Value of Microsoft Certification and Training to Help you get there!

earn-moreThis is an exciting time to get certified: we've recently revamped and launched brand new certification paths to reflect today's cloud-focused jobs, helping you to get hired, get ahead, be productive faster, and to receive the recognition you deserve.

Why get certified? Certifications give you a professional edge by providing globally recognised industry endorsed evidence of skills mastery, demonstrating your abilities and willingness to embrace new technologies. Verify your skills, unlock your opportunities.

Microsoft offers a variety of training resources for technical professionals, and Microsoft Partner Network members have access to additional training opportunities as a benefit of program membership. Individuals who want to showcase their excellence can pass exams and earn certifications, and some exams and certifications may apply to a partner organisation earning a Microsoft competency.


MTA – Microsoft Technology Associate

Microsoft Technology Associate is a certification intended for aspiring technologists, and people seeking knowledge of fundamental technology concepts. MTA certification addresses a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts, assesses and validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical credibility.

MCSA – Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate is intended for people who seek entry-level jobs in an information technology environment. MCSA is a prerequisite for more advanced Microsoft certifications.

MCSE – Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert is a certification intended for IT professionals seeking to demonstrate their ability to build innovative solutions across multiple technologies, both on-premises and in the cloud.

To learn more visit the Microsoft Learning website where you can get an overview of the certification categories and levels, and find information about the requirements for each certification and the associated exam prep resources.


Microsoft has recently launched new cloud-focused certification paths, and the Microsoft Learning website has been revamped to better help you identify the right certification and prepare for and pass certification exams. When you pass a certification exam, you become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community, and have access to benefits provided through the Microsoft Certification Program and the MCP member site. Achieving certain certifications or passing select exams provides you with a digital badge – web-enabled representations of your Microsoft certification that can be embedded in an email or shared on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


Whether you are looking for a beginner course or an expert course, no matter what your preferred method of learning is whether that be through in-person, virtual live courses, self-paced courses like MOOCs (massive open online courses), on-demand courses and videos, technical books/eBooks, or a mix of these, we have something for everyone.

The table below will help you consider the different factors in determining the training that meets your needs and is right for you.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Microsoft Official Courses Microsoft Official Courses Exam Preparation Course
Platform Channel 9 Microsoft Virtual Academytip: see the free eBooks page Azure Training On Demand Classroom (In-person or virtual) Next Up Exam Camp
Primary purpose Awareness, big picture Exploration, readiness Committed learning Flexible committed learning Critical committed learning Flexible committed learning
Time required 0.25–8+ hours Anytime, anywhere 1–8+ hours Anytime, anywhere 20–30 hours Structured 4–5 weeks Anytime, anywhere 30–40 hours Structured 3 months access Anytime, anywhere 30–40 hours Structured 3–5 days Structured 40-60 hours Structured 4–5 weeks Anytime, anywhere½ day In-Person Sitting Exam
Primary content levels 99–100 100–150 100–200 200–300 200–300 200–300
Skills gained Awareness Product (remedial) Conceptual Product Product Product
Credential None Printable certificate MVA transcript Validated certificate of course completion Transcript Certificate of completion Transcript Certificate of completion Transcript Certificate of completion
Primary instructors Technical evangelists Technical evangelists Microsoft subject-matter experts Microsoft Certified Trainers Microsoft Certified Trainers Learning Partners Microsoft Certified Trainers Learning Partners Microsoft Certified Trainers Learning Partner

For Australian partners, we publish the Australian Hot Sheet which is comprehensive, regularly updated schedule of in-person and virtual courses and calls. The Hot Sheet is posted monthly on the Australia Partner Blog.

On the Born to Learn site, check out the Certification Study Groups. For self-paced study, consider the Microsoft Official Courses On-Demand, follow the partner learning paths for MPN competency or by role (tip: try a search by exam number), and consider purchasing Microsoft Press books.

For those of you reading this blog in Australia if you are thinking about earning an Azure Certification make sure you check out our latest Xbox Azure Certification Competition.


If you are ready to take a Microsoft Certification exam you will need to register, and you may be eligible to take an online proctored (OP) exam.

There are special offers from Microsoft Learning available, like Exam Replay and Exam Replay with Practice Test.


Certification exams are technical requirements for some Microsoft competencies. Associating to your company’s MPN membership and entering your MCP ID there will help fulfill those technical requirements for competency attainment.

Microsoft competencies are aligned to customer needs, and allow partner organisations to demonstrate proven expertise in delivering quality solutions in a specialised area of business.

Partners with a silver or gold competency have access to deployment and support benefits and to internal use rights for Microsoft cloud services and software.

Each competency has technical requirements that include passing certification exams and/or technical assessments. Assessments are free to take, predominantly online, and hosted on Partner University. If you’re ready to take the assessment, you can go to it in Partner University directly from the requirements tab of the competency’s page. If you want to find training to help you prepare for the assessment, you can find your competency on the partner learning paths page and follow those recommendations.


Even if you are not planning to attain a silver or gold competency, preparing for and passing the technical exams and assessments for a competency can be a good way to gauge your proficiency in a technology area. The resources mentioned above for training and certification are accessible to you. To get hands-on experience with current Microsoft products like Azure, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Visual Studio, you can subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack, an MPN membership option.