Microsoft Certification At-Home Training Information
Home-study Microsoft certification courses are available from Microsoft, as well as from colleges and private businesses, which offer distance-learning options. These home-study courses allow students to work independently using official Microsoft courseware. Courses and training programs are designed to focus on one specific certification exam. Additional training resources available on the Microsoft website include tutorial videos, webinars and downloadable training courses.
Students can choose from certification paths in servers, desktops, applications, databases and development. Within each certification path, there are multiple certifications available at different levels. Credentials include, in order of expertise, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). The applications certification path also includes the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Microsoft Office Specialist Expert and Microsoft Office Specialist Master. To earn certification, you must pass a series of exams. Each certification requires a different set of exams, and each exam has a corresponding training program option.
Course Format and Training Topics
On the Microsoft website, students can access a class locator that helps them locate certification prep courses near them or online. Due to the hands-on nature of some of the certifications, not all exams have online or at-home training options. Learn about some of the online training courses below.
Windows Operating System Fundamentals
This course prepares students for one of four exams required for the MTA: IT Infrastructure certification. This 8-module course can be completed online in as little as three days. Students learn about installing, upgrading, maintaining and protecting Windows 7. Additional course topics include file sharing, remote management and managing devices.
Configuring Windows 8
Students who complete this virtual course will have learned about configuring and supporting Windows 8 computers. The training is divided into 14 or 15 modules and also covers topics in Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), SkyDrive functionality and configuring shared folders. In addition to lessons, students complete labs. This training and corresponding exam is part of the pathway that leads to the MCSA: Windows 8 credential.
Microsoft Office Specialist Expert
Students seeking the Microsoft Office Specialist Expert credential will need to pass four exams. These exams do not have any corresponding training courses, but students can prepare at home by completing the online study guides found on the Microsoft website. Study materials include an exam overview, skills review and hands-on practice tasks. Students can choose between print or electronics books.
To summarize, Microsoft offers a wide variety of certification options, and the preparation for some of the qualifying exams can be completed through distance learning programs.