Microsoft is expanding its certification options to enable high school and college students with no prior IT or development experience or employment to gain a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification.
These certifications are meant to better prepare them for the working world after they graduate as well as for careers in technology and is first time the company has implemented certifications for students.
The newly-created MTA program will provide a total of seven certifications in two categories corresponding to the existing Microsoft technology certification programs Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP):
- Software Development Fundamentals
- Web Development Fundamentals
- Windows Development Fundamentals
- Database Fundamentals
IT Professional Exams
- Networking Fundamentals
- Security Fundamentals
- Windows Server Administration Fundamentals
The MTA certification program is designed specifically for secondary and post-secondary students interested in exploring academic and career options in a technology field and is intended as the new recommended entry point for Microsoft technology certifications.
It is available exclusively in educational settings and easily integrates into the curricula of existing computer classes.
To participate in the MTA program, colleges have to be members of the Microsoft IT Academy, a subscription-based program that provides IT training and resources to academic institutions. Microsoft is also producing MTA Certification Exam Review Kits (ERKs) as well as 20 hours of instructional materials for each exam.
Just as in Microsoft's professional level certifications, the commercial testing service, Certiport, administers the MTA examinations.