Microsoft Offers New Promotions, Developer…

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Microsoft has launched three promotions for prospective certification candidates and released new skilling tools for developers, said Al Valvano, business and product strategy group manager for Microsoft Learning’s certification and assessment operations.


The offers for IT professionals seeking Microsoft certifications include two-for-one Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exams (#70-270), free access to an eReference Library for Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) recipients and free training for Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) program participants. All offers expire on May 31, 2005.


“For the MCP ‘study buddy’ promotion, we definitely wanted a broad campaign, but the idea here was that people tend to be more motivated and tend to make more progress when they’re working with their peers,” Valvano said. “This was an interesting way for us to try and programize that with an offer that would allow you and a peer of yours at your office or school—or even a friend—to both reap the benefits of walking down the certification path.” MCP candidates also will have access to a free online training course.


For those who obtain the MCSA Windows Server 2003 credential before May 31, Microsoft will provide free usage of online resources, including four reference books on MCSA skills and knowledge, and five on MCSE job functions, for IT pros looking to upgrade their certification. “It’s an online electronic library of training and self-paced material that’s appropriate for the MCSA credential,” Valvano said. “It’s a year of access to those assets, and I believe the retail price for that is around $550.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in computer support will be very strong between now and 2012. With this in mind, Microsoft is promoting its MCDST by providing free training to participants in the program. “We’re very pleased with how the MCDST credential has taken off,” said Valvano, and added that the volume of training, self-paced Microsoft press books and candidates in MCDST had a year-over-year increase of about 250 percent. “This is often a career entry point for many people starting at the help desk. For this particular offer, we have a mix of training resources: the online training course, as well as the practice test and readiness resources.”


The four developer resources recently released are Microsoft .NET Developer Jump-Start Sessions, Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Assessments, Microsoft Certifications for .NET (either the Microsoft Certified Application Developer for .NET or the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer for .NET) and Microsoft Press Books for Developers. Valvano said these new offerings demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to developers and their learning needs, and reflect the rise in popularity of .NET.


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