Choosing a Microsoft Certification

Which Cert Is Right For You?

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The Microsoft certification you choose is dependant on your current position or planned career path. Microsoft certifications are designed to take advantage of specific skills and enhance your expertise. Certifications are offered in five areas, each with specialization tracks. Whether you're an application developer, systems engineer, technical consultant, or network administrator, there are certifications for you.

MTA - Microsoft Technology Associate Certification

MTA certifications are for IT professionals who intend to build a career in database and infrastructure or software development. A wide range of fundamental information is covered. There is no prerequisite for this exam, but participants are encouraged to make use of the recommended prep resources The MTA is not a prerequisite for MCSA or MCSD certification, but it is a solid first step that can be followed by the MCSA or MCSD which expands on expertise. The three certification tracks for the MTA are:

  • MTA: Database (Key technology: SQL Server)
  • MTA: Developer
  • MTA: Infrastructure (Key technologies: Windows Server Virtualization, Windows System Center)

MCSA - Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Certification

The MCSA certification validates your strengths in the particular path chosen. The MCSA certification is strongly encouraged among IT employers. The certification tracks for the MCSA are:

  • MCSA: Cloud platform (Key technology: Microsoft Azure)
  • MCSA: Linux on Azure  (Key technology: Microsoft Azure)
  • MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365  (Key technology: Microsoft Dynamics 365)
  • MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (Key technology: Microsoft Dynamics 365)
  • MCSA: Office 365 (Key technologies: Microsoft Office 365, Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development (Key technology: SQL Server) 
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration (Key technology: SQL Server)
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development (Key technology: SQL Server)
  • MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 (Key technology: SQL Server)
  • MCSA: Web Applications (Key technologies: C#, Mobile Apps, Visual Studio, NET, Framework 4.5
  • MCSA: Windows 10
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2012 (Key technology: Windows Server Virtualization )
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2016 (Key technology: Windows Server Virtualization ) 

MCSD - Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer Certification

The App Builder track validates your skills in web and mobile app development for current and future employers.

  • MCSD: App Builder (Key technologies: Azure, C#, SharePoint, Office Client, Visual Studio, .Net, HTML5)

MCSE - Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Certification

The MCSE certifications validate advanced skills in the area of the chosen track and require other certifications as prerequisites. The tracks for the MCSE include:

  • MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (Key technology: SQL Server)
  • MCSE: Mobility (Key technology: Windows System Center)
  • MCSE: Productivity (Key technologies: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 365)

MOS - Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

The Microsoft Office certifications come in three skill levels: specialist, expert, and master. The MOS tracks include:

  • MOS: Expert 2013 (Key technologies: Microsoft Office Word 2013, Microsoft Office Excel 2013)
  • MOS: Expert 2016 ( Key technologies: Microsoft Office Word 2016, Microsoft Office Excel 2016)
  • MOS: Master 2016 (Key technologies: Microsoft Office Word 2016, Microsoft Office Excel 2016, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2016)
  • MOS: Microsoft Office 2013 (Key technologies: Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Microsoft Office Access, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Office OneNote)
  • MOS: Microsoft Office 2016 (Key technologies: Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Microsoft Office Access, Microsoft Outlook)
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Your Citation
Reuscher, Dori. "Choosing a Microsoft Certification." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Reuscher, Dori. (2020, August 27). Choosing a Microsoft Certification. Retrieved from Reuscher, Dori. "Choosing a Microsoft Certification." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).