Home > Certifications, SQL Server 2012 > SQL Server 2012 Certification Path

SQL Server 2012 Certification Path

November 6, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s always good to give Certifications, it enhances your technical skills and prove your knowledge, and more over it looks good on your Resume!

Exactly last year I passed the “Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012” (70-461) exam, and I blogged my experience [here]. Since then I get lot of hits on the post from all over the world. Then only I came to know that there are many people who want to pursue for this exam and other follow up exams in sequence.

People ask me about study materials, dumps (which I don’t recommend strongly). Few people have confusion to give which exam in what order. Some are not aware of the exams that lies in the Certification Path.

So, I have created a visual snapshot of all these exams for all SQL Server 2012 Certification exams at different levels:

SQL Server 2012 Certification Path

SQL Server 2012 Certification Path

So, you can start with any of the 3 exams at the bottom (first) level based upon your area of interest. A Dev can take 70-461, a DBA can start with 70-462, and a DataWarehouse Engineer can go with 70-463, and you can take them in any order.

1. Microsoft Certified Professional: As soon as you pass any one exam you are an MCP.

2. Microsoft Certified Solution Associate: After you are done with all three (70-461 + 70-462 + 70-463) you are an MCSA.

3. Microsoft Certified Solution Expert: After achieving MCSA, you can either go for MCSE in Data Platform (70-464 + 70-465) or Business Intelligence (70-466 + 70-467).

4. Microsoft Certified Solution Master: After achieving MCSA in Data Platform, you can go even further to MCSM by taking 70-468 & 70-469 exams.

–> Study material for:

– Exam 70-461: Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 | My Blog Post on 70-461.
– Exam 70-462: Training Kit (Exam 70-462): Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases | My Blog Post on 70-462
– Exam 70-463: Training Kit (Exam 70-463): Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 | My Blog Post on 70-463

– Exam 70-464: Channel9 Video | Instructor-led – Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
– Exam 70-465: Channel9 Video | Instructor-led – Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012

– Exam 70-466: Channel9 Video | Instructor-led – Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
– Exam 70-467: Channel9 Video | Instructor-led – Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

– Exam 70-986: Not yet available
– Exam 70-987: Not yet available


– MCSE (DP: 464/465 and BI: 466/467) exams are updated with SQL 2014 topics.

– MCSA (461/462/463) exams will be having SQL 2012 content only.

For more details about the Certification Path and exams you can check Microsoft Official site: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/sql-certification.aspx

–> Download “SQL Server 2014 Full or Express version for practice:

SQL Server 2014 Download

  1. Ilkin
    November 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks a lot

  2. Sunny
    January 8, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Hi Manoj,
    Thanks for the details I am also planning to get SQL Server certified, but there are few confusions and no clear view. Basically I have been working on Databases for along time, so good knowledge of Databases in details (SQL, Tables, views, triggers etc) but limited knowledge on MS really. I am thinking of getting MCSA (461, 462 and 463) atleast followed by MCSE (466 and 467), but I am confused if I should go for 464 and 465 instead. What exactly is the difference.

  3. Mangesh
    June 4, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Hi i am planning to appear for Exam 70 series which exam is required to pursue pure DBA track ?

  4. Sachin
    July 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Manoj,

    I have a query that there are mostly two types of jobs (profiles) for SQL in the market.
    1. SQL DBA
    2. SQL developer. That may cover the SQL BI as well.

    For a SQL DBA one has only one exam 70-462 where as for SQL developer there are so may 70-461, 463, 466 and 467. One has to learn much more to become a perfect developer that is writing SQL queries (using all SQL objects), SSAS, SSIS and SSRS plus some DBA tasks as well.

    There are very very less job descriptions that says demands both skill set (Developer and DBA) in one person.

    Looking from the job prospects, is it better and easy to become DBA over a developer? Also, the experience level in case of DBA goes upto 15 to 20 years whereas we rarely find a job description demanding a developer having 15 years of experience.

    • July 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Sachin, becoming a DBA or a Developer both needs lot of effort and experience.

      Its just a perception, normally when somebody from Dev background talks about DBA he just thinks SQL Server installation, DB backup/restore, etc. But there’s too much to do as a DBA and with lot of responsibility in their plate.

      Yes, one person cannot be an expert on both and its difficult to find such resource. I’m just a DB Developer, not much into BI and completely off from DBA, and have just given the 70-461 exam.

      Developers with 15+ experience goes into Management or Architect areas and mentoring junior DEVs.

      DBAs with 15+ experience also goes into either Management or as Senior DBAs with super rich experience and are respected for the wealth of knowledge they bring (with quick decision taking and response time).


      • mangesh
        August 20, 2015 at 8:50 pm

        Hi Manoj,
        soon i am going to appear for 70-462 would like to know from you about any study material or quick view to go through before exam as i had gone through training kit 70-462.

        Thanks in Advance !

  5. sumit
    September 10, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Manoj,

    Iam new to this certification thing…………..which version certification should one start from? Which one will benefit a dev the most?

  6. February 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    UPDATE on SQL 2014:

    • MCSA (461/462/463) exams will be having SQL 2012 content only.
    • MCSE (DP: 464/465 and BI: 466/467) exams are updated with SQL 2014 topics. And same will go with 2016 after release.


  7. Aditi Narayanan
    May 12, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Sir, Just went through your blog post. I am fresher and recently graduated in Computer Science Engineering.Recently started working as a data analyst and to complete the goal assigned by the company, I need an SQL certification for which I need your siggestion I have basic knowledge about Databases and SQL. Would you suggest me to take up the 98-364 database fundamentals exam or push my self a little harder and take up the 70-461 exam.( I have no knowledge about XML, and in depth queries). Thanks

  8. Huzaifa
    March 16, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Hi Manoj. Can you update the blog according to new SQL 2016 certifications. I read your bog and i had a qs. Can you please tell me if its compulsory to complete MCSA before i can give 70 -467 ?. I am datawarehouse developer and would welcome your advice.

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