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What is MCTS?

MCTS stands for Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and is a new wave of Microsoft certifications aimed at helping candidates certify their skills in a specific technology. Each MCTS certification, whether it be .NET Framework 3.5 ASP.NET Applications, or Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance, consists of one or more exams. Candidates must pass all exams to achieve the certification. Exam do not have to be taken in any particular order, but it usually makes sense to take them from foundation leading up to the more advanced.

Candidates must pass the specified number of exams to earn the certification. Using .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Applications as an example, candidates must pass the following exams:

  • Exam 70-536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework � Application Development Foundation
  • Exam 70-562: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development

MCTS is also the building block for other certifications such as MCPD and MCITP. Once you have earned the MCTS certification you are usually just an exam or two away from achieving a higher certification such as MCPD: ASP.NET Developer 3.5. The online Microsoft Certification Planner is a great tool to plan your next exam and certification. The planner shows your current status and automatically calculates potential certifications for you.

All Microsoft exams are conducted through the Prometric testing provider. You must book your exam online using their website, you'll also have to pay the fees online. Your actual exam will be based at one of the many testing centres around the world, where you must attend in person. All professional Microsoft exams such as MCTS are computer based and consist of a variety of testing methods.

Once you have passed your Microsoft exam, you'll receive the Welcome Pack through the post (make sure you login to the MCP Member Site and confirm your address so Microsoft will send the pack). You'll receive a badge, certification and even a letter from Mr Gates himself!

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