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MCA certification - your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by natkay2603, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    Hi, i'm obviously many years away from earning an MCA qualification. But, i do someday aspire to be an architect. I have been reading about ther Microsoft MCA program and have seen mixed thoughts on the Qualification. I would be interested to find out what you guys think of it.

    Take a look below if you have not seen it before

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/architect/default.mspx
     
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Well there are a number of problems really :-

    1. You must have at least three years as an architect.

    Sounds reasonable enough, apart from the fact that nobody can actually agree what an architect is ! :wink:

    2. You must pay Microsoft £20,000...

    Sounds a little expensive to me, probably take 3-4 years for you to see an ROI, and what happens if you don't get awarded the certification ? At least with an MSc/Phd you hopefully walk away a little more knowledgeable...

    3. You have to wait and practise your presentation for 2 years...

    Microsoft reserve the right to determine when your interview will be, they only leave america every two years.

    Theres the Master or Ranger certs and the ability to get MCA through these routes, this seems the best option but is only really available to Sys Admins and DBA's, so again I'd question if its really an architect certification. Its also still extremely expensive.

    I'd love to go for it, but I really can't get around these issues.

    My current feeling is that I've spent about 7-8 years going for certs and really I could have been far better placed with other qualifications, taking this into consideration makes me reluctant to invest too much more time and money in certs over and above other qualifications.

    A second degree or postgrad qualification is likely to be better respected than a certification in my mind.

    Also see this :-
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/architect/archapp/default.mspx

    As such I really can't see how anyone outside of microsoft or the US can presently take part, I hope this changes for the better.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the response. I didn't know they were changing it. DO you knw the reason for the changes? It is definately expensive. I would asume if someone was competent enough to pass that they would be on a high salary. And i guess even though it would be an additional expense they could go to the US to do it. I would have thought that as not many people have this certification they could earn a great salary as a consultant some where.
     
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Its catch 22, it you can guarantee to pass the MCA you are probably already on a six figure package.

    As people have already said a certification is no guarantee of a rise or a job.

    The time off work to go to the US could well add another £10-15k to the cost.

    Many people already earn great salaries consulting without the MCA, in fact management consultancies charge $$$ for people with minimal qualifications...
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    I am suprised that they will not it available in UK, or at least Europe.
     
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Its not an entry level cert, most companies with laugh at you if you call yourself an architect without at least 10 years relevant IT experience.

    The MCA was available in the UK, just on a limited numbers basis with a small interview window every two years.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    I understand that the US is a bigger market for Microsoft and they are based there, but still.
     
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Even though I'm pro-Microsoft (I'm MS certified, I work with MS products, etc) I would rather go for a vendor neutral architect certificate (unless the company that I was working for deemed it necessary for me to go down the MCA route) and a Master's in that field, but that is my personal opinion.

    Added to that, but I'm pretty sure that the MCA will need to go thru the recertification process every few years (to be updated when they release new info).

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    By the time you're able to get the MCA, you don't need the MCA.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  10. jsnorth

    jsnorth Bit Poster

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    I just think the new exams are a mistake for Microsoft.

    The MCA is very expensive. You'll want to be rewarded for the MCA and asking any employer for at least £10k more in salary, will need a lot of justification - ok, its a simplification but I cannot see how the individual can reclaim that investment (assuming they pay for it)

    I liked the old MS qualifications - MCAD, MCSD

    However, I've posted before on this topic - how important are certifications in today's IT world when we are off shoring and have excessive people in the industry.
     
    Certifications: BEng, ISEB SD Dip, TOGAF 8.1.1
    WIP: MCTS, CCDA, ISEB BA Dip
  11. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    But you'd already be doing the job at hand (on the higher salary) and most likely the company will be sponsoring you. If not, then it's an individual investment that the person will have to swallow unless they have another job with a even higher salary to go to.

    OK, but they're a different level to the MCA.

    -Ken
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip

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