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Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDA) Certification

Microsoft certifications are generally optional credentials used to demonstrate proficiency in specific areas for career enhancement purposes. Continue reading for an overview of the requirements for certification, as well as job growth and salary info for a few career options for certified professionals.

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The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, formerly known as the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator, is a certification that's offered exclusively through Microsoft. With nine separate options available under the new certification, professionals can learn about business intelligence, server infrastructure and more. No degree is necessary as there are a variety of training courses available online.

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Essential Information

Microsoft considers the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDA) a legacy certification, meaning that it's a credential the company honors but no longer issues. Instead, the company offers the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification. This designation offers a total of nine certifications in various specialty areas. Recertification is required every three years to maintain this designation and to reflect proficiency in most recent technologies. Professionals who might seek this certification include database administrators, information systems managers and network and computer systems administrators.

Education Classroom-based training available throughout the U.S.*
Skills Necessary Data center management; identity management; systems management; virtualization; storage; networking*
Specializations Server infrastructure; desktop infrastructure; private cloud; enterprise devices and apps; data platform; business intelligence; messaging; communication; SharePoint*
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)** 15% for computer and information systems managers; 11% for database administrators; 8% for network and computer systems administrators
Median Salary (2015) $131,600 for computer and information systems managers; $81,710 for database administrators; $77,810 for network and computer systems administrators

Sources: *(c)Microsoft Corporation; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Overview of MCSE Certification

Before Microsoft discontinued MCDA certification, individuals were required to complete four exams in Microsoft SQL Server Administration, SQL server design, Microsoft Windows 2000 or 2003 and an elective. With this certification discontinued, professionals can now pursue nine options under the MCSE certification, which include data platform, business intelligence, server or desktop infrastructure, private cloud and messaging. All certifications require recertification every three years which involves retaking the exams.

Career Options

Job opportunities for those who obtain Microsoft certifications vary, but could include those working in areas of networking, systems engineering, systems analysis, technical consulting or IT management. According to the BLS, most of these positions require that one holds at least a bachelor's degree in the appropriate area.

The BLS supplies job outlook and salary information for many titles in the technology field. Of these, the following three are most likely to pursue MCSE certification: database administrator, information systems manager and network and computer systems administrator. BLS statistics show that network and computer systems administrators earn the least at $77,810 as a median annual salary, while the median salary for computer and information systems managers is $131,600.

Computer and information systems managers can expect to see a 15% increase in job opportunities through the 2014-2024 decade, the BLS predicts. Database administrators will also see faster than average growth during this period at 11%. An average 8% job growth rate is predicted for network and computer systems administrators. The increasing use of information systems, updates in technologies and an increase in cloud computing all contribute to this job growth, the BLS notes.

This certification is helpful for those who work primarily in the technology field and will boost their chances of landing a job as a network or computer administrator, database administrator, or a computer and information systems managers.

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