Independent Study Finds That Microsoft Certified Solution Developers Significantly Outperform Their Noncertified Counterparts

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 16, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the results of a benchmark study showing that Microsoft® Certified Solution Developers are more productive and efficient on the job and outperform their noncertified counterparts, as rated by their managers.

The study demonstrates an important and statistically significant relationship between technical certification for computer professionals and job performance. Research was conducted by the Applied Experimental Psychology Group of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), and commissioned by Microsoft.

Microsoft Certified Solution Developers are qualified to design and develop custom business solutions with Microsoft development tools and technologies, including Microsoft Office and the Microsoft BackOffice
family of server software.

“The Microsoft Certified Solution Developer program was evaluated to determine its usefulness for solution developers and their employers,”
said Cyndy Fitzgerald, Ph.D., manager of certification development and psychometrics at Microsoft.
“We hired a third-party research firm to survey Microsoft Certified Solution Developers and their supervisors to find out if the certification process covers job tasks important for job performance, and to ask if the certification makes a difference in job performance.”

The results of the study show that Microsoft Certified Solution Developers are more efficient and effective at their jobs than noncertified developers in the areas most valued by developers and their supervisors. Supervisors rated Microsoft Certified Solution Developers
25 percent higher in the five most important job areas studied: analysis, design, research and professional development, debugging and coding. In addition, 90 percent of solution developers said that Microsoft Certified Solution Developer certification enhanced their professional credibility.

“Having Microsoft Certified Solution Developers on staff is absolutely critical for our business,”
said Mike Gunderloy, who manages project teams with three to five Microsoft Certified Solution Developers at MCW Technologies LLC, a systems consulting firm with offices in three states.
“It’s more than just a credential – I know they’ll really get the job done right, and that makes our customers happy.”

“This study clearly shows that Microsoft Certified Solution Developer certification gives individuals recognition for their ability to perform their jobs with Microsoft tools and technology, and establishes professional credibility,”
Fitzgerald said.
“Certification also gives managers an objective way to identify and evaluate potential job candidates and independent consultants who have expertise as solution developers.”

Survey Methodology

The study was conducted under the general direction of Dr. Jack McKillip of SIUC’s Applied Experimental Psychology Group, with data collection and preparation by the consulting firm Applied Research Consultants in Carbondale, Ill. All procedures were approved by the Carbondale Committee for Research With Human Subjects, which is the institutional review board at SIUC.

The survey analyzed major solution developer job functions. These job functions include analysis, coding, debugging, testing, distribution, ongoing support, project development, and research and professional development. Supervisors and solution developers were then asked to rank the importance and usefulness of certification across these job functions and specific job dimensions.

Research analysts, using accepted research techniques, ensured the validity of the findings and absence of company-specific bias. To do so, researchers carefully considered methodology, sample size and control factors.

For more detailed information or a white paper on this study, visit and select
“The Value of Certification for Solution Developers”
under the section titled What’s New.

MCSD Certification Requirements

The Microsoft Certified Professional program offers the following four certifications: Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Microsoft Certified Product Specialist and Microsoft Certified Trainer. More than 80,000 individuals have been certified by Microsoft since the program’s inception in 1992.

To become Microsoft Certified Solution Developers, individuals are required to pass four performance-based exams – two core exams and two elective exams. The exams, developed with input from industry professionals, measure a person’s ability to apply skills and knowledge to effectively design and develop solutions using Microsoft tools and technologies. There are more than 2500 Microsoft Certified Solution Developers worldwide.

For more information on the Microsoft Certified Professional program, call
(800) 636-7544.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and BackOffice are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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