Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist

Evergreen IT Certifications Part II
By , Mary Kyle

To meet ever rising demand for skilled Microsoft technology professionals, Microsoft offers a plethora of specializations for the Microsoft Certification Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications.

Microsoft technology is certainly pervasive. In some environments, it’s hard to find IT technology that isn’t touched by Microsoft. Whether servers, desktops, SharePoint, or virtualization–and everything in between–Microsoft products, services, and technology are everywhere, making IT professionals skilled in such technologies highly desirable to employers. To meet ever rising demand for skilled Microsoft technology professionals, Microsoft offers a plethora of specializations for the Microsoft Certification Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications.

An entry level certification, IT professionals interested in working with Microsoft technology are certain to find a MCTS specialization to match their area(s) of interest. Microsoft currently offers MCTS certifications in Exchange Server, Lync Server and Office Communications Server, Project and Project Server, SharePoint and SharePoint Server, SQL Server, System Center, Virtualization, Visual Studio, Windows Client, Windows Embedded, Windows Mobile, and Windows Server. In addition, MCTS certifications are offered in other Microsoft technologies such as BizTalk, Bing Maps, Office Groove, Visio, and more. Formal training in various MCTS certification areas is available but not required. To receive certification in a particular specialization, candidates must pass the corresponding exams.

The number of exams required for certification varies depending on the certification sought but generally range from two to five exams. On average, exams cost $150 USD each but this may vary with location.

Regardless of MCTS certification held, credential holders possess technical skills and demonstrate in-depth knowledge in a chosen Microsoft technology. MCTS credential holders typically are able to perform tasks such as implementing, debugging, troubleshooting, and building or adding onto applications. Many IT professionals choose to certify in several MCTS areas to demonstrate breadth of knowledge across multiple Microsoft products. For the serious minded Microsoft IT professional, the MCTS credential serves as a foundation level certification prior to seeking the more advanced Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification.

Certification Name

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)

MCTS Exchange Server
MCTS Lync Server and Office Communications Server
Project and Project Server
SharePoint and SharePoint Server
SQL Server
System Center
Virtualization
Visual Studio 
Windows Client
Windows Embedded
Windows Mobile
Windows Server
Other technologies (BizTalk, Optimization, Bing Maps, Groove, Visio, and much more)

Required Courses:

None

Exams

MCTS - Exchange Server:
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Configuration- Exam 70-236
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuration - Exam 70-662

MCTS - Lync Server and Office Communications Server:
Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Configuration - Exam 70-664
Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007, Configuration - Exam 70-638

MCTS - Project and Project Server:
Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuration - Exam 70-177
Enterprise Project Management with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 -Exam 70-633
Microsoft Office Project 2007, Managing Projects - Exam 70-632
Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, Configuration -Exam 70-639

MCTS - SharePoint and SharePoint Server:
Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuration - Exam 70-667
Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development - Exam 70-573
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuration - Exam 70-630
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Application Development - Exam 70-542

MCTS - SQL Server:
Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance - Exam 70-448
Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development - Exam 70-433
Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance - Exam 70-432

MCTS - System Center:
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Configuration - Exam 70-401
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Configuration - Exam 70-400
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Configuration - Exam 70-403 (retires on September 30, 2011)
System Center Data Protection Manager 2007, Configuration - Exam 70-658

MCTS - Virtualization:
Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization - Exam 70-659
Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization - Exam 70-669
Windows Server Virtualization, Configuration - Exam 70-652 (Retired on September 30, 2011)

MCTS - Visual Studio:
Microsoft NET Framework 4, Windows Applications - Exam 70-511
Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications - Exam 70-515
Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Data Access - Exam 70-516
Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications - Exam 50-513
Microsoft Silverlight 4, Development - Exam 70-506
Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration - Exam 70-512
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 ADONET Applications - Exam 70-536 AND Exam 70-561
Microsoft NET Framework 3.5 ASP.NET, Applications - Exam 70-536 AND 70-562
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation Applications - Exam 70-536 AND 70-503
Microsfot.NET Framework 3.5 Windows Forms Applications - Exam 70-536 AND 70-505
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Presentation Foundation Applications - Exam 70-536 AND 70-502
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Workflow Foundation Applications - Exam 70-536 AND 70-504
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, Web Applications - Exam 70-536 AND 70-528
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, Windows Applications - Exam 70-536
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, Distributed Applications - Exam 70-536

MCTS - Windows Client:
Windows 7, Configuration - Exam 70-680
Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, Deployment - Exam 70-681
Windows Vista, Configuration - Exam 70-620

MCTS - Windows Embedded:
Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Development - Exam 70-571
Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009, Development - Exam 70-577
Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7, Development - Exam 70-582
Windows Embedded Compact 7 - Exam 70-181

MCTS - Windows Mobile:
Windows Mobile 6.5 Application Development - Exam 70-580 (retires on June 30, 2012)
Windows Mobile 6.5, Configuration - Exam 70-579 (retires on June 30, 2012)

MCTS - Windows Server:
Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuration - Exam 70-640
Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuration - Exam 70-642
Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuration - Exam 70-643
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuration - Exam 70-169
Windows Small Business Server 2008, Configuration - Exam 70-653
Windows Essential Business Server 2008, Configuration - Exam 70-654
Windows Internals - Exam 70-660
Windows HPC Server 2008, Development - Exam 70-660

Cost Per Exam

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Exams are typically $150 USD.
Prices may vary based on specific geography and in some locations, taxes may apply.

URL

MCTS: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcts.aspx

Self-Study Materials

Various:
The Microsoft Learning Page has numerous resources available by specialization area including books, exams, online courses, classroom training, and recommended Learning Plans by MCTS specialization. For more information on self-study materials, visit the Microsoft Learning Page at:  http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/training/format.aspx

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