Online Consulting: Where Employees Count

Like your job? Here's your chance to compare your company with eight of the best—at least in how they treat their Microsoft Certified Professionals.

Brian Reisman may be the new kid on the block (with less than a year, he’s the most recent hire), but it hasn’t taken him long to size up his employer. Online Consulting is a Microsoft Technical Education Center (CTEC) based in Wilmington, Delaware. As Reisman notes, “The company is focused on making Online Consulting a wonderful place to work, from the casual dress code when not teaching, to the pool table purchased for the breakroom. Employee meetings are held in a room [called the Dialog room] with nothing but La-Z Boy-type chairs set up in a circle. This is absolutely the best place I’ve ever worked.”

This Year’s Best Companies!
Online Consulting Microsoft CTEC; about 50 employees
Nominated: Wilmington, Delaware
800-288-8221, 302-658-3018

Online Consulting, which also has a classroom in Philadelphia, has approximately 50 employees, 10 of whom are MCTs. Mike Ward, VP of technology services, agrees with Reisman that the cultural climate is a particularly motivating factor for MCPs to want to work there. “We’re more of an academic organization than a strictly corporate type of [firm]. [We have] a very flat structure(essentially, people don’t really have managers,” says Ward. “If you’re looking for opportunity, variety, and hoping to have an impact on the direction and success of the company, then this is the place. I think we try to interject on a daily basis that we’re going to have fun doing [the work] because if you don’t enjoy your job, you probably won’t want to come every day.”

In hiring, the foremost criteria Ward looks for is a level of integrity. “We like to see people who have a long-term perspective, not just those who come in to get certified and then move on.” Evidently, Ward is a good judge of that (in the three to four years that he’s been doing the hiring, only one person has left. In addition to integrity, Ward looks for presentation skills and an ability to learn. “If they’re willing to learn, we can give them the time to get certified,” says Ward. The company gives bonuses to people for teaching classes and doing consultant work related to their certifications, and profit sharing at the end of the year provides additional incentives.

The physical environment at Online Consulting mirrors the company’s horizontal, non-competitive approach to work, and is based on the concept of “Caves and Commons.” The Caves refer to small offices, which provide quiet, personal space; the Commons provide areas for collaboration and impromptu meetings. To further the teamwork approach, Ward and the training coordinator meet with each training instructor a couple of times a year to map out his or her personal goals to create a fit with the organization’s direction.

The cultural climate doesn’t end with Online Consulting’s four walls—it extends to the community as well. For four years, Online has awarded IT scholarships to local high school students and teachers. This year’s awards went to 22 recipients, totaling $73,000. “We recognize that these are the people looking to get into the IT industry and just want to show them a way to get started,” says Ward.

About the Author

Sandy Burd is a contributing writer for Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Jul 21, 2009 Chulan, UAE

Well , i dunno who the youngest is but , i did mcp 2000, mcsa (2000,2003(early archiver)) mcse 2000 at the age of 10-11 , if you don't belive me , email me on or and i will give the id to view my transcript on , THANKS

Thu, Aug 24, 2006 zaheer london

One indian boy passed his MCSE,CCNA at the age of 11. He also done Master degree in computer application at the age of 16........!!!!!!!!!!!1

Thu, Feb 16, 2006 Anup Tapadia Pune

I completed MCSD MCSE MCDBA CCNA at age of 14 .

Sat, Oct 8, 2005 Iqbal Alain - U.A.E

One of my student, Chulan Marapana, in my Opinion is among the youngest MCSE . At the age of 10, in March 2003 , he got his MCP and by December 2003 he got his MCSA 2000, MCSE 2000 and also he recieved MCSA 2003 Early Achiever Certificate

Thu, Feb 19, 2004 invincible Birkenhead

I'm probably one of the youngest 2000 Professional MCP's. Passed 16th February 2004. (at 14!)

Mon, Feb 2, 2004 Hass Anonymous

Hey MCP..where can i find a place i could train in? please get back to me as soon as possible..How much would an MCSE get paid? thank u

Mon, Dec 15, 2003 Aarohi Johal Jalandhar, India

i completed the mcsa on 15 dec,2003. 16yrs old at that time... wanna know who the younguest is....

Sun, Nov 30, 2003 Alex(previous post are wr Ukraine

Hi!! Does anybody know smb, who had prize place in Some Olimpiad Of His/Her country between 4-year-older pupils? if no, may be I am the record holder. It can be cool :).
Best regards, Alex Melnyk

Sun, Nov 30, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Hi!! What was the age of the youngest Visial C++ 6.0 Desktop Applications and Visual C++ 6.0 Distributive Applications certifieds?

Sun, Nov 30, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Hi!! What was the age of the youngest Visial C++ 6.0 Desktop Applications and Visual C++ 6.0 Distributive Applications certifieds?

Sat, Jun 14, 2003 Irfan Nazir Anonymous

I achieved my MCSE at age 15 and CCNA at 14, i think that there is a 11 year old who got it as well, but that was probably not the 2000 track...

Sat, Mar 8, 2003 Chulan U.A.E

Pls. let me the age of the Youngest MCP - Windows 2000.

Mon, Jan 20, 2003 Brian Yau Anonymous

I'm 15, and completed my MCSE and MCSA, both on the 2K track.

Let me know if you know of any younger cadidates at

Mon, Aug 26, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I kanan Totawar, a student of Soft Concept, Nagpur aged 13 yrs old became MCSD on 17th June 2002. I am the yougest girl MCSD in the world. Out of the 4 Papers in Visual Basic Distributed Application I scored 1000 out of 1000. My aggregate percentage was 94 %

Solution Architecture 898

Designing And implementing 985
Desktop Application

Designing And implementing 1000
Distributed Application

SQL 2000 863

What advantage do i get? Please email me on

Fri, Mar 29, 2002 PJ Lancaster, Pa

Is there an organization that will work personally with you to determine YOUR worth based on experience, knowledge and skills. Plus factoring in the place you live & work and the type of business your company is in?

Salary surveys are a start but I'm looking for something based on ME. Since I hold so many responsibilities, I don't fit into any one job description.

Thanks for your help.

Wed, Jan 30, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

does anyone have an idea about international payments such as Russia or saudi arabia or any other country? please reply to thanks

Tue, Sep 11, 2001 JULIE Anonymous


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