Registration for Oracle's OCA to OCP upgrade exams now available
Often in life, we become accustomed to doing things the hard way (or at least a hard way), and never question whether there might be an easier way of doing them. Over at Oracle Certification, the people in charge recently examined a common practice and said, in essence, there's probably a better way of doing this.
So over the last several months, there's been a fair amount of kerfuffle about a new program to streamline the Database Administrator upgrade path from Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) to Oracle Certified Professional (OCP).
Following a beta period, the new day has dawned, and OCAs who would like to become OCPs can now register to take the newfangled one-for-all upgrade exam. The new exam for those upgrading from 9i or 10g to 11g is 1Z0-034, and the exam for those upgrading from 9i, 10g or 11g to 12c is 1Z0-067.
You can't actually take either exam right away, as both are currently undergoing post-beta analysis and revision. Both exams are expected to be available soon, however, so if you're the type who plans ahead, then you can make arrangements right now with Oracle's testing partner, PearsonVUE.
Released in July 2013, Oracle 12c is the newest version of Oracle's flagship database product and incorporates cloud computing concepts and multitenant architecture. Oracle 11g is the immediately preceding version, and is still widely in use.
In the past, upgrading from OCA to OCP across versions required multiple exams. If you ascended to OCA status on 9i or 10g, there was no question of just bumping up to OCP status on the newest version. The upgrade exams, however, have streamlined the process to make it a little easier for Oracle certification to keep pace with Oracle's product line.
Details of both new upgrade exams are available online. Among the controversial aspects of the new upgrade exams is the question of fairness. DBAs who have taken the more laborious path of yore to become OCPs, involving multiple exams, are now expected to rub shoulders with colleagues who gained OCP status from a single test.
Oracle addresses this point directly in its upgrade FAQ, stating that the changes help stragglers get current, and pointing out that the new regime benefits everyone: "Having your peers certified on current versions strengthens the value of certification for everyone. Additionally, if you keep your certifications current, you hold certifications that candidates who used this special upgrade path will not have earned."