News

Desktop Tech Cert Sees Light of Day

Microsoft introduces new certification, MCDST, and two new exams aimed at help desk and desktop support experts.

Microsoft has released a new title, Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, aimed at desktop support personnel whose main job role is to troubleshoot user desktop machines. The MCDST requires the passage of two new exams:

  • 70-271, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Windows Desktop Operating Systems
  • 70-272, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Applications on a Windows Desktop Operating System Platform

Microsoft has yet to release any details about the exams, but the requirements guide (click here) provides clues to Microsoft Learning courses and self-study training kits that will be available for them. Microsoft was unable to comment in time for this story.

While the new title's initials come as a surprise, the offering isn't unexpected. Judith Morel, with Microsoft's Strategic Certification Program, told CertCities.com Editor Becky Nagel in May 2002 that the company was researching a separate desktop support title. According to Morel, the impetus for the research was the result of a worldwide Job Task Analysis survey of MCPs worldwide. "What we learned is that MCSAs and MCSEs don't function too much on the desktop," she said at that time. (To read Nagel's original article, "Microsoft Considering Desktop, Security Certs," click here.)

In July 2003, MCP Magazine Senior Editor Keith Ward confirmed from reliable sources that such a certification was under development and would include two completely new exams. (To read Ward's article, "Desktop Technician Cert on the Way?" from the July 2003 issue, click here.)

The new title fills out the bottom tier of an IT infrastructure pyramid (see figure), which Microsoft has shared in public talks about its certification program plans. Directly above that tier resides network administration (MCSA) and network design (MCSE). A top tier consists of an architect layer, which Microsoft has currently announced no plans for. [Update: After this announcement, Microsoft quietly published a new guide on Oct. 20 for an exam dubbed 70-281, which appears to address that top tier. Click here to read more.—Editor.]

MCDST targets Tier 2 and 3
Microsoft targets its newest title, Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, at Tier 1 personnel (the grayed out bottom layer), whose job tasks primarily encompass daily operating systems troubleshooting. MCSA and MCSE fill Tiers 2 and 3, respectively. Microsoft has yet to reveal plans for a certification for the top tier. (Source: Microsoft Corp.)

An unscientific MCPmag.com poll the week of July 10 indicates that readers are slightly in favor of a desktop technician-based title. Of the 829 who were asked, "If Microsoft offered an MCSA/MCSE desktop specialist designation, would you obtain it?", 47% said they'd achieve the title. (Click here to view the results.)

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Jul 15, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

i have just started on the road to full mcse qualification, i am however beginnign to think again as it would seem from numerous comments i have read that the mcse is not as valuable to me getting a good job as i previously thought. i am keen to complete the MCDST as it will give me something to measure my competency against.

Thu, May 20, 2004 Darby Weaver Orlando

Well, I see I got flamed a bit.

But the truth stands, many MCSE's are still unable to do basic tasks unsupervised. People need career growth and an ability to achieve a sense of accomplishment to augment their own self-worth.

This is not a bad thing on MS's part. It is innovative actually. It is good for a hiring manager to differentiate between the levels of proficiency when considering candidates. No sense hiring MCSE's to do Desktop Support unless you are a small shop and only have 1-2 IT personnel. There is also no sense in requiring a candidate to certify at that level and expense to pay 10-20.00 per hour. The ROI just is not there for the candidate.

Thu, May 13, 2004 Pete UK

I think the MCDST is a good idea for those working at the desktop support level. It will enable those of us working at this level to measure our knowledge.

We do however, promise not to wear novelty ties like 95% of MCSE's.

Sat, Jan 17, 2004 Robert Florida

Certs are comming full circle. At one point you just had to know how a computer worked to get a job. Then you need certs to either get a job or keep one. The truth is coming out! Experience Rules, certs are nice but I am really tired of meeting MCSEs that don't know how to trouble shoot a network, and think their boot camp instructor was right. I say give them the McGyver test, a Floppy disk, paper click and rubber band. Now go fix that server!

