Microsoft certification is useful for information technology professionals and all levels of businessmen and women, from secretaries to business owners. Community colleges and technical schools offer programs that can prepare students for Microsoft's certification exams.
Schools with Microsoft Certification Programs
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Tuition (2015-2016)**|
|Prince George's Community College||Largo, MD||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,650 in-district, $5,762 in-state, $8,090 out-of-state|
|Oakton Community College||Des Plaines, IL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,285 in-district, $8,878 in-state, $10,866 out-of-state|
|Chandler-Gilbert Community College||Chandler, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state|
|Estrella Mountain Community College||Avondale, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$2,046 in-state, $7,830 out-of-state|
|Northeast State Technical Community College||Blountville, TN||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,936 in-state, $15,336 out-of-state|
|Saint Paul College||Saint Paul, MN||2-year, Public||Certificate||$5,480|
|Arapahoe Community College||Littleton, CO||2-year, Public||Associate||$3,334 in-state, $13,052 out-of-state|
Sources: *School website, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for Microsoft certification schools:
- Prospective students should look for a school that offers the Microsoft certification exam that is most relevant to their desired career.
- It can be helpful to find out if students need to purchase their own computers and Microsoft software, or if the school provides access to computer labs.
- In associate's degree programs that include an internship, prospective students may want to make sure that it includes extensive work with Microsoft programs
- Prospective students may want to find out if the credits they earn in the program, or the Microsoft credential itself, can be applied toward a higher degree program in the future.
Undergraduate Certificate Programs
Microsoft offers a wide range of certification exams, beginning with the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification. From there, it is possible to take more advanced exams to earn designations such as Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) or Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MCSA). Some schools provide training programs specifically for these exams, while others include training within broader certificate programs in topics such as network administration.
Associate's Degree Programs
At some schools, it is possible to major in Microsoft Networking Technology or a closely related subject. In addition to basic information technology and general education courses, students may also prepare for one or more Microsoft certification exams, such as the MCP and the MCITP exams. Students can expect to dedicate two years of full-time study to an associate's degree program.
In order to train for a particular Microsoft certification exam, students should look for a program that fits with the educational interests and career goals.