In modern days, Informational Technology (or IT for short) is so widespread and in-demand that it should be of no surprise that there are a lot of certification programs that help professionals to validate their skills. And since Microsoft is one of the prime IT companies both in the field of products and jobs, it is only reasonable that it will compose its own certification program that is oriented on the specialists that use Microsoft’s software.
To start off, Microsoft certifications are professional credentials demonstrating the knowledge and expertise of an individual in Microsoft respective technologies. The path to Microsoft certificates is broken down into stages to demonstrate the level of expertise for the certificate holder. There are:
1. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)- It is a good start if you want to get a higher qualification in Productivity. This level means that you have skills in Microsoft Office programs and can work well with their tools.
2. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) – It means that you have an entry-level knowledge of a wide spectrum of technical knowledge which will allow you to proceed with more complex and specialized levels.
3. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) – It is the first specialized level. It helps you to learn more about the practical application of your knowledge and is required for advanced certifications, unlike MTA.
4. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) – It is a professional level that certifies you as an expert that can apply his technological knowledge in a category of your choosing.
5. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) – It is the one that is reserved for App Builder category. This level means that you are fully knowledgeable in that field and that you are qualified enough to be an app developer on a Microsoft software.
Majority of the candidates pass the Microsoft exams using help from sites like Prepaway in order to study properly and save time using dumps, training videos and practice questions.
Apparently, before 31st of March 2017, there was another rank called Microsoft Specialist which was outside that tier system. In fact, it seems that there have been a lot of changes after 31st of March, since before that there were only five categories: Server, Applications, Desktop, Database and Developer which were reorganized since then.
So, now with that out of the way, let’s start out with the overview of categories. First is Mobility which is a competency that focuses on people who want to work for and stand out in big companies with their mobility management solutions. Required programs for that category are Microsoft Intune, Azure Activity Directory, Azure Rights Management, System Center Configuration Manager and Windows System Center. It currently has 3 levels of expertise: MTA, MCSA and MCSE.
The second one is loud. That category specializes in working with Cloud Development software, so it is excellent for those who will with cloud services that are run on Microsoft soft in the future work. Required programs for that competency are Windows Server Virtualization and Microsoft Azure and it has 3 levels of expertise, which are the same as in Mobility category: MTA, MCSA and MSCE.
Next category productivity. It focuses on those who wish to utilize Microsoft Office and its components to its full potential, and integrate them with cloud services and new solutions. Key programs for that category will be Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business (named as found on Microsoft.com). And for that category, there are actually 4 levels of expertise: MOS, MTA, MCSA and MCSE.
Following is the Data competency, or the Data Management and Analytics. As you can gather from its name, it mainly focuses on Data Management and expertise in such aspects of Microsoft Business Intelligence solutions, which will help those who chose that category to work with, deploy and implement those solutions. There is only one required key program for that certification that is SQL Server and there are 3 level of expertise: MTA, MCSA and MCSE.
And last but not the least is Business Applications. It specializes on people that work with and shows expertise in Microsoft Dynamics technology. So it should come with no surprise that the key technologies here are Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SQL Server. And it has only two level of expertise: MCSA and MCSE, so it provides a steeper learning curve to attain that certification.
So, it was a brief overview of the Microsoft certification system, its categories and different levels. If you want to know a full list of such certifications, you can find it at an official Microsoft website. Overall, Microsoft certification is a system that helps both IT professionals and developers not only gauge their skills and maybe learn something new, but also to validate their expertise with one of the premier IT companies of modern days.
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