Thu, Oct 30, 2003 MCP Connecticut

I see the Microsoft (MS) Certification Tiers (CT), as level of expertise, pretty much the same as skill-levels in an organization. Although I’ve ready many comments about MS latest CT, if examined closer, it makes sense. MS seems appears to be, organizational-aware (T) and doing something about. I believe, instead of many stressing about how the additional certs will dilute, other certs, quite frankly, is absurd. The bottom line is, many hiring IT managers, or non-IT managers are familiar with the Microsoft certifications. When an employer reviews a resume and see a Microsoft cert, I’m sure, astute managers are going to test the applicant’s knowledge. There are many levels of job responsibilities and I think Microsoft has finally realized that. It's possible too; that those who indicate less than enthusiastic behavior to Microsoft’s vision may forget that the level of expertise is 1 exam at a time. I think an entry level, MCDST, is a good start for many starting out on the various MS tracks. It could be too that some feel frustrated that they have not had the vision to pursue such strategies. As for those who think MS is all about the money, keep in mind that it is up to the individual to spend their money on a product or service that is of value to them, and if MS has something they are willing to pay for, then so be it.

Tue, Oct 28, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

If this had been offered years ago, maybe some of you second level support people would be able to interact with users.

Tue, Oct 28, 2003 nemisis uk

Reading all these comments, makes me laugh coz i am a mcse nt4 mcse 2000 and i will still take mcdst tests, so fuc yer

Tue, Oct 28, 2003 nemisis uk

Reading all these comments, makes me laugh coz i am a mcse nt4 mcse 2000 and i will still take mcdst tests, so fuc yer

Sun, Oct 26, 2003 Ed Wyoming

MCDST could be a good deal if it is treated as a specialization. Hepl desk s becoming more complex since OS's are and ability in user support will be more in demand. Should be in line with current MOUS tests and ratings.

Thu, Oct 23, 2003 Steven NYC

I am absolutely amazed that Microsoft actually posts the negative comments on its own website, by the way, i totally agree. I am more confused today than the day I sat for NT Server 4.0
Microsoft has made a real mess of the certification process and i feel foolish sometimes just mentioning that i am certified.
Thanks Bill!

Tue, Oct 21, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

All you desktop nerd need to stop crying

Mon, Oct 20, 2003 John Howard Oxley Atlanta, GA

I think the value of this depends on how it is implemented. If success in it really does come from some rigorous help-desk type training, then it would be an extremely useful certification. I have MCSE and A-plus and Net-plus -- for some reason the form won't accept the "plus" sign -- and none of these prepare you for solving, say, IE problems, which are part of help desking. So not only would this be valuable to entry-level people, but existing MCSEs might well want it too, just to extend their education. As to those who complain that this is restricted to Microsoft products, well, it is a MICROSOFT exam, after all, and currently and for the next few years at least, these products will have desktop dominance.

Sun, Oct 19, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

dale, first of all , cert exam departement and (OS) devellopment are two totally different departements at microsoft that both fights to legitimate their budget , so dont mix apples and oranges , second having passed all design exams for mcse , mcsa , plus S for both of them , mcdba and comptia S plus , let me tell you that the comptia exam was probably the easyest exam i had seen a complete joke , cant even imagine A or N plus , so i understand why MS whant them out (thankx bill) iw ould'nt hire anybody with simply some plus in my helpdesk dep. what i find too bad though is that those two exams dont fit in the mcsa req , cuz this will be the natural evolution for these people , and also , where is the 70-210/270 , this would make a difference,

i got my mcse first back in 2000 , then got dba , mcsa ,added plus S to both of them and then comptia S , basically did the top then covered the bottom end and then provided horizontal coverage (winXP , SQL , ISA) ,now there aint much i dont cover in the ms world both in the front and back office (i'll add up the plus M to my win2003 MCSE thqt i'm preping ), that gave me what 6 ms certs ? good i only cared about showing my skills on PRODUCTS

Sat, Oct 18, 2003 Dale McTaggart Canada

Please not another Microsoft Certification! Is it just me or does this just seem like yet another money grab by Microsoft.
I worked hard for my certifications only to fined that there was a new one every two years and now there are ones for any other thing Microsoft can think of, give me a brake! What is the A+ certification for, OH YA it is not a Microsoft certification so they are not getting any money.
If Microsoft wants to do something try better testing or better yet an operating system that has been debuged and tested better before it is relesed.
Another certification why? Who needs it!

