Microsoft is best known for its Windows operating systems and Office software. But the company has a much broader product portfolio that includes online services (Bing, MSN, advertising), gaming (Xbox 360), hardware (tablets, PCs, keyboards and mice) and more. The company also has a sizable certification program that turns out qualified administrators and technicians to support its system and application products.
Achieving IT certifications through the Microsoft Certification Program shows a person’s competence in a specific IT role, and it can result in all kinds of work-related and personal benefits. For example, studies show that IT certifications increase the chances of landing a job (or getting a promotion), and over 80 percent of hiring managers report IT certifications are medium to high priority in hiring decisions.
Certifications within the Microsoft Certification Program include the following credentials:
- Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
- Microsoft Solutions Developer (MCSD)
- Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
After you pass your first qualifying Microsoft certification exam, you are deemed a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). MCP status provides access to a benefits and exams dashboard, with certificates and transcripts, downloadable certification logos, promotional offers and lots more. You also get the MCP designation on your Microsoft transcript. It’s important to understand that only the MCSA, MCSD and MCSE qualify as MCP certifications. Neither MTA nor MOS certifications qualify for MCP status, and none of those exams are prerequisites for MCSA, MCSE or MCSD certifications.