Showing posts with label mcsa training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mcsa training. Show all posts

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Exciting certification changes with SQL Server 2016

Guest Author: Annabelle Harris

Microsoft have kicked off 2016 with new and impressive announcements regarding SQL Server. On June 1st, they announced the launch of the latest version of their database platform - SQL Server 2016 - with a range of new features and functions.

Some of the most exciting enhancements include :

  • All-out security protection using revolutionary encryption abilities, meaning data is always encrypted whether in use or in motion.
  • Business intelligence for all employees using the SQL Server on any device. As well as new BI support for iOS, android and Windows Phone devices.
  • A main memory database system backing for any and all workload with performance surges up to 30-100x
  • Innovative analytics, integrating R support, allowing clients to do immediate predictive analytics on operational and analytic data.
  • Exclusive cloud functions that allow clients to install hybrid architectures that divides assignments and workloads throughout Azure, helping cut costs and increase agility for users.
There are four deployments of SQL Server 2016:

The four editions

SQL Server enthusiasts amongst you will be happy to hear that regardless of all the major performance enhancements, there are no costs increases for the latest platform. 



Changes to MCSA SQL Server 2016


These are not the only changes Microsoft have made with SQL Server 2016. For those of you looking to upskill and get to grips with SQL Server 2016 - seeking training and certification - things are now a little different.

The previous certification pathway for SQL Server 2012 and 2014 required you to attain an MCSA in the basics of SQL Server before moving on to the role-based certifications of MCSE: Business Intelligence and MCSE: Data Platform. No more, Microsoft have reverted to the days of SQL Server 2008, with the reintroduction of role based certifications at the MCSA level. 


You now have the option of three new MCSA certification pathways. They focus on the roles of Database Administration, Database Development or Business Intelligence. Let’s take a closer look at those certifications.

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development

This course will allow you to learn abilities needed to use the Transact-SQL language, critical to all SQL Server disciplines. This language is not only important to database development, but also to database administration and business intelligence.

You will learn database development abilities such as advanced table designs, column store indexes and using in-memory table. These are all great skills that grow your SQL competencies.

This course is targeted towards experts that work closely with SQL Server 2016, who are creating and managing databases and want to advance and improve their database skills.

Two exams are required to be able to obtain the MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development certification:


  • Exam 70-761 - Querying Data with Transact-SQL
  • Exam 70-762 - Developing SQL Databases

If you have already achieved MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14, you can upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development by passing exam 70-762.



MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Administration

This certification course teaches to administer, develop and manage SQL Server 2016 databases. You’ll learn about handling and approving user access, assigning and creating different types of database roles while also learning to automate SQL Server management. You will also master how to install, configure and manage SQL Server 2016.

This particular course is targeted toward database administrators, precisely those that use SQL Server 2016 on a regular basis. Two exams are required to be able to obtain the MCSA: SQL Server 2016 Database Administration certification


  • Exam 70-764 - Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure
  • Exam 70-765 - Provisioning SQL Databases

If you have already achieved MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14, you can upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Administration by passing exam 70-765.

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Business Intelligence Development

This certification course teaches you the fundamentals of Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2016. You will learn how to implement a SQL Server 2016 data warehouse solution to support a business intelligence. You will also learn to navigate your way through all the core features of the SQL server 2016, able to produce business solutions.

You will develop the expertise to question, process, analyse and report on a large quantity of raw business data. Other abilities learnt throughout the duration of the course will consist of creating multidimensional databases and cubes, using MDX, DAX and data mining.

This course is targeted towards database experts who work with the SQL server 2016 and who lead business intelligence solutions. 

To attain the MCSA in Business Intelligence Development, you must pass two exams: 

  • Exam 70-767 - Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse
  • Exam 70-768 - Developing SQL Data Models

If you have already achieved MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14, you can upgrade to MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Business Intelligence Development by passing exam 70-768.

Monday, 13 June 2016

What is MCSA?

MCSA is an acronym for Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. It is applied to a series of certifications for Microsoft’s core platform technologies including Windows Server, Windows Desktop, SQL Server and Office 365.

Attaining the MCSA certification demonstrates you have the core technical skills to design and build solutions for your chosen Microsoft technology. The credential acts as a prerequisite for the expert level Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification.

Below is a video giving you a full overview of the Microsoft certification program:


Current Pathways to MCSA


There currently exist 8 certifications aligned to core Microsoft technologies at the MCSA level. They are as follows:

MCSA: Windows Server 2012 - this credential proves you have mastered the core skills for Windows Server 2012. Achieving the certification qualifies you to become a system admin or computer network specialist.

MCSA: Windows Server 2008 - validates your skills working with the legacy Windows Server 2008 platform. This certification is soon to be retired.

MCSA: Windows 10 - prove you have the skills to configure, manage and maintain a Windows 10 enterprise system with this credential. This certification qualifies you for the role of a computer support specialist.

MCSA: Windows 8 - this certification demonstrates your expertise in configuring, managing and maintaining a Windows 8 enterprise system. This certification will be retiring July 2016.

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/14 - updated to align to SQL Server 2012 and 2014, this certification demonstrates your skills to query, administer and implement a SQL database. The credential qualifies for the role of database developer or database analyst.

MCSA: Office 365 - this certification proves your ability to migrate and administer business applications in the cloud with Office 365. Attaining the credential qualifies you for positions such as cloud applications administrator focussing on Office 365 business productivity applications like Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business

MCSA: Linux on Azure - a first for Microsoft, this certification proves your skills in designing, architecting, implementing, administering and maintaining cloud-based Linux systems on the Azure platform.

