Behind the Scenes of The Microsoft Certified Career Conference

Tjeerd Veninga (Microsoft)

Following last week's official announcement, I'd like to follow up and share our excitement about The Microsoft Certified Career Conference. Thank you for sending in comments, requests and ideas! Our team is working around the clock and there are some fantastic ideas floating around. I thought I should share my personal 'Behind the Scenes' look at this event by blogging about it as we put this event together. In all honesty, we have never ran an event like this one. You see, this is not just about IT skills, this is about your career, which means we will be working on technical skills as well as on soft skills. As we build the agenda and as we speak to speakers, we meet people from all kinds of companies, from all kinds of industries. And we are discovering a plethora of ideas, tricks and clever skills. This in turn has inspired us to present technical skills in different and new ways. It's an exciting project that we would like to share with you here on Born to Learn; please feel free at any time to comment, add ideas and please make suggestions. Help us make this an event you will want to stay at home for!

First of all, why oh why would we call this a 'Career Conference' and what do we hope to achieve? Well, we know the economy is tough, very tough. We have heard you loud and clearly and we have felt it ourselves. Some students are struggling to start a career in IT, many experienced professionals are eager to take the next step in their careers and finding this very challenging. People looking for a new job face a lot of competition. In our opinion, the odds are better for those who have skills. (I thought I would do a series of Behind The Scenes videos, see below, while it was fun to produce this I want to stress that the real people working on this project are MUCH more excited than the virtual ones belowWink).

We want to help, we want to offer skills that can improve your odds of getting hired. We want to work on the soft skills that are essential when you are trying to get a job and of course we will work on technical skills from our training and certification tracks. Most of all, we want to do this online, with a worldwide audience, so you can interact with others and share tips and tricks and grow your professional network. We are even adding a Career Fair; a marketplace where you can meet employers and find out from them which career opportunities they offer.  

Right now we are building sessions that will help you identify the job that is right for you, sessions that will help you write stronger letters and build a stronger resume. We are designing sessions that offer technical skills, straight from our official courseware, presented by experts. These sessions will offer highlights of a specific course; high tempo sessions that include core skills and drill in on specific topics. Make no mistake, these sessions will be 'meaty' (120 minutes of high tempo classroom content)! And for those who have already put in some training, or who have kept their skills up to date, the 'Super Cert Me' sessions may appeal as these will contain extremely efficient training designed specifically to prepare you for the exam.

We will share our news on this event here, on Born to Learn, as we build it. Soon we hope to have more details on the sessions and speakers. In fact, if you are interested in speaking at this event or if you know someone who could deliver a great soft skills or technical session, please let me know! We will also show you what this virtual conference will look like; this is NOT just a series of LiveMeetings! We are building a new platform that will allow you to attend sessions, chat with others, share files and 'friend' others (stay tuned for a demo and screenshots).

Meanwhile, please share your thoughts, comments and ideas!

  • Anonymous
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    Would love to do a session on how people who might not have the budget to go to sit a MOC can use the Self Paced Training Kits we write through MS Press as well as resources on TechNet and in other places to not only pursue certification, but plan out the next stage in their career. One of the key things to understand about any certification exam is that all the knowledge tested on the exam is contained in Microsoft's own publically available technical documentation. That Training Kits and MOCs distill that information into a specific type of learning format.  Alas although the spirit is very willing, living all the way over in Melbourne, Australia, means that getting across to present is rather a challenge ;-(

  • Sasa (Sasha) Kranjac - Regional Lead (Croatia)

    As Microsoft evangelist I often have a conversation with students or people that are new to certification and that want to get certified. It is not rare that even people who are certified for years don't know of different resources that can assist them to expand their knowledge and advance in their careers. I would love to share my thoughts, advice, links, web sites, resources, tips to everyone who want to know more and to go further in MS certification.

    Sometimes it is only a pointed finger in the right direction that can change one's career!

  • Anonymous
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    I would love to see a session on becoming an MCT. I have my MCSE and I have my CTT+ (technical trainer), as well as Train the Trainer, but when I looked into becoming an MCT (which is my main goal), I kept running into catch 22s. I'll have to revisit it, but if I remember correctly, you have to prove that you're working at an accredited academic institution in order to get the certification. But until you get the certification, you normally can't actually work at an accredited academic institution. Understanding a good career path model would be a big help.

    I would primarily want to teach Power Point (since I'm an Adobe Certified Instructor and that fits with the design software), but would eventually like to teach the entire suite of Office products. I know I'd have to get the MOS first, but after that, I can't imagine approaching a company to do this work without having the certification to teach it, but I can't get the certification, unless I'm already teaching it. What am I missing? I think this would be a valuable topic for others like me.