Microsoft Considering Desktop, Security Certs

New cert options for MCPs may be in future.

Specialty Microsoft certifications for desktop support and security professionals may be future options for MCPs.

Judith Morel, Strategic Certification Programs, Microsoft's Training and Certification Group, said during an interview yesterday at CompTIA's 2002 Strategies conference in Chicago that Microsoft is researching a separate desktop support title that would focus on XP technologies. 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.

Morel explained that by desktop she's referring to exam 70-270, which focuses on Windows XP, as opposed to the rest of the MCSE and MCSA .NET track exams, which cover .NET Server technologies. "We need to do further analysis around how much of the desktop information really needs to be in here [the MCSA and MCSE titles]," she continued, "or does that need to be communicated to a different audience that we're not currently serving?"

Morel said the survey also showed immense interest in security, and that the program is now considering a security- specific certification, the possibility of which the program denied back in January. "We're still formulating plans...we definitely have proposals in the works to create more MOC security courseware, [now] we need to determine how we're going to respond to that courseware in terms of exam activity."

A Microsoft security title could be tied to CompTIA's upcoming entry-level Security+ certification. According to both Microsoft and CompTIA, Microsoft announced at a pre-conference session Tuesday that it will be mapping its above- mentioned courseware to build on the topics covered in the Security+ objectives.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital projects at the company, including launching and running the group's popular virtual summit and Coffee talk series . She an experienced tech journalist (20 years), and before her current position, was the editorial director of the group's sites. A few years ago she gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web browser technology would impact online advertising for publishers. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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