Training for Microsoft SQL Certifications - What Should I Look For?

Published: 25th October 2010
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There are several SQL Certifications offered and there are also a few highly rated certification courses that can help you gain the knowledge and expertise to help you gain your certification. Depending on the type of certification you are trying to achieve, a professional course to help you prepare for the exam may run between 4 and 7 days and $2,495 to $4,995. Some of the premier courses even include:



* Airfare

* Lodging

* Ground Transportation

* 2 Microsoft Test Vouchers

* 2 Retake Vouchers (If needed)

* Onsite Prometric Testing Center

* Microsoft Training Books

* Microsoft Study Labs & Simulations

* Instructor Led Classroom Training



There are a few different Microsoft SQL Certifications offered and you can get training focused on each of these individual certifications.
 For instance the Microsoft Certified IT Professional Certification is the premier certification for DBAs looking to build end to end BI solutions. The certification confirms that you are fully qualified to configure and implement a complete BI Solution. A bootcamp for any type of certification training like this should be very hands on with a training environment where instructors would guide you through step by step examples and demonstrations, not just long lectures. Your instructor should create real world scenarios for lab environments. This course should demonstrate how to build an Integration Services (SSIS) package to automate the ETL process from the Relational OLTP to the DataMart / DataWarehouse. This course would also spend several days exploring the features of Analysis Services (SSAS) including cube designer, dimensions, measures, KPIs, Perspectives, Translations, MDX and Data Mining. Finally, the training would look at different ways to present the data to different users like Excel PowerPivot and Sharepoint 2010 built in BI solutions.



There is another certification for Database Developers which is the Microsoft Certified IT Professional. This certification is for SQL Server 2008 and is the premier certification for database server developers. The certification confirms that you are fully qualified to develop databases and architect entire application level solutions. A Database developers' responsibilities are to design and implement relational database models (logical and physical) and database storage objects. They also program servers by using user-defined functions, triggers, stored procedures, Transact-SQL, or the CLR. They retrieve or modify data using SQL queries or tune and optimize queries. Database developers are typically employed by mid-sized to large-sized organizations.



Again, there are SQL courses available for this specific certification with instructors that will guide you through step by step examples and demonstrations and real world scenarios for lab environments.



Lastly, there is a certification for a Microsoft Certified IT Professional Database Administrator (MCITP: Database Administrator). This certification confirms that you are fully qualified to administer Microsoft SQL databases and architect entire application level solutions.



Database administrators install, configure and secure databases. Administrators are often tasked with evaluating the performance of the SQL Server by implements partitions and index tuning. Additionally, high availability strategies like Database Mirroring, Log Shipping and Clustering are included in administrators' responsibilities. Database administrators are typically employed by small or mid-sized to large-sized organizations.



If you are in need of hands on training for Microsoft SQL certifications start by doing a Google search for the term "SQL certifications" or "Microsoft SQL certifications" to find a list of credible and accredited Microsoft Training Courses. Look for a course that focuses on accelerated learning, covers concepts in a clear, condensed fashion, and uses real world examples and terminology. Also, look for a boot camp or course that has a proven success rate with students passing their exams on the first try.



You should also check into the type of Facilities that a training center will supply you with. A reputable training facility should give a description of the training facility stating something along the lines of, "We use top end computer equipment - 20in monitors, cpu's with Intel Virtualization, 6 gigs (min) of memory. We use Herman Miller chairs to ensure comfort for bootcamp hours. Our desk allow plenty of room for student computer, your laptop and book - each student has a dedicated 6ft desk workspace."



Compare the fine points of what each training camp has to offer. Do students stay at Marriott & Hilton brand hotels, which provide full studio amenities including flat panel tvs, microwave and refrigerator in every room? Or are there 30+ students in a classroom with only one instructor using very old equipment with lag and slow performance on the software used today. Do students stay in less than desirable (extended stay) type of hotels in areas not suited for professionals. Sometimes the creature comforts make all the difference but with very little impact on the difference in training fees that are offered. Each website you visit when researching course training should have a very clear outline of what they offer. This overview should be enough information for you to make an informed decision on a SQL certification course that would be right for you. Make sure to read reviews and testimonials for each of the certification training courses.



About the Author:

Chester Flake is the CEO of Certification Camps which is the industry leader in Microsoft Certifications.  He offers Microsoft Certification courses on MCTS, MCITP or MCPD Certifications. Plus SQL Training, Windows Server 2008 and Visual Studio Certifications. He has a success rate that is second to none with 96% of his students passing every exam the first time.  Most bootcamps are held in our corporate office location in beautiful Sarasota, FL

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