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New Microsoft training and certification programs announced

10 June 2008

Two new training and certification programs from Microsoft Learning have been announced.

Scheduled to begin later this year, the programs are designed to prime the pipeline of skilled workers and help companies maximise their technology investments.

Technical certification helps ensure that developers and IT professionals stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in their field and what these new technologies can do for their customers.

One area Microsoft is addressing is virtualisation, which the company says is one of the most highly sought after areas of expertise, with skilled developers and IT professionals in high demand.

To help IT professionals develop a baseline of understanding about virtualisation and the spectrum of technologies it encompasses, Microsoft Learning has created a series of training and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification programs that focus on Hyper-V and the forthcoming System Center Virtual Machine Manager, both of which are part of Microsoft's virtualisation strategy.

The virtualisation training will be delivered in a variety of virtual, distance learning, and instructor-led options that focus on the fundamentals of virtualisation, the underlying principles of virtualisation architecture and the specifics of Microsoft's technology.

Until now, Microsoft's training and certification programs have focused on fulfilling a customer's specific needs primarily, equipping IT professionals and developers with the general skills they need to deploy and configure a product, or to fulfill the duties of a particular job role, such as systems administrator.

However, later this year, Microsoft will launch a new Master-level training and certification program to help IT professionals attain a "master" level of proficiency in specific products something previously only available internally to Microsoft employees and select partners. The programs will focus on design, build, and troubleshooting skills, and will require three weeks of mandatory training per track, delivered exclusively by top subject matter experts and industry-renowned instructors.

The initial plan is to roll out the program for Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, with additional server products being added in the future.

As director of the program, Per Farny notes, "Eventually, most people reach a point in their careers where they want to differentiate themselves. For an IT pro this almost always means getting specialised skills and becoming recognised as the go-to person for a particular technology. That's really what the Master training and certification program is all about. From the customer perspective, if there is a need for a complex implementation or upgrade, or for assessing an existing solution or identifying and resolving issues, the call to action is simple: get a Microsoft Certified Master on the job."

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