Certifiable (again!)

Damn it. I thought for a few years there that I might actually get to coast for a while on the certifications that I have already achieved. I mean, I’m no slouch – I’ve done my time. I was doing desktop support and studying for my first MCP exam back in the mid 90’s. I shoveled my way through endless Microsoft prep-guides, classes and boot-camps over the years. Finally after 15 years in the business, after climbing to the top of the pile in my environment – a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer working as an Enterprise Administrator on a large Wide Area Network. There was only one place to go from there. The MCT. The revered and respected title of Microsoft Certified Trainer. Those few elite qualified to teach others the hidden secrets of the Microsoft world.

So I embarked on another certification endeavor. Spent more classroom time, read more prep-guides, and ultimately became not only an MCT, but also a CTT+. A CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer. So there. Now I was done with classes and studying. I would settle down into the twilight of my career and teach a new generation of fresh-faced and energetic young I.T. professionals the fine art of managing a complicated technical environment. This would be the time in my career when I would get to do that which I truly love – teach others what I know. This is my real passion, and something I think I have always been good at. These were going to be the good years…

But then the wake-up call came. One of the first classes I was asked to teach was for Windows 7, Microsoft’s latest generation of operating system. I gladly accepted the offer and set about preparing to teach the class. That is when I was informed that I could not in fact teach the class at all. In fact (I was told) I could not teach any of the classes associated with the Windows Server 2008 / Windows 7 generation of products from Microsoft.

“But I’m an MCT fer chissakes!” I told the lady at Microsoft.

“We understand that”, she calmly replied.

“AND I’m an MCSE too!” I added.

“We know” she sighed. “You have to upgrade your MCSE certification to the new ‘MCITP: Enterprise Administrator’ certification before you can teach any classes in that series”.

“Really?” I asked.

“Really”.

And so here I am, back where I started 15 years ago. I have made my employer purchase a 40 hour online CBT course (budget cutbacks make classroom time a rarity these days). While I work through that I have several books (ranging in size from 900 to 1700 pages thick – seriously, a guy could get a hernia just carrying these things around) all to prepare me for the first of three Microsoft exams I will have to take in order to upgrade my old MCSE certification to the new MCITP. And all this while keeping up with the full time job of my regular I.T. duties. No problem!

Now, all I need is a case of Hot Pockets, and several gallons coffee, and I’m good to go…

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