Microsoft certifications can be a valuable asset to someone employed in almost any level of the IT industry. The certification exams range from the easy to the difficult, and as you progress up the ranks, you may find that studying by yourself or with a few web tutorials simply doesn?t cut it anymore. Are you on the hunt for Microsoft certification training? There are a variety of avenues through which you can pursue training.

First decide what kind of training you?d like to prepare for your Microsoft certification exam. Do you want a structured class format, with lesson plans and homework, or is your preference for something a bit more do-it-yourself? If you prefer the former, then instructor-led classes, whether online or in a classroom, are the option for you. If you prefer the latter, consider browsing through online tutorials, print textbooks and guidebooks, or picking up a certification training kit. Microsoft offers some authorized training kits that include a whole suite of materials that you will need: study guides, practice exams, necessary software, and more.

If structure is what you seek, you can pursue instructor-led training options. Microsoft has a list of approved instructors and courses, from which you can try to find options in your area. You can, however, pursue certification through unaffiliated organizations as well. As long as you do your research well, it is quite possible to get solid training out of any local Microsoft certification class. And finally, there are online training courses available as well. Some of these actually attempt to mirror real-life classrooms, with video lectures and homework assignments, while others have a more bare-bones approach to Microsoft certification training.

Microsoft certification programs are usually designed to be stand-alone solutions to passing targeted Microsoft certification exams. The label of ?program? is sometimes a misnomer. Depending on the length and level of difficulty of the Microsoft certification that you hope to achieve, programs might take as little as a few intensive days or as long as a few months. Programs also differ greatly in the format, the time commitment, the teaching style, and more.

One popular solution, particularly for entry-level Microsoft certifications, is for non-instructor-led learning. Such programs might take the form of online classes, but even within this subcategory, approaches are widely divergent. You might simply be given a few CDs of material so that you can take up the task of training for Microsoft certification on your own time and at your own pace. There are also online programs with a more structured and more traditional approach: you might find yourself watching clips of actual lectures, doing interactive problem sets, and even communicating with an instructor or other students. Online programs are popular for their flexibility and ease of access.

Microsoft certification programs can also take place at physical locations. Some people sign up for instructor classes which may meet anywhere from once a week to almost every day. You can find lists of approved Microsoft certification programs online and search for ones in your area. Take a glance at your schedule and your priorities to determine which Microsoft certification programs are good choices for you.

So you?ve decided to pursue Microsoft certification. Congratulations, because with a Microsoft certification (or two or three) in your hands, you open up a number of exciting career opportunities not only at Microsoft, but at a number of other IT firms as well. Now to tackle to problem of how to get that certification. The first and most obvious solution that comes to mind is to take classes.

Back up for just a moment. Before you begin, decide whether Microsoft certification classes are in fact the right step for you. In many cases, you may find that self-instruction can be just as effective, more convenient, and far cheaper than signing up for classes. For example, you might be an amateur who has fiddled with enough computers, networks, and databases to solve many of your own problems. If you?re shooting for an entry-level Microsoft certification that covers many of those same areas, then classes might actually be redundant. Consider picking up some information on the testing requirements and taking a practice exam to gauge your level of preparedness. Remember, classes aren?t the right solution for everyone interested in Microsoft certification.

If you are a beginner hoping to step into a whole new area, however, Microsoft certification classes are there to guide you through the entire process. Comprehensive classes are available in several formats: you can take classes online, in a classroom, or even in an intensive boot camp. Each option has a unique combination of flexibility, time commitment, and effectiveness that you will need to consider before choosing one.

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