Study Microsoft SQL: Certification, Training & Online Degree Info

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What kind of job can you get with training in Microsoft SQL? Find out training requirements, online options and info on courses and Microsoft SQL programs.
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Microsoft SQL Training: Degrees at a Glance

Microsoft SQL is a database program used for data storage and organization. Certifications for this program can be useful for those who are training to be or are already working as database administrators or in other computer information technology jobs. Training is offered at many different types of facilities, including universities, community colleges and continuing education centers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for database administrators are expected to increase by 31% between 2010 and 2020. Opportunities will be best for those who keep up with changes in technology.

Who is this training for? People interested in earning a Microsoft SQL certification for their job or those who wish to know more about database applications
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) Database administrator ($77,000)*
Time to Completion Varies based on course/program
Common Graduation Requirements Varies based on course/program
Prerequisites Varies based on course/program
Online Availability Some

Source: *BLS (May 2011 figures).

Training in Microsoft SQL

A variety of training programs are available for Microsoft SQL. Many facilities offer stand-alone courses for different levels of proficiency. Others group courses together for a non-degree program that prepares students for a certain Microsoft SQL certification, while others offer certificate programs. Some courses are designed for people completely new to Microsoft SQL, and others are meant for those who already have experience in the field. Training may or may not be specific to a certification.

Pros and Cons


  • Wide variety of courses/programs available for students of all experience levels
  • Common subject matter offered at many different locations
  • Useful for learning this particular program without large time/money commitment
  • Faster-than-average job growth predicated for related career (31% from 2010-2020)*


  • Employers typically prefer applicants with a degree
  • May need additional training past a single training course/program to stay current in the field
  • May need previous computer knowledge to complete training
  • Additional work experience typically necessary to work in this field

Source: *BLS

Courses and Training Requirements

Most training in Microsoft SQL is offered as a single, non-credit course that is open to anyone. Schools may offer several courses in the subject, with each one offering more advanced information, which allows students to go as far into the program as necessary for their particular needs. Courses may also focus on specific versions of Microsoft SQL or work towards a specific Microsoft SQL certification; courses usually say which one in the title or description of the course.

Online Training Options

While most Microsoft SQL courses are offered in-person, some are offered online. These are non-degree, non-credit courses that usually don't require an on-campus visit. They may cover several different SQL programs, or be focused on Microsoft SQL certification. Online courses focused on certification will say which certification exams are applicable to that course. They typically do not have prerequisite courses associated with them. Students can also find online degree programs that offer training in Microsoft SQL, such as the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or Master of Science in Database Technologies.

Standing Out With This Training

Many training programs prepare you for Microsoft SQL certifications. These certifications demonstrate that you have a working knowledge of the subject matter and are a good way to prove it to possible employers. Microsoft offers three levels of certification in SQL, which include the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) credentials. Within these levels of certifications are additional certification options. For example, you can earn an MCSA in SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2008. Each certification requires completion of a series of tests, and some may be upgraded to other certifications as well.

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