Q: How can I become Microsoft Certified Professional?
Q: What are the available certification tracks for me?
Q: I am a web developer, How can I prepare for MCTS exams?
Q: Which paper do I have to clear to become SharePoint Administrator?
These are some of the most frequently asked questions to me by Industry Professionals via email or forums or community events. If you have been following my blog posts, I have written a kind of introductory post on “Getting Started with Microsoft Certification” back in 2009. Since things have changed slightly by now, so I thought may its good time to re-write on this topic.
In this post I will be answering some of the questions above. This would help, at least me, in sharing such frequently asked information to IT Professionals or Developers working on Microsoft Technologies and are interested in becoming Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).
Chances are that, if you are reading this blog post, you already have some idea about the what Microsoft Certifications are and so I am not going into introductory detail which you can also check from my previous blog posts LINK-1 and LINK-2.
Recommend Paths and Audience
The very first thing I would like to make clear is that for different level of audience, there are different set of certifications available. Refer to image below which depicts the suitable track for you based on your level. For example, if you have more than 3 years of experience in development solutions using Microsoft Technology then recommended track for you is Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) or if you are entry level professional with 1-2 years of experience then Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) is the right track for you.
Plus within these levels, there are further exams available based on particular technology. For example, MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Configuration or MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications etc. You must target your relevant track considering your background, experience and career ambitions.
Experience vs. Certifications [A Great Debate]
Yes I do agree that experienced professional is somehow more worthy however I would say that neither Certifications without Experience is good nor Experience without Certification is perfect instead they both are BEST when balanced together.
Consider certifications as a way to validate your skills and/or for your own learning, just clearing exams without grip on the technology won’t give you anything. I have personally completed Microsoft Certification Professional Developer (MCPD) track with experience and it has benefited me especially in terms of knowledge or skill set.
So bottom line is certification and work experience are best when balanced together. However required experience varies depending on the level of certifications.
Preparation and Testing:
Exams are usually MCQs and Case Study based out of which you have to score 70%. Total number of question varies from exam to exam but usually its around 40-75.
For testing, Prometric Centers are available worldwide on which you can register yourself online. Cost varies from region to region, typically from $85-150 per exam. Please note that photo identities such as Driving License or Passport or Identification Card are required on the day of exam. For details on registration, visit here.
References and Further Readings:
I hope this information would be helpful to IT Pro/Developers interested in Microsoft Certification. Still, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or ask a question on “MSDN Training and Certification Forum”.
I am super excited to share that today I have successfully passed the exam “70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4” and therefore become Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, .NET Framework 4 Data Access.
As for the exam, there were around 73 questions divided into two sections and including one case study. The major focus was on ADO.NET Entity Framework and so you can expect a number of questions on this.
For preparation, If you have some experience of ADO.NET, I would recommend training kit for 70-516 and Programming Entity Framework 2. Also make sure you do proper hands on entity framework, you may also consider working on Microsoft sample database such as AdventureWorks for your learning. Check out codeplex.com for community samples.
If you are considering to give this exam in near future, I would like to wish you a very good luck for exam.
Today, I am excited and pleased to share that I have passed Microsoft Exam TS: 70-513 and hence become
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) – .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications.
“This exam is designed to test the candidate’s knowledge and skills for developing applications using Windows Communication Foundation and the .NET Framework 4”. To see the skills measured and outline of the exam, please visit here.
Earlier this month I passed MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Web Applications. After which I started receiving emails regularly asking about training kit or any preparation material for exam. So I thought may be its good idea to write a blog post on it instead of replying to emails individually.
So let’s discuss about the exam and how to prepare for it.
The exam comprises of 50 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with 70% marks as passing criteria.
As the exam was published some months back so obviously the training kit is not available yet. Well honestly there was no single book or training kit available to prepare. Overall I have gone through most of the following material for exam :
Hands on: jQuery, ASP.NET Web forms and MVC 2
I think it would be good if you have 2+ years of experience of building asp.net web applications. Like me if you were a ASP.NET Web Form developer then you may simply need to learn some new features of ASP.NET 4 along with hands on MVC framework, jQuery etc.
Hope this helps!
I am pleased to share that I have successfully passed the exam “TS 70-515- Web Application Development using Microsoft .NET Framework 4” and therefore become Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist for building .NET Framework 4, Web Applications.
The exam comprises of 50 questions and major focus was on new stuff such as ASP.NET MVC, jQuery, Dynamic Data Websites, ASP.NET web forms 4 etc. Click here to see the overall skills measured. In the end, since I passed, it was a good.
You can download the Visual Studio 2010 Certification(s) Path (pdf) from here. Since currently there are no training kits available for .NET 4 exams, if you are interested in giving exam, please feel free to contact me I will be glad to share my experience in preparing for .NET 4 exams.
Next Target –> MCTS – 70-513
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