Monday, Apr 07 2014

Microsoft Certifications – Which Ones are Right for You?

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For some reason, the IT industry places a different emphasis on certifications than other industries. Perchance it’s because there are so many “self-taught” IT professionals who understand the subject matter but never set foot in college. Or perhaps it’s because IT is such a wide vertical that even a degree can’t teach you everything. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that certifications provide one of the best measures of demonstrating subject matter expertise.

With that in mind, your career path will help determine which certifications are right for you. Here are some of Microsoft’s certifications to help advance your career:

MTA, or Microsoft Technology Associate, is the most basic MS certification, and usually entails an entry-level (if even that) understanding of the subject matter. The MTA is presently offered in Server, Desktop, Database, and Developer categories. The MTA by itself will not likely land you a job, but it may help familiarize you if you’re new to the field.

MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is a more common “entry-level” certificate and proves a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This is widely accepted as the standard in beginning an IT career, and is offered in servers (Windows Servers 2008 and 2012) desktop, (Windows 7 and 8) applications and database roles.

After the MCSA is the MCSE (or MCSD for developers) which is a notch above, and is the pinnacle of Microsoft’s certifications since the retirement of MCM/MCSM/MCA programs at the first of the year. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification is for the elite, and requires documented hands-on experience – as well as the MCSA – prior to testing. Servers, databases, and developers (MCSD) all have this as an option.

The Microsoft Office Specialist and MOS Expert are unique to the applications field. The MOS is the base; while MCSA is the middle and MOS (Expert) is at the top.

When examining credentials, the most important factor to consider is “where will this take me, and is it worth the time, effort, and cost?” The best way to discern the above is to plan out a career path with where you want to be, and then ascertain which certifications will get you there.

This is when talking to a staffing agency becomes the logical next step. At The Armada Group, we know what certifications are important, and as we deal with many different talents, we can help you in terms of finding the right career opportunity for you. We work with some of the most innovative and fastest-growing companies in the world, and we want to help you find the opportunities you’re looking for, and develop the experience along the way. If you are looking for technical employment in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.