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Top 10 Database Administrator Certifications

This article outlines the top certifications for database administrators, including what they cover and why they are important.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are an important part of a Database Administrator's job market. They provide a way to demonstrate knowledge and experience in the field, which can help potential employers determine whether or not to hire a candidate. Additionally, certifications can be used to verify that a Database Administrator has the necessary skillset for the job. This can be helpful for employers when evaluating candidates for positions as it allows them to assess the individual’s technical abilities quickly and accurately. Furthermore, certifications can also provide Database Administrators with additional credibility in their industry, which is beneficial when seeking promotions or higher-level positions.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Database Administrators and explain how they can help to further a database administrator's career.

What are Database Administrator Certifications?

Database Administrator Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and skills related to the design, implementation, maintenance, and management of databases. This certification can help individuals gain recognition in the industry as well as increase their chances of finding a job or promotion within their current company. It also allows employers to identify qualified candidates for database administration positions. Having the certification also indicates that an individual is up to date on the latest trends in database technologies and is certified by a respected organization. The certification can also provide access to industry-specific resources and activities, such as conferences, seminars, workshops, and networking opportunities. In addition, having this certification can open doors for career advancement or other job opportunities as employers may be more likely to hire certified individuals over those without the same level of training or experience.

Pro Tip: When looking to obtain a database administrator certification, make sure you research the certifications available and find one that is tailored to your specific area of expertise. Additionally, consider taking an online course or attending a training session to ensure you have the necessary knowledge and skills before attempting a certification exam.

Related: What does a Database Administrator do?

Top 10 Database Administrator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Database Administrators today.

1. Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)

Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) is a certification program offered by Oracle Corporation to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in Oracle products and technologies. It is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field of Oracle database administration, development, or application development.

The OCP certification requires passing one or more exams that cover topics such as installation, configuration, maintenance, security, performance tuning, backup and recovery, troubleshooting, and other related topics. The exams are administered by Pearson VUE and cost $245 per exam.

It typically takes several months of preparation to pass the exams. Candidates should plan on studying for at least 200 hours before attempting the exam. They should also have hands-on experience with Oracle products and technologies in order to be successful on the exam.

The cost of obtaining an OCP certification varies depending on which exams you take and how many times you need to retake them if necessary. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 USD for all the necessary exams required for certification.

2. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Platform

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Platform is a certification program designed to validate a professional’s expertise in designing, building, and managing data solutions with Microsoft SQL Server. It is an advanced-level certification that requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to design, develop, and maintain complex database solutions.

The MCSE: Data Platform certification requires the completion of three exams: one core exam and two electives. The core exam covers topics such as data management, security, high availability, scalability, and performance tuning. The elective exams cover topics such as business intelligence or cloud data solutions.

It typically takes approximately six months to complete the requirements for the MCSE: Data Platform certification. This includes studying for and passing the three required exams as well as obtaining hands-on experience working with SQL Server technologies.

To get the MCSE: Data Platform certification you must first pass all three required exams. Exams can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing center or online through Microsoft’s website. Each exam costs $165 USD. Once you have passed all three exams you will need to submit an application to Microsoft for review and approval before being awarded the certification.

In total, it costs approximately $495 USD to obtain the MCSE: Data Platform certification (3 x $165 = $495).

3. IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2)

IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2) is a professional certification that verifies an individual's expertise in administering and managing IBM DB2 databases. It demonstrates the individual's knowledge of database concepts, architecture, data security, and performance tuning.

The certification process consists of two exams: one for the fundamentals of DB2 9.7 and one for advanced administration of DB2 10.1. The exams are administered by Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers.

To get certified, you must pass both exams with a score of at least 70%. The exam fees vary depending on location but typically range between $200-$300 USD per exam. To prepare for the exams, you can take self-paced courses offered by IBM or attend instructor-led classes offered by authorized training partners.

Overall, it takes approximately 4-6 months to become an IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2).

