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Top 11 Database Programmer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top database programmer certifications available, including details on requirements, costs and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for database programmers in the job market because they demonstrate a certain level of expertise and knowledge. In addition, certifications can provide validation that an individual has the necessary skills to be successful in a particular role. For example, having a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification demonstrates that an individual is knowledgeable about Microsoft’s SQL Server and its related technologies. Certifications can also help employers evaluate job candidates more efficiently, as they provide objective evidence of the candidate's qualifications and abilities. Finally, certifications can give an edge to a job seeker when competing against other applicants with similar experience and education.

The article reviews the top certifications for Database Programmers and explains how they can be beneficial to a database programmer's career.

What are Database Programmer Certifications?

Database programmer certification is a type of professional certification for individuals who demonstrate the knowledge and experience needed to design, develop, implement, and maintain databases. The certification covers topics such as database architecture, design principles, query language, data modeling, and object-oriented programming. It also covers the use of various database technologies like SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL.

By obtaining database programmer certification, individuals can demonstrate their expertise in this field to potential employers. This certification may help them advance their career by providing an edge over other applicants in job interviews or promotions. Database programmer certification can also help them stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends in the industry. Additionally, it can provide them with access to a network of peers who have similar interests and experiences in the field. Furthermore, certified database programmers may be eligible for financial compensation for their efforts through certifications bonuses or salary increases from employers.

Pro Tip: If you want to become a certified database programmer, make sure to take courses in database design and learn the fundamentals of SQL. Additionally, practice writing SQL queries and familiarize yourself with the common database programming tools and frameworks. Lastly, look into taking an online certification exam to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject.

Related: What does a Database Programmer do?

Top 11 Database Programmer Certifications

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

1. Oracle Certified Professional, Database Administrator (OCP-DBA)

Oracle Certified Professional, Database Administrator (OCP-DBA) is an industry-recognized certification that validates a professional’s expertise in the Oracle Database. It is designed for experienced Oracle Database administrators who have mastered the skills needed to install, configure, and manage an Oracle database.

To become an OCP-DBA, you must first pass two exams: 1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration and 1Z0-063: Oracle Database 12c: Advanced Administration. Both exams are administered by Pearson VUE and cost $245 each. The exams typically take 2 to 3 hours to complete.

Once both exams are passed, you will be awarded the OCP-DBA certification. This certification is valid for three years from the date of passing the exam. To renew your certification after three years, you must retake one of the two exams or pass a more advanced exam such as 1Z0-071: Oracle Database 12c SQL Fundamentals I or 1Z0-072: Oracle Database 12c SQL Fundamentals II.

The cost of becoming an OCP-DBA depends on how many times you need to retake either of the two exams or which additional exam you choose to take in order to renew your certification after three years. In total, it can cost anywhere from $490 up to $740 depending on how quickly you pass both exams and which additional exam you choose to take for renewal.

2. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics is a certification program for IT professionals who want to specialize in designing, building, and managing data solutions that are based on Microsoft technology. It is designed to validate an individual’s ability to design, implement, and maintain business intelligence solutions with Microsoft SQL Server technologies.

The MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification requires individuals to pass four exams: 70-761 Querying Data with Transact-SQL; 70-767 Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse; 70-768 Developing SQL Data Models; and 70-778 Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI. The exams must be taken in order.

It typically takes 3-6 months of preparation time to complete the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification depending on the individual's knowledge level. Those who are already familiar with Microsoft SQL Server technologies may find it easier to pass the exams quickly.

To get the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification, individuals must register for each exam through Pearson VUE or another authorized testing center. The cost of each exam varies depending on the country where it is taken but typically ranges from $150-$200 USD per exam. Therefore, the total cost of obtaining the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification can range from $600-$800 USD.

3. IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2)

IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2) is a professional certification program that validates the skills and knowledge of DB2 database administrators. It demonstrates mastery of the tools, techniques, and concepts needed to successfully manage DB2 databases.

To become an IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2), you must pass two exams: DB2 11 Fundamentals for LUW and DB2 11 DBA for LUW. The Fundamentals exam covers topics such as architecture, security, installation, configuration, administration, performance tuning, backup and recovery. The DBA exam covers topics such as data definition language (DDL), SQL statements, stored procedures, triggers and functions.

It typically takes about six months to prepare for both exams. You can use self-study materials or attend a training course to help you prepare for the exams. There are also practice tests available online to help you gauge your readiness for the exams.

