Microsoft Gets Into the Boot Camp Business
In February, Microsoft began offering Accelerated MCSE Certification Bootcamp through Infinity+1, a Microsoft Service Provider Partner, in effect, sanctioning this method of training.
Microsoft is pushing an accelerated MCSE boot camp on its Web site at
What's wrong with this picture? Some might say that it goes against Microsoft's
recommendation that candidates earn their certifications through experience
mastered by implementing the technology. "Microsoft doesn't look favorably
upon boot camps," writes MCP Magazine
senior editor, Keith Ward,
in an article
on boot camp training
, "claiming it's not the best way to get certified."
But recent news reports suggest that IT professionals who are hitting
the job interview circuit without paper credentials are finding it increasingly
more difficult to compete for jobs against those candidates who do possess
"We need [the certifications] to sell ourselves," says Richard Pusey,
a manager of networking services for The Technology Group, an IT consulting
firm. (For more, read "Certification
Crossroads," by Keith Ward in the January 2002 issue of MCP Magazine.)
Job hunters, therefore, are turning to boot camps, such as those offered
by Acrew and Mountain
View Systems, to back up their credentials quickly with the much-needed
In February, Microsoft began offering Accelerated MCSE Certification
Bootcamp through Infinity+1, a Microsoft Service Provider Partner (http://www.mcse-cisco-training.com/),
in effect, sanctioning this method of training. Microsoft had no comment
for this article.
The training will be offered in Redmond at the Microsoft Partner Solution
Like most boot camp-style offerings, Infinity+1 says, it's an accelerated
method of training that requires that applicants be fairly knowledgeable
about the technology before being allowed to step into the training classroom.
"All candidates are given a questionnaire to qualify them for the class,"
says Linda Carr, partner and owner of Infinity+1. "If the candidate doesn't
pass it, they're directed to other options" for more traditional training
The term "boot camp" has come to mean particular things in the IT training
business—a focus on taking exams and obtaining a title, an "immersion"
experience in which the candidate has no life outside of the classroom
for the duration of the training, and a hefty price tag (typically, ranging
from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on length, housing, and other program
features). According to the Web site for Infinity+1, "Testing will be
available during course off-hours, but is not a course requirement." The
boot camp lasts seven days and runs from 8:30 in the morning until 9 at
night. The first bootcamp training was under way at the time of this writing,
but Infinity+1 plans to schedule others later this year.
It's unclear whether Microsoft will allow others of its partners to offer
training programs on campus as well.
For alternative MCSE boot camp offerings, see Keith Ward's article, "Tough
Training, Boot Camp-Style," in the November issue of MCP Magazine.
Michael Domingo is executive editor of MCPmag.com and hosts the Redmond Radio podcasts.