Microsoft Enhances Certification Strategy

Microsoft will take several measures this year to improve its certification program, including adding performance-based testing and simulation technology to its exams, using customer feedback to drive changes and implementing continuous learning tools on the Microsoft Learning Web site, said Al Valvano, business and product strategy group manager for Microsoft Learning’s certification and assessment operations.

The company announced in February that it would implement performance-based testing components for its Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Systems Architect (MCSA) exams. Microsoft will expand the range of simulation tests this summer when it rolls out similar platforms for all four of the Windows Server 2003 exams, Valvano said. “We really are looking at the range of technology solutions available to us and trying to select the right tool for the right job in terms of validating what we believe are the necessary skills for using Microsoft products and solutions. The adoption of performance-based testing was really a great step because it enables us to very accurately measure in a real-world way the actual path that someone has to perform on the job.”

Microsoft also will take customer feedback into greater consideration, using input from participants to increase exam relevance, boost benefits and provide more opportunities. “I feel very strongly that it is important for us to communicate to our customers,” Valvano said. “It gives people a really good idea of what’s working, what’s not working and how we’re responding. The good news is that people who are part…



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