Unlike IBM, Microsoft never really developed their own sales-force. Instead, they rely upon the indoctrination of programmers and "solution providers" ... independent businessmen ... to do everything but write the software. The Solution Provider program is linked to and fuels the MSCE program because, to get and keep the SP designation, you must have a certain number of MSCE employees.
All of this would be well-and-good if it were something more
than a trademark-license.
But it really isn't, because Microsoft also
makes no particular formal effort at training
, either. To get the designations, you simply have to pass a test .. or have someone say
that you did. How you get the knowledge, or at least the passing grade, is entirely "up to you."
As a consequence, it has been my experience that a lot of people pay a lot of money on a fairly-regular basis to get these "credentials" to tack after their name, only to find that they are not the "magic ticket" that they were claimed to be. The certificates, as a product,
are certainly successful. But that is what they are.
Pragmatically speaking, I can say from 20+ years in this business that you cannot afford
"vendor lock-in." Even if you wind up spending your entire career working with or working on a single vendor's equipment (which, btw, you won't...)
that equipment will be working in [dis-]harmony with lots of other gear, and the more versatile
you are the more employable you will always be. When faced with a new and unexpected situation, you need to be able to smile, bob your head pleasantly, promise appropriately, then get back to your office/cube, rip into the manuals and the Internet, and actually get it done,
as promised. [You don't see the knowing smile on your boss's face... who knows perfectly well that you were bu**s**tting him/her back there, but
who also knows that you will, nonetheless, make sure that it really didn't turn out to be B.S. after all. It's a little game that you play. But, you deliver.
You need to constantly do the things that we were doing back before computer-science degrees existed,
and a "personal" computer was not yet technically feasible. Journalists called it "hacking," but mostly it was a highly refined case of goal-oriented, self-motivated, self-
education. If you know how to teach yourself,
you don't particularly need schools or training-centers that try to do it for you. It's the subtle difference between accepting
knowledge that is proferred to you, versus getting
It is not
really the sort of education that can be "spoon fed" to you in some classroom or training-room. You have to go out there and do it.
You have to read manuals very, very quickly. You have to have and to assemble a mental framework in which all these seemingly-disparate pieces actually fit.
You have to be nimble-headed and think on your feet.