Microsoft wants users to get the most out of its software. That not only requires top-notch tools, but also appropriate certifications. This way Microsoft can be sure that users know how to handle the various software solutions and that they achieve maximum value for their employers.
Why are certifications so important? How can Microsoft ensure that certifications match the needs of organizations? And what changes does the software vendor see for the near future? In this article Liberty Munson, Director of Psychometrics at Microsoft, takes a closer look at these questions.
Many companies want to initiate a digital transformation or are already in the middle of it. Why? Digitalization makes them more flexible: employees can work anywhere with the tools they need. In addition, after a digital transformation, developers are able to build applications that meet the needs of employees and customers, much faster. This makes an organization more agile and efficient.
“At Microsoft, we want to support organizations in their digital transformation as best we can. Not only with the right software, but also with appropriate certification programs for this software,” says Liberty Munson. “Because when your employees are able to make optimal use of our software, they can exert an even greater, more positive impact on your digital transformation.”
New technologies occur at a rapid pace. As a global software giant, Microsoft has to deal with this development like no other. After all, Microsoft develops new software based on new technology. “The skills and knowledge needed to use new technology and related software tools must grow at the same pace,” explains Liberty Munson. That's why Microsoft continuously evaluates and improves its certification programs.
“Feedback is very important to us. Are some exam questions not in line with the daily practice? What did you encounter when using our software after you obtained your certification? This information helps us improve and keep our certification programs up-to-date.” According to Liberty Munson, learning partners such as Computrain also play an important role. “On the one hand, our learning partners are a valuable conduit to our learners, providing Microsoft with feedback about relevance of the skills being taught in our courses and measured by our certification exams. On the other hand, they encourage candidates to pass on their feedback. That is very valuable to us.”
According to Liberty Munson, certifications have benefits both for certifiers themselves and for their employers. “Research shows that with a certification in your pocket you have a better chance of being hired, promoted and getting a seat at the table.” With a certified employee, organizations acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful digital transformation. “And of course also for success in other business areas,” says Liberty Munson. “Because the more certified members a team has, the more successful it is.”
How can we measure skills in a different way? Microsoft is assessing this issue in detail, while looking towards the future. Liberty Munson: “Maybe we can test employees on the job, for example through a practical project or by having them build a portfolio.” Microsoft also wants certified people to become more aware of the added value they have to offer in the future. “Our certification exams are some of the toughest in the industry. So you should be proud if you have obtained a certification. After all, that's the way you stand out from the crowd – and help yourself and your employer forward!”See which Microsoft certification paths you can follow at Computrain.
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