Does it still make sense to go for the 2k8 MCTS and MCITP certs?
Hi all, my question says it already. So, what is your opinion? Should someone, who is interested in SQL Server certifications still do the "old stuff" or look directly for the new certification paths? This shouldn't be a discussion if the certifications make sense at all and that only working with training kits etc pp do not prepare for "the real world". Just your general opinion. Thx in advance.
Just to be contrary to most of the advice, go for the 2012 versions. Let's face it, most people don't really understand what all that fruit salad letter stuff is on your cv/resume anyway. You'll be doing yourself a service twice. First you're getting your certification, for whatever that's worth. Second, you're spending your time expanding your knowledge for the future. Many of the things that will be needed to pass certs for 2012 will be the new features (as usual on these tests) but your foundational knowledge will be the same. Plus, those certifications will last longer from this point.
Absolutely if you don't have them. You have to keep in mind that most companies have just recently upgraded to SQL 2008 and SQL 2008R2. Yes many will start to implement SQL 2012 but it will take a good while. Look at how many shops still utilize SQL 2000 and 2005. There is also much more training material (books, videos, blogs) on 2008. When I hire folks I am looking for a good skillset with 2005 and lots of experience with 2008. My opinion is that it is still a worthwhile investment to help prove or demonstrate that you know the material well.
I like the format of the SQL Server 2012 exams (I took 70-461 and 70-464 when in Beta) and I've been told they've been designed to benefit real life experiene; Street Smarts rather than School Smarts. The SQL Server 2012 exams are not divided into Developer exams and Administrator exams. Instead, the MCSE certification paths are divided into Data Platform and BI. DBA-skills and basic Data Warehousing skills are needed for any SQL Server 2012 exam. On my way to MCSE Data Platform, I think 70-463 (Data Warehouse) will be the biggest obstacle. For some DB developers, 70-462 (Administration) will be a bigger obstacle. My answer is: It depends... Though I think the SQL Server 2012 exams are "better" in that they are better at measuring real skills, you might want "pure" developer tests or "pure" DBA tests. In that case, you should go for the SQL Server 2008 exams.
I've just started to do the MS certifications, and I'm starting with the 2008 ones. I work as a freelance consultant, and all of my clients are running 2008R2 and prior (even back to SQL 2000) - so from that point of view it makes sense. A lot of the 'old stuff' will be just as relevant in SQL2012 as it is in SQL2008 - being able to write T-SQL is a good example. I intend to take the SQL2012 path in the future, but at the minute it seems like years away rather than months. The good (i.e. lazy) thing about the SQL2008 certs is that they don't expire! The good (i.e. meaningful and relevant) thing about the SQL2012 ones is that they do!
For the easier upgrade path, get the MCITP for 2008. You can go straight for the MCSE 2012 after that. Microsoft: "Achieving an MCITP on SQL Server 2008 enables you to take advantage of a shorter path to upgrade your certification to SQL Server 2012" And there are only advantages to having SQL 2008 certs as TIm mentioned.
The reason behind why you are getting the certs in the first place should determine your decision. Looking for a new job? Already skilled in 2008? it won't take that long to get that MCITP. Your fruit salad will look that much better when you sprinkle some M C I T P 2 0 0 0 8 over it and you will compete for jobs where 2008 certification are required (there are a lot of those out there and will be for years to come). If you are looking to get an edge in 2012 and being on of those early MCSA/MCSE? Go 2012. If you are inexperienced and looking for classroom training and need to walk to long path to get the certification. Go 2012. I was not planning on getting the MCITP but I realized that my resume looks that much better with 2005, 2008 and future 2012 certifications. And I do not have the time to take the long route so I used my experience in 2008, studied and wrote both tests in one day and passed. So my path just became somewhat shorter.
HA! That was I was looking for. Interesting opinions. Thank you all for participating. I'm a little bit torn between just go for a 2008 exam to proof my own skills a little bit. I'd try to go directly to the exam and just see how far I can get. But on the other hand it is much more interesting (and most time much more fun), as Grant pointed out, to learn something new. I'm curious if we will see more opinions here. Regards Dirk
The short answer: Yes. The longer answer: It depends. If you have experience already, then it may not be worth it to get any certifications at all. Most employers value experience over certifications, so if you have lots of experience the certifications add relatively little. I have dealt with one employer that required certifications, but they phrased it as a requirement to be certified within 3 months of hire and they would pay. If you are looking for a job right now or in the near future, then I would go for 2008. 2008 is going to be far more common than 2012 for quite a while. On the other hand, if you are comfortably employed, but don't have enough experience that certifications are meaningless, then I would go for 2012 and skip 2008. That will better show that you are keeping up with new technology than the 2008 cert would and position you well for jobs developing new software. That is just my 2 cents. Personally, I got the 2008 certs practically as soon as they came on market, but am still preparing for the 2012 certs (a new baby at home slowed down my normal trend of getting them as soon as they exist).