If you're struggling to get your foot in the door in the IT sector, or you just want to improve your education, taking a Microsoft certification might be for you. Microsoft offer a range of qualifications to suit different needs, including those with different levels of experience and different final targets once they have become certified. If you're interested in becoming a Microsoft Certified IT Professional, read on to find out more! The Microsoft Certified IT Professional credential is a qualification that proves to employers you have the necessary skills and knowledge for certain in-demand IT specialisms and roles, such as database administration. The MCITP shows that you have great knowledge of a wide range of Microsoft products, and that you can confidently install, maintain, troubleshoot and bug-fix Microsoft software.
The MCITP is part of a group of certifications on the middle tier of Microsoft's training program, known as “expert” certifications. Candidates who wish to take the MCITP must have at least one year of experience with Microsoft systems, solutions and software development tools before enrolling on their course, and most will also have a Bachelor's degree in a related field, though this is not an official prerequisite. Through the MCITP course, you will learn to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of Microsoft products, proving to potential employers that you have what it takes to bug-fix systems, maintain crucial software, hardware and middleware, such as servers and networks, and communicate with users to find a solution to their IT problems. For this reason, candidates considering the MCITP must have excellent oral and written communication skills, as it will be necessary to translate technical expertise into lay terms for your clients' understanding.
There a a variety of ways to study and prepare for the exam or exams you will take, including instructor-led training, practice tests, self-paced training kits and Microsoft Press books. Although some may prefer instructor-led training, Microsoft recommends a self-study method, and offers preparation guides for each exam, which include a list of relevant skills students can practice. Once you feel prepared with the knowledge you need to pass the exam, you will be required to pay an exam fee. The fee is charged per exam, a factor students must especially take into account if they are considering taking multiple exams or qualifications. The exams will consist of 45-90 multiple choice questions, and though candidates may resit in cases of failure, the exam fee will be payable every time you sit the exam (though there are some exceptions to this; please see Microsoft's website for details of their “Second Shot” program, where for a limited time you can re-take a failed exam for free). Please note that some qualifications require the student to sit and pass more than one exam.
It is very important to note that due to the new Cloud technology, Microsoft will be retiring the MCITP as of July 31, 2014. If you have already gained the certificate by this time, it is still valid, however Microsoft recommends all MCITP holders upgrade to the new MCSE qualification (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), as this will cover all current updates relating to the Cloud. For more information, please visit Microsoft's website. As an MCITP holder, you may be qualified for a variety of IT jobs, including database administration. Here is a brief description of the role as a database administrator, along with some of the duties and qualities that are advantageous in candidates looking to pursue this or a similar role.