As the only people authorized to deliver training for Microsoft Certification, Microsoft Certified Trainers, or MCTs, may be learning instructors, classroom or online learning teachers, group leaders, authors, or conference presenters. The certification is available only through Microsoft, and requires an annual renewal. To be renewed, MCTs are required to pay a fee, complete an application, and satisfy several program requirements each year. To remain active, trainers must stay consistent with all Microsoft policies and licensing requirements, as well as stay active by teaching at least one approved training course each year. For each course a Microsoft Certified Trainer teaches, it is required to complete Microsoft Certification in that course. For example, if an MCT wanted to teach a course in how to complete the certification to become a Microsoft Systems Administrator, it would be necessary for the instructor to complete that coursework first. Microsoft requires this certification as proof that the applicant has the required foundation of skills and competencies in any topic before taking on responsibilities of teaching that topic.
After completing the course, MCTs also are required to demonstrate their skills in instructional training. To measure this, Microsoft offers four options:
For each of the options available for becoming a Microsoft Certified Trainer, it is necessary to have an existing base of knowledge in the IT field, as well as work experience using and implementing Microsoft products. To be renewed each year, MCTs also must keep high customer service ratings from their students. Microsoft collects feedback from students taking certification courses through Metrics That Matter, or MTM. Microsoft categorizes its Certified Trainers by competency areas. In order to teach licensed Microsoft courses in any of these areas, an instructor is required to complete all certification requirements. Competency/certification areas available include:
Each of the competencies listed falls under the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) premiere certifications. Several of the courses listed require pre-qualifications; for example, before applying to training as a Microsoft Certified Architect in any area, it is necessary to gain certification as a Microsoft Certified Master in one of several server-oriented areas, including Exchange Server 2010 and SharePoint Server. Pricing for training courses and the exams related to them varies, with larger certification costs reaching higher.
Depending upon the skill area desired, a Microsoft Certified Trainer may need a wide range of educational skills or experiences. For most certifications, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in a computer sciences or informational technology field from an accredited institution is preferred, along with several years experience as an IT professional. Those who have passed the certification, training and application requirements to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer have the ability to teach courses to other information technology professionals at certified training centers, including Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program Institutions and Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers. Because the MCT title is available to those who already have several years experience in the IT field, the career options available depend upon the interests and experiences of the specific trainer. Options for career paths might include systems administrator or systems engineer.