When you are considering whether a Microsoft Certification is worth the time, money, and effort, you want to consider your college career. In addition to receiving a certification when you pass the specified exams, you will also earn college credits.
Making Microsoft Certifications worth It
Any of the Microsoft Certification exams take a lot of time to prepare for and cost money. You will need to also find an authorized location to take the test, and many last several hours. However, the effort you put forth will look good on your resume, as well as earn you up to six college credits.
Cost of College Education
The cost of your college education can make it hard to ever recover from the debt. There are some companies that will pay for you to go back to school, but if this is not an option, you may be forced to miss work time to receive the education you need.
Some colleges will also give you credit based on experience you have already had in the workplace. However, it is not as easy as informing counselors your current job position. For the college to offer, you will need to prove you have the experience necessary to replace the class work.
College Credit Based on Exams
Microsoft Certification examinations require you to know your information and are highly valued tests. The number of college credits you may receive will vary based on the number of certification exams you take.
Getting College Credits
Unfortunately, not all colleges will accept the Microsoft Certification exam as a replacement for taking a college class. You have a better chance of finding a school that offers the college credits if they belong to the American Council on Education network. This network is comprised of over 1500 campuses.
Communicate with the School
The first step in obtaining college credits for receiving a Microsoft Certification is to communicate with the college or university you are interested in attending. Each school has the right to offer the credits, but you need to make sure they are on the ACE network first. In addition, talking to the college gives them the ability to change their policy on not offering college credits.
Determine if you Meet Qualification Requirements
If the college you are looking at attending does offer college credits, you will then need to see if you meet the qualification requirements. Each Microsoft Certification has different values assigned to it, so you need to make sure that you have the right certification for the college credit you desire. Finally, you must have received the certification within three years of applying for college credit.
The Microsoft Office Specialist Certification does not offer as many college credits as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. In addition, the certifications for masters and experts will be given more credits than the basic specialist certification. When you talk to the school, find out how many credits you could potentially receive for your certification level.
If you want to receive college credit, you will need to send proof in the way of a transcript. You will have access to a Microsoft Visual Transcript, which shows you earned the certification, but the transcript you need will be from the ACE’s transcript service.
The ACE network also offers a course catalog, where you have the ability to add the exams you have already taken and passed. You can add all the information, including when you received the certification, before submitting it for the review board to analyze. There is often a fee to submit a transcript, but it is far less than the cost of a college class.
Employers will pay for Certification
The best way to get college credit from your certification and spend the least amount of money is to have your employer pay for the certification. Many employers will cover the cost of education, and it will benefit them to have employees who have a Microsoft Certification. Talk to your employer about the possibility of paying for your certification first, which will reduce the amount of money it costs for you to attend college.
However, before you talk to your employer, make sure the college you are considering attending will take the exam in lieu of a college class. When you talk to the school’s administration, find out what classes can be omitted and which classes are required to save the most money and time for you and the employer.
The process of getting college credits for obtaining a Microsoft Certification is a time-consuming process. However, it will be worth the time spent as you can save thousands. Colleges charge several hundreds of dollars for the class, but then you have to factor in the cost of books and possible time lost at work.