Why such a gap between MTA and MCSD? Not sure what to do

celticninjacelticninja Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
So a little background - I'm a freelance web developer - I code with HTML/CSS, a tad of javascript and a tad of PHP. I tinker with Git, I use Photoshop, I use Bootstrap, I use Foundation, I use WordPress. I'm comfortable tinkering around in PHP My Admin - a little. I know my way around FTP, and all of that jazz. I make a meager living creating sites using these technologies.

I studied Web Design and development in college and I made it to my junior year before I ran out of funds. There's no way for me to finish college for quite awhile, no question about it (REALLY REALLY bummed about that.)

I really want to advance my career and I feel like a Microsoft certification will help me out. At the very least it will validate my skills a bit - and give me a roadmap of sorts to study. (If I'm studying for an MCSD, then I'm learning something.)

I know that certifications are not the "end all be all" and they won't assure that I pick up a job somewhere. But since I can't get one piece of paper (My BAS) then I need that other piece of paper, or else I'm just another Joe Shmoe.

That's where I'm at so far - hopefully that really quick summarization will help you see where I'm at. So now that I've said all of that - I've been doing a lot of research on Microsofts various paths. I can see that the MCSA/MCSE isn't the route I should take, to stick to web developer/software developer I figure I need to stick with the MCSD path. Out of those paths, I feel like Web Apps is the path for me. However, having said that I don't know squat about the Microsoft Stack, aside from a few basics. I tinkered with Razor for a weekend..So I know if I go this route, I've got a lot of learning - and I'm okay with that. But what I'm wondering is... why on earth isn't there a smaller gap between the MTA's and the MCSD? I don't want to waste my time with the MTA, but I'm a bit intimidated about the MCSD.

It feels a little unfair that the support/tech guys can start with the MCSA and THEN move up to the MCSE. Does MS hate developers? lol

Anyway, I'm looking for some guidance. I know I could jump into a basic technician role and work my way up through the trenches, but I want to stick to developing if at all possible.

PS - one problem I've had is I haven't been able to make up my mind until recently. I would thoroughly enjoy a Network Admin job, and I'm confident enough that I could work my up to that position with an A+/MCSA>Network+/MCSE and lots of hard work - but again, I'd like to stick to developer.

Sorry for jumping off of my own train for a moment, my thoughts are all over the place - but I hope that this has made sense.In short, whats a developer with no hardcore - on the job - experience to do?


  • daviddwsdaviddws Member Posts: 303 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well you could get the MTA as it shows you finished something, but I would think the BA would be top priority. Can you borrow to finish it? You don't want to live with regret IMO. Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, and before you know it your future responsibilities can stop you from your dreams.
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
  • celticninjacelticninja Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, I've been dismissing the MTA as something trivial, just based on how Microsoft describes it. However, having said that the way you said it gives it more weight. that's true, it would show companies that I've finished something and that's something. On a side note, I see that I can swap the HTML5/CSS/Javascript test for the C# test - and I would then be a MCP just from passing that one test - I know that's not the MCSD (or MCSA) but that and MTA should give me some sort of validity shouldnt it?

    As far as my BA goes, I'm out of personal funds and out of school loans/grants. Life DOES have a funny way of sneaking up on you >< But maybe that will tell you how determined I am to make something happen, lol
  • KarolWKarolW Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm going through a very similar situation right now. I think my skills are a bit more advanced than yours, but my living does not come from IT (just an extra money from time to time) and I'm doing all sort of certs and a lot of self-education.

    Here's my advice. If you want to do MCSD: Web applications (MCSD: Web Apps Certification | Microsoft) then look for a voucher e.g. 3-for-1 or a one that includes a second shot. That will save you some money and give you a deadline to commit yourself to (a very important thing).

    Now the most important thing. MCSD: Web applications (and Windows Store Apps Using HTML5) include exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3). If you pass it, you get a Microsoft Specialist certification. That's the thing that bridges the gap between MTA and MCSD.

    Hope that helps.
  • zidianzidian Member Posts: 132
    You could also consider something like WGU. It is flatlined at about $3000 a semester and lets you take as many classes as you can finish in a term. If you have 2 years complete, you may be able to waive quite a few of the requirements for the degree. If you don't have the funds to pay that, consider looking for full-time employment somewhere that does tuition reimbursement. That's at least one option.

    I've been a developer for about 6 years now and the single most important thing for the future of my career is a Bachelor's degree. Close to half the jobs I'd be interested in list a four year degree as a requirement. The job I am currently in also requires a four your degree, but I was able to get it by applying to a different job and then after a year applying as a transfer candidate. Many jobs that I attempted to interview for wouldn't even give me a phone interview without the degree.

    So, with all that said, while the developer certs are great certs to have, I believe the degree is more important. Others may have different experiences, but that's how it has been for me.
    WGU BS-IT Software | Completed 9/30/2014
  • celticninjacelticninja Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would give my right leg to be able to finish my BA right now. I guess I'm hoping to worm my way into some sort of junior developer position, if that's even possible. I'm just not sure what the path is to get there - IF there is a path without a degree. I guess I'm hoping that the cert will give me something to work with since I can't get the BA yet.

    So, food for thought - if I had an MTA in web dev fundamentals and maybe the C# test passed and under my belt....and a decent amount of Github code live, and maybe some open source volunteer work under my belt...would it be at all possible to find a position somewhere with those things? Trying to think outside of the box.
  • zidianzidian Member Posts: 132
    I think it would be. I originally worked my way into the industry doing manual QA Testing. You usually get exposure with other developers and may be able to parley that into a developer gig.
    WGU BS-IT Software | Completed 9/30/2014
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 12,869 Admin
    So, food for thought - if I had an MTA in web dev fundamentals and maybe the C# test passed and under my belt....and a decent amount of Github code live, and maybe some open source volunteer work under my belt...would it be at all possible to find a position somewhere with those things? Trying to think outside of the box.
    Have you search through job postings for software developers in the geographical areas that are good for you? That's where you will find what skills, education, and experience hiring managers are looking for.
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