I just read an article about Microsoft revamping their certification program for the next version of SQL Server. It seems that they are making the exams more closely tied to job roles and are making three distinct paths: one for administrators, one for developers and one for business intelligence. They are also creating shorter and simpler paths to certification... hmmmm seems to me that this is exactly what DB2 has been offering to people since DB2 Version 2 when Grant Hutchison originally launched the certification program. Here's the article:
A few years ago when I was running the DB2 Certification program, I did a competitive analysis of our program compared to Oracle's program. At the time, they required 5 exams to earn a DBA certification and we required only two exams. A year after our very successful V7 certification exams, I redid the competitive analysis and noticed that Oracle had changed their program to look exactly like DB2's program.
IBM should be flattered that two of our largest competitors have made such an effort to copy our programs!
I know that I'm pretty biased as I was one of the builders of the DB2 program, but take a look at this excellent article written by independent consultant Howard Fosdick.