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April 11, 2012

Microsoft News - Microsoft Changes IT Certification Program to Address Cloud Skills Gap

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

Based on the evolving job skills needed by today’s IT staff, technology giant Microsoft (News - Alert) is making changes to its IT certification program in an effort to address the growing competency gap in the tech industry.

As jobs with new skill sets are created by public and private IT cloud computing solutions, certification and training allow IT professionals and developers to differentiate themselves and align their skills to new profiles, which are in high demand, Microsoft officials said.

In fact, public and private IT cloud services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide between now and 2015, according to research firm IDC (News - Alert).

Because cloud computing talent is in short supply, Microsoft said it has reinvented Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, its flagship credential, for the cloud. The new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) shows employers and peers that those certified have the skills to do the job in an expanding market. Microsoft’s three skill levels – associate, expert and master – rate IT professionals from entry level to most qualified.

The MCSE is the primary credential for those who want to lead their company to the cloud, and is the target credential for established IT professionals and developers who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions, according to Don Field, Microsoft’s senior director of product management.

“The new Microsoft certifications are raising the bar across the industry and reflect industry shifts that require a broader knowledge base and deeper skills across solutions that cloud computing requires,” Field said. “The Microsoft certifications reflect the experience and skills needed to build, manage and evolve solutions in a cloud-based environment, ensuring validation of real-world skills for individuals and helping hiring managers identify the best-qualified job candidates."

The new framework will help hiring managers select IT professionals and developers who offer the greatest value to their organization’s needs.

“As the leader of a business unit, I can tell you that certification is a key element that IT professionals and developers need to get hired or promoted,” said Peter de Tender, Microsoft Certified Trainer at ICTinus and member of Microsoft’s MCT Advisory Council. “We value Microsoft certification credentials because, in addition to helping demonstrate the commitment of an individual, they help us maintain our Microsoft partner competencies and they can be a competitive differentiator in the market.”

Edited by Braden Becker

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