4. MySQL Certified Database Administrator

MySQL Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) is a certification offered by Oracle that validates the skills and knowledge of database administrators who are responsible for managing MySQL databases. This certification demonstrates an individual’s expertise in designing, implementing, administering, and maintaining MySQL databases.

It typically takes about 6 months to prepare for the MCDBA exam. To get certified, you must pass two exams: The MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator (1Z0-883) and the MySQL 5.6 Database Administration II (1Z0-884). Both exams are administered by Pearson VUE and cost $245 each.

To prepare for the exams, it is recommended that you have hands-on experience with MySQL databases as well as a good understanding of SQL language fundamentals. There are also several online courses available to help you prepare for the exams. Additionally, Oracle offers official training courses specifically designed to help individuals prepare for their MCDBA certification exams.

5. PostgreSQL Certified Database Administrator

PostgreSQL Certified Database Administrator (PGCDA) is a certification program that recognizes and validates the skills of professionals in the PostgreSQL database management system. The PGCDA certification is designed to demonstrate a professional’s ability to install, configure, maintain, and optimize PostgreSQL databases. It also serves as a way for employers to identify qualified personnel for positions involving PostgreSQL databases.

The PGCDA certification requires applicants to pass two exams: one on the fundamentals of PostgreSQL administration and the other on advanced topics. The fundamental exam covers topics such as installation, configuration, security, backup/recovery, replication, performance tuning, troubleshooting, and monitoring. The advanced exam focuses on topics such as query optimization, indexing strategies, data integrity/consistency checks, stored procedures/functions/triggers/views/materialized views, user-defined types/aggregates/operators/functions/triggers/views/materialized views.

It typically takes about three months of study and practice to prepare for the PGCDA exams. In addition to studying material related to PostgreSQL administration topics such as those mentioned above, it is also important for applicants to gain hands-on experience with PostgreSQL by setting up test environments and practicing administering them.

The cost of taking the PGCDA exams depends on where you take them; they can range from $200-$400 per exam depending on location and currency exchange rates.

In order to get certified as a PGCDA you must pass both exams with a score of 70% or higher within 12 months of your first attempt at either exam. Once you have passed both exams you will be officially certified as a PostgreSQL Certified Database Administrator (PGCDA).

6. MongoDB Certified DBA Associate

MongoDB Certified DBA Associate is a certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of database administrators who use MongoDB. This certification is intended for professionals who have experience in administering MongoDB databases, including installation, configuration, performance tuning, monitoring, backup and recovery, security, scalability and more.

The certification exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. The exam covers topics such as installation and configuration of MongoDB, performance tuning and optimization, data modeling and indexing, security management, replication and sharding.

To get certified as a MongoDB Certified DBA Associate you need to pass the exam. You can take the exam online or at a testing center near you. To prepare for the exam you can take an official MongoDB training course or read through the official study guide.

The cost of taking the MongoDB Certified DBA Associate Exam is $150 USD. There are no additional fees or costs associated with taking this exam.

7. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL Server 2012/2014

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL Server 2012/2014 is a certification that validates a professional’s ability to build and maintain database solutions using Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014. It demonstrates an individual’s technical expertise in administering, developing, and maintaining databases on the Microsoft platform.

The MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 certification requires passing two exams: 70-461 and 70-462. The exams cover topics such as database design, installation, configuration, maintenance, security, performance tuning, troubleshooting, replication and high availability.

It typically takes around 3-4 months of study time to prepare for the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 exam. However this can vary depending on the individual's experience level with the subject matter. The best way to prepare for the exam is to take an official Microsoft course or self-study using books or online resources.

The cost of the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking it costs around $150 USD per exam plus any additional fees associated with taking the exam at a testing center.

8. Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional

Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional is a certification program that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in administering Oracle Database 12c. It is designed to validate the expertise of database administrators and other IT professionals who work with Oracle Database 12c.

To become an Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional, you must pass two exams: 1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration and 1Z0-063: Oracle Database 12c: Advanced Administration. The exams are available through Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide.

The total time required to complete the certification process depends on your experience level and study habits, but it typically takes between one to three months to prepare for the exams. It is recommended that candidates have at least six months of experience working with Oracle Database 12c before taking the exams.

