The New Generation of Microsoft Certifications

Start Your Future with Certification

Professionals with Microsoft Certification Stand out from their IT counterparts. They not only thrive on the continuing challenges of the IT field, but they also take it upon themselves to develop and hone their skills-to stay a step ahead. The practical expertise that is gained through the Microsoft? certification process provides individuals with the kind of know-how that gets recognized-on the job, among peers, and by future employers.

Get in the game
Why you should get certified

The IT market is rebounding and tech salaries are going up. Get certified, show employers that you're an expert in your field, and see how quickly you can advance your career.

  • Stand out. A Microsoft credential gives proof of the specific, real-world technology skills employers are looking for.
  • Feel good. Certified individuals can feel more confident in their problem solving skills and ability to help boost company productivity.
  • Earn more. Microsoft-savvy IT workers earn larger salaries1 than their IT counterparts, and each Microsoft certification earned takes you further along the path to professional recognition.
  • Be productive. Certified individuals help increase customer satisfaction, reduce network downtime, and push service to a higher level2, helping to give their organizations a competitive advantage.

The Benefits of Certification also include:

  • Industry recognition of your technical proficiency and proof of your technical leadership.
  • Personalized logos that identify your certification status to colleagues and clients.
  • Access to discounts on products and services from Microsoft and selected companies.
  • Invitations to conferences, training sessions, and special events.
  • Access to career-related resources that will help enhance your skills and keep you in the know.

Microsoft Certification. How they know you know.

5 Steps to Microsoft Certification
1. Decide which certification is right for you
2. Expand your experience with training
3. Know what to expect on exams
4. Take a trial run with a practice test
5. Take your required exams

Which certification is right for you?


Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications enable professionals to target specific technologies and to distinguish themselves by demonstrating in-depth knowledge and expertise in the various Microsoft specialized technologies.


The Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certifications demonstrate comprehensive skills in planning, deploying, supporting, maintaining, and optimizing IT infrastructures.


The Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credentials distinguish you as an expert Windows Application Developer, Web Application Developer, or Enterprise Applications Developer. These credentials demonstrate that you can build rich applications that target a variety of platforms using Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

Microsoft Certified Architect Program

Microsoft Certified Architect Program targets practicing solutions architects and infrastructure architects who successfully apply frameworks and methodologies to create architecture through the entire IT life cycle.

Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technicians (MCDSTs) have the technical and customer service skills to troubleshoot hardware and software operation issues in Microsoft Windows environments.


Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators(MCSAs) administer network and systems environments based on the Microsoft Windows operating systems. Specializations include MCSA: Messaging and MCSA: Security.


Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers(MCSEs) design and implement an infrastructure solution that is based on the Windows operating system and Microsoft Windows Server System software. Specializations include MCSE: Messaging and MCSE: Security.


Microsoft Certified Database Administrators(MCDBAs) design, implement, and administer Microsoft SQL Server databases.


Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) are qualified instructors who are certified by Microsoft to deliver Microsoft training courses to IT professionals and developers.


Microsoft Certified Application Developers (MCADs) use Microsoft technologies to develop and maintain department-level applications, components, Web or desktop clients, or back-end data services.

MCSD Microsoft Certified Solution Developers (MCSDs) design and develop leading-edge business solutions with Microsoft development tools, technologies, platforms, and the Microsoft Windows architecture.
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office Specialists (Office Specialists) are globally recognized for demonstrating advanced skills with Microsoft desktop software.

Why Create a New Generation of Microsoft Certifications
Microsoft has created a new generation of Microsoft certifications to better meet the needs of our customers. In making the changes, we looked to our customers to tell us what they wanted.

IT managers let us know that the proliferation of credentials is making it more difficult for them to understand which credentials best meets the needs of their business. Individuals told us that they wanted the ability to distinguish themselves from other IT professionals. In response, we created a framework that keeps the number of credentials to a minimum while still allowing individuals to highlight specialization. The new certifications emphasize the primary technology skill set and the job role of each individual and focus on core technical or professional skills. In addition, the new framework makes it easier for managers to distinguish candidates that meet specific job criteria.

Targeted and Flexible
The statement we heard most frequently from our certified population was that an improved program needed to be more flexible to reflect the reality of today's IT workforce. To address this, we designed the new certifications to reflect specific and well-understood job roles while also enabling individuals to uniquely identify their various skill sets. These more targeted certification paths enable IT professionals to work toward a certification that truly meets their needs. Targeted certification paths are also shorter, so individuals can more quickly acquire relevant credentials to prove their expertise.

Rigorous and Credible
Our current credential holders made it clear that it is important to maintain and even elevate the rigor and credibility of the program. As part of our commitment to ensuring a rigorous program, in 2005 we introduced performance-based testing using simulation technology in two of our Windows Server 2003 core exams. At the heart of the new MCP program is an ongoing commitment to new testing technologies that better reflect the real-world needs of candidates and companies. The new exam paths are designed to be more understandable and straightforward, as well as to rigorously validate the knowledge and skills of candidates.

Relevant and Simple
The new certification program is designed to be more relevant and simpler to understand and use. Relevant certification credentials more fully validate the breadth and depth of a candidate's technology skills, and exams validate professional job skills, best practices, and industry knowledge. Fewer credentials and logos make it easier to understand qualifications while still offering the level of distinction needed to use certification as a recruiting tool. The new program makes it simple for organizations to know how to leverage certification and skills in their business; simple for hiring managers to know who to hire, and for what job role; and simple for candidates to communicate their skills sets and knowledge to their companies, clients, or prospective employers.

Number of Microsoft Certified Professionals Worldwide
The Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP) Program was established in 1992. To date, more than 1.8 million people have achieved Microsoft Certification worldwide.

Microsoft Certification Worldwide achievers
MCTS: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist 21,081
MCITP: Microsoft Certified IT Professional 2,293
MCPD: Microsoft Certified Professional Developer 1,433
MCSE: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Windows 2003 68,668
MCSA: Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator on Windows 2003 105,178
MCSE: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Windows 2000 286,736
MCSA: Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator on Windows 2000 144,068
MCDST: Microsoft Certified Desktop Technician on Windows XP 26,597
MCDBA: Microsoft Certified Database Administrator on SQL Server 2000 145,063
MCSD: Microsoft .NET Microsoft Certified Solution Developer 28,535
MCAD: Microsoft Certified Application Developer on Microsoft .NET 65,583
Updated: March 1, 2007