A Microsoft certification for individuals who have demonstrated in-depth knowledge of a specific Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft BackOffice product, or Microsoft application development tool. Employers can use the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) designation to screen candidates for technical positions, and current employees can be encouraged to achieve this designation as part of their career advancement path.
You become an MCP by passing an exam associated with the specific software tool. The exams are administered by independent organizations such as Sylvan Prometric and Virtual University Enterprises, which together have over 1400 testing centers worldwide. Passing any one Microsoft exam (except Exam 70-058, Networking Essentials) earns you the MCP designation. You can earn further designations on the system engineer, developer, and Internet tracks by passing a set of core and optional exams. These designations include Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).
Other certifications require mastering combinations of skills. Examples include Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer + Internet, Microsoft Certified Professional + Site Building, and Microsoft Certified Professional + Internet.