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Top 11 SQL Programmer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top SQL programmer certifications available, including details on each certification's requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications for a SQL programmer are important in the job market because they demonstrate expertise and knowledge of specific technologies or processes. They are often used by employers to validate a candidate's qualifications and technical proficiency. Certifications can also give applicants an edge over other applicants who might not have the same level of certification, as well as provide evidence of continued professional development. In addition, certifications can help open doors to new opportunities and can be used to negotiate higher salaries.

The article reviews the top certifications for SQL Programmers and explains how they can help to advance one's career in the field.

What are SQL Programmer Certifications?

SQL programmer certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates the knowledge and skills of an individual in the field of Structured Query Language (SQL). It demonstrates a professional's ability to develop, manage and optimize databases using SQL. SQL is the most widely used language for interacting with relational databases such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL and MySQL.

Having a SQL programmer certification can help individuals stand out from other job candidates when seeking positions in the IT sector. It shows employers that they have the technical proficiency needed to work with databases efficiently and effectively. It also gives them a competitive edge over other applicants who do not possess such a certification. Additionally, having this credential may open up new opportunities for career advancement within the IT industry. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to stay up-to-date on emerging trends in database technologies and best practices related to SQL programming.

Pro tip: When considering a SQL programmer certification, look for certifications that are accredited or recognized by major IT companies and organizations. This will ensure that the certification you receive is of the highest quality and holds weight with employers.

Related: What does an SQL Programmer do?

Top 11 SQL Programmer Certifications

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

1. Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert

Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert is a certification designed to demonstrate an individual’s expertise in the Oracle Database SQL language. It is intended for database administrators, application developers, and other IT professionals who need to demonstrate their skills in writing and executing SQL statements.

To become an Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert, you must pass the Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals exam. This exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as basic SQL syntax, data manipulation, data definition language (DDL), and transaction control language (TCL). The exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.

The exam fee is $245 USD. You can register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your exam appointment.

Once you have passed the Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals exam, you will be awarded the Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert certification. This certification is valid for three years from the date of issue and can be renewed by passing a recertification exam or completing additional training courses.

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

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL Server 2012/2014 is a certification that validates an individual’s ability to build and maintain mission-critical solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014. It demonstrates the skills needed to create and manage databases, build data warehouses, and design business intelligence solutions.

To get certified as an MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014, you must pass two exams: 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, and 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases.

The exams typically take about 2 hours each to complete. The cost of the exams varies by country but generally range from $150-$200 USD per exam. You can find more information on the specific costs for your location on the Microsoft website.

Once you have passed both exams, you will receive your MCSA certification in SQL Server 2012/2014 and be able to demonstrate your expertise in building and maintaining mission-critical solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014.

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

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Platform is a certification that validates an individual’s ability to design, build, and maintain database solutions using Microsoft SQL Server. It demonstrates expertise in creating high-performing, secure, and scalable enterprise data solutions.

To get the MCSE: Data Platform certification, you must pass two exams: 70-464 (Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases) and 70-465 (Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server). Both exams are available through Pearson VUE testing centers.

It typically takes around 3 months to prepare for the exams. You will need to have a good understanding of database concepts such as normalization, indexing, query optimization, security, replication and backup/recovery. You should also be familiar with the tools used to manage and develop databases such as SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio), T-SQL (Transact Structured Query Language), and SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services).

The cost of the exam varies depending on your location but generally ranges from $150-$200 per exam.

4. IBM DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification

IBM DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification is a professional certification program designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge and skills in the use of IBM DB2 9.0 database software. It is one of the most popular certifications for database administrators and developers, and it is recognized by employers worldwide.

The IBM DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification exam consists of multiple-choice questions that test a candidate’s understanding of the concepts, features, and functions of the IBM DB2 9.0 database software. The exam typically takes between 90 minutes and two hours to complete.

To get certified in IBM DB2 9 Fundamentals, you must first register for the exam with Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. Once registered, you will need to study for the exam using approved training materials such as books or online courses offered by IBM or other vendors. After studying, you can then schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE or Prometric testing center near you.

The cost of registering for and taking the IBM DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification exam varies depending on where you take it and which vendor you use to register for it. Generally speaking, however, expect to pay around $200 USD for registration fees alone; additional costs may apply if you choose to use training materials from third-party vendors.

5. MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator (DBA) Certification

MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator (DBA) Certification is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in administering MySQL databases. This certification is offered by Oracle and is one of the most popular certifications for database administrators.

The certification exam covers topics such as installation, configuration, performance tuning, backup and recovery, security and user management. It also tests knowledge of SQL statements and query optimization techniques. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

In order to obtain the MySQL 5.6 DBA certification, you must first register for the exam with Oracle and pay the associated fee. The fee for the exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $200-$400 USD. Once registered, you will be able to access study materials provided by Oracle to help you prepare for the exam.

Once you feel ready to take the exam, you can schedule it at a testing center near you or online through Oracle’s website. After passing the exam, you will receive an email with a link to download your certificate which will be valid for two years from the date of issue.

6. PostgreSQL 9 Administration Certification

PostgreSQL 9 Administration Certification is an industry-recognized certification program that validates an individual’s ability to install, configure, and maintain PostgreSQL 9 databases. It is designed for IT professionals who are responsible for managing PostgreSQL 9 databases.

The certification exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as installation, configuration, security, backup and recovery, performance tuning, replication and high availability. The exam typically takes about 90 minutes to complete.

To get the certification you must first register with the PostgreSQL Global Development Group (PGDG), which is the organization that administers the certification program. After registering you will be able to download the exam materials which include a study guide and practice exams. Once you feel prepared you can schedule your exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers.

The cost of the certification exam varies depending on your country of residence but generally ranges from $150-$250 USD.

