To supply IT’s demand for qualified professionals, Microsoft is committed to improving its training program for trainers.

Making MCTs

To supply IT’s demand for qualified professionals, Microsoft is committed to improving its training program for trainers.

When you commit to gaining Microsoft certification, you make a serious investment of time and money that will reap dividends for you and your organization. To realize those benefits, Microsoft commits to providing you with the training you need, through our channel, to gain meaningful certification. So, how are we doing?

The question is more important than ever, because the demand for Microsoft certification is increasing dramatically. That gives us the added challenge of increasing the number of Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) worldwide while maintaining trainer quality. The number of trainers has more than doubled recently, to more than 14,000 worldwide, and we believe we’ve maintained a standard of quality in the process.

MCTs must meet a variety of Microsoft criteria before they can instruct in the classroom. First, MCTs must obtain certification in the courses they are to teach. But that’s just the start, because qualified training requires both technical expertise and the ability to convey information to technology professionals. MCTs are required to receive Microsoft-approved training in technical instructional presentation skills.

And we do more. Under our “trainer preparation” program, master trainers from around the world attend in-depth sessions at the Microsoft campus on the latest products and technologies—from Microsoft Windows NT Server 5.0 to Visual Studio 6.0.

Far from being limited to abstract presentations, these master trainers participate in detailed seminars with Microsoft product managers and engineers, and with educators and writers who create Microsoft courseware for the corresponding exams—in essence, they have direct access to the experts. These master trainers then return to their countries or regions to train the trainers who eventually train you.

Our Microsoft Certified Trainer program continues to evolve as the needs of our trainers and certified professionals evolve. Instructor-led training will remain central to the certification process. A recent Gartner Group study, for example, showed that instructor-led training is the most used form of training chosen by IT decision-makers. But this will change. For example, instructor-led training will integrate into a hybrid that incorporates—but is not replaced by—online instruction. For another, MCTs will take an active role in customizing courseware to meet company- or job-specific needs. In addition, MCTs will participate more actively in new training formats, such as scenario-based training, in contrast to product-based training.

To evolve with these needs, we’ll continue to expand our trainer preparation efforts. We’re sponsoring more training activities at our Redmond campus. We’re enhancing the MCT Web site with new resources and building an online community that allows MCTs to share best practices and insights. We’re committed to providing MCTs with the resources and support they need to make classroom instruction successful. And, you can be assured that if you enhance your career by becoming an MCT, the same resources and support are waiting for you. Visit the MCT Web site at
for details.

About the Author

Steve Willett is Microsoft’s worldwide program manager for the Microsoft Certified Trainer Program.


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