Main image of article Oracle Training: What to Know About First Steps, Costs, and More

As one of the world’s largest providers of cloud applications and business software (and boasting more than 430,000 customers across 175 countries), Oracle supports a wide range of industries and businesses. For years, it focused on providing an on-premises technology stack; now, it’s focused on competing with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure as a provider of business cloud services

Given Oracle’s immense reach, if you want to build and maintain corporate tech stacks, at least some knowledge of the company’s products is a must. Let’s break down the nuances of Oracle training.

The importance of Oracle training

As we mentioned, because Oracle is embedded so deeply in many companies’ tech infrastructure, knowing the related skills is vital for pretty much any technologist who wants to work within the enterprise, as well as many midsized businesses.

But Oracle’s sheer size also presents something of a conundrum: where should you spend your precious training time and resources? After all, there are dozens of products you could potentially master, and many are being updated on a pretty consistent basis.

With that in mind, here’s step one: know your job and specialization (or the job you aspire to have). Review job postings for that job, taking note of any Oracle products mentioned. For example, if you’re interested in anything database-related (such as data science or data analytics), you’ll no doubt see lots of corporate jobs mentioning Oracle Database, one of the company’s key products.

From there, you can start your training in that Oracle product. For data-related roles, that could mean not only learning Oracle Database, but also associated database technologies such as SQL, NoSQL, cloud, and more.

If you don’t master Oracle skills, you’ll have a harder time landing a job at a company that relies on Oracle products as a key element in its overall tech stack. It’s not totally impossible—if you understand tech fundamentals, some companies will be willing to pay for your training and education—but it’ll be a lot more difficult. 

Oracle training programs

Like many enterprise software companies, Oracle has an in-house educational portal to get you started on your training journey. Oracle University offers documentation and guided learning, with quick links to popular subject-matter areas such as Oracle Database, Java, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. It also costs quite a bit of money; a one-year subscription to either its cloud or technology courses is $5,000.

Oracle justifies that cost by claiming the coursework is constantly updated and students will have access to product experts and certifications, but that’s still costly. If you’re working for a company that utilizes Oracle products, you can attempt to persuade your manager to foot the bill for you. (If you’re a teacher or trainer, Oracle also has a lot of training materials available via Oracle Academy.)

Fortunately, massive online learning portals such as Udemy and Coursera offer a la carte Oracle training for much cheaper. If you know your job and specialization, you can engage in more targeted learning.

If you’re just interested in learning entry-level Oracle skills and tech overviews, the company also has free options. The aforementioned Oracle Academy has some resources for students, including (but not limited to):

If you’re trying to train toward an Oracle certification, these company-approved courses will count toward your requirements for database, applications, Java and middleware, and systems and storage.

Why are Oracle skills valuable, and what are the most sought-after Oracle training courses?

Dice spoke with Damien Carey, senior vice president of Oracle University (which offers in-classroom and online training in the company's technologies), and James Lloyd-Townshend, Chairman and CEO of Anderson Frank (which recruits for those with Oracle Netsuite skills), to find out the most sought-after Oracle training courses, the qualifications you need to get a job, and possible paths on which to start your career as an Oracle specialist.  

“We’ve seen a marked increase in upskilling and cross-training recently, with tech professionals looking to diversify their skill set by getting certified in other leading cloud products,” Lloyd-Townshend said. “From a candidate standpoint, it makes career sense to add another certification to your resume  to make yourself stand out and increase employability.”

As Carey explained, Oracle University offers a digital training library that covers the company’s entire product portfolio. He noted the most-consumed courses for Oracle’s SaaS offerings are primarily around human capital management (HCM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). 

Specifically, the top three most sought-after classes are:

Two other popular ones:

Nothing shocking there, when you consider the integral role that Oracle technology plays in company accounting and HR. Carey said there is also high demand for training courses covering payroll, benefits, receivables implementation, absence management, and supply chain management: “The highest-consumed courses for our PaaS and IaaS offerings are primarily around autonomous database, application development, and Oracle cloud infrastructure.”