Below is the latest graphic from Microsoft detailing the Microsoft certification pathways to which MCSA fits into. Click the image to exapnd:




Future pathways to MCSA


As Microsoft continue to launch new core technologies, the pathway to MCSA will evolve to align to the latest platform. With the launch of SQL Server 2016 and the imminent public release of Windows Server 2016, the following credentials are expected in the second half of Windows Server 2016:

MCSA: Windows Server 2016 - the latest version on the server operating system will promise greater integration and streamlining for a cloud world. Whilst the new credential continues to demonstrate you have the core skills to manage Window Server 2016, these skills will likely be evolving to become more focussed on cloud integration with the Azure platform. 

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - like the Window Server credential, the new SQL Server certification will demonstrate core skills to manage the new database platform. Though these skills will be evolving towards the cloud with a greater focus on individual disciplines including business intelligence, database administration and database development.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Frequently Asked Questions about MCSA: SQL Server


By Sarah Morgan


Microsoft’s SQL Server is one of the top database management systems in the world – even surpassing IBM’s second place market share in 2013.

With the MCSA: SQL Server cert you’ll get the skills needed to maintain a SQL Server database. You’ll learn how to use a broad range of tools and add-ons for business intelligence, data-driven applications and data warehousing.

It’s a pervasive technology, commonplace in organisations that use Microsoft’s Visual Studio environment for software development.

And to demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to SQL Server, you’ll also find database-related certifications at each level of Microsoft’s certification program – from MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) to MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert).




There’s a lot to know about this popular MCSA cert, and a lot of frequently asked questions - let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones…


Q. Why should you get the MCSA: SQL Server certification?

A. SQL Server training gives you an edge in a career as a database administrator, developer or analyst. You’ll not only have a broad range of SQL Server knowledge, you’ll also be able to prove it with a recognised certification.

If you’re aiming for positions like database developer or database analyst (or the previously mentioned careers) this certification is ideal.


Q. Am I ready for the MCSA: SQL Server?

A. Whilst there aren’t any solid prerequisites for this MCSA cert, you will be expected to have a basic knowledge of Microsoft’s Windows operating system and a working knowledge of relational databases is preferred.

However, it can still be rewarding to take an MCSA: SQL Server course without previous experience with SQL Server. You’ll still get a wealth of useful SQL knowledge as well as the tools to start using SQL Server for yourself. Ultimately, you’ll get the information to make gaining the certification more achievable.

If you’re new to technology we recommend you start with Microsoft’s entry level MTA: Database Fundamentals course. You’ll learn the basics of relational databases, data security concepts and database administration. With this solid base of knowledge, you’ll then be able to move on to the more advanced MCSA.



You'll need to pass these three exams





Q. What options are available for me to study MCSA: SQL Server?

A. When it comes to taking on your certification exams, there are two primary paths to follow: self-study & instructor-led / classroom training.

Self-study consists of research, reading and independent practice before arranging and taking the related exam(s). This approach will often save you money in the short term – training materials will cost less than time in the classroom but it can take you much longer to source and learn the right material.

You can also self-study through the use of virtual classrooms and virtual courses. These hybrid products provide a flexible way to learn – you’ll be able to learn when you want and get guided through a set curriculum of revision resources. Some good providers will even allow you to speak one-on-one to instructors online.

Classroom study provides you with the material you need to know and a good environment to learn it. Plus, with good training providers you’ll also get access to hands-on labs where you’ll be able to practice your SQL as soon as you’re taught it. You can set-up your own labs, but it will take an investment of time and effort.

Plus, it’s hard to put a value on the ‘instructor’ of instructor-led training. Nothing beats speaking to somebody in person about a tricky SQL Server query or learning first-hand from a master of the technology.

Whichever path you choose you’ll find brilliant support for both. Your choice should depend on how you prefer to learn, how quickly you need to get certified, how much time you can commit to studying and your/your organisations budget.


Q. I want to prepare myself for MCSA: SQL Server – where’s a good place to start revising?

A. If you want to build your knowledge before taking on a course, or are ready to dive into self-study, you should first take a look at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

Here you’ll find some great, free e-learning resources. Our Firebrand SQL Server instructor has singled out these MVA resources as particularly useful:

1. Database Fundamentals – a great introduction to database terminology, concepts and skills for beginners

2. Administering SQL Server 2012 Jump Start – This Jump Start video will help you prepare for exam 70-462, one of the three you’ll need to pass for the MCSA: SQL Server cert.

3. Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Jump Start – If you’re already familiar with database fundamentals and working with SQL server, this is a great advanced resource for you. An equally useful resource if you’re preparing for exam 70-461.


Microsoft also offer paid revision materials. ‘Training Kits’ include lessons, practical exercises and online practice tests for each exam (70-461, 70-462 and 70-463)


Q. What about the new SQL Server 2014 product, does this affect my MCSA SQL Server certification?

A. In April 2014, Microsoft updated the MCSE SQL Server exams to include SQL Server 2014 topics.

However, the three MCSA exams are still focused on SQL Server 2012 and as a result haven’t been changed. The new SQL Server 2014 features (performance tuning and high availability) are best suited for the advanced MCSE level certs and can only be found in the relevant MCSE exams.

For a more detailed description of the new changes, take a look at this blog post.


Q. I’ve finished my MCSA, but I still want to expand my skills – what else can I do?

This MCSA is your first step toward the advanced MCSE: Data Platform and MCSE: Business Intelligence certifications.

Achieve these certs and you’ll gain specialised knowledge of Microsoft SQL Server, singling you out as a proven expert in this popular technology.

Take a look at these pages for more information on the MCSE: Data Platform and the MCSE: Business Intelligence certs.


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About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.