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The Long and Winding Microsoft Certification Road

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The list of Microsoft certifications can be overwhelming, and many IT professionals may consider skipping or avoiding some of the steps along the path. However, many of the certifications can be useful no matter what level of service and support you provide in the Microsoft environment. In this article, David Leaver explores some of these reasons and some points to keep in mind as you travel the long and winding road.
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So you have made the decision that taking a Microsoft certification is the right course for you, but then comes the hard part, which exam do you take? Moreover which certified path do you take? With over three hundred exams to choose from you could be forgiven for getting lost in the melee of M’s, C’s and engineers or administrator titles. Moreover if you are investing your own time, and in some cases your own finances, you want to ensure the choice you make is the right one. So in order to make the decision a bit easier it is worth considering a few points.

When you are new to Microsoft certification

If you have no prior Microsoft experience other than your home usage, and you are looking at taking Microsoft certification as a way of breaking into the industry, then start at the beginning. The Microsoft desktop series, for example, will give you the grounding required for day-to-day desktop issues, and at the same time as slip in a bit of the more technical stuff to come should you choose to go further. All of the Microsoft paths start off small and build up on existing knowledge, so it’s best to go with the flow if you have never had any experience in more advanced Microsoft technologies. It can be tempting to start with the more specific Microsoft qualifications that companies are advertising jobs for. However, having the book knowledge won’t be enough for an employer. Passing a Microsoft certification in any discipline without some real world experience is comparable to passing your driving test—the key skills are there but it is not until you begin using the skills that the real learning begins, and employers know that.

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