Within that PaaS/IaaS context, the top three classes are:

In this category, Carey also noted, there are a few classes that are “rapidly on the rise,” including: 

How does one start a career specializing in Oracle technologies? What are some pointers and first steps for those looking to begin their education? 

“Firstly, I’d recommend getting to grips with Oracle in your own time. Work on personal projects using the technology, learning as you go,” Lloyd-Townshend said. “And this is something that I’ve seen tech professionals do five, ten, years into their career—that curiosity and passion for the technology you’re looking to specialize in will be what sets you apart.”

Carey believes that where you start depends on your skill level. However, for someone starting their skills journey, he recommends starting with free training courses through the Oracle Learning Explorer program: “This will provide them with entry-level courses that span Oracle’s entire product portfolio that will serve as a foundation as they move into more advanced courses.” 

Oracle Learning Explorer offers a skills test at the end of the course work; once that’s passed, the learner will receive an Explorer Badge that they can use to showcase their achievement on their social networks. 

“From there, we recommend taking one of our Cloud Learning Subscriptions to progress their skillsets,” Carey continued. “Once the coursework is completed, the learner will be prepared to take a certification exam that will validate their mastery of the Oracle technology they are pursuing.” 

What qualifications do you need to get a job as an Oracle specialist?

Carey said the “gold standard” for prospective employees is to become an Oracle Certified Specialist. Those looking to achieve that certification can work through the company’s Cloud Learning Subscriptions and then take the certification exams.

“If they pass the exam, they will receive a certification badge that they can use with employers to prove their skills and validate their mastery of Oracle solutions,” he said. 

Lloyd-Townshend said that, once you’ve built up a bit of hands-on experience with the product, consider teaming up with a specialist recruiter to help you find the right role with the right employer: “A dedicated consultant knows the market better than most, and will be able to help you map out your career one role at a time so you’ll know exactly what you need to do to achieve your goal of becoming an Oracle powerhouse.” 

How long does training take, how much does it cost, and what are the online training options?

Oracle University courses range from introductory to the very advanced, and also span different audiences (whether it be an individual, a partner, or enterprise purchasing). For this reason, the prices of instruction vary, beginning with free introductory courses with the Oracle Learning Explorer program.

“We have moved to a fully digital training model that delivers video-based courses in microlearning modules that are about 10 minutes a piece,” Carey explained. “We shifted to this training delivery method so learning could become a part of anyone’s day-to-day schedule; with microlearning, a busy schedule and limited time does not impede gaining Oracle technology mastery.”

He noted Oracle University additionally offers one-hour live sessions on trending topics for those who want real-time sessions and live Q&A with their expert instructors: “We also offer labs that provide students with an environment to test and practice their skills as they progress through their course work.” 

Lloyd-Townshend also noted the amount of time it takes for you to prepare for each exam varies from case to case, depending on how many hours you put in every day, as well as how long you’ve been using the technology—or something like it—throughout your professional life.

“Your learning style is also a factor. What takes some people a month to learn, you might accomplish in half the time and vice versa, so it comes down to how confident you feel in your skills and theoretical knowledge before you apply,” Lloyd-Townshend said. “Taking practice tests will help you gauge where you’re at, of course.”


Despite competition from Salesforce, Amazon, SAP, and a variety of other vendors, Oracle manages to maintain a sizable customer base, which means that anyone who wants to work on corporations’ tech stacks will likely need some familiarity (if not mastery) of various Oracle products. This is especially the case for sysadmins, network engineers, and software developers.

Given the sheer number of Oracle products on the market, it will help to focus on the ones that align with your career goals. From there, analyze how much you can learn for free via training materials online, versus instances where you may need to pay for training. If you already work for a company that utilizes Oracle products, consider asking your colleagues for some hands-on help or in-house training—at the very least, you’ll make new friends.

Related Oracle Developer Jobs Resources:

Oracle Certification

Oracle Developer Salary

Oracle Developer Interview Questions

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