Update: How I Earned Credits Toward College with Microsoft Certifications

John Deardurff (Regional Lead - USA)

About a year ago, I was talking with Veronica Sopher about writing a blog post for Born To Learn. During the conversation, I mentioned that I had never finished college. She then asked a question that would change my life, “Have you looked into whether your certifications would count towards college credits?” Thus began a truly difficult and rewarding journey, which you can follow in these Born To Learn blog posts.

To follow up on those posts, I was able to pass my web development college courses, but have not yet taken any of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) exams to pick up the certification. Fortunately, I am attending Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago, which includes great exam prep sessions and half-price exams.

So, here I am a year later and only eight classes away from reaching my goal. While most of the IT courses seemed simple, not all the courses have been easy—specifically my English class. I was required to write a research paper and it took a long time to finally come up with the topic of Net neutrality. There were several times during the research and writing process that I thought about giving up, especially when my course mentor had me rewrite the paper a second time. But, once I finally finished that class I knew I had overcome my biggest hurdle, which was my own lack of confidence.

I know I still have some big challenges to finish, but a year from now instead of saying “I wish I had.” I will be able to say “I’m glad I did.” Whether it is college or working on Microsoft Certifications, the biggest hurdle is believing you can achieve your goal. Have the confidence to keep learning, keep improving, and keep challenging yourself.

And if you are attending Microsoft Ignite and pass an exam, stop by the MCP Party on May 5, 2015, at the Museum of Science and Industry. I’ll be there, and I definitely will not be studying anything.

  • Redd Rogacion
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    Wow! an inspiring story my man. Advance congratulations on the certification btw.

  • Fabian Alberto Campo Henriquez
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    John. I was on the same situation, i took more than regular to get graduated from college, but many of my credits were succesfully powered by many courses, experiences and knowledge that i saw as MCT. as an example i had to take a matter about cloud but i already made the Office 365 and Azure exams, so i had an advantage over my partners.

    I will get my Professional degree in just a few days. so i share my happyness Weehee! :D


    Fabian Alberto Campo/. MCT Regional Lead from Colombia

    MCT 5years+ MCSE Private Cloud +MCSE Windows 2012 +MCITP Office 365

  • Ken
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    Inspiring man. Keep it up!

  • Patrick Thomas (Microsoft)
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    John, what a great story! Can't wait for the MCP party in Chicago! see you soon.

  • John Deardurff (Regional Lead - USA)

    Update: I finished the degree about a year ago and am now working on my Masters in Business Administration. Remember, don't give up.