Oracle offers myriad hardware and software solutions designed to simplify and empower IT systems and processes. Perhaps best known for its premier database software, the company also offers cloud solutions, servers, engineered systems, storage, and more. Oracle has more than 430,000 customers in 175 countries with about 133,000 employees and generates over $40 billion in revenue.
Over the years, Oracle has developed an extensive certification program. Today, it includes six certification levels that span 16 product categories with more than 200 individual credentials. Considering the depth and breadth of this program – and the number of Oracle customers – it’s no surprise that Oracle certifications are highly sought after.
Here’s everything new and experienced professionals need to know about Oracle’s certification program and how to use certifications to navigate their career path.
Oracle’s certification program is divided into 16 primary categories:
Additionally, Oracle’s credentials are offered at six certification levels:
The Oracle Applications certification category offers 18 individual credentials across four products or product groups, such as E-Business Suite, Hyperion, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft.
Each of these certifications confers Certified Implementation Specialist status for a specific application. The Application certifications are for individuals with expertise in selling and implementing specific Oracle solutions.
Oracle’s newest certification category is Oracle Cloud, which covers several Oracle Cloud certifications, including Oracle Database Cloud. Cloud certs fall into seven subcategories:
These credentials recognize individuals who deploy applications, perform administration or deliver customer solutions in the cloud. Credentials primarily include Associate and Certification Implementation Specialists, plus a professional-level Oracle Database Cloud Administrator.
Oracle offers some of the best database certifications for database administrators, database developers and anyone else who works with databases.
Oracle’s Database certifications are a part of the software category and are geared toward individuals who develop or work with Oracle databases. There are five primary categories:
Whenever a significant database version is released, Oracle updates its certification exams over time. If an exam isn’t available for the latest release, candidates can take a previous version of the exam and then an updated exam when it becomes available. Though MySQL 5.7 certifications and exams are still available for candidates supporting that version, the new MySQL 8.0 certification track may be more appropriate for those just starting their MySQL certification journeys.
Note: The Oracle Database 12c certification was redesigned for cloud computing (and is included in both the Cloud and Database certification categories). The Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associate and Administrator Certified Professional credentials will be retired on January 31, 2023, having been replaced by 2019 updates. The Administer Certified Master and Implementation Specialist credentials will remain in place. However, there is an upgrade path for the OCP credential.
The following are additional database-related certifications.
The Oracle Database Foundations Certified Associate credential targets:
As a novice-level credential, the Certified Associate is intended for individuals with limited hands-on experience working on Oracle Database products. To earn this credential, candidates must pass the Oracle Database Foundations (novice-level exam) (1Z0-006).
The OCA certification measures the day-to-day operational management database skills of DBAs. Candidates must pass an SQL exam and another on Oracle Database administration. Candidates can take the Oracle Database 12c SQL (1Z0-071). Candidates must also pass the Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration (1Z0-062) exam.
Note: This certification retires on January 31, 2023.
The OCP certification covers more advanced database skills. You must have the OCA Database 12c Administrator certification, complete the required training, submit a course submission form and pass the Oracle Database 12c: Advanced Administration (1Z0-063) exam.
Note: This certification retires on January 31, 2023.
To achieve OCM Database 12c Administrator certification, you must:
Oracle also offers the Oracle Database 12c Maximum Availability Certified Master certification, which requires three separate credentials, including:
The OCE Database 12c certifications include Maximum Availability, Data Guard Administrator, and RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administrator credentials. All these certifications involve prerequisite certifications.
Data Guard Administrator certification requires:
The RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administrator provides the most flexibility, allowing candidates to choose from:
Once the prerequisite credentials are earned, candidates can then achieve Data Guard Administrator or RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administrator by passing one exam.
Achieving OCP 12c alone, or OCP Administration 2019 plus the RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administration and Data Guard Administration certifications, earns the Maximum Availability credential.
Note: Both the Data Guard Administrator and RAC and Grid Infrastructure Administrator certifications will be retired on October 31, 2022. Newer English versions are expected to be available soon after that time.
Oracle also offers the Oracle Database 12c Certified Implementation Specialist credential. Specialist credentials target individuals with a background in selling and implementing Oracle solutions. This credential requires candidates to pass a single exam to earn the designation.
Oracle Industries offers additional options, with seven individual certifications focused on Oracle software for construction and engineering, communications, and utilities.
The Middleware certifications span several subcategories, such as:
Oracle Middleware credentials represent Associate, Professional and Specialist levels of the Oracle Certification Program.
Oracle Java credentials represent the Associate and Professional levels of the Oracle Certification Program and include:
The Oracle Operating System certifications include Linux and Solaris and are considered among the best system administrator certifications. Additionally, Oracle’s Linux certifications are considered among the best Linux certifications to earn.
Oracle Systems certifications include Engineered Systems (Big Data Appliance, Exadata, ZFS Storage Alliance, Private Cloud Appliance and DIVA). Most of these certifications are aimed at individuals who sell and implement a specific solution.
The Oracle Virtualization certifications cover Oracle Virtual Machine (VM) Server for X86. This credential is based on Oracle VM 3.0 for X86 and recognizes individuals who sell and implement Oracle VM solutions.
The Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Certified Implementation Specialist Certification is for intermediate-level team members proficient in:
It’s not surprising that Oracle has an extensive library of exam preparation materials. Visit the Oracle University website for hands-on instructor-led training, virtual courses, training on demand, exam preparation seminars, practice exams and other training resources.
A candidate’s best bet, however, is to choose a certification path and follow the links on Oracle’s website to the required exams. If training is recommended or additional resources are available for a particular exam, Oracle lists them on the exam page.
Another excellent resource is the Oracle Learning Paths webpage (education.oracle.com/learning-paths/all_paths), which provides a lengthy list of Oracle product-related job roles and recommended courses.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Oracle certifications.
On average, Oracle certification exams are $245. However, some entry-level exams are only $95. Oracle Certified Master exams, which typically take more time to complete, cost more.
Yes. Oracle University will deliver online exams through its learning and delivery platform, MyLearn.
Candidates may take a failed exam four times in a 12-month period. Each new attempt must be paid separately. However, candidates may only schedule exam retakes five or more days from the failed exam appointment date.
In general, Oracle certifications do not expire. However, they may be retired. In this case, you can always decide to achieve the next certification through an upgrade path or newer certification. These options can help ensure you stay updated on product upgrades.
A survey of Oracle Certified professionals showed that 61% received a promotion, secured a new job or entered a new field thanks to their certification. Additionally, 91% of those surveyed stated their certification gave them more credibility on the job. Given the wide range of credentials, products and regular product upgrades, Oracle provides countless opportunities for IT professionals to continue expanding their knowledge and skills.
Casey Conway contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.