SQL SERVER – Roadmap of Microsoft Certifications – SQL Server Certifications


In these times of economic slowdown and uncertainties, more and more IT professionals are concerned about their job security and their qualifications. With job insecurity looming on their minds, it is a common trend for developers to start hunting for ways to update their skills. Sound knowledge and real world work experience are always a good way to help secure your future. However, a great way to demonstrate knowledge and competence is by having a certification in the technology one claims to be proficient in.

Download Roadmap of Microsoft Certifications – SQL Server Certifications

Microsoft offers a series of certifications for IT professional including developers. In this article, we will cover the following topics.

  1. Importance of Certificates
  2. Certification Structure
  3. SQL Server Certifications
  4. Exam Preparation
  5. Registration for Exam
  6. Post Examination Benefits

Microsoft certifications are very reputed and validate developers’ practical experience.

Importance of Certificates

Certificates demonstrate developers’ expertise in technology as well their willingness to go the extra mile to prove their ardent interest in the realm of technology. Microsoft certifications add value to developers’ existing credentials. It is widely believed that certifications aid in resolving practical technology problems, together with enhancing developers’ professional performance. Whenever a new technology is released, Microsoft introduces new certifications. Achievement of new certificates clearly indicate developers’ advancement in technology as well as their keenness to move ahead in their chosen career path. Having said this, it has been commonly seen that there are a number of candidates who achieve certifications but are not concerned about upgrading them. I strongly suggest developers take advanced certifications and keep their knowledge upgraded to gain competitive edge.

Certification Structure

Microsoft Certifications are structured in four levels.

a) Technology Series – This certification series validates developers’ skills in implementation, building, troubleshooting, and debugging of Microsoft Technology. The certificate that can be acquired in this series is Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist.

b) Professional Series – This certification series is focused on a single job role and validates developers’ skill to have the required knowledge and expertise to complete a particular job.  The certificates that can be earned in this series are Microsoft Certified IT Professional and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer.

c) Master Series – This certification series requires having a profound understanding of a particular product. Developers awarded with this certification are expected to design and implement complex business requirements. The certificate that can be achieved in this series is Microsoft Certified Master.

d) Architect Series – Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) is the most difficult certification. To achieve it, developers have to go through rigorous peer review process. Developers having a minimum experience of ten years in advanced IT industry are considered for this credential. The certificate that can be attained in this series is Microsoft Certified Architect.

SQL Server Certifications

Currently, there are certifications for three editions of SQL Server. I recommend everybody to settle on the SQL Server 2008 certifications. Microsoft certifications for SQL Server 2008 have already been released and we will be discussing them in detail. We will also explore the upgrade path from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008.

  • MCTS: Technology Specialist Paths – One exam to earn each of the MCTS certifications
  • 70-432: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
  • 70-433: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development
  • 70-448: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

MCITP: IT Professional Paths – Two exams to earn an MCITP certification

70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Server Infrastructure using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Pre-requisite: 70-432: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance

70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

70-433: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development

70-452: PRO: SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

70-448: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

SQL2K5 to SQL2K8 Upgrade Paths – One exam to earn MCTS and MCITP certifications. If developers have MCTIP certification for SQL Server 2005, they can take only one exam to upgrade their credentials to SQL Server 2008. By taking only one exam developers can achieve two certifications.

To get: 70-432 and 70-450

70-453: Upgrade: Transition your MCITP Database Administrator Skills to MCITP Database Administrator 2008

Pre-requisite: MCITP (Database Administrator -SQL Server 2005)

To get: 70-433 and 70-451

70-454: Upgrade: Transition your MCITP Database Developer Skills to MCITP Database Developer 2008

Pre-requisite: MCITP (Database Developer -SQL Server 2005)

To get: 70-448 and 70-452

70-455: Upgrade: Transition your MCITP Business Intelligence Developer Skills to MCITP Business Intelligence Developer 2008

Pre-requisite: MCITP (Business Intelligence Developer -SQL Server 2005)

Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

No separate exam is conducted for Master certifications. Developers who already have MCITP (SQL Server 2008) certification can attend a three-week training program delivered by recognized experts from Microsoft and their partner organizations. On successful completion of the training and on meeting all the pre-requisites listed on MS site, developers can achieve this certification.

Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA): Microsoft SQL Server 2008

No separate exam is conducted for Master certifications. Developers who have already been awarded with all MCITP (SQL Server 2008) certifications can attend a four-week training program delivered by recognized experts from Microsoft. On successful completion of the training and on meeting all the pre-requisites the candidate has to go through an intense program interview process. Visit Microsoft official website for more details on this program.

Exam Preparation

The path to achieve a certification is not difficult, but at times, it can become perplexing. Make sure that you do not become “Certificate Happy.” It is quite common that developers start dreaming about the several paths of certifications but in reality get nowhere. It is imperative to determine the right certification for yourself. If your career goal or expertise lies in the database field, endeavor toward database certifications first rather than attempting something unusual. You must select only those certifications that will add value to your career and will provide you maximum benefits. In addition, make sure those certifications test developers on hands-on experience. If certifications’ exams are attempted without having enough hands-on experience, it will be difficult to pass the exam.

If a developer realizes that additional training can enhance the knowledge of a product, it is a good idea to get training from a professional trainer. But in this case, attend the training for the product not for passing examination. There is a huge number of online courses and local institutes that claim to provide developers with certifications. A course that just helps you learn about certifications will not help your career in the long run. Thus, selecting the right course is a very important career-related decision for you. I only trust organizations where Microsoft Certified Trainers or Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are teaching the courses. Besides, gather information on what an exam contains and also, do the trial run with a practice test. As per my personal experience, I often find it easier to pass an exam after practicing the trial exam.

Please refer to the following additional resources, which are very helpful to prepare for the exam.

Registration for Exam

Prometric, an independent testing organization with over 3,000 locations worldwide, administers all MCP exams. Each exam typically costs US$125. You can register for your exam online (http://www.register.prometric.com/DirectInput.asp?DirectInput=1&Client=132), through your local testing center or via telephone. Remember, many employers have training budgets in place for such professional growth.

Post Examination Benefits

There are several benefits you can gain after clearing certification exams. After passing the first exam, developers earn credential of Microsoft Certified Professional commonly known as MCP. Once credentials are achieved developers get access to an official transcript, logos and certificates, and have their own landing page on Microsoft.com! According to Microsoft’s official site, real MCPs get real benefits of  Reward, Respect and Recognition.


Please feel free to send me email regarding any of the Microsoft programs or for additional information about any of the certifications. I am more than willing to share my personal notes for examination with my readers. Visit http://blog.sqlauthority.com/ to contact me. Additional details about certifications are available on MS official site: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/default.mspx.

Reference : Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com), DotNetSlackers

Originally Post : http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2009/05/04/sql-server-roadmap-of-microsoft-certifications-sql-server-certifications-2/

28 thoughts on “SQL SERVER – Roadmap of Microsoft Certifications – SQL Server Certifications

  1. Hi Mr Pinal,

    i am Arkesh did MCA and working as a software programmer in Malaysia (My hometown is Bangalore,India).
    past from few months i am reading your blog.
    i can clearly say your blog made me to get more interest on SQL SERVER and now even though i am not from database side i would like to do an Microsoft certification course on SQL SERVER 2005, i am more interested in DB Designing.

    i asked some Educational Institute in Malaysia about Microsoft course on SQL Server. the Fee structure was 33,000Rs for 4 to 5 days class which i cannot offered now.

    I need a favor from you about the course.

    Can you suggest me the course on SQL SERVER 2005 and also the steps need to fallow for registration of course. course Expenditure, to get study materials
    how we have to write exam?(i never took any exam online)

    Looking Forward from you


  2. I have 5 years of development experience but since day one of my IT life was always interested in becoming a DBA. Since past few months I’m getting tired of programming and want to pursue DBA but not sure would it be a right decision? Could you please share some thoughts.

    As well should I get certified on 2005 or 2008? So far have only used 2008 to basic level. 05 have used since past 3 years.


  3. Hi Mr.Dave,

    I find your Blogs very helpful in my day to day activities as an amateur SQL DBA.

    I want to get the DBA Certifications , but as I come from a remote part of India , and do not have any coaching centers , can you kindly suggest what kind of preparation to make and from where can i procure the study materials.



  4. Hi Pinal,

    I am working as a .Net programmer for 2 years in bangalore. I have only basic knowledge of SQL server 2005. I am interested to take the MCITP certification. I could not afford the course fee of SQL training. so without attending the course i want to learn and get certified. Could you please suggest any site which can help me or SQL SERVER 2005 course affordable for me?

