The MCDST certification, which stands for Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, qualifies a person to work in a customer service or computer repair position using Windows operating systems. Exams 70-271 and 70-272, titled “Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System” and “Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Windows XP Operating System,” respectively, are required to obtain MCDST certification. The technician will be able to work with Windows operating systems and desktop applications on computers running Windows after passing the two exams.
Each of the two exams costs $125 in US Dollars (USD). You can take the exams in any order you want. Even if a technician has passed other tests and received certification in other areas, he will still need to pass these two exams to earn MCDST certification. On Microsoft’s website, interested technicians can register for the exams and learn when and where they can take them.
Microsoft also provides links to websites that provide practice tests and materials to aid in the preparation of the test taker. A variety of websites offer online classes, in-person classes, and study materials to provide guidance and a better idea of what the actual exams are like. Classes for older operating systems may be limited, so the person should learn about the exams using online resources.
When deciding whether MCDST certification is the right path for him, a technician should think about the types of jobs he wants to do and his current qualifications. A Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) is someone who has received some type of certification from Microsoft and can perform computer-related repair jobs in the field they studied. Although a technician may not require MCDST certification, most technicians will need to work with the Windows operating system at some point, and this certification can help them find work in this field.
As Windows systems evolve, such as with the release of Windows 7, technicians can upgrade their certification taking new exams. Whether this is required or not is dependent on the company for which the technician works and the operating system that the company or its clients use. As operating systems evolve and older systems are used less frequently, upgrading certification may become necessary.