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Which is better, the MCDBA or the Oracle certification?

I'm at kind of a critical point in my career after a major relocation. I've been in IT for about eight years as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, but I see that in order to reach the upper levels, you have to decide to master something. I seem to have settled on the MCDBA track with a goal of Database/Data Warehouse Project Management down the road. What is your general opinion of this? Is the MCDBA or the Oracle certification better? Or are both necessary to be ideally prepared?

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The MCDBA credential continues to grow by size of certified population and in perceived value and presence in the workplace. Thus, it's a pretty good credential to have: one that's held its value recently better than MCSA/MCSE, in fact. As for comparing MCDBA or Oracle, it's like asking truck lovers if Chevy is better than Ford, or vice-versa. Oracle still dominates the market, but job opportunities and pay for OCPs and MCDBAs appear to be about on par. As for your final question: if you want to work in an environment where both SQL Server and Oracle are used, obtaining both certs will probably be helpful; otherwise, you can focus on the credential that puts you into the workplaces you favor most.

This was first published in December 2003

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