MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 Certification Has Been Retired

This certification has been replaced by Microsoft with new certification(s).

Certification Details

The MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 certification is distributed by Microsoft, a globally renowned provider of IT services and products. Their certificates authenticate skills of IT professionals and individuals with technical expertise through industry-proven exams that relate to many areas from Dynamics 365 to Azure to Power Platform, among the rest. They help candidates standout from the rest and get an edge when applying for jobs requiring knowledge of Microsoft solutions.

Certification Overview

The MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 certification acts as a testament to one’s competence in developing and handling SQL server, proper know-how of queries, and skills in managing SQL Server 2012/2014 data warehouse. This is an associate-level certificate aimed at IT professionals with a firm grasp on the workings of SQL Server 2012 and 2014. To apply for it, the applicant doesn’t have to fulfill any strict prerequisites.

Required Exams

To obtain the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 certification, the candidate needs to pass three mandatory exams that are:

  • 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 exam
  • 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases exam
  • 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 exam

Each of these tests contains 40 to 60 questions and lasts for 120 minutes. The mark one has to achieve to gain a pass status is 700 out of 1000. The enrollment fee for each test is $165. When it comes to the languages available, one can sit for the exams in English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Japanese, and Portuguese (Brazil).

Exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014

The first exam is aimed at SQL Server database admins, engineers, and developers with at least two years of experience. It is divided into 4 domains:

  • Creating database objects (20-25%)
  • Working with data (25-30%)
  • Modification of data (20-25%)
  • Troubleshooting and optimization (25-30%)

To get through 70-461 test, the candidate must possess an understanding of T-SQL syntax and should be able to create tables and views without the help of any built-in tools. Knowledge of ALTER, CREATE, and DROP is also essential, along with the ability to design views, create and define various types of constraints, and alter DML triggers. Furthermore, the applicant must be able to work with SELECT statements and use them to query data. In addition, the skills needed to determine problematic elements, work with pivot and other operators will be beneficial. The examinee must be capable of implementing data types and aggregate queries along with managing XML data. In addition to that, it is vital that the applicants possess knowledge about stored procedures, their creation, and alteration. They must know how to use various statements to modify data, optimize queries, manage transactions, and use cursors.

Exam 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases

The Microsoft 70-462 exam is designed for professionals with experience in working with databases whose responsibilities include performing the installing, maintaining, and configuring tasks. The test has 6 domains:

  • Installation and configuration (20-25%)
  • Maintenance of instances and databases (15-20%)
  • Optimization and troubleshooting (15-20%)
  • Managing data (20-25%)
  • Implementation of security (15-20%)
  • Implementation of high availability (5-10%)

The examine should be able to plan and design installation, manage solutions that have an impact on SQL architecture, and configure databases, as well as have knowledge about the production environment. The candidate must also be able to install SQL Server, test its connectivity, work with SSIS, and perform other related tasks. Understanding of database migration strategies and security along with the configuration of additional SQL Server components is vital in this exam.

Moreover, the candidates should be capable of managing and configuring the entire database through file groups, standardization, recovery models, etc. They should also be able to work with SQL Server instances and all the elements. Skills related to concurrency will be tested here, along with competence in troubleshooting data and auditing SQL instances. The applicant should have insights on configuring and maintaining backup strategies and how to restore the database in various scenarios. The concept of importing and exporting data will come in handy. Additionally, the examine should know how to manage logins, server roles, database security, users, and troubleshoot security issues. Finally, the concept of AlwaysOn availability groups and replication is included in this test.

Exam 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014

This exam is aimed at data warehouse developers and ETL developers who are skilled in creating BI solutions, data cleansing, and ETL implementation. 70-463 contains 5 domains:

  • Designing and implementing data warehouse (10-15%)
  • Extraction and transformation of data (20-25%)
  • Loading data (25-30%)
  • Configuration and deployment of SSIS solutions (20-25%)
  • Developing data quality solutions (15-20%)

To pass this test, the applicant must have a firm grasp on the concept of dimensions, attributes, designing hierarchies, and their implementation. They should be capable of working with fact tables and know about types of measures. The candidate should also have an understanding of connection managers and should be able to design data flow. This includes various data flow components, Data Quality Services (DQS), auditing, and more. An understanding of the SSIS package, its execution, and implementation will be tested here as well. Furthermore, the applicants should have knowledge of configuration and deployment of SSIS solutions and security, the ability to implement control flow, data load options, and script components. Finally, the candidate should be capable of installing and maintaining data quality services, applying master data management, and creating data quality projects.

Career Opportunities

Successfully acquiring the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 certification has its benefits. Various career pathways will be unlocked with lucrative compensation. Here are some of the jobs that the holder of this certificate can apply for:

  • Database Administrator: $74k
  • System Administrator: $63k
  • SQL Developer: $74k
  • Senior Database Administrator: $109k

The aforementioned average annual salaries are taken from the site.

Certification Path

After earning the MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 accreditation, its holder has the option to go for the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification. Otherwise, one can apply for other-middle-level certificates related to this path, such as MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration, MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development, and others.