Best Database Certifications

In one of our previous posts, we had talked about the learning path to becoming a database administrator. In today’s guide, we will see in-depth the best database certifications available in the market.

Some of these certifications are for beginners and some are for individuals looking to advance their careers. Also in our next post, we will focus on database consultancy. Make sure to visit us again.

Before we move on, let us discuss one basic question that many of you would have in mind. Is it worth getting a certification in database administration? The short answer is yes!

Read More: How to become a Database Administrator in 2021

Database administrators (DBAs) with certifications earn more than their non-certified counterparts. It helps in career advancement and you are paid more to do the same work. It’s worth every penny to go for a database administration certificate.

Let us go back to the main topic.  There are several dba certificates available. Oracle, Microsoft, and several other companies have their certifications.

We will be discussing them one by one. Before we move on, we have gathered data on how much a database administrator is paid in different US states. The data is gathered through Indeed.

Database Administrator Salary by State (Updated 2021):
Arizona $98,109
Arkansas $75,205
California $103,217
Colorado $98,352
Connecticut $68,640
Delaware $101,390
Florida $87,937
Georgia $74,189
Hawaii $82,567
Idaho $81,377
Illinois $99,396
Iowa $78,483
Kansas $84,188
Kentucky $83,642
Louisiana $55,249
Maine $71,481
Maryland $104,487
Massachusetts $105,232
Minnesota $91,286
Mississippi $63,141
Missouri $112,067
Montana $60,603
Nebraska $85,614
Nevada $85,946
New Hampshire $62,976
New Jersey$78,751
New Mexico $104,894
New York$93,563
North Carolina$96,098
North Dakota$78,114
Ohio $64,126
Oklahoma $86,057
Oregon $111,930
Pennsylvania $89,283
Rhode Island $103,934
South Carolina$85,434
South Dakota $84,123
Tennessee $87,874
Texas $97,660
Utah $99,650
Virginia $105,588
Washington $98,897
West Virginia $58,754
Wisconsin $77,877
Wyoming $48,330
Database Administrator Salary by US States
Best Database Administration Certifications 2021:
1. Oracle Database Administration Certifications:

Oracle is one of the most used enterprise DB systems. If you are already working in an organization that uses Oracle, then it makes complete sense to become Oracle Certified Database Administrator.

If you are new and want to start with Oracle, you can still do it. Oracle has created some amazing video tutorials for newcomers. You can check them here at Oracle University.

For database administration, Oracle provides three types or three-levels of certifications:

  • OCA or Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate.

  • OCP or Oracle Database Certified Professional.

  • OCM or Oracle Database Certified Master.

It is necessary to complete OCA first before you move on to OCP and above. You cannot directly jump to level 2 or 3 certifications without completing the pre-requisites. The not so good thing about these certifications is that they needed to be updated every time a new Oracle version is released.

Oracle CertificationOracle Certification CostLink
Oracle DA Associate (OCA)$245 per exam (1 exam taken).Visit the OCA Page.
Oracle DA Professional (OCP)$245 per exam (2 exams taken).Visit the OCP Page.
Oracle DA Master (OCM)$2800+ (Multiple exams)*Visit the OCM Page.

You can get OCA certified by passing one exam and it is not difficult. However, for OCP, it is better to get 2-3 years of experience in working with the Oracle DB system.

For OCM, Oracle suggests having at least 6-7 years of experience as this certificate is the most expensive of all and requires one to go through several learning phases and exams before getting certified.

***** Since the OCM consists of multiple exams, Oracle keeps changing the cost from time to time. The above-mentioned price is the expected cost. You can confirm it by contacting Oracle.

2. Microsoft Database Administration Certificates:

Microsoft provides several certificates for their database systems. You can get certified in MS SQL Server or in Microsoft Access. If you develop a database in MS Access, you can simply get the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification.

The cost of the MOS certificate is $100 per exam. You would take the following exams:

  • Microsoft Word 2013.

  • Microsoft Excel 2013.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.

  • Microsoft Outlook 2013.

  • Microsoft Access 2013.

  • Microsoft SharePoint 2013.

  • Microsoft OneNote 2013.

These exams would cost you are $700 in total. Price may vary.

The good news is you can get certified in a single software too! Since we are talking about Microsoft Access here, you can get MS Access certified for $100 only. To get the MS Access exam page click here.

For SQL server, there are three types of Microsoft SQL Server certificates:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate Certification (MTA): The very basic certification is the MTA certificate. It is preliminarily designed for beginners and if you already have some 2-3 years of experience in SQL Server, this certificate is not for you. You will take several exams to get certified. The cost of the MTA certificate is given below.

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): The MCSA will get you certified either in the SQL Server 2014 or 2016. The choice is yours to make. This is an associate-level certificate and MCSA is worth taking if you are new to MS SQL Server.

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): The last level of Microsoft certification is the MCSE certificate. This is going to consume a lot of your time and you need some experience in working with the MS products before going for MCSE. Like other certificates, you would take multiple exams to get MCSE certified.

The following table shows the number of exams you need to take for each certificate and their average price. The cost may change.

Microsoft Database CertificateCertificate CostLink
MTA Certificate12 exams x $127 eachView exams
MCSA Certificate10 exams x $165 eachView exams
MCSE Certificate4 exams x $165 eachView exams

Microsoft will retire several exams from the above-mentioned certificates in the coming months. Before you go for any of the certifications, please make sure to check which exams are retiring. This will save you some money.

3. IBM Database Administration Certifications:

Unlike Microsoft and Oracle, IBM provides only two different types of IBM database administration certificates. These are:

  • IBM Certified Database Associate: The database associate is designed for beginners and only one exam is required to get certified. You would be tested for your knowledge of DB2 11 and SQL. Basic knowledge of SQL is required.

  • IBM Certified Database Administrator: This is more of the advanced certificate by IBM. You will have to pass 2 exams to get certified. If you are already an IBM Certified Database Associate, you will have to take only one exam.

Below is the cost of IBM database administrator certificates:

IBM Database Administration CertificateCertificate CostLink
IBM Certified Database Associate1 exam x $200 eachLearn More
IBM Certified Database Administrator2 exams x $200 eachLearn More
4. MySQL Database Administrator Certifications:

MySQL is one of the most widely-used database management systems out there. It powers 20% of the total websites in the world. A great number of colleges and universities teach MySQL to their students. There are several MySQL DBA certificates that you can earn to jump ahead in your career.

MySQL certifications are provided by Oracle and they overlap with their OCA, OCM, and OCP certificates. You can get OCP certified from Oracle by taking the MySQL 8.0 Database Administrator Exam from here.

These are the best certifications for 2021 and beyond. Oracle, Microsoft, and MySQL are widely used by enterprises. If you get certified in any of these, you might be able to land a high-paying job. If you have any other certifications in mind, let us know.

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