I am a senior computer engineering major and have recently come across a book called MCSD Visual C++ 6 Desktop Applications which is about ten years old. I was wondering what the advantages were of taking these Microsoft Certification tests and if it is something I should consider doing to advance my programming skills while still in college. Is it something that will help me get a better job in the industry today once I graduate? Any additional info on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Probably depends on the company to which you apply for a job -- I suppose MCSD certs might make a difference between two people with equal education, experience, and knowledge. Otherwise they are not of much value. Why? Because people can pass the exams without ever coding so much as a single line of code. Just study the book and you can pass the exam.

in fact with older Microsoft exams it was often beneficial to not have prior experience with the subject matter because the Way as prescribed by the exam requirements was often contradictory to how things are actually done in the real world, and using anything but the Way to solve the exam problems would lead to failure on the exam (with in some cases following that Way in the real world would not just be inefficient but fatal, leading sometimes to major problems).