    Looking froward from you..



  5. Hi Pinal

    I am a SQL Server 2005 Database developer. I am looking for a Microsoft certification on Database developer for SQL2k5 only. I have gone through the Microsoft website and found that exam 70-433 is for Database developer but this is for
    Sql server 2008 version. I am only looking for SQL2k5 certification. Please let me know the exact certification number.


  6. hiiiii
    i want to do sql server cirtification anybody having dups of cirtification then please help me

    lokesh kumar saini




  8. Hi Pinal,
    I’m interested in preparing and taking MCTS Exam 70-448 (BI).
    I don’t have experience in SQL Server BI, but I do have 9 years of Business Objects and approx 9 years of SQL server admin/development/DTS, mostly SQL server 2000 and some 2005. I’ve never been certified and really want to move in that direction, specifically into Business Intelligence area.

    Do you think it’s feasible for me to start with preparation for this exam and get certified without having actual working knowledge of that?

    Would appreciate your suggestions…


  9. Hi Pinal ,

    First of all thank u so much … nice blog…
    I am working in asp.net but i am very much interested in sql server so i decided to change career in SQL DBA side. so i like to do Microsoft Certification in SQL server , I wants to how to prepare with out attending training program or course ??? How to get Study Materials ?? Kindly please Sugest me..



  10. Hi Pinal,

    This blog of yours is really very helpful.
    I am working as a Remote Desktop Engineer for Windows Support. I wish to opt for SQL Server 2008 70-448 and 70-452 Exams. Could you please help me out if that will help me in my further career as I wish to switch to Database side. Could you also help me with the study material for the same?

    Thank you,

    Warm Regards,


  11. Pingback: SQLAuthority News – Exam 70-433 – MCTS – Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development Journey to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave

  12. Hi,

    I am a SQL dev. My work basically involves writing queries. I wish to take certification that should highlight my work. Please let me know what certification should i opt for and wat preparations are required from my end.

    SQL SERVER 2008.

    Cheers and thanks in advance,


  13. hi Dave,

    i have created table:

    CREATE TABLE client
    (l_id int,
    name varchar(25),
    phone1 int,
    phone2 int,
    phone3 int,
    remark varchar(255));

    inserted data:

    l_id name phone1 phone2 phone3 remark
    1 aa 123 456 111 na
    2 cc 895 666 544 al

    i want in new table of only “remark=na”

    output of new table name phone is:

    name phone
    aa 123
    aa 456
    aa 111

    thanx in advance


  14. select name , l_id , phone , remark
    from ( select name , phone1 ,phone2 ,phone3 , remark
    from #Client –where remark=’na’ — you can filter here or after getting result.
    ) p1
    UNPIVOT ( l_id FOR Phone IN (phone1 ,phone2 ,phone3 )
    ) AS UNPVT
    where remark=’na’


  15. Hi Pinal,
    I am reading your blog everyday and it’s very helpful in my day to day activities. Also I have attended you seminar last year happened in Pune.
    I have passed my exam 70-432 and currently planning to give Exam 70-450.
    if you share any notes related to this exam then it will be great for me.

    Thanks in Advance.


  16. Hi Ravindra,

    I am working as a tester and Planning to give certification of sql server basic level .Can u please share material and guidence about 70-432 exam .Please let me know is this right certification ,I just want to familiar with DB queries .



  17. hi pinal, when clicked on “road map of microsoft certifications” its leading into a empty page and Thanks for the useful post.


  18. Dear Pinal,
    I had started my career as a Software Developer but after a year i was into a project were my role was of Maintainence & Support.I have worked on Sql server 2000 as well as 2005 for 2 years.what would you suggest me that will help me to enhance my career.


  19. Can you please script an article to cover up the new SQL server certification path. I believe it has changed a bit. I am cinfused which exam to go for.


  20. Pingback: SQL SERVER – Weekly Series – Memory Lane – #027 | SQL Server Journey with SQL Authority

  21. I have 5 years of development experience but since day one of my IT life was always interested in becoming a DBA. Since past few months I’m getting tired of programming and want to pursue DBA but not sure would it be a right decision? Could you please share some thoughts. What is best Orace DBA & SQL DBA?


  22. HI Team,

    I have recently passed out, and my goal is to become a SQL DBA, could you let me know what all the studies i need to go under and what all the certification i jave to complete to de a SQL DBA


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