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How do I Get MTA Certified?

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By: jasminen

December 12, 2019

Microsoft remains the desktop OS leader. More than 75 percent of personal and business devices worldwide run some form of Windows, and more than 30 percent now run Windows 10.As a result, Microsoft training and certification remain both popular and profitable; the sheer number of Windows-based business deployments creates a massive pool of job opportunities — if you have the right certifications.

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But with so many courses and training options now available, how do technology professionals choose the best fit for their budget and potential career path? The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) program is a great starting point; here’s what you need to know about getting certified, which courses you should take and how MTA can help boost your job prospects.

What is MTA Certification?

The MTA program is designed to facilitate your career in the Microsoft environment. MTA courses are broken up into multiple “tracks” which include IT infrastructure, database fundamentals, web apps, Windows Store applications using HTML5 and Windows Store Applications using C#.Each course offers its own exam and certification. For example, the MTA fundamental track for IT infrastructure includes four potential certifications:No certification is required to earn any of the others, allowing you to take the courses you want in the order you prefer to increase your overall Microsoft expertise.

Where Does MTA Lead?

While MTA courses stand alone as their own Microsoft certifications, they’re often used to help IT professionals prepare for more rigorous certification programs such as Microsoft Certified Systems Associate (MCSA) or Microsoft Certified Systems Developer (MCSD).Completion of the MTA track for IT infrastructure provides the critical knowledge necessary to complete the three exams — 410, 411 and 412 — required to earn MCSA designation for Windows Server 2012, or exams 687 and 688 for MCSA Windows 8.It’s worth noting that there are no official prerequisites for MCSA examinations — you can choose to skip all MTA certifications and instead challenge the MCSA exams directly. While IT professionals with years of hands-on experience in Windows environments may be successful with this approach, MTA certifications are often worth the time and effort to help boost your confidence in Windows — and open new job opportunities.

What MTA Courses Should I Take?

With so many MTA certifications available, where should you start? Two of the most popular are MTA Networking Fundamentals and MTA Security Fundamentals.This isn’t surprising — with networking and security both key components in successful Windows deployments and broadly applicable across industries, these certifications offer direct value for IT professionals looking to take on more responsibility and earn new positions.As with MCSA certifications, it’s possible to challenge the exam directly but if you’re already working full-time in IT or are just getting started with Windows technologies, online training courses taught by expert instructors can help keep you on track and ensure you’re focused on key networking and security concepts.For example, Cybrary’s MTA 98 – 366 Networking Fundamentals course helps students:
  • Understand local area networks (LANs)Define networks with the OSI model
  • Deploy wired and wireless networks
  • Implement TCP/IP in the command line
  • Work with key network services
  • Enhance network security
    • The MTA 98 – 367 Security Fundamentals course helps build knowledge across critical concepts including:
      • Security layer deployment
      • Authentication, authorization, and accounting
      • Security policy development
      • Overall network security
      • Server and client hardening
      While Microsoft doesn’t release the complete details of their MTA exams, most are 40-60 questions long and must be completed in 45-50 minutes. For exam 366, expect 45-50 percent of questions to focus on understanding protocols and services. For exam 367, expect 35-40 percent of questions to target operating system security.

      What Does MTA Certification do for my Career?

      Once you’ve earned an MTA certification, what’s the benefit? No matter which certification you choose, you’re automatically more valuable to your current organization and a better candidate for new job openings. With many enterprises now searching for both security and network experts, Microsoft credentials on your resume provide measurable proof of in-situ experience, helping you command increased salaries and access greater opportunities.Specifically, the MTA Networking Fundamentals certification can help lay the foundation for jobs such as:
      • Website developer
      • Help desk technician
      • Database administrator
      • Network architect
      • Software engineer
      • Video game designer
      The MTA Security Fundamentals certification, meanwhile, can help prepare you for positions including:
      • IT security specialist
      • Mobile application developer
      • Systems analyst
      • Network administrator
      • Security consultant
      Bottom line? While MTA certifications aren’t necessary to access higher-level training and exams such as MCSA or MCSD, they help improve your chances of successfully earning these more advanced certifications and expanding your career opportunities.  MTA certifications are also valuable on their own — every designation you earn, from security to networking to Windows OS and database fundamentals — improves your resume and boosts your earning potential.Ready to get MTA certified? Find the designation that suits your experience and interests, then invest the time in self-learning or directed coursework to complete the exam and start building your Microsoft portfolio.
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