Microsoft SQL Server certifications

Prove your knowledge and skills in designing, building and maintaining the next wave of cloud-ready database and information solutions.

Have you heard about the SQL Server 2014 updates? Read the SQL Server certification FAQ to find out how we are updating our corresponding database professional certifications.

Choose a Microsoft SQL Server certification below:

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

Entry level

The fundamentals of IT

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

Associate level

The skills for your professional career

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Expert level

The globally recognised standard for IT professionals

Other certifications

The lifespan of a certification varies, based on certification track and certification technology. See lists of withdrawn exams and withdrawn certifications.

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
Certification titleRequired exam
MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance432
MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance448
Upgrade Paths

If you have already earned a certification on SQL Server 2008, you are eligible to take advantage of a shorter upgrade path to achieve an MCSE or MCSA SQL Server 2012 certification.

If you have an MCTS on SQL Server 2008 or MCSA: SQL Server 2008 certification, you can upgrade to the MCSA SQL Server 2012 certification.

StepTitleRequired examCertification earned
1Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1Take exam 457Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: SQL Server 2012
2Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2Take exam 458

If you have an MCITP: Database Administrator or MCITP: Database Developer certification, you can upgrade to the MCSE: Data Platform certification.

StepTitleRequired examCertification earned
1Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1Take exam 457Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Data Platform
2Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2Take exam 458
3Transition Your MCITP on SQL Server 2008 to MCSE: Data PlatformTake exam 459

If you have an MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer certification, you can upgrade to the MCSE Business Intelligence certification.

StepTitleRequired examCertification earned
1Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1Take exam 457Microsoft Certified SolutionsExpert: Business Intelligence
2Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2Take exam 458
3Transition Your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business IntelligenceTake exam 460

Frequently asked questions

The following questions specifically address the SQL Server DBA certifications. Visit the certification overview or exam policies and FAQ pages for answers to general questions regarding Microsoft Certification or the exams.

How will the updates for SQL Server 2014 impact official Microsoft training and certifications?

All SQL Server-related exams and certifications have been updated to be applicable to both SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014, to have continued relevance for database professionals working with either product version.

As of 18 February 2016, Exams 461–467 include content covering both SQL Server 2012 and 2014. Since January 2016, each exam webpage has included a link in the Skills Measured section to a document describing the corresponding changes in the exam.

To reflect the inclusion of SQL Server 2014 content in Exams 461–463, the MCSA certification has been rebranded to MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014. Since changes to each individual exam are modest in size and SQL Server 2012 skills remain relevant, all current MCSA: SQL Server 2012 certification holders will have their transcripts updated to reflect the new credential name.

Since the MCSE certifications do not reference product version, there will be no changes to the titles of either MCSE: Data Platform or MCSE: Business Intelligence credentials.

I have already started down the path to earn a certification on one of the technologies that will be updated. What should I do?

Regardless of the SQL certification level you are currently pursuing, we encourage you to continue down the path for your certification.

At the Associate level, the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 credential and associated exams (461/462/463) will remain in market without any alterations. No MCSA: SQL Server 2014 credential will be offered.

At the Expert level, the MCSE: Data Platform (464/465) and MCSE: Business Intelligence (466/467) exams were updated with SQL Server 2014 content in April 2015.

  • If you earned your MCSE credential prior to the exam updates, you will not be tested on features of SQL Server 2014 or future releases until your recertification exam.
  • If you are on track to earn your MCSE credential after the exam updates, you can streamline your study plan by reviewing the details on the original and revised exam objectives in the Skills measured section of each exam detail web page.
I want to start learning more about the updates to the technology. Where can I find training?

As new technology updates become available, you will see a variety of training also offered through Microsoft Learning Partners. These resources include First Look clinics, hands-on labs and courses using Microsoft Official Course content. In addition, many training resources are available to you directly through the Microsoft Virtual Academy.