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Microsoft MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration is the standard for proving one’s skills as a proficient database professional for both Cloud-based and on-premises databases. This certification can be a great step in the field of SQL Server database.
Target Audience & Requirements
The MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certification is aimed at those individuals who are looking to advance their skills and careers in querying data with Transact-SQL and developing databases. The certificate is developed to affirm the applicants’ expertise surrounding SQL Server 2016.
The prerequisites that you need to fulfill for this certificate include at least two years of experience writing queries. To earn this certification, a potential candidate must pass two tests, namely Microsoft 70-764 and Microsoft 70-765. The applicants can only be awarded MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration after acing these two qualifying exams. An individual must have the skills and knowledge of database installation as well as maintenance and provisioning tasks.
Prerequisite Exam Details
These certification exams are 120 minutes long each and comprise of about 40 to 60 questions. Typically, the question formats that mostly appear in the Microsoft tests include a multiple-choice type. The prerequisite exams can be delivered in the English language only. Each of them can be taken either at a testing center or online.
To take each of these tests, you must pay $165. This price is applicable for those candidates who are in the United States. This amount may be different in other regions. If you are not in the USA, you should check the official webpage to find out what exact prices the exams are going for. To earn this MCSA certificate, you must get the passing score in each test. The pass mark is 700 out of possible 1000 points for Microsoft 70-764, and 700 points – for Microsoft 70-765.
After passing the Microsoft 70-764 and Microsoft 70-765 exams, you will obtain the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certification. It will remain valid for a period of three years, which starts counting immediately after awarding. To maintain its status, you must renew it after its expiration.
Exam Topics and Subtopics
Each of the certification tests evaluates the learners’ knowledge of a number of topics that they need to master if they want to pass the exams with flying colours and get certified. The first test, which is Microsoft 70-764 (Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure), assesses your knowledge of the domains that are listed below:
- Configuration of Data Access & Auditing (20-25%)
Within this topic, the students have to demonstrate their competency in implementing Always Encrypted and cell-level encryption, troubleshooting encryption errors, querying the SQL Server audit log, managing database object permissions, creating and maintaining custom roles, as well as creating and maintaining users. The area also includes the evaluation of your skills in configuring encryption, auditing, data access, permissions, encryption for connections, Azure SQL Database audit, dynamic data masking, as well as an audit on SQL Server.
- Backup Management & Restoration of Databases (20-25%)
Within this subject area, the applicants have to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in developing a backup strategy, managing database integrity, restoring databases, identifying database corruption, and implementing database consistency. You should also have the expertise in restoring file groups, performing point-in-time recovery, page recovery, and piecemeal restores, developing a plan to automate restores, as well as configuring backup automation and database recovery models. Besides that, you should learn about the management of transaction log backups and backup of databases to Azure and very large databases.
- Management & Monitoring of SQL Server Instances (35-40%)
This domain evaluates the candidates’ skills in monitoring database activity, queries, SQL Server instances, and current sessions, managing indexes and statistics, configuring the data collector, as well as identifying and correcting outdated statistics and index fragmentation.
- Management of Disaster Recovery & High Availability (20-25%)
This section assesses your skills in implementing log shipping, Always On Availability Groups, and failover cluster instances, monitoring log shipping, configuring cluster shared volumes, and managing shared disks.
After successfully completing the first exam, you can proceed with Microsoft 70-765 (Provisioning SQL Databases). To pass this test, you need to have knowledge of the following topics:
- Management of Instances and Databases (30-35%)
This domain measures one’s skills in deploying Microsoft Azure database, SQL Server instances, SQL Server instances in on-premises and IaaS, and SQL Server databases to Azure virtual machines. It also includes planning for SQL Server installation, supporting availability sets in Azure, and using templates to deploy SQL Server.
- Management of Storage (30-35%)
This area tests the individuals’ ability to accomplish various tasks, including managing SQL Storage, performing database maintenance, verifying database integrity, updating statistics, automating maintenance tasks, and monitoring DMVs.
- Implementation of SQL in Azure (40-45%)
Within this topic, you need to demonstrate their proficiency in configuring secure access to Microsoft Azure SQL databases, managing SQL Server instances, configuring SQL Server performance settings, and configuring operators and alerts.
After passing the Microsoft 70-764 and Microsoft 70-765 exams, you become eligible to earn the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certification. This certificate helps create more job opportunities for you. Thus, there are several positions you can apply for after obtaining this sought-after certification. Some of them include the following:
- Infrastructure Specialist;
- Database Administrator;
- IT Director;
- Senior Systems Engineer;
- IT Manager;
- Database Designer.
With this certification on your resume, you will also be earning a good salary. Depending on experience, any IT professional with the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certificate can get an average salary of between $44,655 and $135,186 per annum.
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