Sat, Oct 18, 2003 Geoff Vancouver, BC, Canada

I think a tier one cert is actually quite a good step; these exams will focus on troubleshooting and user support.. something currently "assumed" but not included in the tested skill set.

Fri, Oct 17, 2003 jpallister Anonymous

MCP, MCPplusI, MCDST, MOUS, MCSE, MCSEplusSEC, MCSEplusMESS, MCSEplusI, MCSA, MCSAplusSEC, MCSAplusMESS, MCDBA, MCSD, MCAD, MCT ...... AND I THINK I MISSED SOME.

This is laughable, and IT professionals and managers think so too.

Fri, Oct 17, 2003 Joey Dallas

As someone who works strictly in the field of Desktop Support I can state that the comments from the MCSE's and those that this think that this replaces A plus certification is dead wrong.

This is a totally different field. Maybe for small companies MCSE's would do this type of work but for those that work with very large companies there are whole separate departments that involves Desktop Software support that doesn't involve hardware support or network administration. In my company for example a network administrator is completely out of his element trying to resolve the issues that desktop support gets day to day.

I think this is a great fit for those not intrested in pursuing MCSE certification and A plus doesn't even come close to covering topics for Desktop Support.

Fri, Oct 17, 2003 Danny Glasgow UK

I am MCSA and cannot get a job. Agencies tell me that I would only get a support job anyway. A job I would not refuse since I need a job. So now as I understand it. I need to sit a further two exams to get a (lower) further qualification in order to attempt to secure a position I orginally might have got with my MCSA. Anyone like to offer me a job?

Fri, Oct 17, 2003 Joe Seattle, WA

Hmmmm....why do computer techs have to be SO negative and pompous? I think this was a stroke of genious since the Helpdesk - Desktop Support job classification is the fastest growing segment in IT according to Gartner. I have been a desktop support technician for the better part of 8 years now (currently a lead), and I would like to see how the curriculum is layed out before I pass judgement. If it is put together right, it should help a lot of people get their foot in the door to a job that is both very gratifying, as well as quite lucritive. Smile everybody...it's a great day!!

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Just another way for MS to make Money- Great for HR reps to see, but IT people will see right through this..

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous California

More letters in the acronymn are bound to impress the clueless HR folks. As to Microsoft making money off of certification, well I don't think so. What it does insure for them is that there are qualified pros who can deal with the technology and understand it.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 WC Germany

Any argument that says that Microsoft is doing this for the money is foolish. I never have worke in UHD, and I don't have the patience for it. I like the server room just fine. But I have tremendous respect for the people that are on the front line. When I screw up, they get all of the calls and most of the blame. As one comment says, why should they bother with MCSE if that is not their end desire. This new certification is a good idea.
Again, I find it amazing when people complain about the cost of training and it is just available so thaat MS can make more money. Be real people, grow up. I spent big bucks on training, but it was all recovered within a few months after the following pay raise.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

That's good, because I have a MMCBAPBHIMP

(My Microsoft Certifications Burnt A Pretty Big Hole In My Pocket). :)

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Also, I wonder if an HR person, not entirely savvy about microsoft certs, will not be more impressed by the longer acronym designation. In otherwords, being more impressed by an MCDST (which may imply a specialization, like MCDBA) than an MCSA because there are more letters. It may seem silly to us, but you'd be surprised how many people hiring technical experts don't actually know what the certs stand for.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 mrobinson52 Florida

