Microsoft Debuts New Exam Certification Packs

In a move aimed at helping IT professionals advance in their careers, Microsoft announced a new set of "Certification Packs" -- technology exams that come with the ability to retake the tests if the person doesn't pass the first time.

The new set of exams provide discounts on dozens of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) technology specialist tests focused on moving IT personnel further along on their career tracks.

"Today, as part of the on-going 'Career Campaign,' Microsoft Learning announced a new offering to help customers validate IT skills, land their next job, get a promotion or complete a Microsoft Certification," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to Thursday.

The program is just the latest in Microsoft's ongoing technology certification process. In late June, for example, the company began rolling out technology certifications for Office 2010.

The Certification Packs cost $125 each if the user buys more than one along with the retake option -- called Second Shot. However, if the user only buys one exam pack, the cost is 15 percent more. So, in that case, the user would pay $143.75, which is the regular price.

If the user buys multiple packs, the discount savings is as much as 20 percent, according to a Q&A on the Microsoft Learning website.

The numerous exams offered under the program range from "Designing messaging solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007" to "Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional" to "Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician." Eligible exams on the exam index are prefaced with a "70." Additionally, some Microsoft Dynamics exams are also offered.

For each exam that the user passes, he or she earns a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification. Those certifications can add up.

"These [MCTS] certifications are designed to help validate your skills on the features and functionality of key technologies. You can show your depth of knowledge in one specific technology, earn multiple MCTS certifications to show breadth across different products, or build on the MCTS to earn a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification or other Professional Series certifications," the Q&A added.

About the Author

Stuart Johnston

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.


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