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Certification Series [Part 2- Microsoft]

11 May, 2007 By: Eric Stavola, Witt Company imageSource

Certification Series [Part 2- Microsoft]

We have learned that certification is critical in establishing yourself as a
credible and knowledgeable value added service provided in our industry. Last
month, we took a specific look at vender neutral certifications by Comptia and
AIIM. This month I wanted to take a look at vender specific certifications
provided by Microsoft.

As one would imagine by the vast array of services, software, and products
Microsoft provides, they have literally hundreds of tests to become certified
in. As a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) you will establish a baseline of
knowledge and specific skills according to your certification that you can
provide. The following is an overview of the certifications that they currently
provide and which you can review online on Microsoft’s website, along with
additional information:

MCTS: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications
enable professionals to target specific technologies and to distinguish
themselves by demonstrating in-depth knowledge and expertise in the various
Microsoft specialized technologies.

MCITP:   The  Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
certifications  demonstrate comprehensive skills in planning, deploying,
supporting, maintaining, and optimizing IT infrastructures.

MCPD: The Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)
credentials distinguish you as an expert Windows Application Developer, Web
Application Developer, or Enterprise Applications Developer. These credentials
demonstrate that you can build rich applications that target a variety of
platforms using Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. Microsoft Certified Architect
Program: Microsoft Certified Architect Program targets practicing solutions
architects and infrastructure architects who successfully apply frameworks and
methodologies to create an architecture through the entire IT life cycle.

MCDST: Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technicians (MCDSTs) have
the technical and customer service skills to troubleshoot hardware and software
operation issues in Microsoft Windows environments.

MCLC: The Microsoft Certified Learning Consultant (MCLC) credential
recognizes MCTs whose job roles have grown to include frequent consultative
engagements with customers. These MCTs are experts in designing and delivering
customized learning solutions.

MCSA: Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators (MCSAs) administer
network and systems environments based on the Microsoft Windows operating
systems. Specializations include MCSA, Messaging and MCSA, Security.

MCSE: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSEs) design and
implement an infrastructure solution that is based on the Windows operating
system and Microsoft Windows Server System software. Specializations include
MCSE: Messaging and MCSE: Security.

MCDBA: Microsoft Certified Database Administrators (MCDBAs) design,
implement, and administer Microsoft SQL Server databases.

MCT:  Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) are qualified instructors
who are certified by Microsoft to deliver Microsoft training courses to IT
professionals and developers.

MCAD: Microsoft Certified Application Developers (MCADs) use Microsoft
technologies to develop and maintain department-level applications, components,
Web or desktop clients, or back-end data services.

MCSD: Microsoft Certified Solution Developers (MCSDs) design and
develop leading-edge business solutions with Microsoft development tools,
technologies, platforms, and the Microsoft Windows architecture.

MOUS: (Office Specialists) are globally recognized for demonstrating
advanced skills with Microsoft desktop software.

Now before you go out and think of taking these tests, some are not just “one
and you are done.” Take MCSE for example. In order to become an MCSE you have to
take (6) Core Exams and (1) Elective. Making it a grand total of 7 tests to
become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. In our demanding field where we
look for an edge, a Microsoft certified Pro on staff establishies credibility.

> Be Aware of the “Paper Cert”

It is well known throughout “Geek World” that there are some “paper certs”
out there in corporate America. The term “paper cert” stands for individuals who
have limited knowledge/experience, yet, were able to download a cheat sheet off
the Internet and pass a test based on limited to no knowledge. The individual
simply memorized a cheat sheet. Thus, as a dealer owner, please be aware of
hiring individuals based on certification only.  You cannot fake a conversation;
have a knowledgeable “geek” talk with your prospective employee to make sure
they can “wiggle antennas.” Being able to communicate the information is just as
critical as being able to interpret the information. As our products and
services continue to branch out into all aspects of business, it is critical to
stay on top of the marketplace by hiring, developing and maintaining certified
individuals to take you dealership to the next level. Next month, I will take a
detailed look at some other miscellaneous vender and non-vender certifications
to conclude our three part series on the certification process.

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