Certifications and such

Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
So i'm in the Financial Systems field (administer accounting software and basically hold people's hands through techie stuff) and i'd really like to start advancing into more business intelligence type stuff, and less administration. Currently i know enough to be dangerous in SQL, barely know VB. I'm about to take a certification course that my job will pay for, to get my MCSA for SQL server 2012. I don't have any other certs currently. I saw the MTA certification but i'm pretty savvy, i'm sure i could pass that test if i tried, but do i need to? if it's not a legit pre-req, i probably wont bother.

i'd also like to learn about the front facing aspects of SQL server as well, like publishing SSRS reports etc etc. does the MCSE cover stuff like that? I see business solutions stuff there, which is what i'd like to head towards.


  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    Before you run full bore into the MCSE, it's a good idea to stop and do some reading. A certification is proof you know something, not a training course. If you look at it the wrong way it can get expensive quickly.

    The good news is that to get an MCSE is now a lot easier in terms of the number of exams you need to take. Instead of 7 or 8, it is now 5.

    Even better, if you want to get qualified on all things SQL, you only need to take 7 exams and you get 2 (yes TWO) MCSEs.

    The reason is, they have a common core: 461, 462 and 463. Read up on those three first, cover those area in detail. They will be the first steps to the MCSE(s) and in addition net you the MCSA, your halfway mark.

    Now, at this point you say you want more of the BI, so you need to do 466 and 467, and be warned: the difficulty ramps up on the MCSE exams. I blitzed the MCSA for Server without really studying (working it since 2000) but stumbled and fell on the first MCSE exam I took. I had to go back to the books and relearn the answers that MS were looking for.

    If you get through that and want to stop, then congratulations and off you go with your shiny BI MCSE. If you want to get the other SQL related one, then you need 464 and 465, which are Data Platform. That's a database admin and architect kind of qualification. Get both and you are in a good position.

    Now, if you can afford to wait to take the exams (and since you sound like you need to study for a bit first, I advise you do) there is a program called Second Shot that is an absolute must. Essentially you register for free, get a code and when you are ready, buy your exam. Put the code in the Voucher/Promo Code section. Bam! Done. If you fail, you get a free retake. An excellent safety net, especially if you are new to the MS exam system.

    It isn't running yet, which is why I said to wait. Normally it starts up around the end of August. Keep an eye out, and good luck. Let us know how you do.

    VeritasVRL Ron Howard
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    If you're looking to do BI, MCSE is not what you need. You should be looking to get certified in platforms, be they Cognos etc. (if you want to do UI type stuff and configurations/consulting) or Hadoop etc. (BIG DATA!). As someone who works in analytics, the only time you touch MS products are if something's on SQL server or to make things pretty for powerpoint.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    yeah right now everything i touch is on SQL, so i want to start there. I'm enrolling in a training course(not certification course, misspoke) for the MCSA, and if i decide to go on to the MCSE i'll probably do the same there.

    Honestly, a lot of what i want to do, at least in this company, will be homegrown. the other reason i'd like this cert is that i'm ostensibly locked out of the back end of Dynamics, and have to go through our Sys Admins whenever i need to query something outside the interface, which is annoying because they don't know what they are doing, and i can't get familiar enough with the tables b/c i'm not allowed in there. if nothing else, it will something good to have.

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