Oracle certification help

I have experience with mysql but I am new to Oracle so I am thinking of taking the Oracle certification.

I heard that there is :
  • Oracle Database 11g

  • Oracle Database 10g

  • Oracle Enterprise Manager

  • Oracle9i Database

  • Oracle Certified Professional

Which is the best to take? I know nothing about Oracle so I will be starting with the basics and hope the Oracle certification training will help me
with the fundamentals.

There are actually 4 or 5 different certification pathways offered by Oracle depending on your role and technology but the most common one is the Oracle database administration pathway so let's stick with that and we'll ignore Oracle Enterprise Manager in the discussion as that is a tool for monitoring and managing Oracle databases.

How To Gain Oracle DBA Certification

The Oracle DBA certification path has 3 levels which must be gained in order:
  • Oracle Certified Associate
  • Oracle Certified Professional
  • Oracle Certified Master
It is not necessary to take all 3 levels, you can stop after level 1 or 2.

Oracle Certified Associate

For level 1 - Oracle certified associate - you must pass one exam (for Oracle 10g) or two exams (for Oracle 9i and Oracle 11g) on SQL and basic database administration.

Oracle Certified Professional

For the next level, once you have qualified as an Oracle certified associate, you have to pass another exam (2 for Oracle 9i) on more advanced Oracle database administration topics plus take an approved instructor-led training course either with Oracle or with an approved training company. Self study and learning from unofficial sources do not count towards the Oracle Certified Professional level.

Oracle Certified Master

Few people progress to the next level - Oracle Certified Master - which requires you to take a further 2 courses with Oracle and pass a 2 day practical exam.

Which version?

So, the first question is which version of Oracle to train and certify on and the answer to that is given the time and cost involved there's little point in gaining certification on anything other than the latest version (Oracle 11g currently) unless your employer specifically wants you to train on an earlier version.

Which level?

The next question is which level. Oracle Certified Professional is probably the most recognised level (by employers) and requires much less expenditure in time and effort than the next level Oracle Certified Master for which the exam alone is several thousand dollars. Of course if you have an employer willing to pay for the training and the exams and provide time for studying and practice you can progress to this level, but you would probably also need (or at least benefit from) several years experience.

Is it worth it?

There is also a more fundamental question - is certification worth it? Oracle claim that it is (unsurprisingly) but they don't provide any evidence that having certification advances your career (or even leads to increased salary).

The most valuable part is the training and the knowledge gained and Oracle provide the database software for free for evaluation and self training (see the database software download page on OTN). This means you can practice the skills you learn on a course on your own computer.

You can also use the Oracle PL/SQL tutorials and Oracle SQL tutorials on our site to help you.

If you're interested in formal Oracle training (either on-line or in a classroom) then see our Oracle training page for more information.

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