According to InfoWorld columnist Bob Lewis, "generic experience" doesn't matter in today's IT job market as much as it did a decade ago. Employers want professionals with updated skill sets and commitment to a company's chosen platform. That's why many database experts have selected one or more of Oracle's certification paths.
The software company offers an Oracle Certified Professional credential for each of its currently supported database platforms. OCP training helps uncertified and associate-level professionals qualify for higher-level positions in their existing companies or for new challenges with different employers. However, OCP certification is also becoming essential at companies that plan to migrate to newer versions of Oracle's tools. For instance, an Oracle 9i Database Administrator Certified Professional might enroll in the OCP certification path for Oracle Database 11g in preparation for the change.
Jobs for IT pros with OCP training
OCP certification courses prepare IT experts for high-level jobs as database administrators, system architects and project managers. OCP training builds on the skills developed during preparation for the Oracle Certified Associate designation with a combination of vendor-backed classroom and online coursework. Because OCP certification requires validation of hands-on training and real-world experience, employers can trust that certified candidates meet the minimum standards for challenging database jobs.
OCP certification spells success
In early 2011, analysts at Foote Partners surveyed IT professionals across nearly 300 specialties to measure the gap between technology workers with certifications and those who relied solely on experience during the recruiting process. Respondents ranked Oracle certifications as some of the most valuable in the tech sector.
According to trade publication IT World, certifications make the biggest difference for workers trying to move from entry-level and mid-grade positions into senior operational roles. Ninety-seven percent of respondents to Oracle's own survey said that they experienced career benefits after earning OCP certification.
Powering the migration path
Investing in ongoing OCP training over time also improves a professional's chances of earning higher salaries. According to a salary survey conducted by Global Knowledge Training LLC, database administrators certified on older versions of Oracle's platform gain value at firms that must maintain legacy systems. For example, respondents certified on Oracle 8i and higher earned as much as 5 percent more than respondents certified on only the newer Oracle 10g platform. As more of Oracle's clients implement 11g systems, professionals poised for company transitions can expect better compensation packages and stronger job security than peers with mastery of just a single platform.
OCP training can include a combination of formal IT degree coursework and independent learning, as long as students complete a requisite number of formal training programs offered by Oracle University. Oracle Certified Associates can often find opportunities for existing employers to fund all or part of their training through professional development budgets or employee development programs. Oracle database administrators enjoy some of the highest salaries in the IT sector, making OCP certification attractive for technology all-stars.