IT Certifications Around the World - Differences in Numbers and Popularity - Slide 6

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Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re aware that Microsoft completely overhauled its certification scheme in recent years. Gone are the days of simply having your MCP and MCSE. But just in case, let’s recap what’s happened since Windows Server 2008.

Principle certifications are now the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP). Differences? The MCTS is the entry-level, “how to” certification, focusing on technical details and for task-oriented individuals. By contrast, the MCITP is the “decision maker” certification, focusing on design and strategy. For the certification audience, this distinction likely correlates well with job function. Big progress from the MCSE certification of yesteryear, which didn’t differentiate job levels, apart from some exams being more technical than others.

There are also two other Microsoft certifications worth mentioning, the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) and the Microsoft Certified Master. The MCPD is akin to the old MCSD (Solution Developer), geared toward coders. The Microsoft Certified Master is interesting as it adds a level more senior to the already challenging MCITP. No accurate numbers for how many Masters exist were found.

If you want to know numbers for MCTS and MCITP holders, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, in late November 2009, Microsoft removed all pages and references of the MCTS and MCITP population. No one knows for sure how many there are. But we can be sure it includes hundreds of thousands of legacy MCSE holders.

How do you and your list of certifications stack up in other countries? Do you know what you’re missing if you want to be valuable in Seoul or London? How are Americans and their training perceived elsewhere? If you ever want to live overseas, these are questions you have to ask. There are enough (bad) excuses to not move abroad – don’t let your professional training be another.   

Jeff Parker takes a look at several well-known certifications in this slideshow. Some are vendor specific, e.g., Microsoft and Cisco. Some are by discipline, e.g., information security and project management. The point, Parker advises, is to be aware. Open your global mind, so you can make a smarter decision toward the next certification. You may be surprised, relieved or even impressed with yourself! And if you work it right, you can jump several steps in your career at once.

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