Is doing the OCP exams worthwhile ?
Yes, but not for the reasons you may be thinking. The OCP exams are a relatively cheap way of identifying possible weaknesses in your knowledge base on Oracle. For example, when I did the OCP, all of the database sites I had worked on did not use MTS and thus the exams revealed an area that could be "swotted up" on.
What does an OCP mean ?
Not much really. The exams could be passed with mediocre understanding of Oracle and some "cramming". (I would claim not be one of these people but you can make your own judgements from this site). Any employer that takes on a DBA purely on the basis of their OCP status probably will (and deserves to) get burnt
A good DBA will pass the OCP, but someone who passes the OCP is not necessarily a good DBA.
A true story...Question posted to a newsgroup:
"What does ROWNUM mean? Signed XXX OCP 7, 8, 8i"
Are there any alternatives ?
I heartily recommend downloading the sample exams for the reason mentioned above. You can use them to identify areas upon which to improve. Unfortunately the number of employers who seem to insist upon OCP (and moreover think that OCP is the answer to all of their problems) seems to be on the rise