Microsoft offers a few certifications for individuals looking for credentialing in Windows 7. As of July 2010, these are the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist ((MCTS): Windows 7, Configuration credential; the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7 credential; and the MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician. All of these credentials may help you stand out from noncertified competition.
The MCTS series offered through Microsoft is an entry-level certification that is open to people with little experience in the field, according to Microsoft. The MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration credential is, as its name suggests, a credential that focuses on the configuration of Windows 7. To earn the credential, you must take and pass the Exam 70-680 which is TS: Windows 7, Configuring.
The MCITP credentialing series is a higher level than the MCTS series. The MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7 credential is geared toward individuals who are responsible for organizing operating systems and desktop applications. To be eligible for the exam, you must have already passed Exam 70-680 (TS: Windows 7, Configuring), according to Microsoft. Once you have done this, you may apply for the credential and its examination, which is Exam 70-685, PRO: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician.
The second available MCITP credential for Windows 7 is the MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician. It is designed for individuals who are responsible for identifying “the cause and resolution of desktop application, network and security issues” and for organizing operating systems and desktop applications, according to Microsoft. This credential also requires you to have passed Exam 70-680 (TS: Windows 7, Configuring) and to pass Exam 70-685: PRO: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician.
Microsoft recommends that you study its learning preparation guide to adequately ready yourself for any of the certification examinations. For security reasons, Microsoft does not provide information on the amount of time that you have for an exam or the number of questions that your test may have. As of July 2010, the MCTS and MCITP certification examinations typically cost $125 each, according to Microsoft. After completing your examination, you will receive your scores immediately.
Besides receiving the general benefit of standing out from noncertified competition, Microsoft credentials offer several other benefits. As a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), you have access to a transcript verification system which allows you to view information about your credential(s). You also are given permission to use the Microsoft certification logo for marketing purposes, according to Microsoft. Also, you may receive a higher salary after receiving your certification.