When I posted a notice to LinkedIn yesterday to announce a new story for Tom’s IT Pro entitled “Most Bang for Your IT Certification Bucks” I got a very nice reply from online friend and occasional collaborator Joli Ballew who not coincidentally just earned her MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) credential and is also teaching full-time at Brookhaven Community College in Farmer’s Branch, TX.
She told me about a set of classes taught through their Microsoft Academy affiliation that cost $200 to study up for various Microsoft certs on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. The classes cost $200 each, and students not only get a free copy of Windows Server 2008 (original and R2) and a copy of Winodws 7 Professional, they also get free access to the rest of the Microsoft software catalog with, as Joli put it in an e-mail to me “…product IDs that do not expire.” And of course, those same students also get access to high-quality instructor led training and a fully-equipped study lab that lets them learn to use this stuff in a well-run and -supervised environment, with access to instructors or lab assistants if they run into trouble, or get stuck trying to figure something out.
Sure, you can only take advantage of the Brookhaven offerings if you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex area, but that’s not really the point of this blog, even if it is a true killer education deal. The real point of this blog is that over 2,000 community colleges in the US belong to the Microsoft Academy program as well, and also offer similar deals to would-be certification candidates ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. As you’re planning your next certification campaign, or thinking about how to prep for a cert exam, don’t forget to check out these amazing educational outlets, with all of the great instructors and resources they have to offer!