Microsoft Certifications – A Streamlined Process

by Jason - Nov 02, 2016


In my 15+ years of classroom training, and my now-nearly 1.5 years as LearnKey’s Senior Instructor (see the asymmetry in numbers there?), I have obtained many Microsoft certifications. What I always found challenging at times (besides the exams themselves) is having to figure out which test goes with which certification, and which tests I need to take (or can take as electives) in order to obtain a certain certification I have wanted or needed. While I was able to figure things out, it often took, well, more time than I wanted to spend reading a certification road map.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you good news: Microsoft has revamped and streamlined the process and requirements for their certifications. I don’t quite remember how many certification paths there were before, but now there are only five. They are:

Mobility – Focuses on Windows 10 installation and configuration and configuring Windows devices.

Cloud Platform and Infrastructure – Focuses mainly on Windows Server 2012 and Server 2016 (which has exams in beta as I write this), and Microsoft Azure.

Productivity Path – Similar to Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, but swap Microsoft Azure for Office 365.

Data Management and Analytics Path – Focuses on SQL Server, SQL Server, and…you can guess the third one (hint: SQL Server).

App Builder Path – The path for programmers and aspiring programmers, as it covers web development, C#, and mobile apps, just to name a few.

Now, getting down to five certification paths is, well, really nice. But there is more to this streamlining process. Each certification path has a set of two or three exams to earn an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate). The Mobility path has just one MCSA (for Windows 10) while the others have multiple MCSA possibilities.

Once an MCSA is obtained, you will need to take a single elective exam (and most of these paths have multiple choices) to then obtain your MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) or, as is the case with the App Builder path, an MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer). And, here is the big catch: to keep your MCSE/MCSD current, you need to pass one elective exam each year. This helps keep people current with these certifications.

So, to summarize: five certification paths, a handful of exams for each to reach MCSA status, an additional elective exam to move up to MCSE/MCSD status, and then passing an elective exam each year holds your MCSE/MCSD status. Streamlining indeed! And, we at LearnKey are going to be “freshening up” our Microsoft certification offerings over the next several months to best align our courseware with these new paths.

Finally, here is a link to the details of what I’ve discussed in this blog: https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/b/weblog/posts/microsoft-streamlines-technical-certifications.

Next week, I will bring you some news regarding Microsoft certifications and earning badges with certain certifications. Yes, these are badges you can use to broadcast your certifications all over social media. In the meantime, best of luck in your certification studies!


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MTA Career Path Overview

by Jason - Aug 13, 2015


The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification track is a great way for those looking to enter the IT career field to gain knowledge and a Microsoft certification, which will always enhance a resume when looking to obtain a position.

The MTA certifications are in the first rung on the ladder of Microsoft certifications. Once a person has some tangible experience in an IT discipline, the next certification to get is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certification (MCSA). From there, the next level of expertise and prestige in Microsoft certifications is that of a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

So what does this pyramid of certifications look like?  Here is an example track for one trying to become a Windows Server administrator, taken directly from Microsoft’s web site:

MTA Overview

We currently have five MTA courses in our library and plan on releasing a sixth course by the end of the year.

Exam 98-361: Software Development Fundamentals

Exam 98-364: Database Fundamentals

Exam 98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

Exam 98-366: Networking Fundamentals

Exam 98-367: Security Fundamentals

If you think a career in the IT field is for you and the MTA certifications are your path, give us a call or visit our website and we will get your started.


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New Year, New You – Certification Maps for 2011

by Allacyn - Jan 28, 2011


certification_tracks

If you are like me, you profess every New Year that you are going to make changes… Well it is almost February, and I haven’t even started to make any changes yet. When you decide to make these changes you usually do not take into consideration that figuring out what steps to take next can be so overwhelming, you quit before you start. For example, every year somewhere on my list is to be healthier (I am sure like many of you), but more often than not, sifting through all of the diets and exercise programs out there overwhelms me, and I just continue with my same routine.

If this sounds like you and certification is on your list this year, we have something to help you get started. Read more »


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Most in Demand IT Certifications for 2011

by Allacyn - Jan 10, 2011


The Robert Half Technology Salary Guide 2011 has found the most in demand job titles, skill sets, and certifications for the coming year. If you are looking to change careers or add to your skill set you need to read this to make sure you are looking at career paths that are in demand.

There will be high demand for application developers, .NET developers, systems administrators, database administrators and desktop support professionals.

In demand skill sets for the coming year include; programming , business mindset, technological proficiency, security, networking, infrastructure support, and electronic medical records.

Certifications in demand- Cisco certifications (Cisco Certified Network Associate), Linux (Red Hat Certified Engineer), Microsoft certifications (Microsoft Certified Applications Developer, Microsoft Certified IT Professional, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Security certifications (Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Check Point Certified Security Administrator, and Check Point Certified Security Expert).

Check out the training LearnKey has available to help you get certified!


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70-680

by Nathan Darling - Jan 07, 2010


The numbers above may seem cryptic to some, but those familiar with Microsoft’s Certification Exams will likely recognize the format.  This particular combination of numbers refers to the most recent Windows 7 exam. : TS Windows 7 Configuring.  This is the nuts and bolts.  How to install, deploy, and upgrade to Windows 7; how to use existing hardware to connect, maintain, recover and functionally use Windows 7 in a network environment, and how to check for compatibility in place upgraded hardware is required.  Useful information for anyone from a home network enthusiast, to a network admin, the certification itself and skills neccessary to use Windows 7 effectively are geared specifically towards IT professionals.

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