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Advice sought - MCAD, MCSD, MCTS, MCPD??? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am a Software Developer with work experience in vb6 and sql for 5 years and visual studio 2005/vb.net/asp.net/sql 2005 for the past 1.5 years.

    I now feel I need to get microsoft qualified but am unsure as to which qualification path to take.
    I want to aim for the highest and most beneficial with regards to salary/future prospects and do not want to waste my time.

    I have worked on my own vb6 projects but mainly work within a team of 5 Developers on vb.net/asp.net projects.

    This will be my first Microsoft qualifcation, hence the anticipation of taking the right path.

    Also, I have read alot of reviews on books by Amit Kalani and the impression is that these are better than the Microsoft books. Would anyone agree with that?

    I really am at a crossroads so I thank you in advance for any advice.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:15 PM

Answers

  • Hi, my name is Gerry O'Brien and I am the Product Planner for developer certifications at Microsoft.

     

    Thanks for the question and congratulations on your decision to pursue Microsoft certifications.  You can certainly prove your skills and knowledge of the Microsoft developer tools and platform by acquiring a certifcation.

     

    You are also at the right time in your experience level for pursuing certifications.  One thing I always ask before making recommendations is what version you intend to use, ie Visual Studio 2005 or 2008.  I will provide my recommendations for both paths here.

     

    It sounds to me, from your post, that you would be most interested in VS 2005 at this time as it is what you are most familiar with.  Our certifications are delivered in Visual Basic, C# and some in C++ so you have your choice when taking the exam.  It also sounds like you have the most experience with ASP.NET applications.

     

    Our current generation of certifications consist of a tiered model.  The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) is the basis for all other levels.  It is where you should start your certification path.

     

    To achieve this certification, you will need to take and pass two exams.  70-536 is the Microsoft .NET Framework Foundations exam that is required for all 2005 and 2008 developer certifications.  It will test your knowledge of key .NET framework concepts.  Once you pass 70-536, you will want to turn your attention to 70-528 Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-Based Client Development.  Once you have passed both of these exams, you will hold the certification of MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications.  Information on this credential, including the prerequisites and suggested training can be found here, http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/webapps/default.mspx

     

    You can choose to continue on then to a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCPD) credential which is the next step in the tier for developer certifications.  This credential is aimed at testing your ability to make design decisions on when and where you would use specific technologies related to Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.  It requires a good understanding of the technologies found in the .NET Framework to help with those decisions.  Typically, you would be in a dev lead or team lead role in this instance, but not always. The exam for this credential is 70-547. Check out this link for more information on the MCPD certification, http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcpd/webdev/default.mspx.

     

    Our exams for Visual Studio 2008 are just beginning to release in March.  These will cover a very focused set of technologies, of which ASP.NET is one.  The ASP.NET exam won't be available until later this year.  You can start to prepare for this track now with exam 70-536 as I mentioned it will be a requirement for the 2008 version as well.  You can also acquire you MCPD on 2005 now and then upgrade, with one exam, to 2008 when they become available.

     

    For more information on our certification programs including requirements, preparation guides for exams and suggested training, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning

     

    Also, watch my blog for the latest information on new certifications, exams or changes at http://blogs.msdn.com/gerryo.  Use the contact options on this blog if you are looking for more specific information.

     

    Best of luck in your certification endeavors, I look forward to having you as a part of the MCP community!

     

    Gerry

    Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:37 PM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    The qualification path you should take depends largely on the types of applications you are developing. I'm assuming, based on your post, that you're mainly developing Windows and ASP.NET applications using Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0. If that's correct, then I would recommend you start by reviewing some web pages:

    Start by identifying which Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications make sense for you (listed on the page in the second link). After you earn your MCTS certification(s) you can start looking at the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certifications and start working toward those if desired.

     

    All developer certifications in VS2005 really begin with exam 70-536, it is a requirement for all VS 2005 credentials. Here's a link to the 70-536 preparation guide so you can see what's covered in that exam: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-536.mspx.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Regards,

    Jeff Koch

    Microsoft Learning - Product Manager - Developer Certifications

    Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:45 PM

All replies

  • Hi, my name is Gerry O'Brien and I am the Product Planner for developer certifications at Microsoft.

     

    Thanks for the question and congratulations on your decision to pursue Microsoft certifications.  You can certainly prove your skills and knowledge of the Microsoft developer tools and platform by acquiring a certifcation.

     

    You are also at the right time in your experience level for pursuing certifications.  One thing I always ask before making recommendations is what version you intend to use, ie Visual Studio 2005 or 2008.  I will provide my recommendations for both paths here.

     

    It sounds to me, from your post, that you would be most interested in VS 2005 at this time as it is what you are most familiar with.  Our certifications are delivered in Visual Basic, C# and some in C++ so you have your choice when taking the exam.  It also sounds like you have the most experience with ASP.NET applications.

     

    Our current generation of certifications consist of a tiered model.  The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) is the basis for all other levels.  It is where you should start your certification path.

     

    To achieve this certification, you will need to take and pass two exams.  70-536 is the Microsoft .NET Framework Foundations exam that is required for all 2005 and 2008 developer certifications.  It will test your knowledge of key .NET framework concepts.  Once you pass 70-536, you will want to turn your attention to 70-528 Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-Based Client Development.  Once you have passed both of these exams, you will hold the certification of MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications.  Information on this credential, including the prerequisites and suggested training can be found here, http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/webapps/default.mspx

     

    You can choose to continue on then to a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCPD) credential which is the next step in the tier for developer certifications.  This credential is aimed at testing your ability to make design decisions on when and where you would use specific technologies related to Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.  It requires a good understanding of the technologies found in the .NET Framework to help with those decisions.  Typically, you would be in a dev lead or team lead role in this instance, but not always. The exam for this credential is 70-547. Check out this link for more information on the MCPD certification, http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcpd/webdev/default.mspx.

     

    Our exams for Visual Studio 2008 are just beginning to release in March.  These will cover a very focused set of technologies, of which ASP.NET is one.  The ASP.NET exam won't be available until later this year.  You can start to prepare for this track now with exam 70-536 as I mentioned it will be a requirement for the 2008 version as well.  You can also acquire you MCPD on 2005 now and then upgrade, with one exam, to 2008 when they become available.

     

    For more information on our certification programs including requirements, preparation guides for exams and suggested training, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning

     

    Also, watch my blog for the latest information on new certifications, exams or changes at http://blogs.msdn.com/gerryo.  Use the contact options on this blog if you are looking for more specific information.

     

    Best of luck in your certification endeavors, I look forward to having you as a part of the MCP community!

     

    Gerry

    Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:37 PM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    The qualification path you should take depends largely on the types of applications you are developing. I'm assuming, based on your post, that you're mainly developing Windows and ASP.NET applications using Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0. If that's correct, then I would recommend you start by reviewing some web pages:

    Start by identifying which Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications make sense for you (listed on the page in the second link). After you earn your MCTS certification(s) you can start looking at the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certifications and start working toward those if desired.

     

    All developer certifications in VS2005 really begin with exam 70-536, it is a requirement for all VS 2005 credentials. Here's a link to the 70-536 preparation guide so you can see what's covered in that exam: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-536.mspx.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Regards,

    Jeff Koch

    Microsoft Learning - Product Manager - Developer Certifications

    Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:45 PM
  • I would probably consider myself a front-end developer, or web developer for short, and have just over 3 years experience with .net, Sharepoint and Silverlight 3. I am looking at the MCTS certification path and thinking of progressing to MCPD after that, based on the research out there. I do have a couple of questions though:

    Would the answers suggested in this thread still be applicable for 2010?
    Can I go pursue certification from 3.5 onwards, or do I need 2.0 as well?

    Thanks,

    Donavan Marais
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 8:12 PM
  • Forgot to mention, while researching microsoft certification, this Microsoft page: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-vstudio.aspx suggests that I obtain certfication for Visual Studio 2005 and the .Net 2.0 Framework. Is this still relevant? To be honest, I've worked exclusively in Visual Studio 2008. It would seem I would have to go backwards first?
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 8:15 PM