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Microsoft Certifications recognize and validate your real-world IT skills, support the certified community by providing access to unique resources, and offer a life-long career path of IT skills development.  Show off your unique skills! Certifications are available for nearly every Microsoft application for IT professionals, developers, office workers, home users, and technology trainers. Validate your hands-on experience by obtaining a certification that matches your current or desired job role with an existing or evolving technology.

Microsoft Certification structure 

  • Technology Series: Specialist certifications train IT professionals in implementation, building, troubleshooting, and debugging of a specific Microsoft technology.
  • Professional Series: Professional credentials validate the skill set required for a particular job.
  • Master Series: Master certifications identify individuals with the deepest technical skills available on a particular Microsoft product.
  • Architect Series: The Certified Architect program makes it easy for companies to identify experienced IT architects who have completed a rigorous peer review process.

 When you earn a Microsoft Certification, you are demonstrating your expertise with Microsoft products and platforms, while validating real-world skills and job-related experiences that are used every day. Microsoft Certification aids in practical technology problem solving and helps improve your job satisfaction and professional performance. Being Microsoft certified is the best way to stay up to speed on the latest Microsoft technologies—we continually update the certification program and measure it for relevance in the marketplace.

Make Microsoft Certification a valuable part of your career path. Whether you are new to technology, changing jobs, or a seasoned IT professional, becoming certified helps you prove to peers and employers that you are committed to advancing your skills and that you are a candidate for new opportunities and career growth.

When you achieve your Microsoft Certification, you will have access to valuable, exclusive Microsoft resources and benefits, and opportunities to connect with a wide network of other certified professionals.

Your pride in passing your exam is just the beginning. The benefits you receive as part of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community can help you:

  • Keep your skills relevant, applicable, and competitive.
  • Take certification with you on your career journey.
  • Be a part of an active community of certified professionals around the world.

Keep your skills relevant applicable, and competitive.

"43 percent of survey respondents report salary increases as a result of Microsoft Certification."

-Redmond magazine’s 2006 survey of compensation for Microsoft IT professionals

After you earn your Microsoft credential, you have access to a suite of online tools—an official transcript, logos and certificates, your own landing page on, and more—that help you show off your unique set of achievements to peers, clients, and employers.

Take certification with you on your career journey. 

"More than 40 percent of survey respondents report that Microsoft Certification was a factor in improving their ability to find or keep a job or get a promotion."

-Redmond magazine’s 2006 survey of compensation for Microsoft IT professionals

Become the office hero; your benefits with Microsoft Certification include access to technical resources that can help you save the day (or the project). Additional career and certification planning resources help get you closer to a promotion or new job.

Microsoft offers a wide range of certifications that cover the spectrum of professions within the IT industry. You decide which certification is appropriate and most benefits your career choices. Select a certification in the following table to learn more about its benefits and requirements.


Certification Certification Description


Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications enable professionals to target specific technologies and to distinguish themselves by demonstrating in-depth knowledge and expertise in Microsoft specialized technologies.


Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certifications demonstrate comprehensive skills in planning, deploying, supporting, maintaining, and optimizing IT infrastructures.


Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certifications demonstrate comprehensive skills in designing, developing, and deploying applications for a particular job role. These certifications show that you have the skills required to perform the job successfully.

Microsoft Certified Architect program

The Microsoft Certified Architect program targets Solutions Architects and Infrastructure Architects who successfully apply frameworks and methodologies to create an architecture through the entire IT life cycle.

Microsoft Certified Master program

The Microsoft Certified Master program enables experienced IT professionals to demonstrate and validate their ability to successfully design and implement solutions that meet the most complex business requirements.


A Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) demonstrates technical and customer service skills in troubleshooting hardware and software operation issues in Microsoft Windows environments.


The Microsoft Certified Learning Consultant (MCLC) credential recognizes Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) whose job roles have grown to include frequent consultative engagements with customers. These MCTs are experts in designing and delivering customized learning solutions.


A Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) administers network and systems environments based on the Windows operating systems. Specializations include the MCSA: Messaging and the MCSA: Security.


A Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) designs and implements an infrastructure solution that is based on the Windows operating system and Windows Server System software. Specializations include the MCSE: Messaging and the MCSE: Security.


A Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) designs, implements, and administers Microsoft SQL Server databases.


A Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) is a qualified instructor who is certified by Microsoft to deliver Microsoft training courses to IT professionals and developers.


A Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) uses Microsoft technologies to develop and maintain department-level applications, components, Web or desktop clients, or back-end data services.


A Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) designs and develops leading-edge business solutions with Microsoft development tools, technologies, platforms, and the Windows operating system.

Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Specialist

A Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Specialist demonstrates proficiency with Microsoft Dynamics and related business products.

Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional

A Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional demonstrates professional proficiency with Microsoft Dynamics in one of three knowledge areas: applications, developer, or installation and configuration.


A Microsoft Office Specialist (Office Specialist) is globally recognized for demonstrating advanced skills in using Microsoft desktop software.


A Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) has advanced business skills with the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista.


A Microsoft Certified Application Professional (MCAP) demonstrates advanced cross-industry and cross-job role capabilities in using the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server sites.

The Value of Certification

Based on a survey conducted by Gartner, this white paper discusses how selected organizations view and ultimately compensate technical staff based on their level of technical certification.

The Value of Certification White Paper



Read about how IDC research has found that team member certification increases team performance.

The Value of Certification: Team Certification and Organizational Performance



Certifications at a Glance

Download this brochure to see an overview of Microsoft Learning certifications and how they map to one another. The course and exam paths are also included.

Microsoft Learning Certifications at a Glance

Microsoft Technical Certification

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