The cost of IBM Certified Database Administrator (DB2) certification varies depending on where you take the exams. The cost of each exam is approximately $200 USD plus any applicable taxes or fees.

4. Oracle Certified Associate, MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator (OCA-MySQL)

Oracle Certified Associate, MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator (OCA-MySQL) is a certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of database administrators who use the MySQL 5.6 database management system. This certification requires knowledge of the architecture and features of MySQL 5.6, as well as how to install, configure, maintain, secure and monitor databases using this system.

The OCA-MySQL certification is offered by Oracle University and can be obtained through taking an online or in-person training course from an authorized Oracle instructor. The course typically takes around five days to complete and covers topics such as installation, configuration, security, monitoring and backup/recovery for MySQL 5.6 databases.

Once you have completed the course and passed the associated exam, you will be awarded the OCA-MySQL certification. The cost of the training course varies depending on where it is taken but typically ranges from $1,000 - $2,500 USD plus any applicable taxes or fees.

5. MongoDB Certified DBA Associate

MongoDB Certified DBA Associate is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to install, configure, maintain, and secure MongoDB databases. It is an entry-level certification that validates a candidate’s ability to manage MongoDB deployments in production environments. The certification exam covers topics such as installation and configuration, system architecture, security, performance tuning, backup and recovery, monitoring and troubleshooting.

The MongoDB Certified DBA Associate exam typically takes 2 hours to complete and consists of 60 multiple choice questions. Candidates must achieve a score of 70% or higher on the exam in order to pass.

To get the MongoDB Certified DBA Associate certification, candidates must register for the exam through the MongoDB University website and pay the associated fee (currently $150 USD). Upon successful completion of the exam, candidates will receive their official certificate from MongoDB University.

The cost of the MongoDB Certified DBA Associate certification is currently $150 USD.

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

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL Server 2012/2014 is a certification that validates the skills and knowledge of individuals in the installation, configuration, maintenance, and administration of Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 databases.

It typically takes around three months to prepare for the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 exam. The preparation includes studying topics such as database administration, data storage, security, replication, high availability, and performance tuning. It is also important to gain hands-on experience with installing and configuring SQL Server 2012/2014.

To get the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 certification you must pass two exams: Exam 70-461 (Querying Microsoft SQL Server) and Exam 70-462 (Administering Microsoft SQL Server). You can register for these exams online or through a local testing center.

The cost of the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 exam varies depending on your country or region. Generally speaking, it costs around $150 USD per exam.

7. Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional (OCP-12c)

The Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional (OCP-12c) is a certification from Oracle that demonstrates an individual's expertise in administering and managing Oracle Database 12c. It is designed to recognize the advanced skills and knowledge required of a database administrator in an enterprise environment.

To obtain the OCP-12c certification, individuals must first pass two exams: 1Z0-063: Oracle Database 12c: Advanced Administration and 1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration. The exams are multiple choice and take approximately three hours each to complete.

In order to register for the exams, you will need to purchase an exam voucher from Oracle which costs $245 USD per exam. Once you have purchased your voucher, you can then register for the exams at any Pearson VUE test center.

Once you have passed both exams, you will be awarded the OCP-12c certification. This process can take anywhere from one month to several months depending on when you are able to schedule your exams and how quickly your results are processed by Oracle.

8. PostgreSQL 9 Administration Certification

PostgreSQL 9 Administration Certification is a certification program offered by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in administering PostgreSQL databases. The certification consists of a written exam and a practical examination, both of which must be passed in order to obtain the certification.

The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as database design, SQL commands, backup and recovery, security, performance tuning, replication and more. The practical exam involves installing and configuring a PostgreSQL instance, creating and managing databases, writing SQL queries, performing backups and recoveries, implementing security measures, monitoring performance metrics and more.

It typically takes about three months to complete the certification process from start to finish. To get started with the certification process you will need to register for an account on the PostgreSQL Global Development Group website. Once registered you can purchase the official study guide for the certification exams as well as any additional materials you may need such as practice exams or tutorials. You will also need to schedule your exams with Pearson VUE or Prometric Testing Centers.

The cost for obtaining this certification depends on how many exams you take and whether you choose to purchase additional materials such as practice tests or tutorials. Generally speaking it can range from $150-$400 USD depending on your specific needs.

9. Microsoft Technology Associate: Database Fundamentals

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Database Fundamentals is a certification program designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to work with databases. MTA Database Fundamentals covers topics such as database design, data manipulation language, data definition language, query optimization, normalization, and more. This certification is geared towards those who are interested in pursuing a career in database administration or development.

