The Best Database
Professional Certifications

First impressions are important for job applications. Professional certifications can help convince your employer of your knowledge and skills in your line of work.

If you wish to become a database professional, a certification paired up with great soft skills is especially beneficial. Considering that there is much competition due to high demand, standing out is important to advance in your career.

This article outlines some of the best database certifications and prep courses that can guide you in your journey.

Demand for Database Skills in 2021

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administrator jobs are in high demand, and opportunities are expected to grow by 10 percent by 2029. These jobs require applicants who have experience and knowledge about the latest evolving technology.

Data is becoming increasingly more important in many industries. Most businesses and organizations use data to plan decisions and create the best pathways possible. With big data comes the need for storage. Database workers help create these storage solutions and keep information safe.

Database administrator (DBA) and database architect are the two most in-demand jobs in this field. You could also become a data engineer, data analyst, or data scientist with one of these database certifications. With an increase in demand, there is an increase in applicants, so certification can help you stay ahead of the competition.

How Much Do Database Jobs Pay?

PayScale estimates that a database architect’s average salary is $115,068 per year. PayScale also reports that late-career database architects earn a salary of $130,185. With more experience and skills, you can earn one of the highest salaries in tech. Database certifications can help you get there.

Why Get a Database Certification?

You should get a database certification because you can learn new skills and prove your expertise to employers. This can expose you to different job roles, responsibilities, and specializations. You can choose a Microsoft SQL Server database certification, an Oracle certification, and more.

Most employers nowadays prefer candidates who already have entry-level experience in the field. Having database professional certifications offers more than just bragging rights. It can also grant you different benefits and advantages over the other applicants.

High Salary

Jobs in data science and database management pay high salaries. Bearing a professional certification while having the position is an opportunity for you to be recognized more and be possibly given a higher salary offer. Certification is enough to assure the employers that you are experienced after undergoing extensive training.

Growing Employment Rate

Data science jobs are growing at a rapid pace, according to recent statistics from the BLS. A database certification can help you get one of these jobs. Having a certification also gives you an increased chance of being promoted to a higher position. That way, you can invest in your career.

Proof of Skills

Enough experience cultivates your skills, and that is one of the advantages of completing courses for database professional certifications. Being certified means you have completed and passed certain training. It gives you a significant advantage over the other applicants who don’t have a professional database certification.

Leadership Opportunities

Companies usually use those with professional certifications to coach juniors. With certifications comes more knowledge, and you can use that knowledge to help others succeed. Certified database administrators and analysts are more likely to be considered role models because of their commitment to the field.

Up-to-Date Information

The candidates who are driven to improve are those who have a strong foundation in their profession. By gradually learning new things over time, certified individuals can keep their skills and knowledge up to date. The tech industry is constantly changing, so it requires lifelong learning.

Top Database Certifications

Top Database Certifications

Different fields and specializations have their own specific certification requirements. Having and knowing the right certifications increases your chances of being on the correct career track.

Below is a list of the top database certifications available, along with the cost of application, validity, and the projected average salary you can receive.

Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 8.0 Database Administrator Certification

Cost: $297

Validity: 18 months

Average Salary: $110,500

MySQL, also known as a structured query language, is a popular open-source database. Companies like Google, Adobe, and Facebook use this to manage their big data. MySQL 8.0 now includes a document store, window functions, a transactional data dictionary, and more. This SQL certification is a great choice.

Anyone working with data should get an SQL server certification. An Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) giving you proficiency in Oracle technologies makes you an even more valuable hire on top of that. To prepare for the 65-item multiple-choice exam, you are recommended to take MySQL for Database Administrators course first.

Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional

Cost: $265

Validity: 18 months

Average Salary: $108,656

This certification proves your mastery in managing and implementing complex functions of Database Oracle 12c. The important skills needed in obtaining this certification are writing basic SQL, sorting and restricting data, and controlling user access.

Before obtaining the certification, you must complete a series of exercises and exams in order to finish the whole program. This trains you in using the latest features such as installing and creating databases, managing data and schema objects, looking for conflicts, and configuring issues.

IBM Certified Database Associate - DB2 11 Fundamentals for z/OS

Cost: $200

Validity: One year

Average Salary: $100,647

Applying to be an IBM Certified Database Administrator requires you to be knowledgeable about the database systems such as tables, indexes, and databases. If you lack an IT background, workshops can provide the necessary skills.

Completing this SQL certification means that you have mastered database skills. This includes providing appropriate templates and options, utility control statements, using parallel index build, and using RUNSTATS to speed up the performance of SQL access.

Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA)

Cost: $165

Validity: Three to six months

Average Salary: $100,361

Although there are no specific requirements, it is highly recommended to have at least 12 months of experience in using Microsoft databases before applying for MCDBA. The validity of this certification usually depends on your prior experience in this field.

