The IT Pro: Is certification relevant?


The great question that resurfaces repeatedly in our industry concerns the value and relevance of IT certification. I have recently received a few notes from from Microsoft Learning about introducing their new certifications and I’d like to share these with you. Naturally, I have weighed in my personal opinion and lastly hope to furnish you with some useful resources including some not to be missed free training.


Is certification relevant?

I believe it is a priority requirement that information technologist keep to a routine of awareness, training and certification. I see this as a sign of good practice for both internal IT and consulting partners.

My view draws on reasonable experience stemming from countless certifications and being in the industry for 20 years; coincidently that’s how long Microsoft certification has been going. It’s worth a quick read here on the evolution of the exam development process.

New Technology brings new certifications:Private Cloud

I still meet many people that are not convinced by the number of cloud definitions. To avoid any doubt today, I’m writing about Microsoft Private Cloud technologies, as fully explained on the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform website. Taken from same source.

A private cloud delivers fundamentally new capabilities that represent a generational paradigm shift in computing.

And with these new technologies, Microsoft learning offers us new training and certifications that addresses and validate the new skills.


Available as a Beta release in April, the certification starts with the foundation of current Windows Server 2008 exams, and adds two new System Center 2012 exams, currently in beta. To learn more about the certification details head over to the Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Overview page and note there are plenty of links to help prepare, download the software and take a practice exam.

Mini Survival Guide to learning Microsoft Private Cloud

While I can’t be certain to cover every angle, let me provide several ways to get started beyond the overview page.

Stop Press -  two free courses!

It’s definitely worth considering these instructor lead courses at the Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA. There are some requirements and to find out more read here.

The Microsoft Management Summit 2012- MMS 2012

This is learning central for Microsoft System Center and Private Cloud. Last year I was there meeting Microsoft and non-Microsoft experts. While it’s sold out now, there is no harm in adding yourself to the waiting list if you do want to go. If you are going, why not try the new beta certifications.

TechDays, IT Pro Camps, Cloud camps (UK). – UK Techdays

Virtualization and Private cloud learning brought to a location near you, this looks to be a day well spent. For other countries have look at your regional websites for similar activities.

The Microsoft Virtual Academy MVA

This great free learn at you own pace site is stacked with a wealth of information. Lunch and learn Private Cloud and so much more.

Private Cloud Solutions Hub – Reference Architecture

Loads here.

My blog roll

Great links to people and teams working in the virtualization, private, hybrid and public cloud space follow them on twitter and subscribe to their blogs.

In short

Training and certification is of great value and the benefits should reflect in our businesses activities, thus enabling us to offer better service, write better code or design improved infrastructure. It’s time to make better use of the evolving datacentre and infrastructure technologies and adopt a private cloud learning and implementation strategy.

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2 Responses

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  1. Written by Edward Jones
    on July 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Working for an IT Training organisation, you may view my opinions as bias, however I believe Certifications in any industry are of the up most importance.

    They are a 3rd party stamp of approval to demonstrate your expertise in a selected topic, technology or skill etc.

    Especially in the IT Sector the help you stand out in a crowd and reinforce your credibility to any employer.

  2. Written by Kevin Severud
    on April 30, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Until January 31, 2013, Exam 70-659 may be taken in place of 70-247 to count towards the Private Cloud certification.

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