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Roadmap to Success: MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development

Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) SQL 2016 Database Development certification will equip learners with the essential skills they need as SQL Server database professionals, for both on-premises and cloud-based databases. This certification will prepare learners with the knowledge needed to query data using Transact-SQL, as well as develop SQL databases.


Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) SQL 2016 Database Development

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) SQL 2016 Database Development is designed to affirm a learner’s expertise surrounding SQL Server 2016. An associate-level certification, MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development is made up of two exams:

Typically, learners pursuing this certification should have two (2) or more years of experience writing queries.


Exam Details

Time allotted for exam: 2 hours (120 minutes) per exam

Number of questions: 40-60 per exam

Passing score: 700 per exam

Question types: Active screen; Multiple choice/Best answer; Build list; Case study; Drag and drop; Hot area; Multiple choice/Single answer; Multiple choice/Multiple answer; Short answer
Learn more about Microsoft exam formats and question types.

Exam registration: Pearson Vue or Microsoft Learning

Please note that MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification exams may be available for online proctored delivery.

Exam cost: $165 (USD) per exam

Skills Measured: Each exam page on the Microsoft website provides a list of Skills Measured, which details the technical objectives making up the exam. This can be used to guide your study and preparation.

Many learners find they have to take an exam more than once to achieve a successful outcome. Fortunately, Microsoft is aware of this fact and often provides an Exam Replay, allowing learners to retake exams at a fraction of the cost. As of this post’s publication date, each of the exams associated with the MCSA: SQL Server 2016 certification offer the option to include Exam Replay. Learners should research Exam Replay availability to avoid missing out on the opportunity.



Microsoft’s MCSA certifications do not expire, meaning no recertification or continuing education is necessary to keep your MCSA certification valid. MCSA certifications are valid for the lifetime of the technology composing the certification.

It’s important to note that under Microsoft’s certification structure, earning an expert-level certification (MCSE) can be accomplished by passing one additional exam, of your choosing, from a pool of exam options. All MCSE and MCSD certifications available after September 26, 2016, do not expire and will remain in the Active section of your transcript indefinitely.


The Next Step

Many learners who earn the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification continue down the Microsoft path, often choosing to pursue the MCSE as a next step. Following the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development, the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (made up of one exam of your choosing: 70-473, 70-475, 70-464, 70-465, 70-466, 70-467, 70-767, 70-768, 70-773, 70-774, or 70-775) is a great choice if you’re interested in continuing down the Microsoft SQL Server certification path.

Learners should also consider diversifying their certification resume with other Microsoft certs:

As Microsoft continues to embrace open source, learners should consider adding Linux skills to their resume in order to more deeply understand the evolution of Microsoft technologies and functionalities. With this in mind, consider earning these Linux certifications:


Career Considerations provides information that can help learners determine appropriate salaries for job opportunities associated with MCSA certifications. Depending on experience, an employee who holds any MCSA certification can earn between $44,655 and $135,186 annually. Common roles or titles for those who hold an MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification include database designer, database developer, database administrator, IT manager, IT director, systems administrator, and senior systems engineer.


Microsoft Certifications

Microsoft certifications are laid out as a pyramid, with each level of certification leading learners to higher, more complex certifications. At the base of the Microsoft pyramid, IT professionals develop the foundation of knowledge with the MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate). The next level is the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) and MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer), which include many of the most popular IT certifications offered by Microsoft, including Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Office 365, SQL 2016 and Windows 10. Finally, the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert) represents the highest level of certification offered by Microsoft and provides learners the opportunity to develop specializations related to MCSA-level content.

Begin exploring other Microsoft training and certification options to open up even more professional development opportunities.


Concluding Thoughts

The MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification is an excellent entry point for learners looking to advance their careers and skills in querying data with Transact-SQL and developing databases. This certification will likely open up new professional opportunities.

Take the first step toward your MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification today!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the MCSA!



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