MCP Meaning & Definition

A Microsoft Certified Professional is a person who completes a professional certification program offered by Microsoft. Attaining a Microsoft certification prepares an employee not only for using Microsoft products such as Office, but for other related software skills such as coding and database administration. While a bachelor’s degree in computer science shows a person’s understanding of the IT field, Microsoft’s Certification Program can help a person build specific skills in a specialized area of IT, making it appealing for those wanting to advance their careers.

Types of Microsoft Certifications

Microsoft offers a variety of certifications that vary in expertise levels. Below are the available certifications:

Microsoft Office Specialist

This group of certifications covers the Microsoft Office suite. Certifications include:

  • Microsoft Office Specialist: foundation level certificate for popular office applications such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
  • Microsoft Office Specialist Expert: covers the middle tier of certification in Word and Excel
  • Microsoft Office Specialist Master: the top tier. To pass, four exams must be passed:
    • Microsoft Office Word 2010 Expert
    • Microsoft Office Excel 2010 Expert
    • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010
    • Outlook 2010, Access 2010, SharePoint 2010 or OneNote 2010

Microsoft Technology Associate

This group of certifications covers entry-level skills within the IT field. Certifications include:

  • Database: for those wanting to enter fields such as database administration or business intelligence
  • Developer: for those wanting to enter software engineering or computer programming fields.
  • IT Infrastructure: for those wanting to enter the networking, cybersecurity, or IT infrastructure management field.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

This group of certifications is the core of the new generation of cloud-optimized credentials. Certifications include:

  • Windows 10: covers installment, management, and support for Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2016: covers the Windows Server platform
  • Office 365: covers the management and migration of the cloud-based Office 365

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

This group of certifications allows IT professionals to design, create, and manage technology using Microsoft products. Certifications include:

  • Server Infrastructure: covers running a modern data center
  • Private Cloud: covers managing cloud computing setups using Microsoft System Center and Windows Server
  • Business Intelligence: covers designing, creating, and optimizing business intelligence solutions.

Microsoft Solutions Developer

The only certificate offered for this category is the App Builder certification. To earn this certification, one must already have the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certification and pass one of the following exams:

  • Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions
  • Exam 70-355: Universal Windows Platform—App Data, Services and Coding Patterns
  • Exam 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
  • Exam 70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
  • Exam 70-488: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
  • Exam 70-489: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions
  • Exam 70-354: Universal Windows Platform—App Data, Services and Coding Patterns
  • Exam 70-496: Administering Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server
  • Exam 70-497: Software Testing with Visual Studio
  • Exam 70-498: Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio Application Lifestyle Management

 

 

Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes is a newly-graduated writer and editor for websites such as TechnologyAdvice.com, Webopedia.com, and Project-Management.com. When she’s not writing about technology, she enjoys giving too many treats to her dog and coaching part-time at her local gym.

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