Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #194 4/3/2013

Question: What do MCT, MTA, CCNA, A+ and other letters after computer people names mean?


These are certifications people have earned about computers. These are similar to when you see accountants with CPA or nurses with RN after their names.

There are a number of organizations that do computer certifications. The most common organizations are Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco. The certifications also show the level of knowledge of the person and in what area.

Certifications in computer repair include A+ by CompTIA and MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Service Technician) by Microsoft. Both require passing one or more tests showing basic knowledge of computer repair. CompTIA quite often includes plus (+) in their certification names.

Certifications in computer languages include CCP (Certified Computer Professional) by ICCP and MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) by Microsoft. The CCP can be an associate or expert.

Microsoft has a group of certifications about office which can be for one or more products. These tests require you to use the software. The certification is MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist).

Microsoft offers a group of certifications called MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) which test people on the fundamentals of security, networking, database and other areas. This is an entry certification for Microsoft, but requires passing a 35 question test. It still requires you to have the basic knowledge to perform a job successfully in that area.

More advanced Microsoft certifications in networking are MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert). Microsoft also has a certification for computer teachers and trainers called MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer).

Cisco networking certifications include CCENT for the fundamentals and CCNA for basic networking support knowledge.