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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Prove Yourself, Young Jedi, with Certifications

Here is blog three in a series on certifications. No introduction this time, sorry. You’ll just have to start reading the guest post by Veronica Sopher from Microsoft.

March 29, 2012

Prove Yourself with a Rigorous Certification

Organizations around the world are facing a data explosion. According to Gartner, information volume is growing worldwide at a minimum rate of 59% annually, with 15% of that data as structured data and the rest comprised of new complex data types1. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 gives organizations the foundation to the cloud-ready information platform, helping organizations unlock breakthrough insights, quickly build solutions, and extend their data from the server to the cloud with advanced capabilities for mission critical confidence.

But while data is predicted to grow 44 times over the next decade2, the number of IT Professionals is only growing at 1.4 times. Employers will be looking for IT professionals with the SQL skills to handle the demands of their organization’s data. How will they know where to look?

Microsoft Certifications let IT Professionals prove that they the skills needed for these new challenges.

Our certifications require a rigorous depth of knowledge. And we ensure that rigor by:

  • Designing certifications that test the skills that employers and hiring managers acknowledge as most essential to their employees’ success on the job.
  • Developing exams that focus on the real world use of Microsoft technologies in organizations.
  • Delivering our exams using appropriate security measures, so employers and candidates know that each certification earned carries solid value in the marketplace.
  • Defending our certifications by keeping our design, development and delivery processes secure.

This all means that when you earn a Microsoft certification, your employers and peers know that you have up-to-date technological knowledge, and can bring more insightful problem solving skills to the workplace. In a survey of 700 IT professionals, 60% said certification led to a new job3. And in a 2011 research report by CompTIA, 64 percent of IT hiring managers said that certifications had an extremely high or high value in validating the skills and expertise of job candidates4.]

The data explosion is placing new demands on organizations and IT departments. Microsoft Certifications prove that you have the depth of skills to help them handle it. Start proving your skills now with the SQL 2012 certification.

1 “The End of the Database as We Know It – noDISK, noSQL, Cloudy”, Donald Feinberg, Gartner IT Symposium, October 2010.

2 IDC: 2010 Digital Universe Study.

3 “Will IT certs get you jobs and raises? Survey says yes”, Julie Bort,, 14 November 2011.

4 “Why Certifications Mean Better Pay, Better Recognition, Better Marketability”, CompTIA (Terry Erdle),, 19 October 2011.

The Industry is Changing, The Industry is Changing!

Paul Rever might have announced that warning today, making everyone run to the nearest college or university with laptop in hand.

A constant mantra from tech giants over the last few decades is “the industry is changing—make sure your skills keep pace”. And they have always been right, and I could say the cliché as well, but the thing that is changing isn’t that things are changing; it’s that things are changing faster and faster.

This provides an excellent opportunity for those who like to keep up with the pace, leaving the slower adapters behind. However, another thing that happens with so much change is more technologies are introduced, expanding the breadth of what we need to keep pace with. This is a different kind of opportunity that allows us to specialize in one area or expertise, kind of like a doctor who becomes a specialist. No-one (well, not everyone) can possibly know everything there is to know about all aspects of the computer world, so we specialize instead. My specialty is MS Office—I love showing office workers how to maximize their time with its features. That means I need to constantly keep up-to-date with that product, its competitors, and what is coming up in the future. That is plenty enough for me, along with my communications teaching, hobbies, and raising two teens alone. Oh, and this blog as well. Perhaps I can change into a blogaholic. That would be good, right?

So, with change in mind, here is a guest blog from Microsoft’s Veronica Sopher, number 2 in a series about MCTs and certification. This one is change, certifications, and compressed software build cycles. Enjoy!


March 16, 2012

The Industry is Changing—Make Sure Your Skills Keep Pace

The tech industry has changed a lot of over the last 20 years, and we’ve continually updated Microsoft Certifications to keep pace with it. In previous post, we discussed how we’ve kept the certifications relevant to changing technologies. So how do Microsoft Certifications help you to keep your skills relevant in today’s rapidly changing tech landscape?

You’ve probably noticed that IT Technology cycles continue to compress. The advantages of Microsoft’s private cloud solution mean that it is easier and quicker than ever to develop and deploy new applications in a private cloud datacenter. And the software companies you depend on for your tools and environment—like Microsoft—have compressed their cycles, too. That means new more change, more often, as your work environment updates with new software and technologies.

Microsoft Certification continually updates too, to help you keep your skills up to date in this changing environment. We’re keeping Microsoft Certifications current with more streamlined, solutions-based certification paths covering the latest trends in the industry. For example, in addition to our upcoming Private Cloud certification, a Windows 8 Certification is coming soon.

And having a Microsoft Certification sends a clear message to employers that you have proven skills in the latest technologies. For instance, a 2011 CompTIA study found that IT professionals gain an average 9% salary increase immediately after receiving certification, and 29% over the long term, versus peers who are not certified (, 2011-10-19). And in a in a 2010 survey of hiring managers, 91% said they consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring (Microsoft Learning, 2010).

We’re keeping Microsoft Certification current so you can keep your skills—and your career—current. You can get prepared now for Windows 8 Certification by upgrading your certification to MCITP: Enterprise desktop 7 .

Keeping Relevant to Evolving Technology


Hi folks, I guess it’s about time I start blogging again. It’s been a while, I know, and when I am blogging I am happy. Ergo, I must blog!

An opportunity has arisen to include a post from Microsoft. The post is below. This is a great incentive to get myself back in the blogging habit. The post below is excellent, and worth the read. Enjoy!

March 7, 2012

Keeping Relevant to Evolving Technology

Over the past 20 years, Microsoft Certifications have continually stayed relevant to the needs of technology professionals and the companies that employ them. We’ve already discussed how we’ve kept our exam development process relevant. So now let’s look at some of the ways we’re keeping the certifications themselves relevant to changing technologies.

And speaking of changing technologies, IT departments all over the world have heard the news:

A private cloud delivers fundamentally new capabilities that represent a generational paradigm shift in computing.

from the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform website

By pooling resources across the datacenter and the enterprise and offering an elastic and usage-based self-service model, a private cloud solution simplifies deployment, maintenance, and cost, while increasing agility and power.

And this paradigm shift in computing means a paradigm shift in the skills IT professionals will need to configure, deploy, monitor, and operate private cloud solutions of today—and tomorrow. The increased capacity and capability of Private Cloud solutions means that IT Professionals and Developers will need to have a new and broader set of skills.

Microsoft Learning is addressing this need for new skills by ensuring it offers training and certifications that enable IT Pros and Developers to develop and validate their skill sets across this new range of skills with a focus on specific technology solutions. One example of this effort is the recently announced private cloud certification. Available as a Beta release in April, the certification starts with the foundation of current Windows Server 2008 exams, and adds two new System Center 2012 exams, currently in beta.

Get started today by heading over to the Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Overview page. That’s where you can prepare and practice for the certification, sign up for our upcoming Private Cloud Jump Start course, and get a head start on your private cloud certification by starting your MCITP Server Administrator certification.

The traditional datacenter model is changing rapidly—and Microsoft Certification continues to change with it, to help you keep your skills relevant in the new world of the private cloud.