Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
MCP's are individuals who have passed exams designed to validate the knowledge and ability to implement certain Microsoft products and technologies. All certification exams are based on real day-to-day problems in software industry, and the candidates need to prepare themselves with studying and related work experience before they go and take the exam. The preparation requires them to cover all aspects of the product or technology.
The Microsoft Certifications are designed for certain levels of professionals, start from beginner, medium, advance, as well as expert. It is not mandatory to get certified in order to get a job in the software industry. However, it gives plus points and sets that individual apart as someone who is strongly knowledgeable with exceptional proficiency.
Benefits of Getting Certified
It's easier for a certified professional to get an employment, because hiring managers believe certified professionals are more capable than non-certified ones. When there is a stack of resumes on a job vacancy, a resume with Microsoft Certification logo gives more chance to get selected. Certified professionals also get higher promotion and salary raise opportunities along the career path.
Microsoft Certified Professionals belong to an exclusive community, and they will have opportunity to interact with other certified professionals as well. Hiring managers can also search for professionals within this community. The community members receive discounts on Microsoft products, invitations to conferences, training sessions, and other special events.
Certification provides a recognized benchmark of proficiency not only to the individual, but also to the organizational and other team players. Certified engineers reduce downtime, because they have the skills needed to solve the issues, they make use of the product's advanced features and could adapt better with new technologies.
When client offers a project to company, naturally they expect the best engineers will work on the project. Microsoft Certified Professionals improve the level of support offered to the client. More thorough understanding of the product translates into simpler solutions and clearer answers, and that gives more confidence to the client about deliverance of the project.
While Microsoft Certification might fast-track career of a software engineer, it doesn't instantly improve that person's knowledge, proficiency, and more importantly experience. Certification is not substitute for work experience. On the contrary, certification will have more weight if supported with relevant work experience.
Be careful when you take certification paths, because different path means different job field. Some certifications are designed for developers, some for trainers, engineers, and other IT fields. The process to get certified also cost a big deal in terms of finances and time, because the candidate needs to spend a lot of time preparing to study and read a lot. Some certifications need certain type of work experience and trainings.
Some people might expect an immediate raise or guaranteed promotion, but to tell you the truth certifications are just one of a lot of other requirements to get there. Other things like experience, communication skills, ability to be a team player, etc. are also play important part.