Microsoft recently rolled out a new, top-tier certification program that is quite different than any of their previous offerings. Really, this certification is pretty insane! The prerequisites are listed here.
- You must either be a Microsoft employee or work for a Gold Certified Partner
- You must have at least three years experience with SQL Server
In addition, you must have everything listed below:
- Successful completion of Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Database Developer certification.
- Successful completion of Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Database Administrator certification.
- Solid knowledge of software development methodologies such as MSF, SDLC, Agile, or a similar methodology.
- Experience applying MOF/ITIL. ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management is recommended.
Nomination for the program by someone from at least one of the following categories:
- A person holding the MCA: Database certification
- An individual from a Microsoft SQL Server product group
- An employee from a Microsoft regional or district office
Successful completion of either of the following two exams:
- Exam 70-290: Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 environment
- Exam 70-292: Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment for an MCSA Certified on Windows 2000
If you have all that, then you have to pass a 30-60 minute interview with the MCA: Database program manager. Only 48 candidates are admitted each year.
All that is only the beginning! The next step is to pay $25,000 tuition (not including expenses) to attend four weeks of training in Redmond, twelve hours a day, Monday thru Saturday, with no phone calls or interruptions from your job. While you are in training in Redmond, you have to pass a series of written exams, pass a qualification lab, and finally pass an oral review board.
This is really very impressive and quite daunting on many different levels.
Looking at the prerequisites, I work for a Gold Partner, I have more than three years experience with SQL Server, I have passed Exam 70-290, and with any luck I will have MCITP: Database Admin after I take Exam 70-447 tomorrow morning, and I have solid knowledge of software development methodologies. I still need to take two more exams to get MCITP: Database Developer.
Then the tough part would be convincing your employer to cough up roughly $30K for training and expenses, along with being gone for four weeks. Then you would have to make it through four consecutive 72-hour weeks of intense training, passing written and lab exams, and the oral review board at the end. All I can say is wow!