How Do I Earn a MCSD Certification?

MCSD stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer. This top-level certification is available in four specialization areas. Read on to discover how you could earn MCSD certification. Schools offering Computer Systems Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

MCSD Certification Overview

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification is typically sought by developers who are interested in designing and producing applications for computers, mobile devices and other platforms. This is a second-tier credential that is typically sought after earning the more general Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification, which covers general topics in information technology and software development. MCSD certification is available in four areas:

  • Windows store apps
  • Web applications
  • SharePoint applications
  • Application lifecycle management

Important Facts About MCSD Certifications

Common Topics HTML5, javascript, application development, Azure solutions
Exam Format Best answer, multiple choice, short answer, drag and drop, build list, active screen
Possible Careers Software engineer, software developer, software architect, web developer
Continuing Education Recertification is required every two years
Median Salary (2018) $105,590 (for all software developers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 24% growth (for all software developers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

MCSD Preparation and Requirements

Information technology professionals who are interested in pursuing MCSD certification are required to pass a series of exams. The exams vary depending on the specialty area, and each exam has an optional training course to prepare professionals for the exam. All MCSD certification exams are scheduled through the Prometric testing service, which offers a test center locator and exam registration online.

Testing centers, community colleges, and some universities offer the Microsoft classroom training for the exams. E-learning and print-based home study materials are also available for most exams.

MCSD: Windows Store Apps Certification

This certification has two paths. Programmers who typically work in JavaScript should take the HTML5 path, while those who are .NET developers and create Windows 8 apps should choose the C# path. Both pathways require students to pass three exams that cover programming, essentials of developing Windows store apps and advanced app development. Individuals with this certification could seek careers as web developers, software developers or quality engineers.

MCSD: Web Applications Certification

This web applications certification is for individuals seeking careers as web developers or administrators. The three exams cover programming in JavaScript and CSS3 as well as developing ASP.NET MVC applications and Microsoft Azure web services.

MCSD: SharePoint Applications Certification

Of the four MCSD certifications, this is the only one that requires passing four exams. The first two exams cover HTML5 programming and developing web applications, and the second two exams focus on SharePoint development. This certification is beneficial for those who work as software or web developers.

MCSD: Application Lifecycle Development Certification

This certification demonstrates an individual's skills in managing the entire application development process and could help professionals get a job as an IT project manager, software developer or application engineer. The three exams cover administrating, software testing and how to deliver continuous value with Visual Studio.

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