Christmas miracle or not (but definitely a good news), Microsoft has just announced the extension for two SQL Server 2008 exams: 70-450 and 70-451, which were supposed to be retired on 31 January 2014. Yet, the vendor has moved the date towards summer, with the exams retirement date being postponed by 6 months: to July 31, 2014.
This means, you can still earn the certifications associated with these exams, namely MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 and MCITP: Database Developer 2008. So, if you were considering earning these certifications and worried that you’d be out of time, you have another half a year to get it done.
Now we can sense a question many certification beginners would be tempted to ask…
..Why would I look at certification exams that will be retired in 6 month (SQL Server 2008 – related) if there is some newer stuff (SQL Server 2012) out there?
Ok, let’s take a closer look as we believe that you SHOULD earn your SQL Server 2008 cert before you proceed with SQL 2012.
First of all, SQL Server 2008 certifications will continue to be honored by the industry. They’ll still look good on the resume, especially combined with relevant work experience. After all, it’s not just about the certification you hold, but the skills you’ve acquired to support it, right? Moreover, the technology of SQL Server 2008 will remain widely used for quite a while. And the experience you get with 2008 will make it a lot easier for you to move to the SQL Server 2012 technology.
Also, if you hold an SQL Server 2008 cert, you can benefit from a streamlined two-exam upgrade path to the new MCSA: SQL Server 2012. Those holding any SQL Server 2008 certification can take a fast-track exam upgrade path to MCSA: SQL Server 2012. You will have to pass 70-457 and 70-458 exams. Until 31 May 2014, Microsoft gives a special 25% OFF promo for these upgrade exams. In addition, you can benefit from their ‘second chance’ promo with free retakes.
So, you can speed up your preparation to become SQL Server 2008 AND 2012 certified before summer 2014. It does look like a tempting path, doesn’t it? Let’s take a closer look at the 2008 to 2012 SQL Server upgrade exams.
This exam is intended for candidates who have already earned any one of the MCTS certifications on SQL Server 2008 and who wish to transition their skills to MCSA: SQL Server 2012. The topics covered include but aren’t limited to:
- Create database objects
- Work with data
- Modify data
- Troubleshoot and optimize queries
- Install and configure SQL Server
- Maintain instances and databases
- Optimize and troubleshoot SQL Server
- Manage data
- Implement security
- Implement high availability
- Design and implement a data warehouse
- Extract and transform data
- Load data
- Configure and deploy SSIS solutions
- Build Data Quality solutions
From now until May 31, 2014, there is a special promotion of 25% off the cost of these upgrade exams, plus free retakes if needed.
So, if you are not sure as to whether you should rush into your SQL Server 2008 certification and then upgrade to 2012, or start from scratch with SQL Server 2012, we highly recommend that you take a closer look at the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 path and check the upgrade path above. It looks totally worth it, especially with the discounts Microsoft currently offers. And, SQL Server 2008 AND 2012 do look better on your resume than just SQL Server 2012. Now, which path will you take?