Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video


  • Service Provider

    Youtube Video

    The Microsoft MTA exams can be confusing if you are not versed in the certification space and a lot of people just hear that Microsoft certifications are great and forget that people are discussing their professional certification options and not just anything. If you are wanting to work in IT, you need to understand what the MS MTA certs are, and why they aren't for you.



  • This chart makes it seem like MS wants you to go through MCTs on the "path". And "MCP" isn't even in here.

    0_1500334183182_Microsoft_Certification_Roadmap_for_Students_1.png



  • Another one of their charts.

    0_1500334257216_MTA_Roadmap.jpg


  • Service Provider

    @guyinpv that chart is two generations old. Those certs aren't even the cert names today. It's weird that they show the MTAs like that as if they are industry certs. But they are trying, I think, to show that they are certs (which they are, just not pro certs) and that they are for investigating things in that general path. That's their purpose - for learning about those areas. But they don't certify you in those areas. That's why their names aren't things like "Administrator" but "Fundamentals." When you get the MCSA you are a certified "Administrator" or "Certified as an Administrator." What do you say with the MTA... you are a "certified fundamental?" That's like calling yourself a "Certified Noob".


  • Service Provider

    Also notice that that is a Roadmap for Students, not a road map for IT Pros. It has the MTA on it because it's for students looking to learn more about career paths.


  • Service Provider

    Let's look at the Windows 10 Cert, just to understand how MS words it today.

    0_1500334543046_Screenshot from 2017-07-17 18-35-25.png

    For the Windows 10 MCSA, the first step is to possess the background skills. The MTA is listed here as an option means of "having" the skills. It's in no way needed and the suggestion here is that it is a background pre-professional general knowledge exam for showing yourself that you have what you need in your background.

    Under Exams for the MCSA, the MTA is not listed, because it's not part of the professional certification path.


  • Service Provider

    0_1500334769212_Screenshot from 2017-07-17 18-39-15.png

    Notice that this isn't for working professionals but for "aspiring technologists", e.g. students. There is nothing wrong with the MTA for when it is intended. But it's not required for anything real, so best to skip it because for just a little more effort, you can get something far better.


  • Service Provider

    An MCSA requires but two exams as it is:

    0_1500334905319_Screenshot from 2017-07-17 18-41-30.png

    Both of these are "post" MTA exams. These are meant for professionals, not students. Only these tests are needed.



  • Why bother with any of them? MS changes absolutely everything about their roadmap and certs every two years anyway! lol


  • Service Provider

    @guyinpv said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Why bother with any of them? MS changes absolutely everything about their roadmap and certs every two years anyway! lol

    Other than lowering the stringency of the MCSA and MCSE, those have remained the same for decades. The MCSA is the MCP+I from the 1990s. Other than updating that horrible name and dropping the MCSE+I for being "too hard" for the Windows world very little has actually changed. They update the underlying certs every two server generations, but of course they have to do that. But the basics have never changed.


  • Service Provider

    The basic information on how the certs work from 1996 still apply today. That's 21 years and counting. It's not expected to change for the next several years at least. The MTAs were a pre-pro cert added later, but as they are pre-pro and are not on the roadmap, that's not really a change. They've very slightly altered the MCP name, but that's fine as it was so ridiculous and pointless anyway. It's a bit like the SATs, after the mid-2000s they had to "dumb it all down" a little bit as it was just too hard for their audience.

    But the MCSA and MCSE have remained pretty staunchly in place except for a really brief rebranding period that they immediately reverted, for decades and while they are much easier than they used to be, they remain in the same market position as always.



  • Meh.....I don't think the MTA is totally useless. I think some of the MTA certs can be useful at landing entry-level Helpdesk/Desktop support jobs at companies that are Microsoft shops.
    Especially if you sell the skills & knowledge learned from studying for MTA certs (i.e. enableing/adminstering/configuring/troubleshooting Office 365, Active Directory/Group Policy, Remote Desktop, & etc.) in your resume & interviews.



  • @satam55 said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Meh.....I don't think the MTA is totally useless. I think some of the MTA certs can be useful at landing entry-level Helpdesk/Desktop support jobs at companies that are Microsoft shops.
    Especially if you sell the skills & knowledge learned from studying for MTA certs (i.e. enableing/adminstering/configuring/troubleshooting Office 365, Active Directory/Group Policy, Remote Desktop, & etc.) in your resume & interviews.

    I guess it is better than nothing... Although it obviously doesn't carry the weight of certifications such as MCP or even entry level CompTIA certs.

    Why waste your time on something that is slightly better than nothing and cost you money? You might as well go the MCP route? I am sure the Desktop OS MCPs are really easy. I only have experience with server MCP tests, but those were easy enough.


