Road To MCSE: Microsoft MCT Program Goes Into Underdrive Page 2

Thomas Shinder

Change Is In The Winds...

It'll be this way until January 1, 2001. According to the Training and Certification Newsletter put out by Windows 2000 Magazine on October 20, 2000, the requirements for teaching a particular MOC course will change. First, all MCTs must be MCSEs. This is a good thing. The way the rules are now, any MCP that took the Workstation exam could go out and start teaching Windows NT Workstation, even if they haven't a clue about TCP/IP, NT Server, or any Enterprise concepts. By requiring MCTs to have the premium MCSE certification, you can be assured that the instructor has a clue about the bigger picture.

"Exam? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Exam!"

However, the requirement for passing the exam associated with the class is being dropped. What does this mean to you as a prospective student who may be taking the course in order to pass the Microsoft exam associated with a particular course?

Suppose you are interested in Exchange 2000. You want to take a class at a CTEC because your experience there has been that the instructors are knowledgeable about the subjects the teach. You register and take the class. 

During the class the instructor clicks through the torrent of slides provided to him by Microsoft and reads to you the MOC. Whenever someone asks a question, he says he doesn't know. When the class is over, you realize that although you don't know much about Exchange 2000, you knew a lot more than the instructor!

All your previous experiences with the center had been good ones. How did this happen? It happened because the instructor didn't need to really know the product well enough to teach it! He's an MCSE in Windows NT 4.0 and has never seen Exchange 2000, much less Exchange 5.5 or even Windows 2000. With the rules as they stand for 2001, this is perfectly legitimate and acceptable behavior.

You might think this would never happen. I assure you it will. The new Microsoft exams are an order of magnitude more difficult to pass than the old ones. This means it will take longer for people to prepare for and pass the exams. In the meantime, CTECs need someone to teach these classes. In our example, they could hire a contractor that has passed the Exchange 2000 exams. But contractors are expensive, and the training center already has MCSE staff instructors. The center will demand that their instructors teach these courses, and the instructors must comply because their employer's request is completely within the bounds of acceptable practice according to the new rules.

This article was originally published on Oct 30, 2000
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