Is the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Worth It?
| technology | system admin - Ross Heintzkill

Is the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Worth It?

Do you remember corny spy movies from the 90s? Remember how often people talked about "getting into the database"? That was when people thought getting access to the database was a mouse click away. And once they "were inside," all it took to find the information they needed was to click the right buttons and drag the picture of a file to a picture of a floppy disk.

But if you've ever tried to interact with a database, you know that it's actually harder than that. Navigating a database, adding information to it, or altering records already inside a database takes special knowledge. A majority of databases speak a variation of the same language: Structured Query Language, or SQL.

Once you learn how to write and use SQL, you can reach into databases, move entire tables around, pull out single pieces of data, and use your data much more wisely. Want to start learning how to navigate and leverage Oracle, check out our collection of Oracle training!

The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is a certification from one of the world's largest database providers (Oracle) that says you know how to use SQL and especially how to use SQL in conjunction with their databases. Read on to learn if the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is worth it for you and your career.

What is the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate?

The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is a certification that proves you understand fundamental SQL concepts and can use them in conjunction with Oracle Database servers to undertake basically any database project. The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate isn't quite an entry-level certification, but the best time to earn it is early in your career. Because understanding SQL is useful in so many different capacities, the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate isn't just a useful certification for database administrators, it's also a great way for any IT professional to prove that they can interact with databases without someone peering over their shoulder.

The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is a technical certification – meaning it proves that the person who earns it is specifically capable of working with databases and Oracle databases in particular. The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate isn't interested in training you in the job expectations and responsibilities of being a database administrator or some other position. Instead, earning the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate communicates to hiring managers and employers that you know how to make yourself more valuable in your current role by integrating SQL into it.

Earning the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate certification requires passing only one exam: the 1Z0-071 exam from Oracle.

What Does the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Exam 1Z0-071 Test?

The 1Z0-071 is a two-hour long exam with about 78 questions on it. The passing score for the 1Z0-071 is 63%. The questions will be multiple choice, which means you only have to choose one right answer for every prompt. The 1Z0-071 tests broad familiarity with the SQL programming language and requires proving your understanding of using SQL to accomplish certain things in a database.

Unlike other certification exams that have clearly separated sections on their exam, the 1Z0-071 covers many small topics. The things the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate 1Z0-071 tests you on include:

  • Relational database concepts
  • Retrieving data using the SQL SELECT statement
  • Restricting and sorting data
  • Using single-row functions to customize output
  • Using conversion functions and conditional expressions
  • Reporting aggregated data using group functions
  • Displaying data from multiple tables
  • Using subqueries to solve queries
  • Using SET operators
  • Managing tables using DML statements
  • Managing indexes synonyms and sequences
  • Use DDL to manage tables and their relationships
  • Managing views
  • Controlling user access
  • Managing objects with data dictionary views
  • Managing data in different time zones

As you can see, the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is about demonstrating you can actually use SQL. Passing the 1Z0-071 requires demonstrating that you know all the essential functions and options of using SQL with an Oracle database.

How much does the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Exam Cost?

It costs $245 to attempt the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate exam 1Z0-071. Oracle's policy on recertification is fairly clear: your certification only remains valid for 18 months. At the end of that 18 months, you must retake the exam. Oracle changes their certifying exams often enough that it could be a different exam by the time you recertify. Since you have to repay and recertify every 18 months, it might be helpful to think of the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate as a certification that costs $163.33 per year.

What Experience Do You Need for the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate?

Since the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is about technical expertise with SQL and not general knowledge around a certain job position, Oracle doesn't require any experience before you attempt the 1Z0-071. The only experience you really need for the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is a good enough technical mastery of SQL. In addition to understanding the language itself, you'll find it helpful to have experience integrating SQL into your current job.

To check if you're ready to pass it, look back through the list of topics the 1Z0-071 covers and see if you recognize each line item. Do you understand the concept of a relational database well enough to explain it to someone else? Do you know how to use concatenation operators and how to define literal character strings? Can you sort data or use DEFINE and VERIFY to restrict your pulls?

You should have experience with creating groups of data and using various types of joins in your functions. Make sure you can use multiple row subqueries and know how to control transactions. On top of all of that, you should feel comfortable with managing access to databases and controlling views inside of Oracle databases.

Who Should Take the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate?

Although database administrators will get the most use out of a certification like the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate, it's also a great certification for developers and analysts too, who would like to prove that they're broadly capable and not restricted to their narrow skillset.

Is Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Worth It for Data Analysts?

Yes, the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is worth it for data analysts. If you work in business intelligence and often find yourself trying to discover data, earning the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate isn't just a good way to learn enough SQL to do it for yourself, it also proves to an employer that you can manage that work on your own and don't need to have someone else doing your pulls for you.

Is Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Worth It for Application Developers?

Not every application developer needs a high level of familiarity with SQL, but for those who do, studying to earn the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is definitely worth it. The Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is worth it for application developers because of how many applications rely on being able to reach back into a database. As a developer, you can either learn enough SQL to do your data pulls yourself, or rely on someone else your entire career.

If you're a developer and you've ever needed to ask someone else for help with database queries in your coding, earning the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate tells an employer that you don't have to ask someone else for help and can be relied on to do your own data work.

Is Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Worth It for a Database Administrator?

Yes, the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is definitely worth it for database administrators. In fact, even if you don't work with Oracle database servers and don't expect to throughout your entire career, the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is still worth it. There might not be a better way to learn to write and understand SQL than to prepare for the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate, which is why it's so worth it for DBAs.

Is the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Worth It?

Yes, the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate is worth it – and you don't need to be a data person for it to be worth it. In fact, many people who are already extremely comfortable navigating and manipulating databases don't tend to need the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate. It's a certification that's much better suited for people who find themselves on the edges of data. If you use data for only a small portion of your everyday job, the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate proves your versatility and efficiency.

Using Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate to Learn Skills

Structured Query Language, or SQL, can be very odd to look at. Unlike some coding languages, it can be very hard to read and understand a SQL command at first. But if you need to reach into databases, pull out useful information and put that data to use, preparing for the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate can teach you everything it takes to control databases. If you want to learn skills in using databases, preparing for the 1Z0-071 is an excellent way to get a rock-solid foundation in SQL.

Using Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate to Validate Skills

Do you already use SQL throughout your day? Do you feel comfortable navigating databases and generating reports? Do you administrate databases on the regular? If so, you won't find the 1Z0-071 particularly challenging. But you should still consider earning the Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate – it stands for expertise using SQL and administering Oracle database servers, having it will prove your value to a team and an employer.

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