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Help Desk, Desktop Support Certs Mind-Meld

Microsoft joins two other certification groups in collaborating efforts to promote desktop technician and tech support certifications.

Microsoft Corp. has joined the Help Desk Institute and Computer Technology Industry Association in a joint effort to promote their certifications to IT service and support personnel and employers. The announcement was made by all three groups earlier this week at The Help Desk Institute's HDI University event in Chicago. Details on how the companies plan to promote the certifications have not been released.

The combined effort is aimed at promoting the well-rounded technical support specialist, who can show expertise in PC hardware and software support and be able to deliver that support using soft skills such as good communication with customers and diligence in problem-solving. According to Ron Muns, HDI's chief executive officer, "It made perfect sense for us to join with CompTIA and Microsoft in educating professionals and their employers about the need for both types of certifications."

Back in October 2003, HDI and Microsoft had announced an agreement to collaborate on promoting their certifications (click here to read that release). Microsoft also has an existing agreement with CompTIA that allows CompTIA's certifications to be used to fulfill some requirements of Microsoft certifications. In particular, CompTIA's A+, Network+, Server+ and Security+ in various combinations can be used in lieu of taking an MCSA elective exam. (Click here to view the MCSA requirements.)

The Help Desk Institute is an association for service and support personnel and offers two certifications aimed specifically at that group: Customer Support Specialist and Help Desk Analyst. (As well, HDI has other titles aimed at help desk managers and IT infrastructure experts.)

The Microsoft Desktop Support Technician title is aimed at tech support professionals experienced in Windows XP desktop and application management troubleshooting issues. Microsoft has issued 1,524 MCDST certificates as of September 9, 2004.

CompTIA's A+ certification is a vendor-neutral certification for PC servicers. According to the group, well over 600,000 people have obtained an A+. Click here to read more about CompTIA's certification programs.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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