How Do I Become a Certified Microsoft Solution Developer?

The Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) is one of Microsoft's professional-level programming certifications. Information technology (IT) professionals seeking an industry-standard credential in software development may wonder how to become an MCSD. For suggestions on how to do this, read further. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Microsoft Certified Solution Developer

An MCSD certification indicates the ability to analyze problems and provide software solutions using Microsoft technologies. Achievement of the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer certification requires following several steps, many of which are common to completing other Microsoft certifications.

Important Facts About Software Developers

Median Pay (2018) $110,000 (for all systems software developers); $103,620 (for all applications software developers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) Expected employment increase of 24% (much faster than average)
Work Environment Full time and overtime work is common
Similar Occupations Computer hardware engineers, computer programmers, computer systems analysts, database administrators, web developers

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Experience and Preparation

Before pursuing the MCSD credential, Microsoft suggests that individuals have up to a year of programming experience for some certification specialties, in addition to a familiarity with Microsoft products.

Training courses are widely available, both online and in traditional classroom settings. You can complete optional training courses on Microsoft's website. Classes address the skills needed for success in the required exams, and can cover a wide range of topics such as HTML5 and JavaScript, fundamentals of web app development, and applications such as SharePoint. You can also take practice tests provided by Microsoft.


The number of exams you will have to complete depends on the MCSD specialization you are hoping to achieve, although most certifications require the completion of three exams. Available MCSD certifications include those focused on Windows store applications, web applications, SharePoint applications, Azure Solutions architecture, application lifecycle management, and universal Windows platforms. Exams typically cost $165 each. More information can be found on Microsoft's website.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Yavapai College

    Campus Locations:

    • Arizona: Prescott
  • Walla Walla Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Walla Walla
  • Valencia College

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Orlando
  • St Petersburg College

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Clearwater
  • Seminole State College of Florida

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Sanford
  • Sarasota County Technical Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Sarasota
  • Santa Fe College

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Gainesville
  • Saint Johns River State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Palatka
  • Richland Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Decatur
  • Prince George's Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Largo