The cost of taking the two exams varies depending on your location, but it typically ranges from $200-$400 USD per exam.

9. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA): Database Fundamentals

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Database Fundamentals is a certification program designed to provide individuals with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to work with databases. The MTA Database Fundamentals certification validates an individual’s understanding of core database concepts, including relational databases, Structured Query Language (SQL), and database design.

The MTA Database Fundamentals exam consists of 40-60 multiple choice questions and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. The exam covers topics such as database architecture, data manipulation, data definition, transactions, security, backup/recovery, and troubleshooting.

To obtain the MTA Database Fundamentals certification, you must pass the Microsoft Exam 98-364: Database Fundamentals. This exam can be taken at any Pearson VUE or Certiport testing center worldwide. You can also take the exam online through the Microsoft Learning website.

The cost of taking the Microsoft Exam 98-364: Database Fundamentals varies depending on your location and testing center. Generally speaking, it costs around $115 USD for a single attempt at the exam.

10. Red Hat Certified Engineer in Red Hat OpenStack

Red Hat Certified Engineer in Red Hat OpenStack is a certification program that validates the skills and knowledge of IT professionals who are responsible for deploying, managing, and troubleshooting Red Hat OpenStack Platform. This certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s understanding of the core components of Red Hat OpenStack Platform, including: installation, configuration, networking, storage, security, operations, and troubleshooting.

It typically takes about 3 months to complete the necessary training and pass the exam required to become a certified engineer in Red Hat OpenStack. The training consists of two courses: Red Hat OpenStack Administration I (CL110) and Red Hat OpenStack Administration II (CL210). Both courses must be successfully completed before taking the exam.

The exam is offered online through Pearson VUE or at a testing center near you. It costs $400 USD to take the exam.

To maintain your certification status as a Red Hat Certified Engineer in Red Hat OpenStack Platform you must recertify every three years by passing either the same exam or any higher-level exam from the current version of Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Do You Really Need a Database Administrator Certificate?

When it comes to pursuing a career in database administration, having a Database Administrator Certificate can be a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. However, it is important to understand that having a certificate is not always necessary for success.

The truth is that the value of a Database Administrator Certificate will depend on the nature of the job you are applying for. If you are looking for an entry-level position, then having such a certificate may not be as important as it would be if you were applying for a more advanced role. On the other hand, if you are looking to move up in your current company or pursue more technical roles, then having a Database Administrator Certificate could give you an edge over other applicants.

In addition, if you are already working in the field of database administration and want to further your education, then having this type of certificate could be beneficial. It can help show employers that you have taken the time and effort to increase your knowledge and skillset beyond what is required for your current role. Furthermore, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have obtained additional certifications or degrees since they show commitment and dedication to their profession.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a Database Administrator Certificate will depend on your individual situation and goals. While having one may give you an advantage when searching for jobs or advancing in your career, it is also possible to succeed without one. Therefore, use your best judgment when deciding if obtaining such a certification is right for you.

Related: Database Administrator Resume Examples

FAQs About Database Administrator Certifications

Q1: What types of Database Administrator certifications are available?

A1: There are a variety of Database Administrator certifications available, including Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), and Certified MySQL Database Administrator (CMDA).

Q2: What is the best way to prepare for a Database Administrator certification exam?

A2: The best way to prepare for a Database Administrator certification exam is to become familiar with the topics covered on the exam, review relevant study materials, and practice using the software related to the certification.

Q3: How long does it take to earn a Database Administrator certification?

A3: The amount of time it takes to earn a Database Administrator certification varies depending on the type of certification and the individual's experience level. Generally, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.

Q4: What is the cost of earning a Database Administrator certification?

A4: The cost of earning a Database Administrator certification varies depending on which type of certification you are pursuing. Generally, costs range from several hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars.

Q5: Are there any benefits associated with earning a Database Administrator certification?

A5: Yes! Earning a Database Administrator certification can help you stand out in the job market, increase your salary potential, and give you more credibility as an IT professional.