The Microsoft Technology Associate, or MTA, certification has been around for the past few years. Until recently, however, that credential has been solely available to academic institutions through Microsoft’s IT Academy program. On Monday, I found a message in my inbox from Megan Kahn (a Microsoft Learning PR person): it informed me that the MTA exams would soon be available to the general public through Prometric – which now even hosts its own MTA page – effectively putting the MTA program into the certification mainstream. Thus, it looks like the Microsoft cert program ladder has just has a new rung added onto the bottom of its certification hierarchy.
The MTA program consists of three tracks, each with its own stable of “fundamentals” certification exams (the database track includes only one exam, but both IT Infrastructure and Developer tracks encompass multiple exams best arranged in hierarchical fashion: see this MTA Program Chart [PDF] for more information; note that the upper-level certs still refer to MCTS: I’d expect MS Learning to revamp this to refer to MCSA, and possibly also MCSE and MCSD certs, in the near future).
Passing any one of the following exams confers the MTA certification:
- IT Infrastructure Track
- Exam 98-366: Networking Fundamentals
- Exam 98-367: Security Fundamentals
- Exam 98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals
- Exam 98-349: Windows OS Fundamentals
- Developer Track
- Exam 98-361: Software Development Fundamentals
- Exam 98-375: HTML 5 Application Development Fundamentals
- Exam 98-372: .NET Fundamentals
- Exam 98-362: Windows Development Fundamentals
- Exam 98-374: Gaming Development Fundamentals
- Exam 98-373: Mobile Development Fundamentals
- Exam 98-363: Web Development Fundamentals
- Database Track
- Exam 98-364: Database Administration Fundamentals
The individual exam pages linked above still provide exam links only through Certiport however, and the Microsoft Learning Cert pages (for example, the “Certs by Name” page) doesn’t yet include an MTA entry. I expect all of this will change in the next couple of weeks, and that all the pieces will get threaded together in a more coherent fashion. In the meantime, you can start thinking about recommending MTA to junior or entry-level folks looking for a good way to get started down the Microsoft certification path.