I'm with Jeff, there is no substitute for T-SQL expertise and database design. SQL Server Developer edition (2014 and 2016) is identical to SQL Server Enterprise except that you can't use Developer edition for business purposes. Get a copy and begin playing around with them. I'd recommend a computer with 2-4 CPUs (4 preferably) which you can get cheap if you don't already have one.
I have done quite well in my SQL career without any certs; certs are not essential but there's nothing wrong with them either. If you feel compelled to get a cert I'd start with Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 (Exam 70-461). I haven't taken the test but I've read the training book which is excellent:
Training Kit (Exam 70-461) Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (MCSA) (Microsoft Press Training Kit)
-- Alan Burstein
Helpful links:Best practices for getting help on SQLServerCentral -- Jeff ModenHow to Post Performance Problems -- Gail ShawNasty fast set-based string manipulation functions:For splitting strings try DelimitedSplit8K or DelimitedSplit8K_LEAD (SQL Server 2012+)To split strings based on patterns try PatternSplitCMNeed to clean or transform a string? try NGrams, PatExclude8K, PatReplace8K, DigitsOnlyEE, or Translate8KI cant stress enough the importance of switching from a sequential files mindset to set-based thinking. After you make the switch, you can spend your time tuning and optimizing your queries instead of maintaining lengthy, poor-performing code. -- Itzik Ben-Gan 2001