't given me enough training (after asking a few times) & would like raise. 
    In addition I want to be a full DBA.

    But I do want to get certified first.

    My question is, what certification should I go for? 

    MCSA SQL 2016 Database Administration (most recent)


    MCSA SQL Server 2012/2014 ( Most widely used in terms of instances in work places I believe at the moment)

    I'm worried about taking the MCSA SQL Server 2012/2014 in case it expires anytime soon or few years?

    Or should I just apply for a new job and get some more experience first?

    Any help on this would be appreciated.

    If there's also someone who is willing to talk to me offline regarding this I will be more than grateful

  • Beatrix Kiddo


    Points: 32375

    I think the advice varies slightly depending on where you live and what kind of work you're looking for. A lot of employers these days value demonstrable experience over certifications; in fact I've only worked with one person who had a certification in about 10 years as a DBA. We've all heard of the person who got their certification 

    There are some specific circumstances where it might be advantageous to have a certification under your belt (and in that case always go for the most recent version), and that's if you want to become a contractor (in the UK, anyway, it's often a pre-requisite) or perhaps if you are trying to immigrate to a country where your skills are in demand. For most people though I'd say it's not the most important factor. (Again, I don't know the job market outside the UK so hopefully others will chip in with their thoughts).

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715841

    Honestly, here's what I'd do: whatever is easier.

    Does the certification matter? The only place I think it matters is for searches. Some companies might just put this in the job description, which means the HR person or recruiter will search on "SQL Server" and "MCSA". You want to get through that filter.

    Heck, you could probably put "working on MCSA, passed 1 exam" and you get through.

    Other than that, the cert will give you a set of things to study, which always is useful, and you might learn things you didn't know before. The important thing is to learn and practice the skills. The test is secondary, though I know most people stress over the test. If you learn the material, you'll be fine, plus you'll learn things. Having a list of things you've learned is always good conversation in an interview.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994663

    claudioporter - Friday, June 8, 2018 9:01 AM

    I do plan to change job because I believe where I am currently haven't given me enough training (after asking a few times) & would like raise. 

    With the understanding that this is meant as a bit of "tough love" for someone that I think is on the verge of making a huge mistake...

    Let's stop and think about what you said in the quote above a bit.  Why do you think any company owes you any training?  What are YOU doing to train or improve YOURSELF?  Do you own a copy of the Developer's Edition?  Do you do any self study or buy any books or hit the forums to learn anything new on your own?  Have you watched any of the bazillion free YouTubes about how to do things in SQL Server?  Have you signed up for any of the PASS virtual chapters?  What are you doing to make your own boots a little shinier?

    You want a raise?  Then put your shoulder to the wheel and get crackin'!

    In addition I want to be a full DBA.
    But I do want to get certified first.

    How?  Do you think some company owes you such training?  Download a copy of the Developer's Edition (IT'S FREE!) along with a copy of "Books Online" and start your training.  Frequent the forums and see what others are doing.  Once you've got a couple of things down-pat, dig in and start helping on the forums to build your brand.  Maybe even start helping outside the box they have you in at work.  If you show some initiative, maybe they'll think about some company paid training.  Even if they don't, you have nothing to lose by learning how to do things better even if it's not possible to do so at work.

    Or should I just apply for a new job and get some more experience first?

    What makes you think someone is going to hire you with the "train me or I'll leave" attitude you've just displayed?  Make your own experience.

    Like I said... a little tough love.  Hope you take it that way.

    --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)

  • Beatrix Kiddo


    Points: 32375

    Those are very good points from Jeff. However I know some employers really don't take an interest in developing their staff or paying them properly, so there does come a point where you know you need to leave. I can see it from both sides. Just check you aren't trying to run before you can walk. How are your skills and how much are you learning on your own? Make sure you're not expecting your employer to spoon-feed you the knowledge that will let you become a mid-level DBA.

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