Microsoft has been making information more and more readily available concerning some of their new upcoming releases. Its very exciting times to say the least.
I read an interesting post today on Trika’s Microsoft Learning Blog regarding Microsoft exam changes. To give you an overview, Microsoft may update the content of their exams after their initial release; however the exam objectives themselves do not change. Microsoft does not alert customers regarding exam changes because any updated exam items continue to map to the course objectives. Any exam updates should not change how you study and prepare for the exams.
According to Microsoft, exams are updated for the following reasons:
- When the underlying technology has a significant update that makes questions within the exam incorrect or irrelevant
- When a question’s performance indicates that the question is not a fair/good representation of your skills and should not be on the test
- When we feel an exam’s integrity may have been compromised.
- We may update an exam to implement a new testing technology (i.e. simulations).
As a Microsoft Certified Partner, all QuickCert Microsoft Certification Training Courses are developed using the official Microsoft course curriculum. In developing our course content, QuickCert has access to the published objective domains, learning kits and prep guides, but not the actual exam questions. This is all keeping with ANSI and ISO accreditation standards. QuickCert courses are taught by MCT’s that are subject matter experts in their particular technology.
My take Trika’s post? If you have the recommended experience in the technology and have prepared for the exam using materials developed with the official course curriculum, any potential exam changes will not pose a problem for you. If you memorize questions and expect that you will pass your certification exams, you just may be out of luck.
Last week at the Tech Ed 2008 Conference in Orlando, FL, all the buzz was about Microsoft’s new SharePoint Server 2007. In short, SharePoint Server 2007 is an enterprise management tool organizations can use to facilitate collaboration, content management, implement business processes, and supply access to information that is essential to organizational goals and processes. One of the great features is that companies can use it to deploy behind the firewall Social Media platforms to facilitate communications and collaboration.
At the date of this publishing, only approximately 6,400 professionals have achieved the MCTS SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring certification to date. Yesterday, I read an article in Redmond Developer reporting a serious shortfall of talented SharePoint developers. My husband, an IT recruiter for a large, national staffing firm agrees with that assessment.
Want to brush up your skills with one of the hottest new technologies and make yourself more employable? Get certified in SharePoint Server 2007! It’s a single exam certification for achieving your MCTS.
The exams for Microsoft’s popular MCSE and MCSA for Windows Server 2003 certifications are not set to expire any time soon, and you have plenty of time to earn these valuable certifications. However, for Windows Server 2008, the MCSE and MCSA certifications will be replaced with Microsoft’s next generation MCITP Certification.
On Windows Server 2008, the equivalent certification to an MCSE 2003 Certification is the MCITP Enterprise Administrator 2008 Certification, which requires five exams as a stand-alone certification. The equivalent certification to an MCSA on Server 2003 is the MCITP Server Administrator 2008 Certification, which requires three exams as a stand-alone certification.
The MCSE and MCSA Certifications are still good certification choices as many large companies have yet to convert to the new Windows Server 2008 technologies, and HR Departments and hiring managers are very familiar with these certifications. These certifications in and of themselves will never expire, even when the exams are eventually phased out.
For those already holding their MCSA or MCSE 2003 or considering getting this certification, keep in mind that there is a simple upgrade path to the MCITP on Server 2008 that consists of a single exam. For MCSE’s this is exam 70-649 and for MCSA’s this is exam 70-648. This may be the simplest route and by broadening you skill set, will make you marketable to even more companies.
CompTIA has recently extended their reach of vendor-neutral certifications into the printing and document imaging industry with the new PDI+ certification, a certification for entry level printing and document imaging technicians. In this way, PDI+ is comparable to the A+ certification, though it is specifically for computer peripherals.
PDI+ certification training confirms a technician’s ability to install, connect, maintain, repair and support a variety of devices in printing and document imaging technologies, including printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines.
Welcome to alphabet soup! In our latest installment, Microsoft has updated the MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certification to MCAS (Microsoft Certified Application Specialist) for Office 2007 products. The acronym change itself is not the only change to the actual certification.
MOS Certification for Office 2000, XP and 2003 contained three levels: Specialist, Expert and Master. In order to attain MOS Specialist Certification, you need to pass any one of the core exams (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook or PowerPoint). In order to attain the Expert level, candidates had to pass one of the expert level exams for Word or Excel. To attain Master level MOS certification, candidates had to pass three exams- the two core Master exams for Word and Excel plus one specialist exam for either Access, Outlook or PowerPoint.
The new MCAS Certification is streamlined- there is only one certification level for each of the exams for Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, PowerPoint and Vista. However, candidates can earn multiple MCAS certifications on the different office products.
People holding the MCAS and MOS credentials demonstrate advanced level of skill and proficiency on Microsoft Office Products, making this an ideal certification for business professionals.
According to a recent survey of more than 3500 IT managers by CompTIA, mobile and RF technology is the skill that is expected to increase in demand the most in the next five years, particularly in the healthcare and education industries.
Other skills expected to grow in importance in the next five years include Web-based technologies (such as Web 2.0, Service Oriented Architecture, Software-as-a-Service, Rich Internet Applications, and AJAX) and specific programming languages.
What does this mean for IT professionals? To stay ahead, and ensure a viable career, consider specializing in the skills expected to grow–mobile wireless technology, web-based technologies or specific programming languages. Good certifications to consider include CompTIA’s Network+, CWNA, and Microsoft MCTS and MCPD.