Many children are scheduled to go back to school after labor day, so with all the 'back to school' sales, and the approaching fall season (new clothes required?), many people feel that September is the best month to make significant changes in their lives. One article I read this weekend stated that September is the season of change, especially for women and that 'September Resolutions' are becoming as common as 'New Year's Resolutions'.
If you are feeling the need to make some changes, consider upgrading your skills. The DB2 Version 8 Certification Exams are very popular, so if you are down level or haven't yet earned a certification; consider adding it to your skill's plan.
Here's what I'd suggest:
For everyone selling, using, developing, consulting, or learning about relational databases, I suggest Exam 700 DB2 UDB Version 8 Family Fundamentals. Even if you are using Oracle, MS SQL Server, IDS, Cloudscape, or MySQL, you should consider this exam. This exam covers the basics such as planning, security, concurrency, and SQL usage. For study materials, see http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/edu700.shtml.
If you are working as a DBA, supporting DB2 in any way, or developing DB2, you should take Exam 701 DB2 UDB Version 8 for UNIX, Linux, and Windows Database Administration or Exam 702 DB2 UDB z/OS Version 8 Database Administration. Both of these exams require a lot of knowledge, but if you work as a DBA, you already have 80% of the knowledge that you need to pass the exam. For study materials, see http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/edu701.shtml or http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/edu702.shtml.
If you were able to pass Exam 701 fairly easily, you should try Exam 704 DB2 UDB Version 8 for UNIX, Linux, and Windows Advanced Database Administration. Passing this exam will show others that you are a LEADER and have a deep skill level in the database area. For study materials, see http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/edu704.shtml.
For programmers of any kind, consider taking Exam 703 DB2 UDB Version 8 Family Application Development. This exam covers the basics about program to a database in embedded SQL, Java, CLI and ODBC. You don have to be in expert in all programming areas, but you should be very strong in at least one area. I find that students working on computer science degrees are able to pass this exam with minimal work. For study materials, see http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/edu703.shtml.
If you prefer the business side of things rather than technical, consider taking Exam 705 Business Intelligence Solutions. This exam isn very technical but it covers the concepts that you need to master to create solutions in your environment. For study materials, see http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/edu705.shtml.
If you're working in WebSphere, Tivoli, Java, Lotus, Content Management or Rational, see http://www.ibm.com/certify to find the exams that fit your needs.