7. MongoDB Certified DBA Associate

MongoDB Certified DBA Associate is a certification program designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge of MongoDB, the world’s most popular NoSQL database. The certification is intended for individuals who are responsible for administering and managing MongoDB databases. It covers topics such as installation and configuration, backup and recovery, monitoring and performance tuning, security, scalability and more.

The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. To get certified, you must pass the exam with a score of at least 70%.

To get the certification, you will need to register for an exam through the MongoDB University website. The cost of the exam is $150 USD. Once registered, you can access online training materials and practice exams to help prepare for the test.

It typically takes around two weeks to complete the training materials and take the exam. After passing the exam, you will receive your official MongoDB Certified DBA Associate certificate.

8. SAP HANA SPS12 Certification Exam

SAP HANA SPS12 Certification Exam is a certification exam offered by SAP to test the skills and knowledge of professionals in the field of SAP HANA. This certification verifies that the candidate has an understanding of the concepts, tools, and techniques used in working with SAP HANA. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and covers topics such as installation and configuration, data modeling, performance optimization, development, security, and administration.

The exam takes approximately 3 hours to complete. To get certified for this exam, you must first register on the SAP Learning Hub. After registration is complete, you can purchase a voucher from SAP or a third-party vendor to take the exam. Once you have purchased the voucher, you will be given access to practice tests and other resources that can help prepare you for the actual exam.

The cost of taking this certification exam varies depending on where you purchase your voucher from. The cost can range from $150 to $400 USD depending on which vendor you choose.

9. Teradata 14 Certified Professional Programmer Exam

The Teradata 14 Certified Professional Programmer Exam is an online certification exam that tests a programmer’s knowledge and skills in the use of Teradata's database management system. The exam covers topics such as SQL, data modeling, query optimization, performance tuning, and more.

The exam takes approximately two hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions. To pass the exam, candidates must achieve a score of 70% or higher.

To get certified, you must first register for the exam on the Teradata website. The cost of the exam is $200 USD. After registering for the exam, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to access and take the test.

Once you have completed the test, your results will be available within 24 hours. If you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate from Teradata certifying that you are a Certified Professional Programmer in Teradata 14. This certificate is valid for three years from the date of issue.

10. Sybase ASE 15 Certification Exam

Sybase ASE 15 Certification Exam is a professional certification program for database administrators, developers, and other IT professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in the Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) 15 database platform. The exam tests the knowledge of Sybase ASE 15 features, tools, and techniques.

The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as installation, configuration, performance tuning, security, backup/recovery, replication, and troubleshooting. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete the exam.

To get certified in Sybase ASE 15 you must pass the certification exam with a score of 70% or higher. You can register for the exam online through Pearson VUE or Prometric Testing Centers. The cost of the exam is $200 USD.

11. Informix 11 Professional Certification

Informix 11 Professional Certification is an industry-recognized certification program offered by IBM. It is designed to validate the skills and knowledge of IT professionals who use Informix 11 products and services.

The certification requires candidates to pass a series of exams that cover topics such as installation, configuration, administration, security, performance tuning and troubleshooting. The exams are administered through Pearson VUE testing centers.

It typically takes about three months to complete the certification process. Candidates must first register for the program on IBM's website and purchase the required exam vouchers. After registering, they will need to study for the exams using approved course materials from IBM or other vendors. Once they have studied sufficiently, they can schedule their exams at a Pearson VUE testing center.

The cost of the certification varies depending on which exams are taken and where they are taken. Generally speaking, it costs around $200 per exam plus any applicable taxes or fees.

Do You Really Need a SQL Programmer Certificate?

No, an SQL programmer certificate is not necessary to become a successful programmer. While having a certificate may demonstrate knowledge in the field and an understanding of the fundamentals of programming, it is not a requirement for becoming a successful programmer.

In today's world, employers are more interested in experience and proven results than a piece of paper that says someone has knowledge in a certain area. A certificate may help open some doors but it is ultimately up to the individual to prove their worth as a programmer.

Programmers who have been self-taught or learned through online courses or bootcamps can just as easily be successful as those who have formal education or certificates. Experience, problem-solving skills, and technical ability are much more important than any certification when it comes to programming. Employers will look at past projects and code samples to assess skill level rather than relying on any type of certification.

In conclusion, while having an SQL programmer certificate can be beneficial for getting your foot in the door with certain employers, it is not an absolute necessity for becoming a successful programmer. Ultimately, success depends on hard work and dedication rather than any type of formal certification or education.

Related: SQL Programmer Resume Examples

FAQs About SQL Programmer Certifications

1. What are the requirements for a SQL programmer certification?

Answer: The requirements for a SQL programmer certification vary depending on the program and institution offering the certification. Generally, applicants must have experience with database design, coding and data analysis. Some certifications may also require applicants to pass an exam or complete a project.

2. How long does it take to become certified as a SQL programmer?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified as a SQL programmer depends on the program and institution offering the certification. Generally, most programs require between 6 months and 1 year of study before taking the exam or completing a project.

3. Is there an online option for obtaining a SQL programmer certification?

Answer: Yes, there are several online options available for obtaining a SQL programmer certification. Online courses can provide students with the same content and instruction as traditional classroom-based programs but offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling and location.

4. What is included in a typical SQL programming course?

Answer: A typical SQL programming course will cover topics such as database design, coding, data analysis, query optimization, security principles and performance tuning. Additionally, courses may include hands-on practice using real-world scenarios to help students gain experience working with databases and queries.

5. Are there any prerequisites for taking an exam or completing a project to become certified as a SQL programmer?

Answer: Yes, some certifications may require applicants to have prior knowledge of database systems or related software applications before attempting the exam or completing the project required for certification. It is important to check with the institution offering the certification before enrolling in order to determine if any prerequisites are necessary.