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Microsoft Certifications For High School Credits In Australia 126

Posted by timothy
from the vocational-training dept.
kanad writes "High school students in Queensland, Australia would be able to do Microsoft certifications online and get credits. The exam fees will be free for students and courses include Microsoft's products like Sharepoint and SQL Server. Ostensibly this is for making kids ready for the workforce. but Australian IT entrepreneur Matt Barrie CEO of freelancer.com has criticised it for vendor lock-in and Microsoft's influence in the educational system."
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Microsoft Certifications For High School Credits In Australia

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:38PM (#45484631)

    I've been hearing that high school curriculums have been increasingly dummied down, but I had no idea it was this bad.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I've been hearing that high school curriculums have been increasingly dummied down, but I had no idea it was this bad.

      Its worse than this. Many of them are using Mac's.

      Accepting Microsoft certifications as credit is a vast improvement.

      • Its worse than this. Many of them are using Mac's.

        Devil's Advocate: At least a Mac gives the kid access to a proper UNIX shell ("Terminal") and a free dev kit (to obviously make more than iOS apps). Unless you can sneak a copy of Cygwin onto it, there's no such hope for a default Windows box.

        The only thing you get with Windows (assuming it's not the "Home" edition) is PowerShell, which by comparison ain't much.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Devil's Advocate: At least a Mac gives the kid access to a proper UNIX shell ("Terminal") and a free dev kit

          Which you can guarantee almost no Mac users will use.

          You've got a better chance of a Windows user installing Cygwin or dual booting (as most sysadmins will do) than you do of a Mac user actually knowing what the terminal is.

          But if you're being hired for a job that requires Unix command line experience, you should have experience with proper Unix systems such as AIX, not OSX. I'm talking about

        • And how many students with Macs do you _really_ think have ever opened the terminal or used the free dev kit? Seriously?
  • Not good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bravecanadian (638315) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:41PM (#45484647)

    Certifications are no substitute for fundamentals.

    The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

    Understanding fundamentals helps you pick up anything new.

    • Re:Not good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:46PM (#45484691) Homepage

      The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

      Of course. A high-schooler getting a MS certification now will be ready to spend a hefty chunk of student-loan cash to get the up-to-date version as soon as their next graduation rolls around, just to avoid looking like they've been ignoring the real world while in that ivory tower.

      Microsoft comes away profiting and looking like a hero.

      • Re:Not good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @05:15PM (#45484927) Journal

        Any company that requires current "certifications" for people who have been working years in the field deserves exactly what they get. I haven't been certified since my Novel days, and haven't even been interested since. IF people doubt my qualifications based on what I have been doing for the past 20 years, fine by me, I don't want to work for them.

        The exception is people who are outside hires for tech support, who want to toss out "We only employ certified people". Okay, that's great, but again, you get exactly what you should expect, marginal competency and "by the book" work. Do not expect creative solutions to impossible problems.

        • There's a good argument for getting a certification, but only certain ones. For example, most major contractors as well as the DoD look to Security+ or the CISSP. It provides a common ground for all IT focused personnel and ensures they have a strong knowledge base. Is it closed minded? Definitely. A Masters in CS, CE or even an MBA (with IT focus) will be completely ignored, even if the individual proves to someone with a CISSP that they know their stuff. However, the CS program is different than CE is dif

          • overall we need to move to some kind of badges system if just to make the over all certification and degrees systems more flexible and less of stuff that can get padded out to fill an credit or have stuff jammed into an credit to make it fit.

            The A+ in theory was to be about hardware but has been loaded with windows questions. Now under an badges system it should be more hardware based and less os based. As in an pure Linux peoples should not get any penalty for missing windows stuff in an test.

            Same thing fo

            • A+ is a great example of a Certification that means less now than ever before.Nobody really fixes computers any more. The cost (Labor & Parts) to fix a broken computer is often more than simply buying a replacement, especially on lower end equipment. In days of old, we used to have to mess with DIP switches and jumpers to configure hardware to function properly, now we just stick a PCI card or load some drivers and be done with it.

              Let us take, for example, a four year old computer, that has a Power supp

          • I would like to see software to become a proper discipline with registered technicians and chartered engineer type qualifications, the Chartered Software Engineers would be the ones who would do the design, the software technicians would be the ones getting their hands dirty coding or maintaining things.
        • >Any company that requires current "certifications" for people who have been working years in the field deserves exactly what they get.

          I'm with you. It says they don't know enough about computers themselves. This is a sure recipe for abuse, because backwards tech-phobic people have a horrid reputation of undervaluing, abusing, and are ever fearful of tech people, that they might use their knowledge to turn the tables on them.
      • by mjwx (966435)

        The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

        Of course. A high-schooler getting a MS certification now will be ready to spend a hefty chunk of student-loan cash to get the up-to-date version as soon as their next graduation rolls around, just to avoid looking like they've been ignoring the real world while in that ivory tower.

