How to Become a Microsoft Developer: Education and Career Info

Research the requirements to become a Microsoft developer. Learn about the job description and the education requirements, and read the step-by-step process to start a career as a Microsoft developer.

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  • 0:01 Should I Be a…
  • 0:34 Career Requirements
  • 0:55 Steps for a Microsoft…

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Should I Become a Microsoft Developer?

Microsoft developers are information technology professionals who specialize in a specific area of development. Many specialize in developing software applications or operating systems. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a career in software development generally requires a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering. Computer programming skills and knowledge are required, and possessing a Microsoft certification increases employment opportunities.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Computer science, software engineering
Certification Voluntary; can enhance job prospects and career advancement
Key Skills Technology, problem-solving, interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills; creativity; detail-oriented
Mean Salary (2016)* $122,860 (for Microsoft software development engineers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Microsoft, Champlain College, Bellevue University, Glassdoor,*

Microsoft developers have technological and analytical skills. They are creative, detail oriented, problem-solvers with interpersonal and communication skills. According to, at the beginning of 2016, the mean annual salary of a Microsoft software development engineer was $122,860.

Steps for a Microsoft Developer

What steps would you take to become a Microsoft developer?

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

First, you would earn your bachelor's degree. Enrolling in a 4-year undergraduate program is the first step in becoming a Microsoft developer. Completion of a bachelor's degree program in related fields, like software development or computer science, helps prepare developers for certification through Microsoft-related coursework within a software development degree program, which may include C++ programming, JAVA, SQL, and mobile programming with .NET for Windows. Other courses students are required to take in these programs can include information systems design and development, computer and network security, and enterprise database systems.

This is the time for you to develop specialized computer skills. During a bachelor's degree program, students who want to focus on a specific area of development, such as working with software applications versus operating systems, should include the appropriate coursework in their curriculum. Many 4-year degree programs offer students the option of selecting a concentration or course electives during their studies.

Step 2: Get Certified

For step two, you would want to get certified. Microsoft offers certifications in many areas, including development. Aspiring candidates pursing a career in Microsoft development may want to consider applying for credentials as a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) or a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). Examples of the exam formats may include multiple-choice, short answer, active screen, and simulations. Exam preparation guides are available through Microsoft. According to Microsoft, possessing a Microsoft certification can assist in gaining employment and enhance career opportunities.

Step 3: Apply for a Position

Your last step, step three, is to apply for a position. After having completed a postsecondary training program and obtained certification, aspiring Microsoft developers will be prepared for entry into the profession. Job responsibilities may include developing and testing software, configuring and modifying applications, and assisting in project preparation. Work experience can help Microsoft developers advance in their careers.

Microsoft developers use their technological and analytical skills to solve problems creatively. They have a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering, often with a focus on software applications or operating systems, and they have a mean annual salary of $122,860.

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