As a whole, information technology professionals learned a lot during the recent economic downturn. One important lesson: Some certifications are recession-proof.
Frank Han, vice president of Robert Half Technology, explains that certifications and training are a worthwhile investment for IT professionals, even during slow times. "Especially when you take a look at the shifting economy, the people who are looking for work, a certification could be the potential advantage over other candidates that are in competition for the job," Han told Dice.com. "It could give you the extra edge, all things being equal."
Even has the economy recovers, Han's point holds true. The value of Microsoft certs withstands the test of time--even during turmoil--thanks to the vendor's nearly 90 percent share of the market.
Among the most practical of the esteemed vendor certs is the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) accreditation.
Who can benefit from MCDST training?
Education information from Microsoft indicates that the MCDST credential validates skills needed to troubleshoot Windows desktop environments.
Professionals in some of today's most in-demand support positions can benefit from earning this accreditation, as it shows skills needed to make a difference in a variety of job roles:
- Help desk technicians
- Computer support specialists
- Customer support representatives
- Technical support specialists
- Technical support representatives
Microsoft also notes that desktop support certification is most relevant for pros with customer-service skills, who can "can educate users and solve hardware or software issues on the Windows client system." Additionally, vendor information suggests there are no plans to retire the MCDST, so it will likely continue to hold its value as long as Windows dominates the marketplace.
The best candidates for MCDST certification, according to information from the vendor, have six months to a year of experience in a support role.
MCDST upgrade path makes advancing simple
After a professional obtains the MCDST endorsement, he or she is likely to find many opportunities for advancement. Microsoft training information indicates one can earn the more advanced Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist or Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional certs with just one exam after obtaining MSDST status.
Making MCDST training pay
Numbers show that certification and training make a big difference in the job market. Statistics from vendor Microsoft indicate that 63 percent of hiring professionals are confident that "certified individuals are more productive on the job."
Not only can Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician training make it easier to get a job or snag a promotion, it might lead to more money. Salary information reflected in the 2011 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary report shows that the right certs can easily translate into a bigger paycheck.
Though the survey showed that workers in end-user help desk and support roles earned annual earnings of approximately $52,650, professionals with MCDST training took home significantly more each year--about $60,360.