SQL Server offers a broad range of tools and add-ons for business intelligence, data warehousing, and data-driven applications of all kinds. That probably explains why Microsoft offers database-related credentials at every level of its certification program, from the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) program.

In September 2016, Microsoft announced significant changes to its certification program, adding five new certifications to the MCSE and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) programs alone. These certifications are designed to support Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft SQL Server 2016, among other technologies. For database administrators, the new MCSE: Data Management and Analytics may be of most interest, which you’ll learn about later in this section.


The MTA program includes a single database-related exam: Database Fundamentals (98-364). This credential is ideal for students or as an entry-level cert for professionals looking to segue into database support.


Microsoft offers several SQL-related credentials at the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) level:

  • MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 (three exams)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development (two exams)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration (two exams)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development (two exams)
Number of ExamsMTA: One exam, Database Fundamentals (98-364)

MCSA: SQL Server: Three exams:
Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 (70-461)
Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases (70-462)  
Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 (70-463)

MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development: Two exams:
Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse (70-767)
Developing SQL Data Models (70-768)

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration: Two exams:
Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure (70-764)
Provisioning SQL Databases (70-765)

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development: Two exams:
Querying Data with Transact-SQL (70-761)
Developing SQL Databases (70-762)

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics: One exam:
Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (70-473)
Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions (70-475)
Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases (70-464)
Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server (70-465)
Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server (70-466)
Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server (70-467)
Developing SQL Databases (70-762)
Implementing a Data Warehouse Using SQL (70-767)
Developing SQL Data Models (70-768)
Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (70-773)
Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (70-774)
Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (70-775)
Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions (Beta) (70-777)
All exams are administered by Pearson VUE.

Cost per Exam

MTA: $127 (or equivalent in local currency outside the USA)
MCSA/MCSE: $165 (or equivalent) per exam.



Self-Study Materials
Microsoft offers one of the world’s largest and best-known IT certification programs, so the MTA, MCSA and MCSE certs are well-supported with books, study guides, study groups, practice tests and other materials.


At the Microsoft MCSE level, there is one SQL database credential: Data Management and Analytics. This certification requires an MCSA as a prerequisite (list of valid items follows in table) and then passing one elective exam.

More: Microsoft Certifications & Career Paths