I just viewed the webcast on this topic, so maybe I can shed a little light. This is NOT intended to replace the Aplus, in fact, they state that having an Aplus is helpful. What this cert is about is what the Helpdesk person has to handle day to day. I am sad that they chose to concentrate only on Windows XP and Office XP, instead of a broader range of OSes and Office products, but that is typical of MS, only the latest product counts. Aplus does hardware and OS, and the new MCDST only handles software problems. MS did a job analysis, and found what the most common problems are, and concentrated on them. Most help desk calls are on printing problems, Outlook problems, connecting to the network problems, and Internet Explorer problems, so that is where this cert is meant to shine. The MOS concentrates on worker productivity, but the MCDST is meant to get the MS Office products to work properly, so the focus is different. As many others have pointed out, an MCSE is overkill for a helpdesk, and given the pay that a helpdesk worker gets, having a certification that only requires two tests that are focused on what they actually have to do on a day to day basis is a big plus. It is also more of a concentration on troubleshooting the desktop. I was rather surprised that the Windows 98 and 2000 Professional tests were more about the network than the OS as a stand alone. This new cert corrects that.
Finally, a word for MCDBA MCSE MCSA at the top of the thread. MS does not sell old questions, and Transcender writes their own questions that are harder and better written than any of the MS question I have ever seen. I have a couple of friends that work at Transcender, and they gave me the guided tour. Those people work hard to actually learn what the certification requires, and study the technology so that they can challenge the potential test taker, and give rather exhaustive explainations of both the correct answers and the distractors. Having written questions for a lesser cert prep outfit, I greatly respect the work that the people at Transcender put into their product. Please do not badmouth them.
And for the rest, I think this new cert will have a place in the IT industry, and time will tell how much value it will hold.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Texas

I have worked a substantial number of years in the Desktop Support arena (By Choice) and do not consider it to be a Teir one or Teir 2 issue at all. What about the slew of people that claim to be of a technical nature that cannot support their own machines? Most of these folks have obtained their MCSE's... Can you say GAPING HOLE??? I cordially invite each of the certified elitist pigs that erceive themselves to be too good to do this type of support to either put up or shut up. Support your own box or GO HOME.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 John Tejas

Concerning salary , HR, and pay rates:

Please don't get discouraged during this economic bad time.

It just like buying a new home.

There is a buyers market and a sellers market.

Each market benefits a different individual. If you are the seller in a sellers market then you are happy. If you are a buyer in a buyers market then you are happy.

The same applies to the computer field. I have been in this field for 20 years. The salary cycle comes and goes. During economic hard times you can not expect companies to pay as much as during glory days when the economy is great.

You have to love what you do or you will never be able to make it in this field.
Companies are trying to reduce cost during this hardtime; They are lowering salaries to do this.

Understand economics since it effects the whole shabam.

John Boy


Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I don't understand why Microsoft would provide a desktop certification. Comptia offers desktop certification, namely, A Plus and Network plus exams. One can transfer his desktop certification into microsoft desktop certification. I was told by MS to fax my comptia certification for credit toward a MCSA. This is all about money. How much is enough?

Justin's comment about A Low-level certification is better than a degree is foolish.

Certifications come and go. Degree stay around. Don't be a fool . Get your degree and some certifications to go along with it. ALso, experience will come with time.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I think that this does nothing more the belittle the knowledge and expertise offered by those of us already in the field. I have been doing desktop support for well over 7 years now and do not consider myself "Tier One" at all. Entry level help desk personnel are at that level and desktop and network support should be at tiers two and or three at a minimum. Even with my A+ and MCP, it is getting hard enough to justify receiving the "industry standard" salary range without something like this mudding up our field.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Rodney White Sands NM

Microsoft has just muddied the water for those of us who are pursing our certifications and looking for careers. What the people at microsoft need to do is give the HR people out there information or understanding about what being certified at the different levels represents to give back some valididty to being certified. When in my searches for employment I find HR will not even look for entry level help desk technicians unless they have a MCSE all I can see is a devaulation of the certification to begin with. Until non tech types have an idea of what knowlege and skills are present at the different level of certification all we can do is try and get letters attached to our names that match the ones in the job listings

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Dave MN

I have seen many MCSEs expend time and energy chasing the MCSE and end up on a help desk and not know squat about how to get Outlook going. I think it's great that there is a good "foot in the door" cert to get folks on the help desk and get them the tuition benefits to get the "high dollar" certs so they can move up. And to those who think this is going to devalue the MCSE, just think what it would be like if people started getting jobs without having to be MCSA or better. They would be less likely to beg. borrow, or steal the advanced certs just to get a foot in the door. Your cert will increase in value and prestige because there will be fewer people using it just to get an interview for a help desk.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Kerry Houston

I think the new help desk and desktop Support Cerification should have questions on how to speak India Hindu because that is where all these types of jobs are going!!!

