Microsoft Certified Master Program Certifications
(Please note that this certification is part of a series launched by Microsoft primarily for IT Professionals at the peak of their profession. Microsoft classifies these certifications as “Advanced Certifications” which shows that this is the cream of Microsoft Certifications established for senior IT Professionals who have established themselves in their respective fields. )
What is this Microsoft Certified Master Program Certification all about?
These certifications deals with skills revolving around your job as a technology expert. Skills that are tested are generally the ability to successfully design and implement solutions that meet the most complex business requirements. This certification enables seasoned IT Professionals to increase there technical expertise on Microsoft Server technologies and by doing so allow themselves to compete effectively in today’s market. This gives many IT professionals an upper hand and such certifications may at times be required for high level jobs or when an IT Professional acts as a solution provider.
Please do also note that certifications in this program are divided into two stages; initial examinations and then training with examinations after which certification is awarded.
The following Microsoft Products have certifications in the Microsoft Certified Master Program:
- MCM: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
- MCM: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
- MCM: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007
- MCM: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
- MCM: Microsoft SQL Server 2008
- MCM: Windows Server 2008: Directory
What are the Pre-requisites of Microsoft Certified Master Program Certifications?
As can be seen from the brief overview of this certification and the very fact that it is an ‘Advanced Certification’ any IT professional interested in this certification has to have extensive experience and skills. Microsoft has not as such clearly mentioned any requirements but it is an understood fact that experience is essential.
Several certifications may also be required based on which of the above Microsoft products certification is being pursued.
Additionally several pre-requisites are required for each of the certifications as mentioned in the table at the end of this article. It is therefore also essential that you check the exams carefully for any pre-requisites.
Who is the Microsoft Certified Master Program Certifications for?
A number of key Microsoft Server technologies are covered, as mentioned in the introduction to this certification.
Why should I get certified? What benefits are there?
The quote below, taken from the Microsoft website should be more than enough.
“Forty-three percent of survey respondents report salary increases as a result of Microsoft Certification.”
– Redmond magazine 2006 survey of Microsoft IT professional’s compensation.
These certifications allow an IT professional to keep up with a dynamic marketplace and gain an ‘edge’ – which will at times be the only thing that will differentiate you from a number of candidates. It also provides you technical problem-solving skills and experience that is useful in real world problems one encounters in the workplace.
Additionally, and as is the case in many jobs, Microsoft technologies are being used. Having certification in Microsoft .NET framework may be a requirement or an added advantage for you if your job description involves the usage of these products. In terms of jobs, the above mentioned job roles and the individuals who would like to perform such jobs may at times be required to take this certification.
This also provides access to several online resources on the Microsoft website that are specifically for Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP’s)
Individuals who are certified with the Microsoft Certified Master Program are generally the best there is in there particular field in terms of creating solutions for businesses.
How do I take the exams?
Exams are conducted by Prometric (www.prometric.com) and are conducted in various locations – and possibly online. However, you have to check the website since this depends on your location and time of registration.
Training for the certifications that occurs after the exams is at several locations. These locations change and can be verified through the Microsoft website.
How do I prepare for the exams?
There are several options in terms of preparing yourself. Please note that some such as the books and practice tests can be used together whereas the practice tests cannot be used alone to prepare yourself. These are:
- Practice tests: Provided by several websites, which are Microsoft Certified Practice Test Providers, these allow you to get a feel of your current level and in the case where you are pursuing independent study, these tests will prove useful. These cannot be used alone as preparation methods.
- Instructor-led training in centers worldwide: various centers worldwide have Microsoft Certified Trainers who provide a superior learning experience by using in-depth knowledge that they possess as well as by using Microsoft Learning Products. However, please check that your trainer or training centre is certified by Microsoft or not before starting preparation. This is the recommended method.
- E-Learning Self-paced training: another option provided by Microsoft; this allows those who use Microsoft technologies in the workplace and want to enhance their skills,. “Microsoft E-Learning self-paced training offers you the flexibility to learn at a time and place that is convenient for you” – ideal for those whose schedule cannot allow fixed classes. However please note that this is for those who have the ability to grasp concepts easily and have experience in independent study, in for example, university during the time when they were preparing for their degree.
- Microsoft Official Distance Learning: Distance learning is a sort of system whereby the classroom is ‘virtualized’ – in essence you learn exactly as though you were in a classroom. This is also a recommended method since it is conducted by Microsoft Professionals and is also cost effective. Additionally, it can also fit into your busy schedule easily. It is also a combination, sort of, of the E-Learning Self Paced Training and Instructor led training – the best combination by far.
- Microsoft Press books: Microsoft has published various books on nearly all of its certifications. Using these hand in hand with several other options and as a reference is suitable. Studying through these alone is not recommended – although it depends on the person.
- Self-paced training kits: these are complete, DIY type, kits that combine a number of items that allow you to study independently. These have been developed by Microsoft specialists and are also a suitable mode of learning. These kits include the following items (as per Microsoft’s website):
- A 15 percent exam discount voucher from Microsoft
- Official, self-paced study guide, including a fully searchable e-book version
- Practice tests with multiple, customizable testing options and a learning roadmap based on your results
- More than 200 practice and review questions
- Case scenarios, practice exercises, and best practices
- A 180-day evaluation version of the product that is covered by the kit
- Microsoft online resources: Microsoft has included various resources on its own website that provide you with information, allow you to create your own study guides, interact with professionals and students alike and much more
How am I certified?
This certification is divided into further certifications like many other Microsoft certifications. A number of exams and other certifications have to be passed in order for a candidate to be certified.For this certification there are other requirements. After passing the exams, you will have to attend a training program and then sit for another exam. Here is a summary:
- Complete the following prerequisite exams and certifications.
- Attend the three-week training program and pass the corresponding computer-based exams and a qualifying lab exam.
Additionally, please note that this is a difficult certification – as seen from the aforementioned table. You are required to pass multiple exams and possess previous certifications. That is why having extensive experience, as mentioned earlier, is essential.
In order for an IT Professional to get the Microsoft Certified Master Program certifications, he/she has to sit for the exams corresponding to the particular field or software of interest. After doing so, he/she will attend a training program then site for another exam before being awarded certification.
The Microsoft Certified Master Program is divided further into other certifications. Thus an interested candidate has to sit for and pass a number of exams based on the table below.Here is a complete list of the various required exams and certifications. A candidate will have to choose exams and certifications from each of the categories based on career paths, product type and previous knowledge.
|Certification||Prerequisite experience||Prerequisite exams and certifications|
|MCM: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007||
And one of the following:
|MCM: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010||
|MCM: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007||
And one of the following:
or successful completion of two of the following exams, as indicated:
|MCM: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (2010 details forthcoming)||Option 1: Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007:
Option 2: Content Management Server 2002 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007:
Both options require the following additional experience:
|MCM: Microsoft SQL Server 2008||
|MCM: Windows Server 2008: Directory||
||One of the following certifications:
And one of the following exams:
Link to Official Microsoft Certified Master Program Websitehttp://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/master.aspx