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Computer Programming, Vendor/Product Certification


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What to Expect

Are you a wannabe high-tech guru? Consider a Microsoft certification program. But watch out: students must pass tough exams to become certified.

Students tend to agree that the Microsoft training programs are more difficult and expensive than they had anticipated. They thought that one year in trade school sounded like an easy trade for a high salary in the working world. But it's not always that simple.

It is a program that needs your full attention and dedication.

"One thing you might want to make sure of before starting," says Microsoft graduate Paul Edward, "is that you are entirely committed to Microsoft." Job opportunities will be somewhat limited to Microsoft work, instead of general IT work, he explains.

"General IT work, inclusive of all systems, can be just as lucrative," says Edward, who completed both a Microsoft and a general training program.

The annual costs are as much as many private universities. To save money, students suggest working at least part time in a computer environment. Purchasing used or paperback versions of textbooks can help. And fellow students may agree to split the cost of equipment and texts by sharing.

A typical day depends on how the students choose to break up their curriculum. Some pursue certification on a full-time basis, which generally entails one year. Others choose to go part time for two years. There are several courses and training sessions throughout the week, with 10 to 20 hours of homework. Classes include both lecture-type settings and hands-on maintenance and troubleshooting.

"I went to school most of the day, with two hours of class time, three hours of group work and two to three hours of computer work. I then spent two to three hours studying outside of class each day," says Microsoft graduate Moxi Rose.

"It is definitely intense," Edward stresses, "but really fun, challenging and worth it!"


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