        Erm, three things wrong with this.

        1. Australia does not support the idea of predatory student loans.
        2. We're talking about high school, which means the student is too young to apply for any kind of loan (including HECS).
        3. Given the number of "exam prep" programs out there that allow you to rote memorise the questions and pass the test without actually studying any of the course material for free, this isn't really an effective revenue stream (doubly so considering the exam fees are waived for high sch

        • by timbo234 (833667)

          I'd agree with you on all those points, but it's still worth point out how terrible Australian high schools' computer education is. When I did the HSC in NSW in 2000 the study for the exam was basically just memorising a list of definitions of computer terminology. There was no attempt to asses actual skills. Instead they just ensured students could give a coherent definition of terms like 'Wide Area Network' or explain the difference between a 'minicomputer' and a 'mainframe' (yes, even in 2000 this is how

    • Re:Not good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:54PM (#45484767) Homepage Journal

      This isn't about the certs as much as it is getting kids programmed to use Microsoft products.

      Like drug dealers, they need to capture the next generation. The first is always free.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ichijo (607641)

        The core concepts in Word and Excel apply to other free and commercial word processors and spreadsheet software. Yes, the certifications benefit Microsoft more than other vendors, but the important question is whether the MS-based certifications are a net benefit to society as a whole.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hamster_nz (656572)

        Like churchs, they need to capture the next generation. The first hit of relegious salvation is always free.

        FTFY.

        • by femtobyte (710429)

          To further the comparison, at least in the US, the numbers I found indicate $97B annual donations to religious organizations [usatoday.com], which also includes a substantial amount of aid organizations who provide charity services besides "spreadin' the faith."

          Microsoft's annual revenue in 2013 was $78B [wikipedia.org], for pure selfish capitalism. So, Microsoft rakes in a comparable amount of money to all religious-affiliated donations (including legit aid/charity work) combined in the "highly religious" US.

          Generally, I'd rate Microsof

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        This isn't about the certs as much as it is getting kids programmed to use Microsoft products.

        Granted they will learn on Microsoft products but many of the skills and concepts will be easily translatable to other products, the real question is why hasn't the Linux foundation (or any of the other free software foundations) gotten in on funding and providing courseware for high schoolers?

        • Sure, that is technically possible but if you grow up with a 'brand' you will tend to stay with it for life.

          • by exomondo (1725132)
            So you think the idea here is that companies will change their products to microsoft ones to suit the graduates?
            • by nurb432 (527695)

              If you are too stupid to understand how brand loyalty works, i am not going to waste my time explaining.

              • by exomondo (1725132)
                I understand brand loyalty but this is about training users for the workplace, the workplace doesn't adapt to graduates, it's the other way around.
        • by Smauler (915644)

          the real question is why hasn't the Linux foundation (or any of the other free software foundations) gotten in on funding and providing courseware for high schoolers?

          Are you for real? You want free software _foundations_ to fund high school courses?

          Perhaps the companies that use free software could... you know, like Red Hat (oh... they do?), IBM (wait, they do too?), and Microsoft (wait a minute....).

          • by exomondo (1725132)

            You want free software _foundations_ to fund high school courses?

            Well to produce a curriculum and courseware, it's all a valuable contribution to furthering the cause.

            Perhaps the companies that use free software could... you know, like Red Hat (oh... they do?), IBM (wait, they do too?), and Microsoft (wait a minute....).

            In that case perhaps they need to get into high schools too, or maybe they already are.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        And just like drugs, Sharepoint can cause irreparable damage to the brain.

    • Certifications are no substitute for fundamentals. The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go. Understanding fundamentals helps you pick up anything new.

      Which is why you will be employable in ten years and they won't. So hush, don't tell them! ;-)

    • The problem with certifications is that they date so quickly as versions and products come and go.

      Understanding fundamentals helps you pick up anything new.

      I'm a Certified Novell Engineer, you insensitive clod!

    • and the over load of theory and big blocks of time in the college system lead to people who can be clueless at doing the hands on work.

  • Why the negative? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:43PM (#45484681)

    How is getting an MCSE any more or less useful than taking any other elective in Shop or Band or Home Ec'?

    They still have to take the three R's to graduate. You don't get to skip your civics class to take one of these...

    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:47PM (#45484707)
      Generally speaking, a shop class will teach you skills that are useful for tools not made by Dewalt, band will be useful for playing instruments not made by Yamaha, and Home Ec will provide skills that are useful outside of Rubbermaid products.
      • by dbIII (701233)
        While I'm not a fan of the idea but it really depends on how the course is written. If there's more to it than navigating a twisty GUI that is going to vanish in five years then it may convey some stuff that will apply to other things. When the MSCE came out there was a lot of criticism about it being rote learning with zero understanding but I doubt that still applies.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      *rabble* *rabble* Because it's not open-source... hate anything Microsoft... *rabble* *rabble*

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:54PM (#45484759) Homepage

        This isn't just about Free Software.

