Previously I blogged about the benefits of getting certified. If, after reading that, you decide you want to earn a DB2 certification, what is the process?
Choose Job Role
First you need to decide what job role you’d like a certification for. For many people this is easy. If you work as a DBA, get the DBA certification… easy. But some people end up performing multiple roles in the course of their job. The primary job roles that affect DB2 users are: Academic Associate, Database Associate, Database Administrator, Advanced Database Administration, Systems Administrator Solutions Developer, and Application Developer.
My suggestion? If you are a student taking database courses, start with Academic Associate. From there start with Database Associate and the other job roles that may interest you. If you work with DB2 in any manner, start with Database Associate. These two job roles are least specific and can be taken by a very wide audience. The others will need much studying and / or experience in order to achieve.
Choose Exam Release
Many of the exams are available for different product releases. My suggestion would be to take the release that you are currently using. If you’re using DB2 9, you’re best choice would be to take the V9 exams.
Once you’ve decided on a certification role and exam, follow these instructions:
1. Read the exam objectives. The ibm.com/certify website lists the objectives for every IBM certification exam. Read these carefully as each question on the exam links directly back to one or more of these objectives! (That’s a huge hint!)
2. Use the recommended study materials to refresh your skills. For each DB2 exam, you can find the recommended study material on this site: ibm.com/software/data/education/certprep.html. Also see these blog entries:
3. Take an assessment exam. These exams cost $10 per take. See ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html for the latest information.
4. Take the test. Where? IBM exams are offered worldwide at Prometric Testing Centers. To find a site near you call 1-800-959-EXAM or visit www.prometric.com.
5. If you do NOT pass, use the score report to determine the areas you need to increase your knowledge and start these steps over again.
6. If you PASS, make sure you let your manager know! Your results are confidential to YOU and no one will know you passed unless you tell them!
Once you’ve achieved a certification, your certificate will be sent to you via e-mail (or you will be sent instructions on how to retrieve the certificate from the Certification Member Site, if this is the first certification for this candidate/testing ID).
7. Determine if you want to take another exam to earn another certification.
** DB2 Certification exams are experience-based, so the more practical experience you have using DB2, the easier it will be for you to prepare and pass the exams.
Occasionally throughout the year, there are promotions available that you can take part in. You may find that there are free exams offered at a conference or user group meeting that you are attending, discounted vouchers, or take it again offers. I suggest that you check the promotion site to keep up to date with current offers.