Guest Post from Matthew Morris of the Oracle Certification Prep blog.
I was recently asked to submit a guest post for this blog about the pros and cons of the two new OCA to OCP certifications currently undergoing beta testing. Since I have been following those exams from before they were officially announced, I was happy to do so. In May, I speculated on my own blog about the possibility of a cross-version OCA-to-OCP exam following a teaser comment that was made in the LinkedIn OCP group. When the exams were announced in late June, I wrote about my first impressions of the announcement and what the new tracks meant for OCAs certified in older releases. In the months since that post, I have researched both exams and have a reasonably detailed picture of the subject matter being tested in each.
Before I start making comparisons, it is necessary to define exactly what the alternative to these exams would be. There is often more than one potential upgrade path between database releases. The grid below contains what I consider to be the most likely paths that Oracle Certified Associates in 9i, 10g and 11g would take to become 11g or 12c Oracle Certified Professionals.
|9i OCA||1Z0-052, 1Z0-053||1Z0-062, 1Z0-063|
|10g OCA||1Z0-043, 1Z0-050||1Z0-043, 1Z0-060|
|11g OCA||N/A||1Z0-053, 1Z0-060|
On the Positive side…
As the grid shows, the traditional cross-release upgrade paths all require two exams. Most of the advantages of taking either 1Z0-034 or 1Z0-067 stem from consolidation to a single exam. The benefits from upgrading via the 034/067 exams include:
On the Negative Side…
There is no such thing as a free lunch. These exams can help OCAs in older releases to upgrade for a lower cost, but there is still a price to be paid.
Both 1Z0-034 and 1Z0-067 borrow heavily from earlier tests offered by Oracle. For 1Z0-034, the test developers from Oracle Certification cherry-picked topics from the 10g Admin II (1Z0-043) and New Features (1Z0-040) exams, along with the 11g Admin I (1Z0-052), Admin II (1Z0-053), and New Features (1Z0-050) exams. 1Z0-067 contains most of those same topics, plus a number from the 12c administration exams (1Z0-060, 1Z0-062, and 1Z0-063), and several topics that are brand new. The end result is that both exams present a very comprehensive set of topics to certification candidates. Additional information about the two exams can be located at the following links:
Numerous times I have seen posts on various forums by Oracle Certified Associates specifically requesting exams that would allow a cross-release upgrade to OCP. The Oracle Certification program listened and has responded. So long as certification candidates make use of these new paths with eyes wide open, the exams have the potential to provide a faster, cheaper route to enhancing their Oracle credentials.