Microsoft's new online training options

On February 12, Microsoft announced a battery of e-learning courses for Windows Server 2003 topics. What's interesting is that these offerings either partially or completely meet published training requirements for a number of Windows Server 2003 certification

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exams. At $199 per course, they are a real bargain, and help compress two to five days in the classroom into much shorter lecture periods. All classes also include virtual online practice labs to address the need for hands-on interaction.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 e-Learning Courses

Class Number Name of Course Maps to Days Time to complete
2208 Updating Support Skills from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 70-290,
2274 Managing Windows Server 2003 Environment 70-290*519:35
2275 Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment 70-290+312:12
2276 Implementing a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure: Network Hosts 70-291^28:33
2278 Planning and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure 70-29353:15
2279 Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure 70-29452:33

*: First of two classes for 70-290, along with 2275.
+: Second of two classes for 70-290, along with 2274.
^: First of two classes for 70-291, along with 2277 (5 days ILT; not currently offered online).

There are some hidden catches, however: To the untutored eye, this looks like those who've certified on Windows NT 4.0 can prepare for exam 70-290 for $400, while those without that background can ready themselves for each exam for about the same costs. It's too bad MS didn't also include course 2277 to make the same kind of deal available for exam 70-291 as well. Still, with complete course offerings for exams 70-293 (2278) and 70-294 (2279), it looks like students can find killer deals from Microsoft online for training on key core exams for both MCSA and MCSE on Windows Server 2003. This is one recent innovation from Microsoft that appears to be entirely positive, and is also very much worth checking out!

Ed Tittel is a long-time certification follower. He's series editor for Exam Cram 2, a popular assembly of cert prep books from Que Publishing, and a contributing editor for Certification Magazine. He also covers certification topics for InformIT.com, and numerous other TechTarget Web sites.

This was first published in February 2004

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