Course #: CIS 240-W 1 Assignment #: Microsoft Certifications Email: Technology is changing at an unprecedented pace and organizations struggle to stay abreast of it all. Organizations need to find and hire people that understand technology well and can put it to use for the organization's benefit. However, the problem most organizations face is to find the right people for this job. To alleviate this program, many companies have introduced certification programs for their products. For networking purposes, many organizations throughout the world use Microsoft's Windows operating system software, based on the TCP/IP standards.

A few years ago, Microsoft launched a business unit dedicated to developing programs, to certify IT professionals on use of Microsoft's products. The certification track for networking is the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, MCSE for short. The most recent certification track is for Windows 2000 although tracks also exist for Windows NT. According to Microsoft, "MCSE candidates in the Microsoft Windows 2000 track are required to pass five core exams and two elective exams that provide a valid and reliable measure of technical proficiency and expertise in solution design and implementation." (Microsoft) Interested IT professionals can take the exams at Prometric or VUE testing centers located worldwide. The certification is a good indicator that the certificate holder is well versed in the technology arena and capable of helping the organization implement technology. This holds true when using Microsoft's products, however, not all organizations rely on Microsoft's products.

Although an MCSE certification indicates good knowledge for Microsoft's products, it also marks the certificate holder as somebody with a capacity of learning new technology, Microsoft or not. Thus, even if a candidate is an MCSE, he / she still may still be capable of benefiting the organization. As an MIS manager, it would be beneficial to hire an MCSE given that all candidates are not appraised strictly by certification, but also other qualifications. According to a 2000 salary survey by computerjobs. com, the average salary of a MCSE is $42/hr ($80, 640/year) as a contractor, and $40, 000/year as a permanent employee. (ComputerJobs) In addition to networking, additional certifications exist for other Microsoft products including some basic business applications.

The Microsoft Office user Specialist (MOUS) is a timed exam that requires the user to perform certain tasks on a document. The test can be taken for any individual Microsoft Office product such as Access, Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint. Although each exam has a certain fee associated with it, the prestige associated with the certification does usually bump the certified candidate's salary to a higher level. Sources Microsoft: web > ComputerJobs: web.