Getting SQL Server Certified

First you will need to start by earning one of the four MCSA cerfitications. You have the classic MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 certification which has been available for several years. Or, you could obtain one of the newer SQL Server 2016 MCSA certifications in either Database Development, Database Administration, or BI Development. I really like the new streamlined 2016 certifications because you can focus on your area of expertise and you only need two exams. With the SQL Server 2012, you needed a broader knowledge base to earn the MCSA certification. I for one had difficulty with the 70-463 exam as I do not work with Data Warehousing on a regular basis, but I had to learn that material for the exam. If you still want to demonstrate your breadth of knowledge, there is nothing to stop you from earning more than one MCSA.


Once you have earned your MCSA, it is now even easier to earn you MCSE. You only need to take ONE of the exams from the electives list in the next picture to obtain an MCSE. What is even better is that your MCSE no longer expires. However, you can re-earn the MCSE by taking an additional elective exam in subsequent years. I really like this option, because in years past I would need to study older material to renew my MCSE. Now, I can learn new skills for new exams each year while I re-earn my MCSE.

UPDATE: (March 22, 2017) You can now retake an exam that you have already passed to re-earn your MCSE certification, however you must wait at least 365 days from when you passed the exam before being allowed to take the exam again.

UPDATE (March 31, 2017) You can no longer earn the two previous MCSE certifications (Database Developer or BI Developer)  Only the MCSE: Data Management & Analytics will be available.


Don’t forget that once you pass an exam or obtain a certification, head over to the Acclaim website to pick up your shiny, new badge that you can use on social media to show your freinds, family, and co-workers.