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I agree with David - MCP magazine's latest newsletter included a job listing asking for an MCSE. Pay: $12 - $16 an hour. I guess employees with the desktop cert should start out at around $4 an hour.............

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

A+ to die....Those of you that are saying
A is the household name...remember so was Novell with over 90% concentration...If you have to ask Novell who...you get the drift

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 David Las Vegas

I don't think this new cert will help anyone. I am A plus, Network plus, CCNA, MCSA and MCSE certified and none of the certs seem to be worth anything. Even worse the hiring managers seem to rank the A plus and MCSE as equal. Unless we replace all the hiring managers it doesn't matter what certs you have. I have been in low end IT positions for almost 10 years and even with all these useless certs I still can't find a job that pays more than $12 an hour. Why would anyone waste more time and money to get more useless certs.

Thu, Oct 16, 2003 jocko Anonymous

I think this is a good idea, I started at the bottom and now work all levels through my own company. I mean how many times does a call go to Deskside Support and its because of the "Lack of Training" the helpdesk has..........

Wed, Oct 15, 2003 iceman phils

I learned help desk support just by exploring my own computer and I think we all know that this was just a money making strategy of microsoft so don't be silly. don't forget that IT people we're not a bunch of moron. I might say that what a stupid action to create this kind of certification.

Wed, Oct 15, 2003 Trainer Australia

I like the idea of the new cert in theory. It's a good level to have for people who don't need an understanding of GPOs and AD etc. But, not to burst anyone's bubble, BUT no bugger out there will have a clue what MCDST actually is. It's hard enough for recruiters to understand the difference between MCSA and MCSE, let alone adding this to the mix.

Wed, Oct 15, 2003 The Truth (MCDBA) Formerly Canada, now in Australia

I wonder whether MS will follow the 4-tier paradigm in future iterations of the MCSD and MCDBA designation?

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

All of you nay-sayers should get off of your "high horse". This certification path is a plus for Microsoft. Quit whining and do your job.

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 HT Detroit

I am A+, Network+, MCP and Master MOS Certified in Office XP. I am also and Instructor at a Technology Center and local college. I think that this new cert in conveniently timed for all of the planned helpdesk and support outsourcing that is about to happen. It will be interesting to see the content of the exames being something different than what is covered al ready in the A+ OS, MCP OS and MOS exams. Only topics that are lacking in these areas are professional development skills in customer support and the in-depth use of helpdesk tools and support utilities. Unless these tests are meant to fill-in that area (only test should be able to accomplish that), I do not see the point. I do not get the sense that this certification was really meant for a local job market, if it were bundling current certs as equivalents for this designation would be more than an appropriate equivalency.

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Don Las Vegas

I think it's great to have an entry-level credential. A-plus includes a hardware focus, which Microsoft probably won't, and so you could combine a-plus and the MCDST to show that you have well-rounded, help-desk level skills on both hardware in general and the Windows platform in particular. Why wouldn't newer professionals in the field deserve a cert of their own? As they gain experience and get promoted they can earn their MCSA and then MCSE. Makes perfect sense. This isn't supposed to be a specializatioon for MCSEs... it's a complete credential so that individuals working at a help desk can demonstrate and be certified in their own unique skill set.

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Darby, you are a full blooded fool. Go back to selling hot dogs.

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Rob London

Darby, Get a life !

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

THe new MS-A. This is a joke. The next move will be that the A-plus and Net-plus dont count for MCSA and this does. Way to bring in more money MS.

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 William McQueen Anonymous

You're missing the p on the end of the link for the requirement's page.

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Darby Weaver USA

Sorry guys (those who prefer gloom and doom)...

