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Rating the Oracle Certified Professional readers express a mix of outrage and appreciation for OCP, a certification that everyone agrees continues to carry clout in the job market.

The Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) program is designed to provide Oracle database administrators and developers with the level of knowledge and hands-on skill required to support Oracle. But does it fulfill that promise? asked its readers what they think about OCP certification and whether they see it as relevant to their careers. Some viewed the certification as a necessary introduction to Oracle's DBMS product, and a way to boost confidence when starting careers. Plenty of respondents, though, agreed that certification is too easy to obtain, too expensive and generally overrated. The following is a sampling of readers' opinions.

Certification offers no practical experience

If I had a dime for every Oracle-certified person out there, I would be rich. If I had [another] dime for every Oracle-certified tech person out there who has no experience and no hands-on knowledge, then I would be much, much richer! I cannot tell you how many highly "certified" Oracle consultants I have dealt with over the years who, when thrown into the fire, have no practical experience with the Oracle products and could not firefight themselves out of a paper bag.

I have been working as an Oracle developer and DBA for the past 12 years, and never once has not being certified been a problem for me. The true skills necessary to be an "Oracle Professional" are experience, experience and more experience. Day-to-day troubleshooting of database problems is the best certification process, in my mind.

Andrew Johnson
Oracle Database Administrator
Dartmouth College
Hanover, N.H.

Four reasons why you should become an OCP

I received my OCP Developer and OCA [Oracle Certified Associate] DBA certificates, and I'm now pursuing OCP DBA and then OCM [Oracle Certified Master]. There are many reasons why I have done OCP certification:

1. Most companies ask for OCP. You can't qualify for those jobs if you are not certified.

2. The employer doesn't have the time to read through all the resumes received for a job. The OCP, and experience, can be very good criteria.

3. While pursuing your OCP certificate, you also study those subjects or utilities that you normally don't use. This way, knowledge will also increase.

4. To live in such a competitive environment, you should have Oracle knowledge, plus the seal of approval from its authorized body. Only then you can survive.

Muhammad Irfan Bashir
Project Leader
Alliance Insurance
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Too much emphasis is placed on certification in hiring

Been there and done that. I was an OCP on versions 7.3 (the first certification), 8.0 and 8i. I don't bother anymore. I've been involved with Oracle since version 5. I think that new versions come out so fast that trying to keep up with certification is expensive and a waste of time. With 15 years of active Oracle experience, I don't think it adds much to my resume. I do think it is helpful for people who don't have experience. I hire based on experience and not certification. If I have two candidates with the same experience and one is certified, it still does not make a difference. The one who has the best interview will get the job.

I have no respect for managers or HR people who cut people from the interview process simply because they are not certified. Work experience and the interview are the most important parts of the hiring process.

The only time OCP plays a significant role in my decision-making process is if the job is entry level. Then having the OCP is a big plus.

Paul Collins
Managing Principal Consultant
Creative Solutions Group II

Certification offers a detailed look at Oracle

I have received my OCP certificate for 9i. OCP certification indeed makes you more confident. To pass the OCP exams, you need to study details about Oracle that you would ignore in other cases.

Naresh Dev Panta
Project Manager/DBA
NepaSoft Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (WDN Group)
Kathmandu, Nepal

Certification is too simple and too expensive to make a difference

I am certified. It was more of an ego trip than anything else (I wanted that certificate). My employer does not require it, nor has it added anything to my compensation since I got it. After nine years of making Oracle work and fixing problems as they came about, getting my OCP certificate really proved nothing. The "rubber" was already on the road.

Too many people, especially those starting out, see certification as a guarantee. I regret to say that I've known and interviewed several people who had their OCP certification who I would not trust to play with a play database, never mind a multi-gigabyte production server.

The current certification is too simple -- read the book, memorize some facts and take the test. End of conversation. I'm more interested today in the Oracle Certified Master program, as it requires a hands-on test, which is where the "rubber meets the road." Now if Oracle could only find a way to reduce the cost so that the bulk of us could complete it without breaking the bank.

Dick Goulet
Senior Oracle DBA
Oracle Certified 8i DBA

Certification should just be icing on the cake

I'd like to get my Oracle certification. I would also like the two DBAs who work for me to get it. Unfortunately, since we maintain three other DBMSs, money has to be spread among systems and people. I believe certification with experience is good because it is credibility that leads to job security.

I would hire an experienced DBA over one with just a certification. Nothing beats good experience. Certification above that is icing on the cake.

Art Trujillo
Manager, Database Administration
Information and Communication Technologies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, N.M.


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