Basically, I have a degree (2:1) in Software Engineering. I've worked in public sector for 2 years now which has ended up as a junior developer role for me towards the tail end of my contract (started off as data analyst, don't ask). Luckily I've now managed to land myself a job in the private sector as a graduate developer (necessary step even though I've already done a bit of development work) which I'm due to start in 2 weeks. Obviously my career path would typically lead to senior developer. I know there's a lot to reaching a senior level, particularly experience wise, I know it's not just what you've studied on paper at all - industry experience is vital. But - would an MCAD/MCPD/MCSD be a necessary addition to my cv to help make me more eligible for the senior positions? Or is my degree and industry experience as a graduate enough? The reason I ask is because I've studied a lot of principles of the life cycle of software development throughout university but as a developer pursuing a career with C# .net I'd like to carry qualifications that carry a bit more of a specific weighting towards these technologies and the Microsoft Certified courses look genuinely interesting.

If you do think it's worthwhile, what would you recommend I enrol in? Which MC course? I understand the MCSD is more of a higher-level course and covers earlier stages of software development (requirements analysis etc.) and MCAD does not but I'm not quite sure where MCPD fits in? Are all of these courses due to become dated at any time soon?

I seriously appreciate any advice or opinions you have to offer, my apologies for the wall of text.


Just my 2 cents as a guy 20 years in the biz... I think if you're going pure IT the MS certifications might mean something, but no company I've ever worked for in the US (all Microsoft centric development shops) has ever cared. When I do run into people who have the certs I tend to discount them a little because everyone I've ever known who has gotten them has been a terrible developer and got them to compensate for their lack of ability. Everyone I know who is any good is insanely busy and would never take the time to be certified because they have no need to show what they can do beyond in their job.

Not to in any way discourage you if you have the time and desire. If you are by chance in the US in the Houston area feel free to send me a resume.

Hi Dan,

I am in a similar position myself. I graduated 3 years ago with a 1st in IT and currently work in the private sector as a Software Engineer. Although I now have 3 year’s experience as a software Engineer on top of my degree I am also looking at Microsoft Certification.

I work mainly with C# .NET and plan to go down the Visual Studios certification path taking the 70-511 MCTS .NET Framework 4 (or .NET 3.5) Windows Applications exam to begin with.
This is largely for my own benefit but also my current employer is a Gold certified Microsoft partner and in order to maintain the equivalent position in the newly revised partner program the team needs certifications (I'm not sure of the exact requirements) so it benefits my employer too.

I hope this helps.