I’m Only Good at HTML and CSS. Any Chance I Can Get a ‘Grown Up’ Certification?

By | October 29, 2013

microsoft, html5, css, mcsd,  it certification examsSo you think you’re good at HTML? So good, in fact, that you are looking at all those serious CompTIA, Cisco, etc style certifications and wonder if there is one for you. But do you really need one in the first place? If so, Microsoft is your go-to destination… yet again.

Now, let’s take a closer look. You’re good at HTML and CSS, but your friends who specialize in other areas may be looking down at you. Come on, people who hold a CCNA or something may think you’re just fooling around instead of learning something ‘serious’, as everyone seems to know html these days. Many employers assume that html proficiency just goes without saying. Ever faced that? If you did, we can feel your pain.

Truth be told, while many people put ‘html proficiency’ on their resume, very few are actually great at it. If you are serious about it, you are definitely aware that many developers know HTML 5 and basic CSS. Very few of them, however, know them in depth and very few respect proper syntax and formatting. Many of them are stuck with the ‘bad habits’ and old ways coming all the way back from the HTML 4.1 days. So, if you see the difference, it is natural that you wish to set yourself apart and get a certification to validate your skills in proper XHTML and well-formed CSS.

Yet, the thing about industry certifications is that most of them are vendor-based. Take Cisco certifications, for example. They focus on Cisco solutions and products, although the scope does sometimes exceed the Cisco technology. And as HTML is so universal, no vendor cared to introduce the certification.

The times are changing however, as recently Microsoft has added a set of HTML and CSS exams to their spectrum. Microsoft’s exam 70-480, Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3, can be credited towards a MCSD (Microsoft Solutions Developer) certification, and gives the recognition and skills validation to all HTML5 heroes out there.

In fact, you should look into making MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 Certification your ultimate long term goal, as it is based on HTML and CSS in more than one course. It takes you into the depth of Microsoft Apps, but it doesn’t look like a bad career, does it? As part of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Technology, it will certainly require you to learn new stuff and widen your horizons, but it never hurts, right?

MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 Consists of the following steps:

  1. Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3. Required Exam: 480
  2. Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 and JavaScript. Required Exam: 481
  3. Advanced Windows Store App Development Using HTML5 and JavaScript. Required Exam: 482

As these steps suggest (whether or not you decide to go down the Microsoft road), to be competitive, you also need to be proficient in JavaScript. Ajax, PHP, ASP would be useful, too. Anything you need to develop the best website dynamic possible these days, to put it short.

There is a thing about HTML that explains why there isn’t a bunch of certifications waiting for you out there. You can showcase your awesome skills with a portfolio. With HTML, having a rocking project portfolio is key, but you probably know it. One cannot put networking skills in a portfolio, and subnetting is not exactly a portfolio-perfect case, right? So, these skills are best measured by exams. Speaking of HTML skills, however, you can show what you can do – and this is exactly what employers usually want to see. While we’re not trying to discourage you from taking those Microsoft exams (in fact, we are convinced that you should!), you should keep working towards your rocking portfolio.

The bottom line here being, as all things IT grow more sophisticated, so do the HTML standards. So, your intention to get a recognized certification isn’t to be looked down upon. And if anyone does, tell them about the exams Microsoft offers and your plans will no longer look like a joke. Yet, chances are that, besides keeping one step ahead of all the HTML and CSS trends, you will have to keep expanding your horizons by learning something new. Just like we all – and that’s the best part ;).

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