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MCSA Sees Significant Growth in First Year

The past year saw the introduction of two new Microsoft certifications, and one grew by leaps and bounds in its first 12 months.

The past year saw the introduction of two new Microsoft certifications, and one grew by leaps and bounds in its first 12 months.

The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) went live Jan. 22, 2002; and within the first five months, about 22,000 people had attained the title, making it Microsoft’s fastest-growing credential ever, according to the company. That growth continued for the entire year, and as of the beginning of 2003, there were 47,634 title-holders. According to the monthly figures published in MCP Magazine, about 4,000 people earned the credential each month.

The other new title was Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD), which was released in September. As is typical with Microsoft’s developer-related certifications, it was considerably less popular, with 1,306 individuals having obtained the credential in the first three months of availability.

Both certifications require passing fewer tests than their more-difficult-to-achieve counterparts, the MCSE and MCSD. Microsoft says both are aimed more toward those who use the technologies on a day-in, day-out basis, rather than the design and implementation of systems. Both are also to be considered by some mere stepping-stones on the way to the more prestigious titles, but Microsoft disputes that notion, saying they were introduced to more closely align with actual job functions.

For the year 2002, 357,150 Microsoft credentials were earned. They include the following (the total number of certifications issued for each title is listed on the MCPmag.com home page):
Microsoft credentials issued.

Certification numbers for 2002 are up over the previous year, surprising given the downturn in IT spending and hiring. Compared to 2001, about 36 percent more certifications were earned, perhaps due to job-seekers looking for a competitive edge in the marketplace.

In 2001, 142,028 MCP credentials were earned; 63,815 MCSEs; 15,493 MCSDs; and 37,917 MCDBAs. Those are the only directly applicable certifications, as designations like MCP+Internet and MCP+Site Building weren’t available in 2002.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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