The MTA Database Fundamentals exam takes approximately 60 minutes to complete and consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. The exam is available for purchase through Microsoft’s website for $127 USD. To get certified, you must pass the exam with a score of 700 or higher on a scale from 100-900.

In order to prepare for the exam, Microsoft recommends taking their free online training course which covers all of the topics included in the exam. Additionally, there are many third-party study materials available that can help candidates prepare for the test.

10. MongoDB Certified DBA Professional

MongoDB Certified DBA Professional is a professional certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of experienced MongoDB Database Administrators. The certification program is offered by MongoDB University, an online learning platform for developers and administrators who want to learn how to use MongoDB.

The certification consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as installation, configuration, security, performance tuning, data modeling, backup and recovery, monitoring and troubleshooting. The practical exam requires the candidate to demonstrate their ability to perform tasks related to MongoDB administration in a live environment.

The certification process takes approximately 6-8 weeks from start to finish. Candidates must first register for the written exam through the MongoDB University website. Once registered, they will have access to study materials that can help them prepare for the exam. After taking the written exam, candidates must then schedule their practical exam with an approved proctoring service.

The cost of the MongoDB Certified DBA Professional certification varies depending on where you take it and which proctoring service you choose. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $400-$600 USD.

11. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Business Intelligence

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Business Intelligence is an advanced certification that demonstrates a professional's expertise in designing, deploying, and managing business intelligence solutions. It is designed for IT professionals who want to specialize in data analytics and business intelligence.

The MCSE: Business Intelligence certification requires candidates to pass four exams: two core exams and two electives. The core exams are Microsoft 70-467 Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 and Microsoft 70-468 Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014. The two elective exams can be chosen from a list of approved courses such as Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases, Administering Microsoft SQL Server Databases, Implementing Data Warehousing with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, or Designing Self-Service BI and Big Data Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2014.

It typically takes around six months to prepare for the MCSE: Business Intelligence certification depending on the individual’s experience level. To get started, it is recommended that candidates have at least one year of experience working with data analysis technologies such as database design, ETL processes, data warehouse architecture, reporting services, integration services, OLAP cubes, and MDX query language. Candidates should also be familiar with the Microsoft BI stack including Power BI and Azure Machine Learning Studio.

The cost of getting the MCSE: Business Intelligence certification varies depending on the country you are located in but generally ranges from $200-$400 per exam.

Do You Really Need a Database Programmer Certificate?

No, you do not necessarily need a Database Programmer Certificate to become a successful database programmer. While having a certificate may be beneficial in some cases, many employers are more concerned with the skills and experience of an applicant. A certificate may help demonstrate that you have certain knowledge or skills related to database programming, but it is not essential for success in the field.

In today’s competitive job market, employers want applicants who possess both the technical know-how and soft skills needed to succeed in the role. It is important to demonstrate your proficiency through practical experience and a portfolio of work samples that highlight your abilities. Employers also look for candidates who are self-motivated and have strong problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to collaborate with others on projects.

The most important factor when considering whether or not to pursue a Database Programmer Certificate is whether or not it will benefit your career goals. If you feel that having this type of certification will make you more attractive to potential employers, then it may be worth pursuing. However, if you already possess the necessary skills and experience needed for success in this field, then there may not be much benefit in obtaining a certificate. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what best suits your individual needs and career aspirations.

Related: Database Programmer Resume Examples

FAQs About Database Programmer Certifications

1. What is the best Database Programmer Certification?

Answer: The best certification depends on your individual career goals and experience level. Some popular certifications include Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), and IBM Certified Database Associate (ICDA).

2. How long does it take to get a Database Programmer Certification?

Answer: The time required to achieve a certification varies depending on the type of certification and the amount of preparation needed. Generally, most certifications require 6-12 months of study and practice to complete.

3. Do I need any special qualifications or experience to become a Database Programmer?

Answer: While there are no specific qualifications required to become a database programmer, having knowledge in computer programming, mathematics, and databases will be beneficial. Additionally, some employers may prefer applicants with prior experience in database development or administration.

4. Is there an exam I must pass to obtain a Database Programmer Certification?

Answer: Yes, most certifications require passing an exam or series of exams that test your knowledge of the topics covered by the certification program. Exams are usually administered by the organization offering the certification program.

5. Are there any additional costs associated with obtaining a Database Programmer Certification?

Answer: Yes, there may be additional costs associated with obtaining a certification such as registration fees for exams, books or other materials needed for studying, travel expenses for attending classes or workshops related to the certification program, etc.