Microsoft Certified Trainers to Meet Higher Qualifications

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 8, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it is raising the qualifications to become a Microsoft® Certified Trainer (MCT). Beginning January 2001, all trainers must earn either a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) or Microsoft Certified Systems Developer (MCSD) credential in addition to passing their requisite MCT exams.

“These qualifications ensure a strong and highly qualified base of trainers to meet the technical training demands of our customers,”
said Marsha Kabakov, director of training channel programs at Microsoft.
“In fact, most IT professionals believe that having as much experience as possible is so important that 69 percent of MCTs already meet this new requirement.”

Microsoft is committed to providing its trainers with the knowledge necessary to provide the highest quality technical training to students. For example, to become qualified as an MCSE on the Windows® 2000 operating system, one must pass five core exams and two elective exams that provide a valid and reliable measure of technical proficiency and expertise.

“Microsoft is raising the bar and standards for the IT training industry,”
said Elliott Masie, president of the MASIE Center and editor of the TechLearn Trends Newsletter.
“Trainers must be technically credible in the eyes of learners and their managers. The training industry gains increased credibility by this new level of excellence reflected in the MCT credential.”

The deadline for the new MCSE and MCSD requirement gives current MCTs more than a year to prepare for the change and has drawn quick praise from both customers and established MCTs.

“For trainers to be effective, they need to walk a few miles in the shoes of their students,”
said Chris Gurko, an MCSE who trained at a Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center (Microsoft CTEC) organization last year.
“With Microsoft raising the standards for MCTs, students can rest assured that their trainers have learned all the latest Microsoft information and have gone through the advanced training and certification process.”

“I absolutely support this new requirement,”
said Bill English, an MCT and MCSE with Networknowledge and an independent trainer and consultant.
“An MCSE or MCSD certification will let the student know that I can converse about more than what is in the course; this adds lots of credibility and value to my training.”

Training Investment to Prepare IT Professionals for Windows 2000

Today’s announcement comes amid a $40 million effort by Microsoft to train more than 150,000 developers, channel members and IT professionals worldwide on the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system. It is the company’s largest training effort to date to prepare the channel and customers for the release of a product.

MCTs are qualified instructionally and certified technically by Microsoft to deliver Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) instructor-led courses at Microsoft CTECs. There are currently 21,000 MCTs worldwide to provide students with the skills necessary to flourish in the IT industry. Microsoft CTECs offer a variety of training options, including online, self-paced and instructor-led courses, which can stand alone or be combined as a hybrid solution to deliver a complete training solution to customers. Currently the program involves more than 900 training centers in North America and more than 1,900 total Microsoft CTECs worldwide. A directory of Microsoft CTECs can be found on the Microsoft Training and Certification Web site at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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