Employers today are seeking job candidates with database certifications and skills. IT pros who have database certifications often step into roles such as database administrator, data engineer, data scientist and database developer, as well as a plethora of other positions.
A database certification program can be helpful to those who want to build skills related to:
- Database administration
- Database management systems
- Module use
- Software development
- NoSQL database design
- Data science
- General database design
- Data modeling
- Advanced and basic SQL
- Open-source database utilization and management
By pursuing these and other skills via database certifications, certification courses, online courses and bootcamps, you can unlock your career potential.
The 10 Best Database Certifications
By gaining database skills, you can position yourself as a top job candidate in the IT talent pool and give yourself a better chance of landing a job in your specialization.
Wondering if a database certification could benefit you, and which one would be best? Getting familiar with the top professional certifications related to data and database management will help you make the right decision for your career.
1. CompTIA DataSys+
Designed for database administrators (DBAs), CompTIA DataSys+ is a vendor-neutral, foundational-level data management certification that focuses on the logistics of data administration and security. This DBA certification was designed to cover what certified database administrators need to deploy, manage and maintain systems, including employing the fundamentals of scripting and programming in a database environment while using security and business continuity best practices.
Essential skills that candidates will learn include:
- Designing and modeling databases to meet specific organizational needs using big data
- Executing database tasks, including processing and structuring data files, running routines, etc.
- Installing, configuring and maintaining database software and tools for optimal performance
- Establishing and maintaining sound security, backup and recovery policies and procedures
- Working with key stakeholders to translate data into actionable intelligence
Although there are no prerequisites, candidates for the CompTIA DataSys+ certification exam should ideally have 2-3 years of experience in a database administrator role.
There are a maximum of 90 questions on the 90-minute CompTIA DataSys+ certification exam, and the exam costs $246 USD.
2. CompTIA Data+
Data literacy means you’re more employable and upwardly mobile. CompTIA Data+ will improve your data literacy, help you mine data more effectively, enable you to become a better data analyst and ensure you avoid confounding results.
CompTIA Data+ will also help you highlight what’s important in reports that persuade, not confuse. It is a must for any IT pro responsible for developing and promoting data-driven business decisions.
CompTIA Data+ can help you land a role as a reporting analyst, operations analyst, marketing analyst, business intelligence analyst, data architect or data analyst. It puts you on a solid data-related career path.
The CompTIA Data+ certification exam covers topics such as:
- Data mining
- Data concepts and environments
- Data analysis
- Data governance, quality and controls
It’s recommended that you have at least 18-24 months of experience in a role that involves reporting/business analysis before you pursue CompTIA Data+. Candidates should also have been exposed to databases and analytical tools, understand the fundamentals of statistics and have experience with data visualization.
There are 90 questions on the 90-minute CompTIA Data+ certification exam. The exam costs $246 USD.
3. CompTIA Linux+
An article by Tecmint described the demand for Linux talent as “explosive” and said it wouldn’t be letting up anytime soon. By earning CompTIA Linux+, you can make yourself a more competitive job candidate and a better database administrator.
CompTIA Linux+ is the only job-focused Linux certification currently available. It confers the latest foundational skills demanded by hiring managers. With this certification, you’ll learn all major distributions of Linux, setting the foundation for vendor/distro-specific knowledge.
As one of the best database certifications on the market, CompTIA Linux+ gives you hands-on experience with Linux and imparts skills such as:
- System management
- Scripting, containers and automation
Candidates for the CompTIA Linux+ certification exam should ideally have 12 months of hands-on experience working with Linux servers. Before going after CompTIA Linux+, it’s best to earn CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Server+.
There are a maximum of 90 questions on the 90-minute certification exam. The CompTIA Linux+ exam costs $358 USD.
4. Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate
The Azure Database Administrator Associate certification was designed for IT pros who have strong skills in building database solutions designed specifically to support workloads that are created with Microsoft SQL Server on-premises and Azure SQL database services.
Usually, those who pursue this certification are already database administrators who are responsible for managing cloud and on-premises databases built with SQL database services and Microsoft SQL Server.
The skills measured on the Azure Database Administrator Associate certification exam (DP-300: Administering Microsoft Azure SQL Solutions) include:
- Planning and implementing data platform resources
- Implementing a secure environment
- Monitoring, configuring and optimizing database resources
- Configuring and managing automation of tasks
- Planning and configuring an environment of high availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR)
The 120-minute certification exam costs $165 USD and consists of 40 to 60 questions. To take the exam, an IT pro must have at least two years of experience in database administration.
5. Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals
Azure Data Fundamentals is another one of the best database certifications that can advance your career. This entry-level certification gives database professionals a foundation for building key tech skills and begin working within the cloud.
The 60-minute Azure Data Fundamentals certification exam ensures candidates can:
- Describe core data concepts
- Identify considerations for relational data on Azure
- Describe considerations for working with non-relational data on Azure
- Describe an analytics workload on Azure
The certification exam costs $99 USD and consists of 40 to 60 questions. There are no prerequisites for the exam.
6. Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate
Are you an application developer, or do you want to be one? If so, Oracle SQL Certified Associate might be for you.
Individuals who pass the Oracle database certification exam demonstrate to employers that they had a desire to learn SQL concepts and followed through on it successfully. They have expertise in not only understanding structured query language but grasping its use in the context of working with the Oracle database server.
