Results of Microsoft Certification Poll

In a recent poll at, I asked website visitors if they had any Microsoft SQL Server certifications, and if so, which certification. I also asked how many people who weren’t certified wanted to become certified, and how many people who weren’t certified didn’t have any interest in certification. The results are below.

Just as a reminder, this was not a scientifically designed poll, so the results may not be representative of the total population of DBAs.

My first observation is how few DBAs have any form of SQL Server 2008 certification. Given than SQL Server 2008 has been out for about a year and a half, 2008 certification doesn’t seem to be very popular.

And as you might expect, SQL Server 2005 certifications exceed SQL Server 2008 certifications, which makes sense as 2005 has been out much longer. I also assume that many of the people with 2005 certification don’t see much of a need to upgrade their certification to 2008, as there is not a radical difference between the two releases.

The most surprising results to me were the number of people who said that they intend to get certified in 2010, and those who have no intentions of ever getting certified in SQL Server. By some coincidence, these numbers are almost the same.

The 22% of people who said they are planning to get certified seems to indicate that a lot of people are interested in SQL Server certification, and if they all go through with it, then the total number of 2008 certification numbers will go way up. What would be interesting to know is how many of these people who said that they would like to get certified really get certified. It is one thing to say you want to get certified, and another thing to actually go to all of the trouble to get certified. I would also assume that most of the people who chose this option are probably less experienced DBAs.

I am guessing that the 21% of the people who say that they never intend to get certified are probably more experienced DBAs who feel that certification is unnecessary as their experience speaks for itself. I agree that experience is much more important than certification, and if you are an experienced DBA, then certification is probably superfluous. On the other hand, getting re-certified in each new version of SQL Server is a great way to force yourself to learn the new version, no matter how experienced you are.

So what’s your opinion about Microsoft SQL Server certification? What are it’s benefits, what are it’s drawbacks, and what do you think of these poll results?

7 thoughts on “Results of Microsoft Certification Poll

  1. I think the reason why so many people are planning to get certified in 2010 is down to changes in the MS Partner Programme/Network.

    Gold Partner status will be no more, and it will be replaced with Competencies and Advanced Competencies – both of which need more people with more certifications – particularly in 2008 technologies.

    Someone who had Gold Partner with competencies in BI and Data Platform needed just two people to have done one exam each, so long as that exam was one that matched both competencies (and there were several that did). To have Advanced Competency in both BI and Data, you now need EIGHT staff members with MCITP 2008 – 4 with MCITP 2008 DBA or DBD, and 4 with MCITP 2008 BI. That means at least 16 exams, compared to just 2 before.

    Certification isn’t something that individuals generally seek, but employers seeking the top level of partnership with Microsoft will soon need it far more than ever before.


  2. I agree with Rob. Consulting companies especially make their employees seek certifications so they are can attract potential clients.

  3. I’m in the “intend to certify in 2010” group and I’m in the experienced DBA group as well. I don’t actually need to be certified but last year I started looking further into certification and felt it would be nice to have and a good way to make sure I’m still well rounded in my SQL knowledge, refresh on areas I don’t touch much or haven’t used yet (resource govenor).

  4. Thanks for the comments so far. Rob, I hadn’t heard about the change in the MS Partner program. Thanks for sharing that. While I am certified, my certification are out of date, and personally, I need to get them updated just to help me keep up with all the new features of SQL Server that I often don’t use in SQL Server on a regular basis.. Finding the time is the hardest problem I have.

  5. yes Rob, perfect.

    Another point: Is Microsoft really interested to promote Certifications?

    Take a look in Microsoft Cert page, for MCITP SQL2K8 and Upgrade Path (transition 2k5 to 2k8)…

    Preparation Materials tab…
    There is no classroon training
    There is no E-learning
    There are no Books

    So, there are no Microsoft Certified Professionals too…pretty simple…

    but, we have the Second Shot, based on the list of materials missing, we understand why Second Shot is almost a permanent Offer and not a Special Offer (temporarily)

  6. Brad — I used to question the value of the certifications and now having been through a battery of exams (currently studying for OCP 11G) I really question those who ARE NOT certified. There were many things
    I learned from the exams and studying that I did not, in fact, know, even though I am an ‘experienced’ DBA. And I plan on getting my 2008 certs this year time permitting.

Comments are closed.