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Microsoft Certification
Answers to Questions you were too afraid to ask.

What is the Microsoft Certification Program?
Microsoft products are everywhere, they run almost everything related to computers. Name a task and you’ll find a Microsoft product for it. So configuring, maintaining and creating systems based on Microsoft products requires an in-depth knowledge of the product and the environment in which they run. That’s where the certification course comes into the picture. Microsoft certifies individuals based on their thorough knowledge of the product in real case scenarios involving configuration, maintenance and troubleshooting. This is also a way of ensuring that the guys building the Microsoft systems are REALLY GOOD.

More Q & A

Q. Will it guarantee me a job?
A: No, but your thorough knowledge will. The certification gives you a platform from which you can launch yourself. The opportunities are very good if you are a graduate.

Q. How much can I expect to earn?
A: You can expect 4-6k per month in the beginning, which can increase to 10-15k within a year. In the computer industry, experience is more important than Certification.

Q. Is certification a passport to the US?
A: YES and NO. Microsoft Certified Professionals are in demand all over, but there is a lot of competition and it’s really tough. Last year there were 35000 MCSE professionals, now there are 1,00,000 plus.

Q. How long does it take?
A: It depends on your aptitude, and your willingness. It should take you a month to complete a paper.

Q. How long is it valid?
A: That’s the bad news. With newer versions of Microsoft products coming everyday, your certification lasts as long as their product version. If you got your certification for SQL server 6.0 you will have to give an Upgrade Examination for SQL server 7.0.

Q. Who can offer courses for Microsoft Certification?
A: All institutes who wish to offer Microsoft certification courses have to comply with its international standards of education. You can receive your Certification only from Certified Technical Education Centers (CTEC). NIIT is the leading Certified Technical Education Center in India.

Course Content
Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) – 4 papers; 3 compulsory and 1 elective. MCSD is the premier certification for IT professionals who design and develop custom business solutions using Microsoft products. You can picture a scenario where you will be doing software projects in Microsoft development platforms like VB,VC++.

MC Systems Engineer (MCSE) – 6 papers; 4 compulsory and 2 Electives. This course covers the networking aspect of computers. In a typical job scenario you will be working as a Windows NT Server administrator. You will be in charge of rights and security of domains and will be busy making sure everyone can access the net and that the printer is working.

MC Database Administrator – 5 papers; 4 compulsory and 1 elective. This course is for handling Microsoft databases. You will be working as a database administrator, and designing the structure of the database.

Q.What after MCSE?
A: Career prospects after the certifications are tremendous. The bottom line: “Microsoft certification is one of the only ways for non-engineering background professionals to make it in the IT industry. Diplomas from the biggest institutions in India are not recognized abroad.“ Every Microsoft Certification comes signed by Bill Gates which is as valid as currency,“ says Parag Chaaper, who recently finished his MCSE exams. “The papers are reasonably priced compared to Oracle/ Java Certification”.

So now the big question – should you do this??
We give it the THUMBS UP. If you have a passion for application development or networking or database management, a certification from Microsoft will go a long way. But be serious, as the course and the exams are expensive. It is a tough act but if you have a grip on the basics and put in hard work you can definitely make the grade.

Links to mock papers and simulation tests on the Net.
www.mcseguide.com/
cramsession.com/
certsites.com/
mcsedirectory.com/tests.htm

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