A myriad of technical and vocational schools, community colleges and four-year
colleges offer programs that teach students the ins and outs of Microsoft
Microsoft offers several information technology (IT) certifications. The
most popular is the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), but it's
certainly not the only one.
Training usually lasts between seven months and one year. "Using
Lifelong Learning MCSE Program as an example, it takes 26 weeks to complete
the course, and most others," says Dan Tuchmann, trainer coordinator at the
University of South Florida. "Courses are geared toward career changers."
Microsoft has established its own official curriculum for these certification
programs, and has designated certain schools as Authorized Academic Training
Most programs look for technical aptitude, computer savvy and a passion
for the field. The work is challenging and can be technically complicated.
Students who are planning to pursue Microsoft technical training should take
as many computer courses involving hardware, software, programming, databases
and Internet operations as possible. Being technically inclined and computer-literate
is essential before starting a certification program.
Joining the computer club, working on your own computer at home and taking
free online courses can all be excellent ways to prepare.
Microsoft programs leave students with a variety of skills, depending
on the program. A systems engineer will have a solid knowledge of Microsoft
products across the board, and should be able to set up, maintain and troubleshoot
Microsoft applications. A networking specialist will have particular expertise
in setting up local and area Microsoft-based networks.
You should anticipate expenses of at least $10,000 for a year.
Some programs include materials and book costs in their tuition.
If not, students can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for books alone.
They will also need to have frequent and unrestricted access to a new computer
-- not an old dinosaur -- so that they can run Microsoft's latest programs
with ease and speed.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information on this field of study, see: Computer Systems
Analysts, Database Administrators and Computer Scientists
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Microsoft in Education
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