Every IT professional needs to constantly upgrade themselves with new technologies and/or a certification for the technical prowess that they already possess. This is necessary to stay ahead in the IT rat race. Apart from better visibility among your peers, a popular certification program is bound to help you get a pay raise.
One such highly renowned certification for developers and application programmers is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD).
You’ve likely heard a lot of buzz about MCSD, but have you ever wondered just what MCSD is all about? How can you become an MCSD and why is it regarded as a globally recognised standard for developers?
In this article, we will take a close look at the various details of MCSD, eligibility criteria, and the benefits of successfully completing the certification.
Popularity of MCSD
Microsoft technologies and tools are used extensively in a great number of organizations across the globe. Microsoft is a highly trusted brand name over the years and you can trust the credibility of certification exams initiated by Microsoft long before other lesser known companies.
The MCSD credential certifies your ability to analyse, design and build application solutions across multiple technologies. An MCSD certified individual has the capability to handle multiple technologies and their integration.
MCSD is a vendor-specific certification. If you get a certification hallmark from Microsoft for a wide range of technologies introduced by them, then it is a clear indicator that you are a highly proficient programming analyst. It is also one of the more high-paying certification options for IT professionals and, at the end of the day; you will earn more from the innovative solutions that you offer to your enterprise.
How to Earn MCSD Certification?
Eligibility Criteria or Prerequisites
Complete Details about MCSD Certification Exams
There are five different MCSD certifications, as listed below:
|Tracks||Courses / Exams||Number of Exams to be Passed||Price per Exam (in the US; it may vary outside the US)||Suitable Job Profiles or Positions for Hiring by Companies|
Programming in C#
Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using C#
Advanced Windows Store App Development Using C#
|3||$150||Quality Engineer, Web Developer or Software Developer|
|MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect||1||Developing Microsoft Azure SolutionsImplementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure SolutionsArchitecting Microsoft Azure Solutions||3||$150||Cloud Solution Architect, Cloud Developer|
|MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management||1||Administering Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation ServerSoftware Testing with Visual StudioDelivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management||3||$150||IT Project Manager, Developer or Applications Engineer|
Even after clearing any of the above MCSD certification exams, you will need to appear for the recertification exam every two years to stay current with new topics and the periodic updates introduced in your chosen area of certification. Staying current on the MCSD will ensure you remain on the leading edge for your domain.
For official material relevant to every certification exam listed above, you can access instructor-led training, self-paced training, exam prep videos, Microsoft Official Practice tests, Wiki and Forum Community and Exam study books at the Microsoft Press Store.
All you need to do is click on the relevant exam name on the official Microsoft learning website.
Because exams can change at any time, it is advisable to keep track of all the details relevant to your MCSD certification. To stay abreast of changes and updates on covered material check out Microsoft Certification Exam Policies.
- Number of questions: The majority of the MCSD exams consist of around 40 to 60 questions (and sometimes a little more). However, this number may vary as the certification exams are updated frequently as per the latest technology updates.
- Duration: You will get details about the seat time, including the time taken to read instructions, sign NDAs and complete the exam, and the exam time once you register for your exam. The duration may vary.
- Type of exam questions: The type or format of exam questions may vary from student to student. You are likely to receive many question types, such as case studies, drag and drop, short answers, multiple choices, the best answer, build list and repeated answer choices. You may expect innovative testing techniques to be used by Microsoft for any of the exams that you plan to do.
- Minimum passing score: You need to achieve a passing score of 700 (or greater) for all MCSD exams. However, the calculations may not be straightforward; as the total number of question sets you need to answer correctly to be judged as “cleared” is decided by a group of Subject Matter Experts (SME) along with Microsoft’s psychometrician.
If you fail to clear the exam on your first try, not to worry. You can get a second chance at several Microsoft certification exams, including the MCSDs, This is possible only as per the current “exam retake” offer which entitles you to a retake of any of the MCP exams that you failed to clear. Of course the offer has a limitation or two – you need to schedule or take your first exam attempt between July 12, 2015 and January 12, 2016.
We hope that the above information about MCSD certification helps you decide if it will add value to your professional career. MCSD is a potent certification certain to bring you more money and better career opportunities.