Being Microsoft Certified requires you to pass three core exams, one SQL administration exam, one SQL design exam, and one Windows 2000 Server exam. Getting this SQL Server certification proves that you are skillful enough in developing and maintaining complex database solutions.

There are various job possibilities when obtaining Microsoft Certifications. You can choose among system engineering, system analysis, technical consulting, or IT management.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Cost: $150

Validity: Three years

Average Salary: $97,087

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is considered one of the most prestigious certifications for IT professionals. The certification requires you to pass a series of five exams. By answering the questions, you will be assessed by your capability to design, install, and troubleshoot a Microsoft server.

The topics you need to master to get the MCSE certification include administering and configuring windows servers, designing and implementing server infrastructure, and implementing an advanced server infrastructure.

Choosing the Right Certification

The certification you have will reflect your abilities and specializations. Employers determine their expectations based on the certification presented to them. That is why thinking thoroughly about what certification you should get is crucial. Appropriate certification also grants you fitting credentials based on the nature of your job.

There are many different factors that can help you decide which certification is best for you. Listed below are the top tips you should consider.


Identifying your target career path is one of the main things you should consider. Being clear about what you want to pursue will help you on your journey, from taking the examinations until the day you become certified.

It is important to choose a certification that will lead you to a job that interests you in the long term. This way, it will be easier for you to enjoy and invest in your chosen path.

Type of Certification

Every certification provides value in different aspects. Some certifications give you merit as an individual, while some give merit to the organizations. By considering this, you will receive the certification benefits you prefer.

Certifications that offer value to individuals will give you professional credibility, higher salaries, and professional growth by upgrading your skills. On the other hand, the certifications that offer value to organizations give more focus to job essentials, employee retention, and partner relationships.

Career Goals

Before picking a certification you want to pursue, assessing yourself must come first. Getting a certification supports different aspects of your career life. You can choose certification with a promotion or a new job in mind. Some want to have an edge over others when it comes to technology, while still others want to simply level up their skills.

Professional Certification vs Certificate Program and Courses

Professional Certification vs Certificate Program and Courses

Although they sound similar, certifications and certificates are different. A certificate is given after completing an educational program at an institution. They can take at least a year to get. Certifications are earned after completing an exam. They take much less time to get, but they require more skills and experience.

Professional certifications are given by a third-party organization that delivers assessments based on specific industry knowledge. Getting a professional certification requires you to have some work background in the field. It is unlike getting program certificates, which only require you to complete the program.

Best Courses to Prepare for the Certification Exams

Different organizations also offer courses that can help people who plan on getting certified. This can help prepare you to pass an exam the first time. It can also add to your knowledge of the industry. All prices below were sourced from each organization’s respective website, and they are subject to change.

MCA Microsoft Azure Database Administrator Training by Certification Camps

Cost: $3,495

Duration: Five days

Outcome: Certifications

The main coverage of this training course is about implementing and managing cloud-native and hybrid data platform solutions. These will be done using Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure Data Services.

Since the training covers two courses, you will also be taking two mock examinations with a bearing of two certifications as well. This is a good choice because you can get your certification as part of the course.

Database Systems Specialization by Coursera

Cost: $39

Duration: Six months

Outcome: Certificate

Enrolling in this self-paced course is a good choice for people with tight schedules. You can set your own deadlines depending on your preferences.

An applied learning project is the highlight of this course. You will create a database system for a bookstore and design and implement an analytical database. You can also implement and query a NoSQL Database System and design a recommendation system in a distributed parallel database.

MTA: Database Fundamentals by Global Knowledge

Cost: $1,050

Duration: Three days

Outcome: Certificate

Five modules are provided in this specific course. The coverage of the lessons is about the basic concepts and skills in database administration. You will cover core database concepts, database objects, data storage, and database administration, among other topics.

The prerequisite of taking this course is a background of IT experience since the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is the newest technology. This will help you stay up to date in the field.

Oracle Database Administration by Skillsoft

Cost: $299

Duration: One year

Outcome: Digital Badge

This specific course uses video lectures to tackle the main database administrator skills. Upon completion of the video lectures, you will undertake test questionnaires to assess what you have learned.

You can earn a digital badge when you complete the whole course and share it via multiple platforms. This digital badge is valid for a lifetime once earned. This is a good choice if you want to become proficient in Oracle, one of the most popular database tools.

Database Fundamentals by Testprep

Cost: $15.99

Duration: One day

Outcome: N/A

Testprep offers a five-part practice exam to help you learn everything you need to know about databases. You will learn database administration, tools, objects, and more. If you want to earn a database certification, this practice test will help you study.

Aside from the mock examination, this course also provides practice objective questions and tips and tricks to pass the actual test. Given all that, this course provider has a 100 percent exam pass guarantee.

Should You Pursue a Database Certification?

Yes, you should get a database certification. It grants you different benefits over others in the field. These include higher employment rates and job retention. Being certified can also help you feel more confident, which can positively affect your job performance. Getting a database certification is a great choice.

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