Microsoft certifications are popular with IT professionals all over the world. They are highly in demand, in-depth and up to date programs of study.

The courses are an ideal way for anyone to increase their knowledge and skills across a range of Microsoft products. You will learn relevant new skills, ranging from basic applications right through to managing complex IT systems. All of these competencies can be applied in all modern workplace settings.

They are suitable for people who lack previous IT training, experience or skills, as well as for experienced IT professionals looking to learn about the latest Microsoft methodologies. Upon graduation you will not only gain a high level of accreditation, but will also learn how to utilise the latest software applications to their full potential.


You will be taught in a highly professional academic setting, and through classroom based learning centres which are dotted all over the country at locations and prices to suit all students and budgets. Courses will be delivered by certified instructors who are also known as Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs).

Courses are delivered through;

Classroom based teaching

These tend to be held in a general classroom environment, workshops or specialist IT training rooms that have banks of computers, Internet access and individual workstations for students.


Web based learning has revolutionised the way teaching is done. Certain Microsoft courses can be taught over the internet. You can still interact live with tutors, see demonstrations as they happen, and best of all learn at a time and place of your choice. On these programs you can watch lessons repeatedly, view course material as many times as you want, and research subject through online libraries. The technology is very user friendly, and there is no need to waste time travelling to classes.

On site

Some training providers are even willing to teach certain IT topics, on site, at your place of work.

Different types of Microsoft certification

Below is a list of Microsoft certifications, any of which can be gained by passing one or more exams. Each one of them is specialised and focuses on a particular Microsoft product.

Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)

This is a umbrella term used to describe a IT professional who is qualified in the Microsoft networking and programming fields. It is a terms used to describe anyone who has completed a professional Microsoft certification course. A MCP award is gained by taking just one exam, and it is one of the most basic MS qualifications available. It can help job seekers get entry level IT jobs where they may be required to work on Windows Networks. Its also a gateway to other more advanced certifications.

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

Previously known as Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS), as the name suggests it is aimed at students who want to become experts in Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCITP)

This mainly focuses on the ability of a person to design and build technology solutions, and manage network environments based on the Windows Server. It was a prerequisite for the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), however it is currently being replaced with the MCTS.

Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST)

Focuses on troubleshooting Microsoft operating systems. To gain this you need to pass 2 exams.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

You must re-certify after every three years.

Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)

This award has replaced the old MCSE. It covers a variety of MS technologies. The number of exams you need to take to gain this award can vary.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)

This award is focused mainly on Visual Studio and ASP.NET.

They are gradually being replaced by MCSD’s (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer).


This award is to be replaced with the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP).

Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)

This is the highest level of Microsoft certification available.

Microsoft Certified Master (MCM)

To pass this you need to attend a 3 week training program.

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

This requires between 1 and 4 exams to pass

Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA)

Aimed at database administrators.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)

Requires certification every three years.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

This award is primarily for developers, and requires recertification every two years.

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)

Focuses on specific Microsoft products and technologies. You need to pass either 1 or 2 exams to gain this award. They are gradually being replaced by MCITP’s (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate).

Other Microsoft training courses available

  • • Microsoft Accelerated Certifications
  • • Microsoft Dynamics
  • • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • • Microsoft Forefront
  • • Microsoft High Performance Computing (HPC)
  • • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • • Microsoft Lync Server
  • • Microsoft MTA
  • • Microsoft Office
  • • Microsoft ‘Private Cloud’
  • • Microsoft ProClarity
  • • Microsoft Project 2007
  • • Microsoft Scripting
  • • Microsoft Seminars and Briefings
  • • Microsoft SharePoint
  • • Microsoft Silverlight
  • • Microsoft SQL Server
  • • Microsoft System Center
  • • Microsoft Systems Management Server
  • • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System
  • • Microsoft Windows Azure Platform
  • • Microsoft Windows Desktop Operating Systems
  • • Microsoft Windows Server

How long do Microsoft certification exams last?

They typically last between 2-3 hours.

Certification revamping

It should be noted that Microsoft periodically revamps its certifications, for instance the old MCSE is being replaced by the new Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP). However people will still be able to use any ‘retired’ certifications that they have gained.

Who are these training courses suitable for?

They are ideal for anyone wanting to take their first steps into the world of Microsoft, as well as experienced professionals who want to further their expertise.

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