I don't have any current database certifications; I only have the ones that my place of work requires me to have for being a sysadmin, and even those will likely lapse as I was declared to "not be a sysadmin" a couple of months ago.
Certification might help to differentiate you between different people when you're looking to get a job -- it's basically someone vouching for you, claiming that you have a given set of skills.
But if it came down to a person who's been doing stuff for years, vs. someone with a piece of paper that said they could pass a test, I'd go with the person with experience. I've seen way too many certified Oracle DBAs who had no clue what they were doing. (and when their systems started lagging like hell, refused to even look at their database until I "proved" that it wasn't something the application was doing wrong ... of course, we had to show them how to get statistics out of their database, as they had no clue -- they were glorified operators, making sure backups ran, and occassionally adding accounts for new users).
At one point, my work had set me up with an account on BrainBench, as I was required to get third-party certification avery few years in addition to my place of work's annual computer security tests. In a few weeks I had managed to pass over 70 tests, which then meant I got 'job role certificates' in over 2 dozen roles. I even managed to pass tests for software I had never used before (eg, Checkpoint Firewall-1), and some of the tests I really wonder about (why does a test on websever administration ask questions about SMTP headers, but none about HTTP headers?).
So, to confuse matters -- I'm a contractor for the US Federal government. My employeer (the contracting company) wants me to have lots of certifications to make me look impressive as they use my resume to try to get more work for the company. My place of work (government) just wants me to be able to do the job, and couldn't care less if I was certified or not. If I need a new skill, I can get the time from my place of work, and the funding from one of the two to take classes ... but I haven't needed to in 6+ years.
If I want to take classes, just for the hell of it, so long as I can justify it benefitting my work, my employeer will pay out of my 'education benefit' (which right now is halved as we're within 12 months of our contract's end date), but I'd have to either get separate permission from my ATR (the civil servant I report to) if he's willing to cover my time, or if it's okay to take off during the middle of the day (like I did when I was working on my Master's degree)
So, to answer the questions:
- Wilton Cake Decorating, levels 1-3
- They might've helped me land my last job that I had a long list, but none were directly applicable to the job I was hired to perform. (at the time, Oracle, Sun iMS, LDAP, etc.)
- No, but my employeer would if I wanted to.