The ever-changing landscape of technology forces IT professionals to stay ahead of the curve. Information technology programs offer a solid foundation of knowledge but getting a supplementing education with a relevant certificate provides several benefits. It validates your knowledge and skills in a specific area. It proves to employers that you have the necessary skills and abilities to perform tasks with a vendor’s software.
Microsoft has a large portfolio of software programs and each of these requires a specific skill set and knowledge for basic, intermediate and advanced operation. Sometimes, information technology professionals design Microsoft’s programs for development. Microsoft offers certification programs at the following levels:
- IT Professionals
- Business Management Professionals
Getting a certificate offers recognition, skills validation and proof that you are current in your IT knowledge. Employers also increasingly prefer working with individuals with basic background software at a minimum. Having a certification leverages your viability as a future employee.
What Microsoft Certification to Get?
Microsoft offers certification to a wide range of skill levels but most of the time they require prior hands-on experience of knowledge. Select the certification that will complement your knowledge and existing education.
Your chosen career path, employment and education goal will steer your decision on what Microsoft certification to train. If you’re in administration, Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is the most ideal certification. This certification validates your knowledge and skills in Microsoft Office Suite applications such as Excel, Word, Outlook and Access. Below are some of the lists of certifications available from Microsoft:
- Microsoft Certified Master (MCM)
- Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)
- Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
- Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
- Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
How to Begin?
Start by selecting the appropriate certification track. This will depend on your current experience, skills and knowledge. It also depends on your career goals. An entry-level faculty position will match with the MTA certification. After selecting the appropriate certification track, ensure that you have the appropriate level of knowledge to begin with. Meeting the prerequisites increases the changes of passing the exams. A training course can be selected to gain the required knowledge to pass the examinations. Professionals, who are well versed in specified Microsoft applications, teach Microsoft training and knowledge programs. You can also review Microsoft’s supplemental materials in conjunction with a training course.
The validity of your certification depends on how long Microsoft supports a specific technology. The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) does not expire at the moment but several certifications have time limits. If your certification has expired, you can recertify to keep your knowledge, skills and certification updated. Furthermore, some certification requires that you recertify at certain intervals. This makes sure that you are up to date with the changing IT environment.
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