Study Oracle: Certificate, Training & Online Degree Info

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Certificates in Oracle can lead to careers in database administration. Get the truth about the requirements, courses and online options, and find out what you can do with your certificate.
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Oracle Certificates: Programs at a Glance

Oracle's hardware and software systems are designed to meet business' security, database and performance needs. The company offers a plethora of certification options in areas such as database administration, the SQL query language, application interfaces and Web-based server technology. Certificate programs provide training in these various areas in preparation for Oracle certification. Students may opt to concentrate in one particular area, like SQL, database security or Web servers, or learn broadly about all Oracle-related technologies, when setting their career goals.

A variety of careers can benefit from Oracle certification, including system administrators, database administrators and software engineers. These professions typically require a bachelor's degree; however, certification will show competence in the field, which may attract more employers and salary increases. Jobs in these fields were projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow much faster than average in the 2010 to 2020 decade.

Certificate Training
Who Is This Program For? Information technology (IT) professionals interested in receiving training to become certified in an Oracle product Experienced individuals preparing for a new Oracle certification or looking to refresh their current skills
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Software applications developer ($92,000)*
- Database administrator ($77,000)*
- Computer programmer ($76,000)*
- Computer applications software engineer ($88,000)*
- Network and computer systems administrator ($74,000)*
Career paths are similar to those who've completed a certificate program
Time to Completion 1 year full-time Anywhere from 1 day to 3 months
Prerequisites Prior programming or scripting experience may be necessary Experience with databases through work experience or a prior class is typically required
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Certificate in Oracle

Oracle certification training is available at several Oracle-certified partner sites at community colleges and 4-year universities. Oracle-certified instructors with significant technical experience typically lead classes. General knowledge of the Oracle certification of your choice and hands-on experience through laboratories is the basis of the certificate program. The curriculum and course materials for these certificate programs are usually provided by Oracle University; however, work experience may be necessary for enrollment.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Certificate programs can be completed in less than a year
  • Oracle software may be included in the program's tuition
  • As a graduate of an Oracle certificate program, you may have access to discounted products

Cons

  • Prior experience with Oracle products or work experience is typically necessary to enroll into the program
  • Career options may be limited if you're only trained in an Oracle product
  • You may not receive college credit for the completed classes

Courses and Requirements

The required courses will depend upon the type of certification that you're seeking. Certificate programs may provide training for certifications such as Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Certified Associate, SQL Certified Expert or Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Master. Generally, you'll gain a basic and advanced education in the various Oracle software programs, while learning how to install, code, develop and implement the various components. You could complete one of the following courses in an Oracle certificate program:

  • Oracle database administration
  • SQL fundamentals
  • Database design
  • Application development

Online Certificate Options

Online and hybrid Oracle certificate programs exist at many colleges and universities. Oracle University also offers distance learning options such as live virtual classes taught by top instructors and a subscriber-only e-learning library. Online learning is available day or night and is beneficial for students as well as working professionals.

Getting Ahead with This Certificate

Oracle certification exams typically have a minimum passing score. As a way to stand out against other test takers, it's useful to complete practice exams to ensure that you understand the material. These tests are typically provided with the curriculum of the certificate program. You could also purchase practice exams through private education vendors or through the Oracle website.

Training in Oracle

Oracle certification training courses can be found in a school's continuing education or extension division. Like the certificate programs, the variety of courses is vast depending on the certification of interest. Most classes have prerequisites, such as the completion of an introductory database or Oracle course, or work experience with the respective program.

Depending on the course, you could learn advanced SQL applications, PL/SQL programming language or techniques on how to organize an Oracle database management system. Because of the advancement and upgrades in the field, you will need to ensure that your skills stay up-to-date and your credentials current.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Certification can help you stand out in the competitive IT field
  • Upon successfully earning certification, you'll gain access to Oracle's professional benefits, such as a personalized certification certificate and downloadable certification logos
  • With Oracle certification, you can pursue employment in several industries seeking IT professionals

Cons

  • As new technologies emerge, certifications will retire, which will require you to earn a new credential
  • Oracle courses taken independently can be costly
  • Instructors may not be certified by Oracle

Courses and Requirements

Standalone courses are typically designed for individuals with previous database experience; however, there are courses that provide basic knowledge of Oracle topics, such as relational databases, database administration and programming. Regardless of your knowledge level, the content prepares you for the certification exam. Some classes last one 8-hour day, while others can last a college semester. Oracle-related topics may include:

  • Oracle 10g database administration
  • Intermediate Oracle
  • Oracle programming
  • Oracle 10g application server
  • Oracle level 1

Online Training Options

Credit and non-credit Oracle certification training is available online at community colleges and 4-year universities. Some schools offer a mix of campus and online training. Distance learning can typically be taken at your own leisure and provides the same Oracle foundation found in a classroom. You could learn about Oracle products through a Web conference, lecture video or lecture CD.

Getting Ahead with This Training

As with the Oracle certificate program, standalone training includes hands-on experience through practice exams and the submission of projects or reports. In order to pass the certification exam and remain competitive against other candidates, it's worthwhile to complete practice exams to avoid retaking the exam. To narrow your Oracle education, try looking at job postings or industry news to determine which programs and certifications are in demand. You can also stay abreast of Oracle news through the company's blog and social media pages.

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