  • Service Provider

    @satam55 said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Meh.....I don't think the MTA is totally useless. I think some of the MTA certs can be useful at landing entry-level Helpdesk/Desktop support jobs at companies that are Microsoft shops.
    Especially if you sell the skills & knowledge learned from studying for MTA certs (i.e. enableing/adminstering/configuring/troubleshooting Office 365, Active Directory/Group Policy, Remote Desktop, & etc.) in your resume & interviews.

    Only if the hiring managers are confused. Having the MTA on your resume depends on the hiring manager has no idea what it is, if they know what it is, having it on your resume will make it harder to land even an entry level job. I'd wager that for anyone, at any level, it would hurt you more than it would help.


  • Service Provider

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    I guess it is better than nothing...

    My guess is that it is not. If that logic held true, people would also put "took a high school networking class" on their resumes. They do not, because it looks terrible to mention it. You don't want to promote things so trivial, because it both highlights just as little you have to show (an MTA is not considered an industry cert), and it suggests that you aren't clear on the meaning of the certs that you have.


  • Service Provider

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Why waste your time on something that is slightly better than nothing and cost you money? You might as well go the MCP route? I am sure the Desktop OS MCPs are really easy. I only have experience with server MCP tests, but those were easy enough.

    Right, there are to axis here.

    First, even if you have an MTA (and there are good reasons to have gotten them - they exist for a reason) don't put it on your resume. This is the problem of the absolute value of the cert being zero or likely, negative. Literally it make look like a black mark on your resume. HR might even filter for it like they do for University of Phoenix.

    Second, anytime that you take the time and effort and money to get an MTA, don't, instead put a little more effort into industry certs that actually get you somewhere. This is the problem of the relative value of the MTA, that a similar effort and cost put into something else would net you far more. Getting the MTA wastes time that could have been used doing things that could have been very valuable.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    I guess it is better than nothing...

    My guess is that it is not. If that logic held true, people would also put "took a high school networking class" on their resumes. They do not, because it looks terrible to mention it. You don't want to promote things so trivial, because it both highlights just as little you have to show (an MTA is not considered an industry cert), and it suggests that you aren't clear on the meaning of the certs that you have.

    I disagree on both accounts. If I was 18 years old and had zero experience, I would highlight my MTA and my high school networking class. Although both are pretty trivial, you are 18 years old and even MTA and networking class separate you from your peers at this point.

    Sure there are 18 year olds that have MCSE (I did at 18), but the vast majority don't. So I think you would benefit if you are 18-22 years old with no experience applying at an entry level job. It shows that you have the ability to learn something and apply it.


  • Service Provider

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    I guess it is better than nothing...

    My guess is that it is not. If that logic held true, people would also put "took a high school networking class" on their resumes. They do not, because it looks terrible to mention it. You don't want to promote things so trivial, because it both highlights just as little you have to show (an MTA is not considered an industry cert), and it suggests that you aren't clear on the meaning of the certs that you have.

    I disagree on both accounts. If I was 18 years old and had zero experience, I would highlight my MTA and my high school networking class. Although both are pretty trivial, you are 18 years old and even MTA and networking class separate you from your peers at this point.

    You aren't seeing the kind of people that I see. We see 18 year olds with Net+ and MCPs, and experience. If MTAs and your high school classes are putting you ahead of your peers, your peers aren't really "in the game." There's nothing wrong with being behind at 18, but you still, even at that age, don't want to highlight that you are on the low end of "getting ready for college".

    The relative value still stands, if you were trying to be competitive in the IT space in high school, why waste time on HS classes or MTAs when that same time and effort would have gotten you an MCP, for example?


  • Service Provider

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Sure there are 18 year olds that have MCSE (I did at 18), but the vast majority don't. So I think you would benefit if you are 18-22 years old with no experience applying at an entry level job. It shows that you have the ability to learn something and apply it.

    99% of high school students don't intend on going into IT. Of those that do, most are no good and will never be good. That the vast majority don't have a Network+ isn't useful. The majority don't do anything that would get them into any field that is not their field of interest.

    The point is that an MTA does you no good. It doesn't show that you applied yourself, it's too basic. It, like many things, actually risks suggesting that you avoided doing something harder and more meaningful with your time like the Net+ or an MCP. It risks showing poor decision making around how to spend your time. It suggests that you spent time and money on something useless because you didn't research ahead of time. All things we specifically worry that people in IT will do, these are specific weaknesses we want to weed on in IT.

    You have to look at it in the grand scheme - people have to spend their time doing something. The MTA is so low level, so easy, and doesn't build towards anything, that doing it suggests just having avoided doing something more meaningful.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    I guess it is better than nothing...

