The latest collection of new Microsoft credentials is beginning to build up some momentum. Microsoft recently released all of the exams necessary to earn the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP, a.k.a. PRO). The company also released the exams necessary for the MCITP: Database Administrator Credential. The table below lists what's now available at your nearest Thomson Prometric or Pearson VUE testing center, including public release dates, exam IDs and links to exam objectives.
Table 2: MCITP: Database Administrator Exam Info
|70-431||1/31/2006||TS:Microsoft SQL Server 2005 -- Implementation and Maintenance|
|70-443||2/10/2006||PRO: Designing a Database Server Infrastructure by Using Server Server 2005|
|70-444||2/13/2006||PRO: Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administration Solution by Using SQL Server 2005|
Note that the "TS" stands for Technology Specialist and is a mandatory prerequisite for earning the MCITP: Database Administrator Credential.
Individuals who already hold the MCDBA credential can qualify for the MCITP: Database Administrator by taking a single exam. That exam is 70-447: "UPGRADE: MCDBA Skills to MCITP Database Administrator by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005." As of this tip's publication date, it is not yet publicly available, though Microsoft's Web page indicates it will be released on or before February 28.
Anyone who earns this certification before June 30, 2006, automatically falls into the charter member group. A new "time based" charter membership approach (which lasts six months from the release date of the 70-431 exam) replaces the older "numbers based" approach wherein the first 5,000 individuals who earn the credential qualify as charter members. In addition to typical benefits -- welcome letter, certificate, wallet card and a 20% discount at the MCP e-store online -- Microsoft reportedly plans to add some as-yet unspecified benefits exclusively for charter members.
Considering that Microsoft only released SQL Server 2005 in November of 2005, this has to rank as one of the fastest-ever start times for any of the company's new certification programs. Those of you with employers or professional interests leading you into SQL Server 2005 should probably start digging into the program, as should current MCDBA holders who want to keep their credentials current.
Ed Tittel is a long-time follower of the IT certification market, who usually keeps at least one eye on what Microsoft is doing. Among other things, Tittel created (and edited) the Exam Cram cert prep book series from 1997 through 2005. He is also a contributing editor for Certification Magazine. E-mail him at email@example.com.