Next step after 98-364.

adamseadamse Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□

I just passed the MTA: 98-364 Database Fundamentals exam. 79 out of passing 70 score - self-training (installed SQL Server 2012, started with the SSMS 6 weeks ago) and took many helpful pointers from the forum. Thank You for the guidance.

I need to take the next steps and it's a unique situation.


1. I don't have any experience in corporate/work settings and I want to be in a 'database environment" and see how things work. Where can I go for this?

2. I want to know if I am even hire-able at this point - or is this too far-fetched of an idea? I have a bsc in comp.sci, but the curriculum didn't touch on SQL (just a bit of MS Access), and I find that I like working with databases, data analysis etc. (googling, I ended up reading about Tableau, misc visualization tools - neat stuff) and the bug has bit .

3. I would like to work as a data analyst or in BI - but since the next step on the MCSE: Business Intelligence track is 70-461 and calls for WORK-EXPERIENCE. Perusing through the 70-461 EXAM thread, it looks like this exam is not for the faint of heart.

4. I am currently looking to get a foot in the door - will any other qualifying exam help? 70-480 maybe? (i did learn HTML/CSS in college and good at grasping concepts) - and can get some other IT work? Will this convince some employer to take a risk and hire me?

5. If negative on qn.4, how should I proceed to the next step on the BI track?

Thanks for taking the time to read through.


  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Member Posts: 114
    Congratulations. I found 70-480 a lot more difficult than 70-461. 70-480 was 2.5 hours of Javascript mental gymnastics for me. 480 is entirely client-side, so there's not much overlap with 461. If you've already got SQL Server 2012 installed, then you're ready to start studying for 461 if you want. Both exams cover skills widely used in the IT industry, but as you say, getting a foot in the door and hands-on work experience is also important.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You are making a good move going the BI route and learning SQL. Here is something close to work environment that will get your familiar with a lot of the basics and fundementals.
    1. Download the DBMS SQL Express. Its free from Microsoft.
    2. Attach this database free from Microsoft.
    3. Search for any tutorials amd guides on different queries that you can run. Learn SQL from various free guides out there. Knowledge is freely accessible today, you just need to find it.
  • paddywackpaddywack Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations!!! Can you tell me what tools you used to study for the 98-364? I think I'm ready to test this week. Thx
  • adamseadamse Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi paddywack,

    Thank you. Sure. This is what I did.

    Tools & Techniques I used:

    1. I watched all the Lynda - Database fundamentals videos, and worked alongside the tutor - simultaneously have the SSMS open, and write & execute queries and see the results. Then work on the questions and see the solutions.

    2. Got Pluralsight membership and Trainsignal videos and watched through them (Trainsignal tutor worked better for me, grasping concept-wise).
    - IF you can't get these, then BEST way will be to start with W3Schools - SQL tutorial. Simple, free and very good training.

    3. Didn't buy the Microsoft Press book on this exam. So I relied on the videos and actually writing queries and thinking through.

    4. I don't know your skills background, but EVERYTHING (including thinking like a database person) was new to me - the environment, multiple ways to set up a table, view, writing stored procs. etc. Get familiar with this - it will give you confidence.

    5. Since the MTA exam tier assumes that you don't have much real-world experience, the KEY is theoretically understanding WHY & HOW the database is structured the way it is. This will help.

    6. When testing, be calm and think what you would do if you were actually sitting in an office as a DB person doing Database work for someone.

    Wish you much Luck!
  • adamseadamse Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies, all. Thank you Eager.
    Really? Wow, Okay. Yes I have the SQL Server 2012 installed - and started on the Trainsignal videos today.
    Hopefully, I can think this through and come up with a good plan.
  • adamseadamse Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi TheForce, and Thanks for the pleasant surprise, all. Thought that I might have asked a redundant question here.

    Okay, so I will have to keep doing my usual job, and not look for any quick surprises hiring-wise, I guess. :)
    So, my plan, like you suggest, would be to have some sort of a DB project (use the AdventureWorks DB to practice) that I undertake and show my skills that way.

    Thanks again.
  • paddywackpaddywack Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you, Adamse! My test is in 2.5 hours. icon_sad.gif
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