Microsoft Offers New Entry Level Certification for Students
Microsoft Corp. is offering a new entry level certification, called the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), for students with no prior IT or development experience or employment.
The vendor introduced the MTA certification at the Microsoft Education Leaders Forum in Warsaw, Poland this week.
Microsoft said that the MTA certification will be available only in educational institutions and that it is constructed to fit the format of existing computer classes.
The MTA certification includes three IT certifications, three development certifications and one database certification. Students may pursue as many or as few certificates as they choose.
Lutz Ziob, Microsoft Learning general manager, said that the MTA certification is designed to introduce students to a variety of career paths and specialties.
"The MTA exams and curricula give students a good overview of the world of IT and development," said Ziob.
IT certifications include Networking Fundamentals, Security Fundamentals and Windows Server Administration Fundamentals.
Development certifications include Software Development Fundamentals, Windows Development Fundamentals and Web Development Fundamentals. The database certification covers Database Administration Fundamentals.
Microsoft said that it is providing teachers with exam review kits to supplement existing teaching materials. Students must pass an exam to earn the MTA certificate. For each exam, about 20 hours of instructional material is offered.
Certiport, an American Fork, UT-based commercial testing service, will administer the exams at participating educational institutions.
The vendor expects that thousands of high schools, vocational programs and colleges in the U.S. and Europe eventually will offer MTA coursework and exams. Microsoft said that students at some universities in Ireland and the U.S. have been able to get college credit for its certifications.
The certification is the first in which the vendor specifically has targeted students. Officials said that the MTA is intended as a lead-in to higher level badges such as the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS).