Microsoft Learning announced the creation of two new certifications today geared towards individuals with proficiences in SQL Server 2005 or BizTalk Server 2006.  The Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS) designation for either SQL Server 2005 or BizTalk Server 2006 can be achieved by passing one exam thereby highlighting your skills and knowledge of the product.  From the MCTS designation, you can continue on to the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) level, which requires you to pass more exams specializing in a specific product area of SQL Server 2005 (for now).  The MCITP designation can be gained as an IT Pro: Database Developer, IT Pro: Database Administrator, or IT Pro: Business Intelligence Developer.

Now, keep in mind that the exams required to achieve these certifications are not yet ready so that means you have time to get yourself prepared.  The new certifications will more clearly allow you to distinguish and highlight your expertise to your clients, managers and co-workers.  You can start the road to learning by taking one of several free online courses on SQLServer 2005 available at the Microsoft E-Learning web site (https://www.microsoftelearning.com/sqlserver2005/default.aspx).

For more information on the new MCTS and MCITP certifications and the requirments to achieve them, please visit the appropriate page on the Microsoft Learning web site: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcitp/.