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How to Become a Microsoft Certified Application Developer

The Microsoft Certified Application Developer has been retired and replaced by the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification. Research the training requirements and learn about the experience you need to earn this credential.

Should I Become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer?

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) program is designed for software developers looking to prove their ability to construct solutions using both in-person and cloud technologies. This certification serves as the global standard for developers, and professionals looking to earn this certification should have experience using different Microsoft tools and languages to analyze and create enterprise solutions.

Software developers, including application developers, work in a range of industries; as technology advances, the prevalence of applications, especially mobile applications, has become a requirement of success for businesses in all fields. The majority of such application developers work full-time in an office setting, though some may be able to telecommute. Much of their work may be completed independently, but collaboration is required on almost all projects.

Certification Requirements

Degree Required There is no education requirement for MCSD certification, but many software developers hold at least a bachelor's degree
Certification Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCSD) in six specialties
Prerequisites Microsoft recommends at least 1-2 years of experience with a particular technology solution for many required certification exams
Key Skills Strong problem solving and communication skills, .NET Framework, Visual Studio and other software development programs
Median Salary (2015) $98,260 per year (for applications software developers)

Sources: Microsoft.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Research Certifications and Choose a Certification Path

Developers and other professionals looking to earn an MCSD certification must first decide which product or application they want to become certified in and choose from different MCSD modules. Some are designed for those working with Web-based applications, others are for Web-based client development and still others are for application development.

Success Tip:

  • Become familiar with Microsoft products. As these certifications focus on specific programs, individuals may benefit by becoming familiar with various Microsoft technologies and choosing the product that they want to focus on early in the process.

Step 2: Complete a Certification Prep Course

Although there are no formal education prerequisites for certification, individuals preparing for certification exams can enroll in optional training courses provided by Microsoft. Courses are available for specific exams and focus on essential exam topics. Some universities and colleges also offer preparatory training for Microsoft certification exams.

Step 3: Seek Further Certification

Microsoft offers several other certifications that can help IT professionals find employment and increase their earning potential. In addition to the MCSD certification, Microsoft also offers the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) option. As with MCSD, this certification features several specializations which allow students to concentrate on their selected area of expertise.

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