I think Microsoft needs a Desktop and Help Hesk Level of cert to help clarify the job roles better.

Nothing steams me more than to see a full-blooded MCSE in a Help Desk role. I mean it is flat out demeaning.

Why Certify at the MCSE level if you cannot design enterprise-class solutions including DNS, WINS, DHCP, LDAP, Active Directory etc.

Truth is, how many "seasoned computer repair people" can even subnet; much less deal with VPNs and or even simple NAT and PAT. Most simply cannot.

I work at the Enterprise level and am proud of my accomplishments as an MCSE. I can design enterprise class solutions with ease, can install and configure the entire Back Office Suite, integrate with Solaris, HP, AIX, Linux, SCO and even Novell with NDS.

But then - I am an MCSE plus I, MCSE plus Messaging. I have more pursuits as well. I can secure Windows 2000 well enough to serve enterprise level solutions on the Internet using only the tools provided inside of Windows 2000. But did I mention that I am an MCSE. Yeppers 2 Live DNS Servers running for over 4 months live on the Internet and not even a scratch. I suspect they'll stay that way for quite some time...

But then an MCSE designed it. Now if you have a Desktop, Help Desk, or even MCSA designing your enterprise networks, then there lies the problem.

Am I afraid of Buffer Overflows - No I utilize the MS Knowledge Base as well as many others and apply the corrections when they are discovered, not after the storm is on my bedroom.

Do I have to struggle at work... uh, no. Not a bit.

Now that we have shed on what a true MCSE is. Let's clarify what this new designation would bring to the table:

1. More respect for actual MCSE's
2. The MCSE's who are not would hurry to get this new cert - correctly
3. Help Desk jobs would be for those best qualified for them.
4. Desktop Support jobs for those so inclined.

Lest you miss my point or intention let me put it this way. Both new designations have a very valid point and can bring distinction and credibility to each respective title.

After all why get certified as an MCSE if you are working on the desk or the floor?

There are very specific talents that are required from Help Desk professionals that some MCSE's simply do not possess. The same can be said for the Desktop Support Pro. They have to deal with the client on the face-to-face level. And for those of you who either do not know or may have forgotten; this has a two edged sword - that is, it can be both very satisfying and very discouraging; sometimes at the same time.

Overall, I am in favor and would seek out and hire professionals with these new credentials. I think if you are an MCSE and have interviewed with me or someone like me you have felt respect, however if you simply have a certification and a piece of paper - then you probably did not like how the interview may have went, but hopefully you went home and practiced some more; unfortunately many probably did not.

Darby Weaver
MCSE plus I
MCSE plus Messaging
MCSA plus Messaging
A Plus
Network Plus
I-Net Plus
Certified Ethical Hacker CEH
CCNP CCDP
Cisco Wireless SE
Cisco Wireless FE
Cisco GPS Qualified Professional AVVID
Cisco GPS Qualified Professional SAFE
Certified Internet Security Specialist
CCEA
CCSP
CCA


Tue, Oct 14, 2003 MCAD Richmond

I see what MS is trying to do. But can they really replace A-Plus certs. No I don't think so, I don't think the money to try to do it is worth it also. Leave A-plus alone Microsoft. It's not worth it

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Scott Portland, ME

As it has done with other companies, I think Microsoft now sees CompTIA as competition and will attempt to replace A-plus certification with MCDST. However, the "A-plus" name is now common knowledge among H.R. departments, whereas they probably don't know (or in this economy, care less about) the difference between MCSE, MCSA, MCDBA, MCDST, etc., ad infinitum.

Tue, Oct 14, 2003 Justin Anonymous

I doubt this is some kind of plot for Microsoft to make more money. Come on, like it doesn't already have enough? It's only natural as systems and industries alike become more complex specialization becomes more necessary. I'm working in a basic low-level tech support now and I'd personally rather take two tests that would set me apart from my coworkers rather than take seven that will earn me a certification that is overkill my job. Experience is MUCH more valuable than certifications in any computer field, but only CAREER experience. I think a low-level certification in support is better than earning a Bachelor's Degree and still ending up in the same job.