The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate certification exam covers these and other topics:
- Relational database (RDBMS) concepts
- Retrieving data using the SQL SELECT statement
- Using single-row functions to customize output
- Using conversion functions and conditional expressions
- Reporting aggregated data using group functions
- Using subqueries to solve queries
- Using SET operators
- Managing tables using DML SQL statements
The best candidate for this certification will be familiar with computing concepts, have experience working in command line and understand command line interfaces.
There are no prerequisites for the 120-minute, 78-question Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate certification exam. The exam costs $245 USD through Oracle University.
7. Oracle Database Administration Certified Professional
Earning the Oracle Database Administration Certified Professional certification enables IT pros to work in an Oracle Database Administrator role. But first, they must earn:
- Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Professional OR
- Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Professional OR
- Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional OR
- Oracle Database 12c R2 Administration Certified Professional OR
- Oracle Database 10g Certified Associate OR
- Oracle Database 11g Certified Associate OR
- Oracle Database 12c Certified Associate OR
- Oracle Database 12c R2 Certified Associate OR
An Oracle Database Administration Certified Professional has a strong theoretical understanding of Oracle databases. They possess the practical skills needed to manage and configure these databases, up to and including Oracle 19c. The certification exam covers:
- Installation, upgrades and patching
- SQL programming skills
- Database and network administration
- Backup and recovery
Once an IT professional has earned a prerequisite certification, candidates can take the Oracle Database Administration II certification exam. The 68-question, 120-minute exam costs $245 USD.
8. Teradata Vantage Administrator
Understanding Teradata Vantage and its SQL engine can add weight to your resume as a database professional. The Teradata Vantage Administrator certification confers skills such as security, system logging, workload management and performance management.
The ideal candidate for Teradata Vantage Administrator has one to three years of hands-on experience working with Vantage and wants to grow their skill set.
9. Professional Cloud Database Engineer
Having knowledge of both cloud computing and database administration can help put an IT pro in higher demand. If you want to work in Google Cloud in a database engineering role, consider the Professional Cloud Database Engineer certification.
The Professional Cloud Database Engineer isn’t an entry-level certification. To take the exam, you must have two years of experience with Google Cloud and five years of IT and database experience.
If you pass the certification exam, you’ll have competency in designing, creating, managing and troubleshooting Google Cloud databases that are used by apps to store and retrieve data. You’ll also know how to translate technical and business requirements into database solutions that are scalable and cost-effective.
The Professional Cloud Database Engineer certification exam ensures candidates can:
- Migrate data solutions
- Design scalable and highly available cloud database solutions
- Manage a solution that can span several database solutions
- Deploy scalable and highly available databases in Google Cloud
The 120-minute certification exam costs $200 USD and contains 50 to 60 questions.
10. SAP HANA: SAP Certified Technology Associate
Do you want to confidently install, monitor, troubleshoot, manage and migrate SAP HANA systems? If so, SAP HANA: SAP Certified Technology Associate could be the best database certification for you.
The SAP HANA: SAP Certified Technology Associate certification exam ensures candidates can:
- Manage users and authorizations
- Apply security
- Promote high availability
- Perform effective disaster-recovery techniques
Certification candidates should practice working with the SAP HANA system through formal training or real-life experience before attempting to pass this certification exam. Prior to taking the exam, candidates should have the following certifications under their belt:
- SAP HANA Installation & Operations SPS12
- High Availability and Disaster Tolerance Administration SPS05
- Monitoring and Performance Tools
- Database Migration using DMO SPS05
The SAP HANA: SAP Certified Technology Associate certification exam lasts 180 minutes, includes 80 questions and costs $500 USD.
11. Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator
Interested in gaining skills in MySQL architecture and learning to install and configure a MySQL database? Look no further than Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator.
When you pass the certification exam, you’ll prove to employers that you can maintain a stable system, implement recovery and backup strategies, configure a replication topology and optimize query performance.
Certification exam topics include:
- Installing MySQL
- MySQL architecture
- Configuring MySQL
- Monitoring MySQL
- User management
- MySQL database security
- Maintaining a stable system
- Backup strategies
- Optimizing query performance
- Configuring a replication topology
To prepare for the exam, it’s recommended that candidates participate in Oracle training courses and get some hands-on experience.
The Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator certification exam lasts 120 minutes, consists of 75 questions and costs $245 USD.
Other worthwhile database certifications include EDB Certified Professional – PostgreSQL 12, IBM Associate Certified DBA and PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer.
How To Choose the Best Database Certification
There isn’t a right certification for all people. Your choice will reflect where you are in your career right now, where you want to go and what type of skills and experience you already have.
Choosing the best database certification comes down to asking yourself a few questions:
- Which certification am I qualified to pursue?
- Do I want to learn vendor-neutral skills or vendor-specific skills?
- What database certifications do I need to reach my career goals?
Based on your answers, you’ll be able to determine which database certification is right for you at this point in your career. We can help you choose which CompTIA certification is right for you.
Are Database Certifications Worth It?
You may be wondering if database certifications are worth it? If you want to become a more competitive job candidate and work in database administration or a related field, then yes, a database certification is well worth your time, money and effort.
If you still aren’t sure which database certification to begin with, consider CompTIA Data+. Here’s everything you need to know about this early-career certification that will put you on a data-based career path.
Ready to get your data analytics career started? Sign up for a free 30-day trial of CompTIA CertMaster Learn + Labs to gain the knowledge and practical skills necessary to be successful on your CompTIA Data+ certification exam.