Microsoft and Help Desk Institute Cooperate

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Microsoft has introduced a new certification for desktop support technicians, and the Help Desk Institute (HDI) will work with Microsoft to promote the program. The new credential, the Microsoft Certified Help Desk Technician (MCDST) is targeted for help desk technicians, customer support representatives, PC support specialists and technical support representatives—audiences that are also served by HDI’s certification program.




HDI and Microsoft will cooperate to promote a complementary approach to certification for support professionals by co-marketing their programs. The two companies consider their programs to be complementary. Both programs verify the skills and knowledge of help desk and support professionals to ensure their efficiency on the job.




The new MCDST certification is designed to measure candidates’ ability to support end-users and to troubleshoot desktop environments running on the Windows system. The certification requires two exams: #70-271, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows Desktop Operating Systems; and #70-272, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Applications on a Microsoft Windows Desktop Operating System Platform. Both exams are scheduled to be released in beta format in November. Microsoft also recommends at least six months of experience working with a desktop operating system.




HDI’s certification program was designed for the support industry by industry leaders, help desk and support center experts, consultants and practitioners. There are three levels of certification. The HDI Customer Support Specialist (CSS) tests the knowledge of customer service and support staff. The HDI Help Desk Analyst (HDA) certification measures the skills of front-line tech support analysts with a foundational knowledge of help desk and support center operations. Finally, the HDI Help Desk Manager (HDM) certification is designed for experienced managers, supervisors and project managers who are responsible for the day-in and day-out operations of the help desk or support center.




To learn more about MCDST, see To learn more about HDI certifications, visit

Emily Hollis is associate editor for Certification Magazine. She can be reached at 

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