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 Mohammad Beirut

Again and again... it Microsoft finds a new way to play on people's mind and gain more money. MCDST is just a new title for an old certification or maybe certifications it is nothing more than (A plus) or (Net plus) or even the MCS... whatever.
Well, the only new thing about it is that if an experienced person in support was to apply to that position he now needs to take MCDST and pay money and handle high cost just to convince the employer that he owns the experience he already has.

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

FIrst having a so-called tier 1 cert to bridge entry-level or new IT ppl may be a good thing but looking at MCP exams, like 210 (win2k pro) or whatever should get you that "entry" status, without mentioning the Comptia A plus etc. Besides I'm predicting that this cert's content will not have networking stuff.
As for the top tier (Architect level), I highly anticipate that MS may call the cert MCEA (Enterprise Architect). And once the architect level comes out company will tend to want those ppl instead of MCSE

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 Anonymous USA

I'll tell you what is a waste of time...reading most of these comments.

Are all MCSE's/ MCSA's, etc. so insecure? Are these same people in need of something else to fill their day? Worse yet, these inmature individuals are the ones incharge of securing extremely critical data.

You would be best to direct your energy on something constructive.

I have passed all of my core requirements, but am still MCP, just the same as the person who has only passed one exam. So what! I'm not complaining.

And... you're all dead wrong. The more levels on the pyramid, the more the employer will distinguish you above the rest. Unless you whine like this in front of your superiors, too!

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

As a person in this category, I feel that it would be a waste of my time taking all the networking stuff for MCSE or MCSA when I will not be building or supporting the network part. I feel this would all us people who have to take the daily calls to feel part of the Microsoft family.

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 cc los angeles

I thought when you took MCSA, you already have A plus experience and if I remember correctly, that's equivalent of 6 months working experiences.
Why Microsoft took years to know that now there's a need for a HelpDesk Certification program when in fact if you have A plus, it already takes care part of the technical skills, the other part has to do with the technician personality on customer service skills...
Is anything new to learn from these tests?

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 Technical Editor Anonymous

ATECs are now known CTECs and "they" do not teach the exams. Some instructors teach the exams, but there is no relationship.

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 jeremy Anonymous

oy! as if it wasn't enough to make every little step a milestone, now they're certifying that your ready to even start walking??!! It used to be that you'd start at the help desk and then work your way up the chain as you gained experience... this new cert is a completely useless path, since very MCP should be able to provide basic desktop support anyway. Of course, tho, the ATECs just teach the tests, not the actual methodology behind how things work, so the graduates still have no experience at the computer other than what is in the course labs. I can teach "help desk", without having to waste employee time or money on more Microsoft tests!! And it you want to learn how to support Microsoft Desktops -- sit at one - and then take the calls that come in and solve the problems!!!

Mon, Oct 13, 2003 MCDBA MCSE MCSA Anonymous

The only thing this new MCSDT certification will provide to the overall system support structure will be anther level of confusion, misunderstanding and misinformation to the users that rely on these people.

Users already think that any tech support person is all knowledgeable about all systems, how they function, and how to troubleshoot their problems.

Microsoft would have been smarter to just add the two required exams to the MCSA and/or MCSE levels since these are the people that do have the background knowledge, skills and capabilities to help their users and the companies they work for.

It also does one other thing to all other certifications – it devalues their worth. Why you ask? Because now companies will think that they can get away with hiring these lower level certified people to support the more complex systems and these people will not have the knowledge, skills or experience that is required for these jobs.

Microsoft will again devalue the MCSE like they did when they introduced the MCSA certification when they implement their fourth tier of certifications because nobody with larger systems will want to hire them unless they have the highest certifications. This will also bring in more money for Microsoft – Their Only Purpose In Business: Maximize the amount of money that they can get from anyone even thinking of using their products.

Quit screwing around with the certifications requirements and try adding some value or worth to them by adding a lab practical to the exam that will prove the knowledge and skill of the student. Also, stop selling the old questions and answers to the companies that resell them like Transcender and the others.

Thanks for nothing Microsoft.

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