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I want to work as a DBA. How should I invest my time in terms of Microsoft database certifications?

I'm an officer in the military with a good administrative background; EE degree with MBA/TM only four classes from completion. I'm transitioning into the civilian sector and was hoping you could help me see the light among the many Microsoft database certifications. In all of my commands, I've made Access databases which include a lot of VB scripting. I'd like to work as a DBA but with only Access as my current major work background I know I need to hit the books. Where should I invest my time in terms of Microsoft database certifications?

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If you want to stay in the Microsoft world, look into the Microsoft database certifications just emerging from their latest crop of programs, especially the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP). If your interests lie more in the development side --database applications or scripting -- you'll also want to dig into the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credentials as well. Read all about them at Microsoft's Web site.

On the other hand, if your interests incline more toward Oracle, MySQL, DB2, or whatever, check out the vendor/sponsor certification programs that support those database platforms. Even if you don't get certified, digging into prep curriculum and materials will still help arm you to work in those areas.

This was first published in September 2006

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