Microsoft Certifications: I am already an MCTS in SQL 2005 and I Want to Upgrade. Where do I start?

Well, at the beginning of course.  Where else would you start?

Ok, so you've spent the time and money to get your TS: SQL Server 2005 credential.  Now we are releasing certifications for SQL Server 2008.  How do you possibly keep up and where do you go from here?

Well, a little story first, and then we get to the particulars.

When I spoke with SQL experts about why they did or did not take exam 70-431, I got a mixed reaction.  Some were ok with the exam, others were not.  Those that didn't take it, but wanted a SQL cert, told me that they were either a DBA or a DBD and didn't want to study the other aspect.  You see, exam 70-431 covers both DBA and DBD topics so you needed to know both sides of the fence.  Not everyone liked that so it had an effect on the uptake of the exam.

As a result, I made some changes in the plans and created more exams and took some away.  For SQL Server 2008, you will now have your choice of obtaining an MCTS SQL Server 2008 DBA or an MCTS SQL Server 2008 DBD certification.

So this means that there is only one exam required to obtain either one of these certs.  Of course, feel free to take them both if you want to show that you know it all.  :-)

As a result of there only being one exam, there will not be an upgrade exam from MCTS SQL 2005 to MCTS SQL 2008.  Also because the the two disciplines are now separate, there isn't a clean mapping between the two exams.  Evil aren't I?  Well, I hope not.  Just trying to get a best fit for you in the end, and give you most options to choose from.

So, exam 70-432 will be the exam you want to take for the Database Administration credential on SQL Server 2008 and exam 70-433 will be the exam for the Database Developers among you.

There is also a new exam being created for the MCTS SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence developer and that will be numbered 70-448.

Watch for these exams to be available in their release versions around the fall of 2008.  Also, watch for the announcements of the beta releases in the MCP Flash.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.