I got my certification to MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist). I would like to pursue two goals: First, I would like to strengthen my position in my current job. Secondly, I hope, I can make the first round of applications survive better in case I have to apply externally.

What should I notice for a conversation with my boss, so that my certification will be considered positive for me?

In the event that at some point I need to apply external: How much weight has an MCTS in the application? Should / Do I have to tread the path to the MCPD in full?

I start from the following boundary conditions:

  • I work in the area in which the tested knowledge is applied. MCTS (70-511. NET Framwork 4, Windows Applications)
  • At the latest in a job interview counts only real knowledge. The second part of my question refers explicitly only to the phase of the written application. Later, a small piece of paper will be meaningless if there is no substance behind it. It will only be a first proof that I, as an unknown candidate, am not a complete idiot.

With regards to a discussion with your boss, one would hope that if you work in the domain in which the knowledge tested for the certification is applied, your boss would immediately say "You got your MCTS? That's great!" and open the door for you to point out any specific aspects of the tested knowledge that you'd like to start putting into practice, or that you'd like to focus more on. If you are working in the same domain and your boss says "The MCTS? What's that?" then your job in expressing the benefit to the company will be more difficult but just have a meeting with him or her to give an overview of the knowledge you gained and then (still) how you would like to start putting that into practice.

About how a certification looks on a job application, it depends on where you're looking to apply -- see @Tangurena's answer. For companies for whom certifications matter (as an HR filter or otherwise), any certification will help, but the further along you are, the better you'll look at screening time. However, note that there are plenty of companies for whom certification does not matter, and you will invariably interview with people who find pure disdain for certifications.

In both cases, if you know why you've gone through the learning processes and achieved certifications, and can speak to the benefits that they add to you as an employee, you will put yourself in a better position than if your answer is "I got this certification because everyone said to."

  • Interesting ideas how to utilize that. I think it gave me good ideas for both cases. +1 – Markus Apr 11 '12 at 11:17

I've held Microsoft certifications for years. The only companies that seem to care about them are Microsoft Partners, and that is because the Partner program requires Partners to have a certain number of certified employees, so a "silver" partner requires 2 certified employees, but a "gold" partner will usually require 4 employees with specific certifications.

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