Posted by: Shayna Garlick
Managing an Oracle shop, Oracle careers and certifications, Oracle database administration
How much is your Oracle certification worth?
It’s a question that’s been asked many times, but for now, we seem to have an answer: Not as much (numerically, at least) as it once was.
As pay for certified SAP skills is seeing significant increases, other IT certifications – - including the Oracle Forms Developer Certified Professional (OCP) – - are seeing large declines in market value. According to the compensation-focused research firm Foote Partners, those with OCP certifications have earned more than 18% less pay in the past 12 months.
Oracle Certified Professionals certainly aren’t alone – - IBM, Microsoft and Novell have seen even greater pay decreases – - but what does this mean for the future of Oracle certifications?
There is no easy answer. In fact, there seems to be a lot more questions than answers in the Oracle certification debate, many of which have been raised in Oracle’s new Oracle Certification Blog. In Paul Sorensen’s two-part post, To Certify or Not to Certify, he asserts that while certification is a great part of building a career, it’s just that – - only one part.
So, while Sorensen doesn’t seem to have strong feelings either for or against Oracle certification, it seems that one can make a case for either side. Here are some interesting points from Oracle DBAs and experts that I have come across regarding the value of an Oracle certification:
-”I do recommend that professional DBAs take the time to study and pass the certification exams. Not because certification will make you a better DBA, but because it will make you more employable.”
-”Some things you just have to learn by doing. Now, I am not saying that certification is useless. Indeed, taking the test and focusing on the questions you miss can help to point out areas of weakness upon which you can improve. But does anyone really believe that someone passing a formalized test will be as capable as someone with several years of experience as a DBA?”
-”Whether you decide to certify is a highly personal decision. Every DBA weighs the costs and benefits differently to come to his or her own conclusion. Don’t be swayed by what others decide or by propaganda from the booming ‘certification industry’ — do what’s right for you.”
From “The power of Oracle certification” by SearchOracle expert Michael Hillenbrand:
-”Those with certifications will usually argue that they are important; those without them will most likely turn up their noses at them.”
-”While the OCA seems to be a viable option for the average DBA, those who wish to pursue certification on their own, without company sponsorship, will find it financially next to impossible to earn an OCP (two courses) or OCM (five total courses).”
Do you agree or disagree? Do continued pay decreases change your opinion? If OCP certification is so expensive to begin with, is it still worth the time and effort if you won’t be compensated for it at your job?