Microsoft, which just released its SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and Biz Talk Server 2006 products, is putting its money where its mouth is with regards to its recently revamped certification program. The company announced it would be giving away 150,000 exam vouchers to attendees at launch events around the country.
“It’s likely to be north of that number a little bit,” Microsoft Learning Group Product Manager for Certification Keith Loeber said of the 150,000 figure. “This was just one of a long list of investments that we’ve been making into the Microsoft certification program to really drive the value of the program not only to individuals, but also to the hiring managers. The exam vouchers we released are just one more way of investing in those individuals and also driving readiness for our new product launches.”
Microsoft will offer certification vouchers for participants at all the U.S. events. Interested individuals also can check with a Certified Partner for Learning Solutions (CLPS) for local events where these may be available. “At most of these launch events, vouchers will be available for the attendees,” Loeber said. “They’ll be able to take any of the six exams listed on the voucher towards SQL Server, Visual Studio or Biz Talk Server. Two of them are either entry into either the SQL Server or Visual Studio programs. The others listed on there are upgrade exams, so if you’re currently an MCAD or an MCSD, we’ve made it easy for you to upgrade into this new program.”
There will be plenty of opportunities to obtain a test voucher, as there are several events planned throughout the rest of this year and early into next. “The voucher, though, is good until December of next year,” Loeber said. “Regardless of when you get the voucher, you’ll have approximately a year before that voucher expires. The qualification is really just that you show up at a launch event.”
Those who are in a position to take advantage of this offer should do so, especially as there probably won’t be another one like it, Loeber said. “I don’t think this will be business-as-usual for us, but we do want to show that we really are taking the certification program seriously. The other thing we’ll continue to invest in is the people who are already certified to our program.”
For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/events.