The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Oracle 11g Certification

August 26, 2008 at 11:52 am | Posted in Oracle | 19 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oracle is steadily rolling out the certification exams for Oracle Database 11g, and the Transcender development team is steadily developing practice tests for these exams. Before you register for an exam, now’s a good time to review the Oracle 11g certification tracks and some of the track changes that might affect your strategy to obtain 11g certifications. Then, you can lay out a plan for how to accomplish your certification objectives.

First, let’s recap the most recent Oracle certification paths. For most paths there are three sequential certifications, plus one or more stand-alone specialty certifications.

Database Administrator
With Oracle 11g, Oracle has released the Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), and the Oracle Certified Master (OCM) for DBAs.

The OCA certification is the entry-level option for DBAs. To obtain the Oracle 11g DBA OCA certification, you must pass two exams. The first exam is 1Z0-052 Oracle Database 11g: Administration I, which covers the fundamental concepts of Oracle Database 11g and the primary tasks performed by almost all DBAs. The second exam must be SQL-related, but the choice is yours – it can be 1Z0-007 Introduction to Oracle9i SQL, 1Z0-051 Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals I, or 1Z0-047 Oracle Database SQL Expert.

The question I get a lot is… “What’s the best choice for the SQL exam?” Frankly, that’s sort of like asking “What kind of vehicle should I purchase?” If you’re single and love to drive fast, a two-seat convertible sports car is perfect. But if you’re a parent with three kids, I might suggest a minivan instead. It’s the same with the choice of which SQL exam to take. There’s no right or wrong choice; it’ll be completely based on your particular situation. So let’s consider some of the factors:

  • 1Z0-007 is an online exam. This might be a good choice if you have geographic limitations for available testing centers.
  • 1Z0-051 is the latest and the greatest. It covers the most recent database version.
  • 1Z0-047 is the SQL Expert exam. Although I don’t usually recommend that choice for newbies, if you are a SQL guru from way back and just diving off into DBA certification, this might be a good choice because it lets you kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Passing this single exam earns you an Oracle Certified Expert (OCE) certification. One more exam, and you’re an OCA. This might be a cost-effective approach for you, but again, it is ONLY for those really proficient in SQL. (Keep in mind that you may see some new 11g SQL features, so don’t overlook that as you prepare.)
  • Examine your long-term certification goals to make sure that the choice you make fits into your certification plans for the future.

The next logical step for DBAs is the OCP certification. To earn an OCP, you’ll have to obtain the OCA, complete one approved training course, and pass the 1Z0-053 Oracle Database 11g: Administration II exam (still in beta at the time of this post). I know there’s a lot of debate about the training requirement, which hasn’t always been a part of obtaining an OCP. (We can venture off into that debate in another blog post.) But for now, just make sure that the course you take is an approved course, and don’t forget that you must submit the Hands On Course Requirements form to Oracle. The 1Z0-053 exam just builds on the fundamental concepts covered in 1Z0-052 and covers more advanced DBA topics.

To obtain your 11g OCP certification, there’s another option that most people overlook. You might consider getting certified on 10g and then taking a single upgrade exam (1Z0-050) to upgrade your certification to 11g. Some DBAs who work exclusively on 10g choose this option – again, the choice you make will be based on your particular situation and experience.

Then comes the grand finale…..OCM. Of course, this is the premium Oracle DBA certification. To obtain an OCM, you must complete two advanced approved training classes and pass the Oracle Database 11g Certified Master Exam, which is a hands-on performance based exam. The list of approved training classes hasn’t been published as of yet, and the exam is not yet available, but we expect it to be very similar to the 10g OCM program, so you can check that out to see a preview of coming attractions.

For Oracle 11g, developers now have several options. Of course, the OCA option is the entry-level option for PL/SQL developers. To obtain the Oracle PL/SQL Developer OCA, you must pass your choice of SQL exam: 1Z0-001, 1Z0-007, 1Z0-051, or 1Z0-047. You must also pass the 1Z0-147 Program with PL/SQL exam.

For developers, the Oracle Forms Developer OCP track is still available. But what about OCP options for PL/SQL developers who don’t develop Forms applications? Until recently there was nothing, but Oracle has announced a new developer track, Oracle Advanced PL/SQL Developer OCP, which gives PL/SQL developers an alternative way to obtain an OCP certification. This new track allows an Oracle PL/SQL Developer OCA to take an additional exam, 1Z0-146 Oracle Database 11g: Advanced PL/SQL, and obtain an OCP-level certification. Although still in beta, this exam provides the strong PL/SQL developer with another certification alternative.

