Certification 101


At the suggestion and example of many of you good people, for example, our friend Wayne, we are hosting a Certification 101 Live Meeting in April.

Certification 101: Getting Started with Microsoft Certification

Audience: IT Professionals, developers who think they might like to get certified, but aren’t sure it’s right for them and/or aren’t sure where to start. People who have never taken a Microsoft exam and work with Microsoft products, or people who will be working with Microsoft in the very near future.

Registration: Join the Microsoft Certified Professional team to learn about the benefits and process of getting certified: choosing a certification path, preparing for your first exam, taking an exam, and what to expect after that. Click to register for:

Here’s what we’ll talk about, probably. Suggestions?

  • what a technical certification* can do for you–what is the goal?

  • if that sounds good, then how to choose a certification track that will help you meet your goal

  • how do you know when you’re ready (expected experience level, time/money involved, etc)

  • preparation options (what you need to know, how to learn it)

  • the testing experience (registering, during the test, what happens when you’re done)

Our hope is to make this less intimidating for new people. Newbies. In related news, Gerry has started a series of posts on getting started in certification for developers. For pwogwammer newbies.

Please send the links around if you have co-workers or user groups who might find this helpful. 

*from Microsoft Corporation, my employer.

Comments (17)

  1. If you need any help, let me know! 🙂

  2. Björn says:

    Hi Trika,

    The links to the event are wrong.



  3. Keenan Stewart says:

    The link to the events are wrong, but here are the correct ones.   Just delete out the the first section of the link, as in (http://blogs.msdn.com/%20).  Here is the proper links:

    April 9, 2008 at 7:30 A.M. Pacific Time


    April 9, 2008 at 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time




  4. Peter Read says:

    Ya know, and I’m probably going to have to forfeit my basket of MS certs for this, but I’ve always wondered whether anyone’s thought of e.g. Redhat, MS and Cisco (and maybe people like Brocade/Symantec?) getting together to create some kind of Hetrogenous Infrastructure Guru cert or something…  

    I mean sure some of the MS stuff acknowledges BIND servers, and some of the Cisco stuff mentions that things other than switches and routers exist, but it seems silly to have so little that covers the spectrum.

  5. dave says:

    Peter – there were tiny moves towards this a while back when several groups started to include CompTIA things as cross-credits (I think MCSE allows A+ & Network+, and Security+ somewhere or other). But that was because CompTIA is supposeidly vendor neutral.

    I think it’s probably best for individuals to craft their own portfolio of industry certs that suits their individual needs, situations and skills. I’d imagine the political and marketing driven discussions would kill any really decent joint cert.

    What? You thought certs were about accrediting knowledge and skills? Ooohhh that’s so sweet.

  6. Peter Read says:

    lol @ dave – it’s unfortunate that you’re probably right.  I think if  Redhat and MS agreed over anything half the galaxy would implode.

  7. hartplaza says:

    In the Netherlands there are a few opportunities where vendor indepent educational organisations offer a certain level of education (college degree) where you can use different types (vendors) of certificates.

    For example, certain technical education (college degree) you can use Linux, Cisco or Microsoft certificates to show you expertise and use it as part of your technical degree.

    So if you pass these education, you don’t only show a certain level of college degree, but also a basic knowledge on Microsoft, Cisco and Linux.

  8. trikah@microsoft.com says:

    Sorry, i thought i fixed it but it keeps adding the blog prefix to the URl. Hopefully those links will work, now. Thanks for letting me know.

  9. Adrian says:


    I passed 642 Today! TS:Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring

    So Happy you wouldn’t believe it!

    ..Sorry had to tell someone…flatmates didn’t understand 😛


  10. Jim K says:


    CONGRATS!  Well done.  I’m still waiting for results from the 647 and 648 betas, but have 642 and a few others on my list of things to accomplish in 2008.

    Take Care


  11. Peter Read says:

    Jim – pretty sure 648 results should be out?  (as it’s hit live…)

  12. Jim K says:


    My bad, I’m waiting on 646 & 647, don’t have the new numbers sorted correctly in my brain yet…

  13. MIke says:

    Hi trika, im a high school student looking into getting my it certification and i was wondering what the job description and conditions that MCDST’s have. it seems to me that they just sit in a cubicle and take calls all day.

    thank you for your time!

  14. Alice says:

    Hi Mike, I just saw your question. Since an answer hasn’t been posted yet, here’s one. 🙂

    MCDST = Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician

    An MCDST-targeted job might include:

    – ‘help desk’ phone-based (and/or remote-access-based) support of desktop computers

    – in-person hands-on support/repair of desktop computers

    – installation of new desktop computers

    or could be a combination of these things.

    Here is a good article about the MCDST certification: http://www.certmag.com/articles/templates/cmag_department_ic.asp?articleid=917&zoneid=48

  15. tsadigov@hotmail.com says:



    I can’t open thease

    is this because of my location?

  16. trikah@microsoft.com says:

    No, it’s not your connection. It’s because we screwed up the links at some point!! Try these

    Cram for Exam 70-536: Microsoft .NET Framework, Application Development Foundation (June 2008)


    Cram for Exam 70-640: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring (May 2008)


    Cram for Exam 70-620: Windows Vista, Configuring (May 2008)


  17. trikah@microsoft.com says:

    PS Mike sorry I never responded;

    ALice you are awesome.