The MCP benefits package is changing. Microsoft says the changes offer further proof that the company is listening to you and shaping the MCP program to better meet your needs.

The New MCP Benefits

The MCP benefits package is changing. Microsoft says the changes offer further proof that the company is listening to you and shaping the MCP program to better meet your needs.

During the past year, research has told us that MCPs value two aspects of the program above all: first, that the MCP credential is highly credible and confers great market value; and, second, that it facilitates an on-going relationship between the MCP and Microsoft. To boost the value of the first aspect, we’ve done considerable work over the past year, implementing new testing technologies, upgrading exam quality, and working closely with our exam vendors to better control exam site security. To enhance your ongoing relationship with Microsoft, we’ve made several changes in the benefits program, including a major overhaul of our online resources and the addition of free or discounted content, products, and services.

You’ll spot the online changes the moment you visit Microsoft’s exclusive MCP secured Web site. We’ve added technical information and links so that this may be the only Microsoft reference source you need to address many of your professional concerns. And to make this new content more accessible, we’ve redesigned the navigation system; the site is now better structured around your needs. Content is refreshed and updated regularly to give you compelling reasons to keep coming back.

Another reason to come back to our Web site is that it serves as a portal to content now available only to MCPs at MCP Magazine Online. The expanded online magazine, called "Club MCP," contains all content in the current print issue, an exam chart listing the status of all exams with links to reviews, twice-monthly exam chats with peers, and a referral database through which MCPs can promote their services. In addition, individuals holding the MCSE, MCSE+Internet, MCSD, or MCDBA certification will also receive free access to an online MCP Magazine "Premier Area" containing every back issue from January 1996 on, a search engine to help you immediately find the articles you want, editorial reviews of exam preparation material, and monthly live chats with technical experts.

The online version of Microsoft TechNet provides 24 x 7 free access to the most up-to-date version of the TechNet service. MCSEs and MCDBAs who prefer the CD-ROM version will be offered a 50 percent discount off the regular price of a one-year subscription during their first year of certification.

And those are just a few parts of the new benefits package. We’ll be offering a growing range of discounts, rebates, freebies, and special services from Microsoft and third-party partners. Look for discounts at sponsored events, preferred registration, discounted hardware, software, books, training materials, and more.

The previous benefits package will remain available for all MCPs certified by January 1, 2000. After that, the new benefits will take effect. For more information on the new benefits package and how you can take advantage of it, visit the MCP Web site at www.microsoft.com/mcp. There, you can not only hear from us, but also let us hear from you. And that exchange, after all, is at the core of the MCP program.

About the Author

Donna Senko is the Director of Microsoft’s Certification and Skills Assessment Group.

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