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Obtaining certification as an Oracle DBA

I have a question regarding obtaining certification as an Oracle DBA. I have a foundation in SQL and have 3 years' experience doing Web develepment using SQL Server. I already have a bachelors degree (liberal arts), and I would like to delve further into Database Administration and have been exploring my options. There aren't that many technical schools that provide training in the San Francisco Bay Area. The only school I found is a school whose program seems thorough, yet its name makes me question its legitimacy. It's called "Hello Computers" (http://www.hellocomputers.com) -- $4,000 for 96 hours of instruction covering all the material on the tests equipped with Sun Solaris machines plus 32 more hours of instruction on test prep. Would you mind telling me what you think about this school? As far as other options go, with e-learning I can't tell, unless I enroll in a course, whether the online courses will be sufficient enough. Most Web-based courses seem to provide practice tests instead of training. And lastly, the training through Oracle U. is too expensive at $10,000. Thank you for any input you can provide.

I briefly looked at the Web site you mentioned, and it seems (at least on the surface) that they teach enough of the concepts to pass the OCP exams. But passing the exams is up to you! Other than that, I can't really say too much about their courses without having taking them first hand. It just wouldn't be fair to you and the training company to elaborate further through speculation.

But I can give you some advice on the OCP exams. In order to pass the exams, I suggest that you practice, practice, and practice. Read the Oracle documentation and other books by a variety of publishers. In fact, there are even books devoted specifically to the exams which will cover all of the exam topics. Download a copy of Oracle Personal Edition, and install it on a home workstation. Then play around with each of the concepts. Try to intentionally break things and then fix them. That is one of the best ways of learning how things work. In order to pass the exams, you need to know how things work otherwise you may have difficulties answering questions correctly.

Keep in mind that having OCP credentials is not necessarily going to start you on the road to multiple job offers. It used to be that anyone with OCP certifications could easily find a job. But many potential employers are now favoring relevant job experience over OCP credentials. After you have passed your exams, you may find it easier to get a job with your development experience than your OCP status. Try to find an employer that will let you do development while getting your feet wet with DBA duties. That way, you can build up relevant experience to go along with your credentials!

Good luck on the exams and your future job prospects!

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