The MCITP certification (Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional) is an outdated category in Microsoft’s MCP program. It is slowly being transferred to the list of legacy certificates due to advances in technology. Certifications from Microsoft act as proof to employers that an individual is highly skilled in a particular area, making them a more attractive option during the hiring process or making them seem more invaluable.
Each certification involves several different paths. The MCITP presents the option for five paths:
- • Windows client
- • Windows Server
- • Microsoft SQL Server
- • Microsoft Exchange Server
- • Microsoft SharePoint
Microsoft Certified IT Professional itself is not a certification, but rather a group. Applicants can, for example, gain an “MCITP: Windows client” certification, however. Each path contains several exams that must be taken and satisfactorily passed in order to receive the certificate. To gain a basic understanding of what each path entails, the following are some topics covered in the Windows client test named “Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7”:
- • Dealing with software issues, such as permissions, digital signatures, troubleshooting, deciphering logs, and others.
- • Manually troubleshooting network problems, addressing concerns relating to DNS, TCP/IP properties, differentiating cause between hardware and software, and connectivity to printers on the network.
- • Hardware and software maintenance and optimization of Windows 7 client machines.
- • Troubleshooting for mobile solutions on an Enterprise network, specifically dealing with wireless connections and remote access.
- • Finding and eliminating security risks, as well as repairing any damage caused by said risks.
These tests are delivered in a variety of question formats. Questions may be posed as multiple choice, interactive drag-and-drop sequences, or performance-based tasks. Each test generally has between 40 and 60 questions, taking two to four hours for the typical applicant. They are administered by third party companies at onsite locations around the world. Almost all tests cost $150, and they can be applied for on the web.
As each attempt at a test must be paid for again and tests may come few and far between, Microsoft has generously compiled training resources for all who are interested in becoming certified. There are actually entire certifications for educators and trainers, and many of those who have completed these programs offer classes which can be found through Microsoft’s website. Preparation booklets and online companion learning resources are also provided. Microsoft cautions, however, that these resources cannot replace a well-educated individual, and are by no means comprehensive or fool-proof methods to passing any exams.
Microsoft strongly recommends an MCSE certification over an Microsoft Certified IT Professional cert due to its inevitable extinction. About thirty certificates have already populated the long legacy list, as they deal with technology that is no longer supported – Windows XP, 2005 servers, and others. As companies make the switch to newer machines and operating systems, all MCITP paths will eventually become useless. Some companies of course may use these outdated system for an extended period of time, so it is ultimately the applicant’s decision whether or not the certification will be worth their efforts.