Founded nearly forty years ago, Microsoft continues to be one of the most relevant software companies in the world. Its products and services span practically every major industry category, consistently generating billions of dollars in revenue every fiscal quarter. From cloud services to desktop computing, to consumer electronics and office productivity, Microsoft is a dominant force in the software industry.
Large companies with legacy Web and Windows apps built on the .NET framework seek developers with MCAD-level coding skills.
Although Microsoft hasn’t released a major upgrade to its SQL Server since 2008, MCDBA training still plays a vital role for IT professionals in many enterprises.
Microsoft’s support certification, the MCDST credential, validates the skills individuals in computer support and repair needed to troubleshoot Windows desktop environments.
Microsoft Certified IT Professional credentials allow IT pros to set themselves apart from the crowd by validating and highlighting advanced skills that directly relate to real-world job functions.
Microsoft Certified Professional Developer certification qualifies programmers for roles in large companies that rely on Redmond’s desktop and cloud-based technology.
Both seasoned IT pros and tech newbies are likely to find value in Microsoft server certification. Explore how the MCSA can add value and exhibit skills relevant in today’s marketplace.
One of Microsoft’s older certifications, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer credentials can still mark a programmer as among the coding elite.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification continues to be one of most sought-after certifications in the IT industry. Find out why.
Microsoft certified professionals with training and presentation skills can earn one of the most in-demand certifications in the IT community.
The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification is a product-focused certification that is intended to demonstrate proficiency with specific Microsoft technologies such as the Windows operating system, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, or Microsoft Visual Studio.
Office workers around the world make use of Microsoft productivity applications on a daily basis. MOS certification can help these professionals or anyone get the most out of Word, Excel and other suite components.
Microsoft’s training and certification program, Microsoft Learning, offers a number of IT industry-recognized certifications that cover its core products.
Why Should You Become Microsoft Certified?
One key finding from the 2012 Microsoft Certification Program Satisfaction Study says it best:
“91 percent of hiring managers consider certification as part of their hiring criteria.”
Put simply, earning a Microsoft certification is one of the best ways to show a potential employer that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to work with a specific MS product or service. Microsoft certification can help you to get hired, and re-certifying when required can help you to maintain your value to an organization.
Earning a Microsoft cert also grants access to the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) site, which offers additional certification and career planning resources, as well as access to the online MCP community.
Additionally, certain Microsoft certifications, once earned, can be used to apply for US college credit, through the American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service.
Microsoft Certification Listings
Here’s a breakdown of the Microsoft Learning certification options. Click one of the links below to view more information about the selected certification.
The MCSE is Microsoft Learning’s premier certification. The MCSE is an expert-level designation for candidates who have several years of professional experience working on IT/IS solutions. The MCSE cert can be earned in one (or more) of the following specializations:
- Server Infrastructure
- Desktop Infrastructure
- Private Cloud
- Data Platform
- Business Intelligence (BI)
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
The MTA designation is the entry-level cert for people who are just starting out in IT/IS, or who want to augment their current non-technical job role, with related technology knowledge. The MTA cert has the following tracks:
- IT Infrastructure
The MCSA is for candidates with experience designing and building IT/IS solutions. The MCSA is a mid-level professional certification, more advanced than the MTA, and less advanced than the expert-level MCSE. The MCSA offers the following tracks:
- Windows Server 2012
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows 8
- Windows 7
- SQL Server 2012
- SQL Server 2008
- Office 365
The MCSD is Microsoft’s software development certification. It is suitable for developers with industry experience creating applications using Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2013 development suite. MCSD tracks are as follows:
- Windows Store Apps
- Web Applications
- SharePoint Applications
- Application Lifecycle Management
The MOS enables candidates to prove their expertise with one or more applications in the Microsoft Office suite. The MOS program has two additional advanced tiers: MOS Expert and MOS Master. The MOS can currently be earned on the following MS Office suites:
- Microsoft Office 2013
- Microsoft Office 2010
- Microsoft Office 2007
The MCT designation is for experts who want to become official Microsoft trainers. Candidates must have a qualifying Microsoft-related cert before initiating the MCT application process.
Microsoft Specialist certifications are for IT/IS pros with expertise in a particular Microsoft technology. Microsoft Specialist certs are available for a number of products, and only require passing a single exam to attain.
Microsoft boot camps
Microsoft boot camps are designed for those who want to prepare for certification exams quickly. These intensive training programs feature targeted lectures and fast-paced review sessions on the key exam materials.
Microsoft boot camps span the wide variety of certifications provided by this vendor, with credentials targeting specific technologies. Boot camp topics range from .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications to Microsoft Office 2010. A few of the MCITP boot camp options are listed here:
- Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010: Offers skills to work as a lead engineer for messaging solutions within an enterprise organization, using Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.
- Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician: Covers the Microsoft domains of knowledge for the certification exams. Two exams are required to earn the certification, and both are offered during the boot camp.
- Windows Server and Enterprise Administrator Combo: Focused on the Server 2008 Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator certifications. Also includes preparation for the MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration certification.
Boot camp courses are jam-packed with information and often offer simulated exams for practice; they may also provide free vouchers to re-take the exams if needed. Combination boot camps can lead to time and tuition savings by merging the coursework for multiple boot camps.
“Skill Development | College & Career Readiness | Microsoft,” Microsoft, December 13, 2014, https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/certification-benefits.aspx