    My guess is that it is not. If that logic held true, people would also put "took a high school networking class" on their resumes. They do not, because it looks terrible to mention it. You don't want to promote things so trivial, because it both highlights just as little you have to show (an MTA is not considered an industry cert), and it suggests that you aren't clear on the meaning of the certs that you have.

    I disagree on both accounts. If I was 18 years old and had zero experience, I would highlight my MTA and my high school networking class. Although both are pretty trivial, you are 18 years old and even MTA and networking class separate you from your peers at this point.

    You aren't seeing the kind of people that I see. We see 18 year olds with Net+ and MCPs, and experience. If MTAs and your high school classes are putting you ahead of your peers, your peers aren't really "in the game." There's nothing wrong with being behind at 18, but you still, even at that age, don't want to highlight that you are on the low end of "getting ready for college".

    The relative value still stands, if you were trying to be competitive in the IT space in high school, why waste time on HS classes or MTAs when that same time and effort would have gotten you an MCP, for example?

    I think you are half right... At 18 I had A+, Net+, MCP, MCSA, and MCSE

    However, there are plenty of entry jobs that would hire 18 year old with MTA. Plenty of helpdesk jobs out there that just require HS diploma and are constantly a revolving door.


  • Service Provider

    @irj said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    However, there are plenty of entry jobs that would hire 18 year old with MTA. Plenty of helpdesk jobs out there that just require HS diploma and are constantly a revolving door.

    Here is the issue...

    1. If they would hire the same student without the MTA, they can't be counted. This means that the MTA didn't help.
    2. If they would hire the same student with an MSP instead of the MTA, they can't be counted, because the MTA was only a break even compared to something more practical.
    3. If the number that would not hire someone because of the MTA is equal to or hire the remainder of the two discounted above, then the MTA becomes actively negative.


  • Where I work at, we are a test center and our students or instructors can go for certifications like MTA, MOS, and MCE.


  • Service Provider

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Where I work at, we are a test center and our students or instructors can go for certifications like MTA, MOS, and MCE.

    So you are a secretarial training center? What do you do? MOS is for secretaries and receptionists. MCE is for teachers. MTA is for pre-topical students.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Where I work at, we are a test center and our students or instructors can go for certifications like MTA, MOS, and MCE.

    So you are a secretarial training center? What do you do? MOS is for secretaries and receptionists. MCE is for teachers. MTA is for pre-topical students.

    No, I am the IT Support Specialist (damn those long titles) for the school that is also a Certiport test center too.


  • Service Provider

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Where I work at, we are a test center and our students or instructors can go for certifications like MTA, MOS, and MCE.

    So you are a secretarial training center? What do you do? MOS is for secretaries and receptionists. MCE is for teachers. MTA is for pre-topical students.

    No, I am the IT Support Specialist (damn those long titles) for the school that is also a Certiport test center too.

    I got that YOU are in IT. 🙂 I'm just wondering what they do that offers those non-IT certs. It makes sense that all of those exist, they all have a solid place and reason. Just not IT reasons. Or in the case of MTA, not professional IT reasons.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Where I work at, we are a test center and our students or instructors can go for certifications like MTA, MOS, and MCE.

    So you are a secretarial training center? What do you do? MOS is for secretaries and receptionists. MCE is for teachers. MTA is for pre-topical students.

    No, I am the IT Support Specialist (damn those long titles) for the school that is also a Certiport test center too.

    I got that YOU are in IT. 🙂 I'm just wondering what they do that offers those non-IT certs. It makes sense that all of those exist, they all have a solid place and reason. Just not IT reasons. Or in the case of MTA, not professional IT reasons.

    We do provide IT students with TestOut.
    http://www.testout.com/Certification/Pro-Exams/Catalog


  • Service Provider

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @scottalanmiller said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    @black3dynamite said in Understanding the Microsoft MTA Certifications SAMIT Video:

    Where I work at, we are a test center and our students or instructors can go for certifications like MTA, MOS, and MCE.

    So you are a secretarial training center? What do you do? MOS is for secretaries and receptionists. MCE is for teachers. MTA is for pre-topical students.

    No, I am the IT Support Specialist (damn those long titles) for the school that is also a Certiport test center too.

    I got that YOU are in IT. 🙂 I'm just wondering what they do that offers those non-IT certs. It makes sense that all of those exist, they all have a solid place and reason. Just not IT reasons. Or in the case of MTA, not professional IT reasons.

    We do provide IT students with TestOut.
    http://www.testout.com/Certification/Pro-Exams/Catalog

    Never heard of that one.