Thanks to recent marketing initiatives from Microsoft, many of the stereotypes about companies that use ASP.NET have started to change. Typically, larger companies like banks and law firms leveraged Microsoft solutions across the enterprise under relatively expensive site licenses. Meanwhile, startup technology companies relied on the open-source "LAMP stack" because of its low cost. After Microsoft launched its BizSpark initiative to grant small businesses low-cost access to its software, ASP.NET enjoyed a resurgence of interest among coders and employers alike.
Microsoft certifications designed to highlight the skills of ASP.NET programmers:
- Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Web Applications). This entry-level Microsoft certification assures hiring managers that a candidate knows how to build Web-based applications hosted on Internet Information Server.
- Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD: Web Developer 4). Building on knowledge of .NET frameworks, an MCPD Web Developer understands how to create and deploy complex Web applications using Microsoft Visual Studio.
According to IT industry analysts at Foote Partners, a Web developer with a Microsoft ASP.NET certification can earn as much as 6 percent more per year than a peer with no certification. Many of the companies that rely on Microsoft's Internet Information Server use certifications to streamline compliance with guidelines set by government organizations and industry associations.
Ideal Candidates for ASP.NET Courses
ASP.NET training offers the most benefits to two kinds of IT professionals: early-stage Web developers who want to integrate dynamic data into their pages, and experienced programmers who want to integrate C# or Visual Basic code into live websites. Although most Web developers learn their craft by experimenting with code, Microsoft Certified Trainer Wesley Bakker notes that formal ASP.NET training can shorten the process of learning best practices for dealing with databases, site security, and other routine challenges for ASP developers.
ASP.NET courses also enable professionals to build the tactical skills necessary to move into Web development from other roles within larger companies. Foote Partners' annual IT salary surveys show that Web developers with deep subject matter knowledge tend to earn higher salaries than coders who only know how to build websites.
Goals of ASP.NET Training
Beginner-level ASP.NET courses help students prepare for the MCTS certification exam, covering subjects such as:
- Configuring Web forms.
- Validating user input.
- Integrating AJAX and client-side scripting into dynamic websites.
- Managing website security and access permissions.
Advanced ASP.NET training helps web developers prepare for the MCPD certification by focusing on architecture and user experience skills, including:
- Designing application architecture.
- Anticipating cross-browser and form factor compatibility issues.
- Building defenses against external attacks.
- Planning for routine and emergency debugging.
- Anticipating scalability needs.
ASP.NET courses also help students leverage other elements of the Visual Studio ecosystem, such as the Visual Basic and C programming languages.
Styles of ASP.NET Courses
Students can readily find ASP.NET training programs that match their learning styles and their career goals. Although many IT degree programs offer opportunities for Visual Studio training, developers often enroll in standalone ASP.NET courses. Classroom-based courses appeal to students who prefer to collaborate with teams in person, while online classes offer flexibility for students trying to schedule their professional development around work and family commitments. Regardless of the style of course, formal ASP.NET training offers students a platform on which they can build the kind of code portfolio employers want to see from prospective developers.