This week, we welcome Marcos Turato, Bob Simms, James Carrion, and Nico Davis to the Winners Circle. They all took time to help aspiring IT pros by telling their certification tale.

A few highlights:

Marcos said, “Since I took my first Microsoft certification (70-642) in November last year…job opportunities [have begun] to appear more naturally. I will continue to search for new Microsoft Certifications for Servers and for Virtualization to meet new challenges and climb in my career.”

Nico holds over 20 certifications, which you can see here, and said, “I love the feeling when you walk out of the test center with a report print out that says \Passed\.”

Bob’s certification got him out of a job he didn’t like and into one he loves:

“The first Microsoft course I attended was NT 3.51 in \'96. Customers started asking for certified consultants. Before then I had no idea that NetBUI and NETBIOS were two different words, never mind topics. I passed a couple of exams and for the first time in my life I could put letters after my name. Later, stuck in a job I didn’t enjoy, I was approached to train career changers. Soon I was in front of bricklayers and graduates wanting a job in IT. Here was the perfect job where I could unite my two passions--IT and showing off. I’ve met people who were trained by me 10 years ago who thanked me for their start. Can anything be more rewarding than that?”

And here’s James Carrion Kindle winning submission:

“I have been intimately involved with Microsoft certification since 1996. Getting certified is as relevant for me today as it was back then launching my career to greater heights and providing me the confidence to meet the technical challenges I encounter daily. I have run the gamut of Microsoft certs from Windows NT MCSE back in the day to a recently acquired Microsoft Certified Master R2 Directory. The products become more complex the exams more difficult but the rewards remain the same. I love being able to diagnose deep and difficult technical issues that I have never encountered before by reaching back into my brain to pull out a nugget of tech knowledge that I never had to use before - but know from having prepared for a Microsoft exam. As a technology instructor/consultant for the last 16 years, I have helped thousands of tech professionals prepare for their Microsoft certification exams and the satisfaction of seeing their careers blossom has been a reward in and of itself.”

Do you have a good certification story? Share it and you could win!