SQL Master Training Optional

Microsoft Learning Group has announced a brand new Microsoft Certified Master SQL Server 2008 certification, and along with it, some significant changes in how candidates fulfill this MCM's certification requirements.

Don Field, Microsoft's director of certification for the Microsoft Learning Group, confirmed in a phone interview with MCPmag.com that the newly developed MCM SQL Server 2008, sometimes called the SQL Master, will no longer have a training requirement and that the training and exam portions will no longer be delivered only at the Redmond campus. The training-optional requirement can add up to more than $15,000 in cost savings for candidates who forego training altogether to achieve the title, not including travel and accommodation expenses, according to a press release on the Microsoft Web site.

Field said the group implemented the changes after hearing feedback from a number of customers who wanted to attain SQL Master status, but needed more flexible options for training and exam-taking. "I expect that the vast majority of people seeking this certification will recognize the need for some, if not all, of the training that was previously a required part of the program," he said. "There are some folks who will need less than all of the training, because there are some areas where these people are truly domain experts...and I also recognize that these people don't need or want or have the time to come to Redmond to take the training."

Exam delivery for both components of the MCM SQL 2008 will also be expanded globally, noted Field, starting with about 65 Prometric centers in nine countries that have already been vetted to properly deliver the knowledge exam starting this week.  "We do take full responsibility for building exams that meet such high standards," he said. "It's also our responsibility to indentify those learning partners that have the ability to deliver this very high level of technical training for our SQL Masters customers and to properly prepare those partners and their instructors with the materials and support they need to offer a great experience to our candidates."

As for the lab exam portion, Field confirmed that it would be available some time in the first half of next year.

Field said that at this time the other MCM titles weren't under consideration for delivery outside of Redmond.

For details and prerequisites for the SQL Master title, click here.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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