Microsoft certification courses are trusted by CIOs and IT managers across a variety of industries as an indicator of any tech professional's capability of managing and configuring IT hardware and software. From SharePoint management to cloud monitoring, there are various certification classes that can help an IT job candidate stand out from the pack.
But what goes into making the various exams that IT workers take in order to obtain these certifications? Liberty Munson, a psychometrician with Microsoft Learning, recently outlined the development process in a discussion with Enduria.
In charge of creating and ensuring competence for more than 125 different exams, Munson is one of the foremost experts on IT training at Microsoft. Specializing in Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) programs, she is well-versed in what goes into creating both entry and advanced level exams.
Detailed question construction
In the Enduria piece, Munson stated that the first stage of development is a skills analysis process. During this phase, subject matter experts (SMEs) use real world experiences to create a list of qualifications that may pertain to a certain certification or exam. Then, once a comprehensive list of skills is established, the SMEs rank them in order of importance and how often they are used in the server room.
Once the assessment is completed, Munson and the SMEs are tasked with making specific questions. When a one is created, the maker of the query is required to include detailed reasons for posing such a question. Then, a group of independent SMEs reviews the material in order to ensure that it pertains to a specific test.
Before a query is included in a Microsoft certification exam, it is thoroughly beta tested in order to determine that it is reasonable enough, while challenging, to be answered by a certification seeker.
Microsoft training in demand
According to TechRepublic, some of Microsoft's certifications are the most in demand in the industry this year. The source reported that MCSA programs are the most sought after by IT professionals because they provide a solid foundation for inexperienced IT workers. With MCSA qualifications, tech professionals are well-positioned to obtain other high-level Microsoft certifications by taking just a few more exams.
The second most called-for certificate for 2013 is the MCSE: Private Cloud program. Because so many enterprises are placing mission-critical applications on the cloud, it's not surprise that IT workers are investing in cloud training.