Specialty certifications
Beginning early in 2007, Oracle began offering specialty certifications, aka “Expert certifications,” in various areas. Although most of the specialty certifications are focused on 10g, the Oracle Database: SQL Certified Expert certification covers 11g concepts as well. To obtain this certification, there are several recommended (but not required) training courses, and passing a single exam, 1Z0-047 Oracle Database SQL Expert, earns you the title. This certification is a good way to demonstrate an expert proficiency with SQL, including advanced query concepts and all aspects of creating and managing schema objects.

In Summary
A question that I often hear is, “So does this mean Oracle will be retiring some of the other older certification exams?” Well, the answer is… yes, at some point. Although Oracle has not currently made any retirement announcements, past experience tells us that it’s usually in with the new and out with the old. So, it pays to look ahead at what your certification upgrade plans will be.

After reviewing all of these certification options in detail and deciding your path, you can then purchase your study materials (from Transcender, of course) and be on your way to Oracle 11g certification!

For a more detailed description of each of these Oracle 11g certification tracks, as well as other available certification tracks, you can visit Oracle’s Web site at

– Jan Jones


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Hi Jones,

    It is a very nice and informative artical. Thanks for giving such a good advice.

    Rohit Garg

  2. Hey Jones,

    Thanks a lot for such a informative article abt oracle certifications…i have done my OCA (developer track) for Ora 9i
    and wanna do the Oracle 11G OCP (PL/SQL devolper). But i am unable to find any book and material abt the exam – 1Z0-146 Oracle Database 11g: Advanced PL/SQL. Can you please suggest me.

    Thanks a lot.

  3. Hi Jan,

    Is there any time frame between OCA first paper(1z0-007) and second paper(1z0-052).


    • Rohit –

      If you are referring to a waiting period, there is none. You can go ahead ahead and take the 1z0-052 whenever you’re ready!

      Best regards,

  4. Thanks Jan..

  5. Dear Jan,

    I am actually referring to the maximum waiting period that is allowed between these two papers.


    • Rohit –

      As an fyi – I doubled checked with a contact and Oracle & no maximum wait period.

      Hope this helps!

  6. I took the oracle 9i certification 1z0-007 and now I am preparing for the 11g one. Does anybody know the estimated time to get it done !!
    I planned to study 4 hrs everyday!

  7. Hi,

    Can anyone guide me to get the materials for the exam 1Z0-146.

    Thanks in advance

  8. Dear Jan,

    I have Oracle 9i DBA OCA (Admin + SQL iZ0-007).
    What is the best way to get 11g DBA OCA cert?
    Can I get credit for the SQL exam, which I have already passed part of 9i OCA cert?

    Please advise,


  9. Dear Jan,

    I have Oracle 9i DBA OCA (Admin + SQL iZ0-007).
    What is the best way to get 11g DBA OCA cert?
    Can I get credit for the SQL exam, which I have already passed part of 9i OCA cert?

    Is it better to (a)do 9i OCP, then (b) 10g upgrade then (c) 11g upgrade?

    Please advise,


  10. I took 9i OCA in 2006. Now planning for 11g OCP. Will 1z0-007 exam is valid and consider for 11g OCA/OCP or I have to take it again.

  11. hey, thanks a lot :) for such a nice article which in itself is full informative n clear :)

    U solved all my queries. I m sure that i wana go for OCA developer now .

  12. hello
    my name is puneet gupta .this artical is good and useful.
    but i am from india.i am new to this technology .
    and want to make carrer in database administraction.
    so please suggest to which certification i can opt.
    thank you .

  13. hey which one is better 10g or 11g

  14. hi my name is michael ikemeh , i have been an oracle instructor for over six(6) months now and i can honestly say that the sql expert certificate is by far the most prestigious cert exam ever. In my opinion sql expert examination covers all aspect of the oracle sql both fundamental and associate .

  15. can i do 1Z0-047 certification before 1Z0-052?

  16. sorry i wrote it wrong.. can i do 1Z0-052 Certification before 1Z0-047?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: