How to get your MCP Certification
What is an MCP certification?
MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certifications aim to test your competence regarding specific Microsoft technologies, products and solutions including server operating systems and web development etc. You will become a MCP as soon as you have passed your first qualifying Microsoft Certified Professional exam, which will see you qualifying for MCP benefits.
The Microsoft exams that will qualify you as an MCP include all of the exams that are required to be passed in the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) and Microsoft Specialist certifications. MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) and MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) exams, however, do not apply to MCP certification.
You will have the option of completing your qualification in 4 different levels of certification. These are as follows:
1. The Microsoft Certified Technology Associate and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist certifications make up the technology level certifications and are the most basic of the credentials that are attainable as they are aimed at entry-level candidates. These certifications are prerequisites to undertaking the professional level courses and are geared towards competency in specific Microsoft technologies.
2. The professional level of certification includes the Microsoft Professional Developer and Microsoft Certified IT Professional certifications. These certifications are aimed at Software Developers that are developing .NET applications.
3. The Microsoft Certified Master certifications will suit IT professionals with a wealth of experience in working with Microsoft server products.
4. The Microsoft Certified Architect is the highest level of certification that is available and is aimed at individuals that are very experienced in the field of enterprise architecture.
How will I benefit?
When you become a Microsoft certified Professional, you will also gain the benefits that comes from acquiring that credential. These include the following:
- Keep track of your certification progress and gain access to the options available to you for completion of your certification with the certification planner.
- If you have gained a Microsoft certification, you can purchase physical copies of your certificate with the certificate manager. This also allows you to download and view your certificates.
- The official transcript download and sharing tool allows MCPs to share their certification information with other MCPs.
- You will be able to download official certification logos.
- Gain access to the MCP eStore where you can purchase products that contain certification logos.
- You will gain access to the Born to Blog MCP community.
- Receive promotional offers on Microsoft training and certification products.
- Use member resources in order to look for employment or training evaluation software etc.
These are the direct benefits that you will receive upon becoming a MCP, but there are many other advantages to gaining this certification. You will have peace of mind in the fact that the skills and knowledge that you have attained through your studies are completely up to date with the emerging technologies of the IT industry.
You will have a distinct advantage over other job-seekers in that you have gained an internationally recognised and industry-respected certification, something that is quickly becoming the norm in successful candidates. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that certified individuals are far more likely to receive a higher average salary than those that haven’t.
In order to prepare to sit your certification exam, you are able to browse through the preparation guide on Microsoft’s website relating to your particular exam. You will be able to research each topic that is covered during the exam and you will have access to downloadable software trial versions. This will help you to gain valuable practical experience.
Upon gaining your MCP certification, you will have a wealth of opportunity available to you as far as career options are concerned. This will depend on the path that you chose to pursue when undertaking your studies. A few examples of possible career options include the following:
- System Administrator
- Network Administrator
- Web Developer
- Software Developer
- Database Administrator
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Enterprise Architect
- Systems Architect
Obtaining a MCP certification will see you become an in demand professional in a field that is ever-expanding and full to the brim with career opportunities. Whether you wish to become certified in order to enhance your current career or are studying in order to break into the world of IT, the MCP has a certification that will match your current skill level.
Plan your certification path according to the career that you are passionate about, train with a reputable course provider, whether it be online or classroom-based training, book your Microsoft exams and study hard to obtain a passing mark and you will soon reap the rewards of your hard work in the knowledge that you have become a Microsoft Certified Professional with the skills and knowledge needed to become a valuable part of any organisation.