Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) programs in June 2008 to provide seasoned IT Professionals the opportunity to enhance their design, build and troubleshooting skills (previously available only to Microsoft employees) and to provide a credential that would allow them to differentiate themselves from other seasoned experts.  Training for this credential involves a 3-week immersion into server technologies led by top subject matter experts and industry-renowned instructors. Originally, MCM programs were only available for Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 Active Directory. Milestones:
  • More than 350 of MCMs have been earned by IT pros from over 20 countries and 30 companies
  • In its first year, the net satisfaction of the training, rated by attendees, averaged 179 on a scale of 200
  • The program has expanded to include MCM for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Microsoft will introduce MCM programs for Exchange Server 2010 and Office SharePoint Server 2010 in early 2010
New Offers:
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 offers 11 days of training that culminate in two written exams and one 8-hour long lab-based test. Content focuses on core directory services that builds off of pre-reading and prerequisites that maximize classroom time.  For those who’ve earned their MCM on a previous product version, options exist for ensuring they are up-to-speed on new versions.  Register before January 1, 2010 for a $1,000 discount.  
  • Microsoft is offering a 20% discount for all other MCM programs until January 1, 2010.  More information is available here.
The Microsoft Certified Masters program is definitely at a different level than the MCTS and MCITP. It is also very expensive. However, for those that need the advanced skill level that this program offers, it is well worth it. From Microsoft's web site, the latest numbers worldwide for MCMs are:
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 79
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 146
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 21
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 15
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 2
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 39
Windows Server 2008 Directory 48

About Tom Swanson

Tom Swanson has worked with computers for over 20 years and has taught computer networking for over 10 years. Tom's certifications include MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE 2003 and 2000, MCSA: Messaging, MCDST, CIW Associate and CIW Certified Instructor.

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