When I first started working with Microsoft certifications in the mid-1990s, it seemed like you couldn’t turn around online without finding something or somebody related to its credentials. By the time we launched the Exam Cram series in early 1998, the MCSE/MCSA and even MCSD credentials were white-hot, and widely perceived as a direct ticket to a decent-paying job in IT. Nearly 15 years later, my how things have changed. Although Microsoft certs remain both valuable and interesting to IT professionals around the world, they are by no means at the top of everybody’s list of must-have credentials. Today, they’re just one of many good choices – including Cisco, CompTIA, CISSP, PMP and others – with real evergreen potential (see my TIP story on “Evergreen IT Certifications,” particularly Part II, for more info).
Don’t get me wrong: there are still plenty of good Microsoft cert info resources available online. But I was a little chastened and saddened to see how many go-to sites and resources I used regularly in the late 1990s and early 2000s have now fallen by the wayside. But as you visit the resources I tag here, and check out other resources on your own, and be attentive to how current and up-to-date the information you find might be. If it’s older than June 2012, it precedes the newest crop of MCSE/MCSA/MCSD certifications and is probably less useful or germane than it might first appear. You’ve been warned!