Oracle Database 10g: Streamlining DBA Training

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Over the past several years, changes in the global economy and their related impact on information technology have created a new set of operational challenges for businesses, governments, small and large organizations and the employees who support their IT infrastructures. Additionally, there is a growing reliance on technology to perform critical and complex business functions—those tasks that are crucial to an organization’s ability to compete and survive. The result is that organizations have less tolerance for system-related issues and downtime (and the associated costs and productivity losses), and support staff members have broader responsibilities and increasingly rigid schedules.


These changes have created time constraints on IT professionals, making it difficult for them to find time to stay current on new technologies and tools. In addition, shrinking training budgets have made it even tougher to acquire necessary training and credentials.


While these may seem like insurmountable obstacles, Oracle University seized the opportunity to radically redefine database training and its associated accreditations by enabling IT professionals to get the training they need, without a hefty price tag.


How? By recognizing that the database administrators (DBAs) of today have evolved from the DBAs of the past. Today’s Oracle DBA may manage all aspects (for example, installation, backup and recovery, security, networking, etc.) of the database for a large multinational corporation with many terabytes of data in multiple databases, or might be responsible for managing a mid-sized company’s database with only several gigabytes of data. Both of these individuals are Oracle DBAs and need the same set of core skill, but ultimately, their training needs are different.


Once they have the fundamental skills, specialized training—based upon their specific sets of responsibilities for their individual organizations—is required. This individual training may be quite specialized, such as training in identity management or grid control, or it could be more general, such as high availability training.


Oracle University adjusted its Oracle Database 10g training program accordingly. The result is a streamlined certification path that leverages the automated features of Oracle Database 10g with classroom theory, hands-on labs and testing.


Oracle Database 10g & Oracle Database 10g Certification
Oracle Database 10g is designed for enterprise grid computing. It allows IT organizations to respond rapidly to the needs of the business while lowering overall risk. Oracle Database 10g allows large enterprises and small businesses alike to make the most efficient use of hardware and IT resources by helping make a critical database less complex to deploy and manage.


Similarly, Oracle University responded to the needs IT professionals and created a streamlined training and testing path for its flagship database administrator certification. Candidates now need only 10 days training to prepare, and are required to pass only two certification exams to become an Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Professional. The Oracle Database 10g certification program enables database administrators to pursue three certification levels, each designed to validate and recognize progressive degrees of competency with Oracle Database 10g concepts, technology and usage.


Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Associate (OCA)
The first step in starting a successful career as an Oracle database professional is the Oracle Database 10g OCA. Candidates are required to pass one certification exam (#1Z0-042), which covers more general topics than the exams for higher-level certifications, but in greater detail.


In the Oracle Database 10g: Administration Workshop I, candidates learn and experience important database functions, such as user setup, performance monitoring, database security, and backup and recovery techniques. The course prepares candidates for the two-hour computer-based exam.


Professionals who earn the Oracle Database 10g OCA credential are taking an important step in their IT careers. According to Certification Magazine’s 2005 Salary Survey, Oracle OCAs earn an average of $71,740 annually, one of the highest average salaries among entry-level certifications. The OCA credential is widely recognized, and employers can be assured that OCAs have knowledge of important database administration tasks and an understanding of the Oracle database architecture and how its components work and interact. Also important, the OCA is a prerequisite to the Oracle Database 10 OCP credential.


Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Professional (OCP)
The best way for OCAs to accelerate their careers is to earn the next level of certification, the Oracle Database 10g OCP credential. The OCP credential is proof to employers, peers and the technical community that you are a skilled database professional who is serious about your career. An Oracle Database 10g Certified Professional is a database expert who has the skills to setup and manage critical Oracle Database 10g functions and the know-how to keep it running at maximum efficiency.


To earn the OCP credential, candidates must first earn the 10g OCA credential, and then pass only one additional exam (#1Z0-043). In addition, in order to gain hands-on and classroom experience, all OCP candidates are required to complete one Oracle University hands-on course from Oracle University or one of its authorized partners.


Recommended preparation for the exam is Oracle Database 10g: Administration Workshop II. In this hands-on course, students learn complex database functions that are critical to keeping the database operational and functional. The course focuses on advanced topics such as RMAN, ASM and Flashback technology. Learning is reinforced with multiple hands-on practice sessions and a workshop. This course is the best preparation for the two-hour OCPlevel computer-based exam.


Obtaining an Oracle OCP DBA credential is a real professional accomplishment, and can be very rewarding. According to Certification Magazine’s 2005 Salary Survey, OCPs earn an average of $79,640, well above the average reported salary of $71,100. Perhaps more importantly, Oracle Database 10g OCPs are taking an important step in building a lasting career with a highvalued
certification in a critical job role.


Special Accreditations
Many professionals who earn the OCP credential go on to obtain advanced database management skills through specialized training and job experience. In an effort to recognize these skills and identify them for potential employers, Oracle University offers a series of special accreditations available to OCPs. The first 10g Special Accreditation will be High Availability. Other topics currently under consideration are Data Warehousing, Security and Grid.


Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Master (OCM)
In 2003, Oracle released the Oracle Certified Master level for its Oracle9i Database Administrator certification track. The prerequisites for this rigorous performance-based certification require candidates to earn an Oracle9i Database OCP credential and complete advanced-level coursework. The final stage requires candidates to prove their skills through an intensive two-day hands-on practical examination. This level of certification is for the Oracle database guru—so far fewer than 200 professionals have become certified at this level. Oracle Database 10g Certified Master (OCM) is currently in development and will be available soon. Details regarding this certification and upgrade paths will be available on Oracle University’s Web site at www.or

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