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Microsoft Desktop Certification Path

Get trained in the deployment and client management skills needed to work in a complex IT environment. These courses also prepare you for certification on Windows.

Learn Windows 8 and Windows 7

Entry level: IT Infrastructure


Associate level: Windows 8 training

> Managing and Maintaining Windows 8

Associate level: Windows 7 training

> Planning and Managing Windows 7 Desktop Deployments and Environments

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Frequently asked questions about Microsoft IT certifications:

What is the re-certification requirement?

In order to ensure that our certifications are meaningful and valuable indicators of candidates’ skills, Microsoft has implemented a recertification requirement for the MCSE and MCSD certifications. MCSE candidates will be required to recertify every three years, while MCSD candidates will recertify every two years. Initially, recertification requires passing one or two exams. Microsoft is exploring other recertification options and will announce those options as appropriate.

How long is a Microsoft Certification valid?

Microsoft Certifications are valuable in the market and will remain valuable as long as companies are using the technologies covered in the certification. Over time, certifications will be withdrawn and eventually will transition to a “legacy” status. Legacy Microsoft Certifications will appear on your transcript designated as such. Refer to the certification page for the most current information regarding status.

Are there upgrade paths available for Microsoft Certifications?

Depending on the certification you have achieved, most certifications have an upgrade path available.

Which certification should I start with?

For those new to technology, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is the recommended starting point for our certifications. Although not required, MTA certifications provide a solid foundation for those preparing for the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and MCSD certifications. Those who have been working with the technology should start with the MCSA or MCSD certification. These are prerequisites for any further certifications. The MCSA certification validates that job seekers have a minimum set of skills to hit the ground running.

What do I gain from passing a Microsoft Certification exam?

When you pass your first Microsoft Certification exam, you become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community with access to all of the benefits provided through the Microsoft Certification Program. You can share your transcript with others to prove that you passed that exam and show your progress towards a specific certification. In some cases, such as when you pass an MTA or Specialist exam, that single exam will also earn you the associated certification.

Why don’t all of the certification titles include version numbers?

Certifications that require recertification are not “versioned” because they may cover multiple technologies.

Will I be able to earn a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification for passing exams that count towards the MCSA: Windows Server 2008 certification?

MCITP: Server Administrator and MCITP: Enterprise Administrator certifications are withdrawn.