Sep
25

It's so great that you're excited to either start or continue your journey as an Information Technology Professional. No matter where you are in the process, earning one or more Microsoft Certifications can prove to be an advantage. Microsoft Certifications are some of the best tools acquired by in-demand professionals.

Being certified in a Microsoft program or technology demonstrates to others in your field that you've mastered the skills required for your chosen profession. Microsoft has been a technological innovator for over four decades and have offered certifications for almost as long.

From the beginning, Microsoft has ensured that their certifications properly prepare technicians for the current state of technology, setting the example for other companies. With each generation of new software, Microsoft pushes the boundaries of technology and raises the bar on providing quality training for Certified Professionals. As a result, they're positioned to support the software of the future.

Certification Classifications

Microsoft continues this great tradition with its current certification paths. There are now two major certification classifications with both of them maintaining their own, speciality certifications; the classic Non-Role Based Certification path and the newer Role Based Certification path.

The most common Microsoft Certification classification is the non-role based MCSE/MCSE path. This group of certifications have been around since before the days of Windows NT. Microsoft keeps the courses updated to match the current level of technology available.

The four levels of certifications within this classification are:

  • MTA
  • MCSA
  • MCSD
  • MCSE/MCSD

Each one builds upon the previous level. We'll explore those details later.

The newest classification is role based. With the release of this classification, Microsoft remains at the forefront of what IT Professionals need to know to meet employer demand. Many businesses are moving from more traditional hardware and software setups to the newest Cloud based setups. The three levels of certifications within this classification are:

  • Fundamentals
  • MCA
  • MCE

Just like the non-role based certifications, these also build upon the previous levels.

Which Path is Best For You?

That answer depends on you. Do you enjoy working with more established styles of systems and networks? Or is working with everything through the Cloud more rewarding for you?

The great thing about Microsoft is that there's no bad choice. There are many outstanding options to choose from, as well as training available from multiple sources. Here at INE, you can gain the education you need for every one of the Microsoft Certifications. Our courses are designed to get you ready to pass your examination.

Where Can You Start?

Earning a Microsoft Certification is no small task and knowing which path to follow can be daunting. However, each certification comes with a logical sequence of milestones. As an example, we'll look at an overview of a more established certification classification path: MCSE.

There are five primary Microsoft Certification of Competency areas:

  • Core Infrastructure
  • Productivity
  • Data Management & Analytics
  • App Builder
  • Business Applications

Each of these are a part of the defined path towards achieving your desired MCSE/MCSD.

At the beginning of your Microsoft Certification path, you start with the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA). These exams allow you to become a generalist in your field of choice. There are currently 14 MTA options, giving you a wide variety of areas to study. You can learn how to work within numerous fields in which Microsoft's inventive technology impacts our lives.

The next level is Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA). There are currently 10 MCSA certifications and you will have to take two or more of these exams as you work towards earning your Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), which is the final level. MCSE has four exams, allowing you to master your area of expertise. There is also the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer level (MCSD). This is the highest level for those on the Application Builders path.

Both the MCSE and the MCSD will demonstrate that you are a well-trained professional ready to take on the tasks necessary to support our day-to-day lives within this high-tech world.

Certifications

Now we'll look at the newest certification classification path, Microsoft Role Based Certifications. There are four Role Based groups:

  • Applications & Infrastructure
  • Data & AI
  • Modern Workplace
  • Business Applications

Each group has its own certification path.

The Fundamental Certifications are great for those just starting their IT journey or looking for a career change. There are three certifications at this level. The Azure Fundamentals Certification is noteworthy as it's the first step for two of the main Role Based groups.

After gaining a couple years of experience with your Fundamental Certification, you can then pursue an Associate Certification. Depending on which path you're on, Microsoft has three to five certifications designed to expand your knowledge and improve your IT skills.

The final step on the journey through Role Based Certifications is the Expert Certification. After you have completed your Fundamental and Associate Certifications and have gained between two to five years of experience working with these certifications, you will be recognized as one of the best in your field.

Proof of Expertise

As a Technology Professional in this ever-changing world, earning your certifications, like those from Microsoft, will ensure that you're ready for anything. By staying on the cutting edge of technology, you can continue to build the career you want and be part of the new developments that shape our way of life.

At INE, we value your time, respect your goals, and celebrate your achievements. That's why we offer courses for a variety of certifications in an on-demand, self-paced format. You can learn about the topics that matter most to you, study on your own time, and work in a way that's best for your skills and plans. We're with you every step of the way.

 

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Melissa Hallock
About Melissa Hallock

Melissa Hallock has been in the IT field since 1996 when she first began working with hardware. While working on a Bachelor of Applied Science in Networking, she landed her first IT job in a Forbe's top 100 growing companies as a LAN Technician and worked with all things Microsoft. Later she migrated to Linux and Mac operating systems. Having always worked in an education setting as a tech, she decided to start teaching and began teaching at the second largest private college in Michigan. She quickly became the most sought out instructor and decided to pursue a Master of Information Systems. After she completed her masters', she expanded her teaching to also cover several programming courses. Melissa also has several certifications including the A+, Networking +, Cloud +, MCTS, and MCP.

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