        There are other brands of commercial software too. Microsoft isn't the only commercial software vendor in existence. Even their own payware applications suffer from severe UI churn.

        Even if you have Microsoft blinders on and love them, fixating on a single release of a single brand of product is problematic.

        The "hate anything Microsoft" approach does not require Free Software.

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        *rabble* *rabble* Because it's not open-source... hate anything Microsoft... *rabble* *rabble*

        I didn't get a HARUMPH! outta that guy...

        www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN99jshaQbY

    • Why the negative?

      Because it's Microsoft. As soon as I read the summary I thought - of course it was criticized, it's Microsoft!

      But I do understand the knee jerk reaction to any and all things Microsoft, it's simply been ingrained in the IT industry for so long now.

      But on the other hand, I agree with you, if some student is interested in learning a real world work skill than let them. It would be nice if they would offer Red Hat certifications or some other competing certifications as well but, who knows, maybe if this goes

      • by Smauler (915644)

        As soon as I read the summary I thought - of course it was criticized, it's Microsoft!

        Oh, FFS. You are blind if you think the reason Microsoft have been criticised and are still criticised is because it's a knee-jerk reaction. Look at their track record.

        I say this as a Vista user, and I quite like Vista. No, honestly, there is at least one. I admit I used Windows 8 for the first time today, and have since changed my opinion. Now I believe every operating system is the equivalent of beatifically joyfu

      • And see? Some moderator came along and proved my point for me!

        He said something remotely positive about Microsoft? Redundant!

        Guess I should be grateful I'm not Flamebait.

    • by EMG at MU (1194965) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:50PM (#45484737)

      How is getting an MCSE any more or less useful than taking any other elective in Shop or Band or Home Ec'?

      They still have to take the three R's to graduate. You don't get to skip your civics class to take one of these...

      It's less useful because you didn't take Shop where you only learned how to use Milwaukee brand tools. You didn't take Cooking and only learn to use KitchenAid products.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mythosaz (572040)

        ...and learning how to use SMS or SCCM or App-V gives you skills that translate to HP or BMC. Learning Hyper-V gives you skills that translate to Citrix and VMWare.

        You can't be a certified Ford mechanic without picking up some of the skills to be ACE certified...

        • You pick up some degree of skills that are helpful, yes. You also pick up other skills that make it harder than to just learn from scratch. This is especially true if a company has a tendency to ignore neutral standards.
        • ...and learning how to use SMS or SCCM or App-V gives you skills that translate to HP or BMC. Learning Hyper-V gives you skills that translate to Citrix and VMWare.

          You can't be a certified Ford mechanic without picking up some of the skills to be ACE certified...

          Not really. Vendor-specific certification courses mix up the common basics with vendor-specific crap and focus a lot on the latter in exams. The point is to rush students to mastery of the one tools covered in the course. As a result, students don't know what to look for in other tools because they can't tell the difference between the basics and vendor-specific crap from the certification course.

          • by mythosaz (572040)

            I've only taken a few certification courses in the last couple of years -- the certifications themselves weren't important to my employer, but the training was.

            My most recent was for a vendor-specific identify management product, one that provided tap-and-go and reduced sign-on. While obviously the certification had countless vendor-specific pieces of information in it (their ports, their procedure to recover the console), it had concepts and ideas very similar to their primary competitors product, and to

            • Exactly.

              All the people bragging about how they don't need certs make me laugh. As a router guy I have lost count of the number of uncertified engineers I've worked with who claim total competency yet somehow have major blind spots for things they've never implemented in production. Guess what, if you did your studies you'd at least know the basics and get up to speed quickly.

              Esp in R&S the focus is often very strongly on fundamentals. I don't care if you learnt OSPF via CCNP or JNCIP both courses will t

            • There will always be people who take a class, take notes on the ports and vendor-specific procedures who will always be a paper tiger, but people who actually get something out of classes can take broad concepts away from even specific classes (like vendor specific identity management products).

              Do you really think that high school students have the knowledge and motivation to look for general concepts?

        • by Smauler (915644)

          Which is shitty. Frank Lloyd Wright could never have become an architect now, for example, no one would employ him.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:50PM (#45484739) Homepage

      Shop, band, and home ec' classes are all general-knowledge classes, whose principles apply to many aspects of life later on, regardless of what career path you choose.

      An MCSE certification is only useful in one particular field, under very particular circumstances. It looks good to parents, because every individual parent is going to be happy that their kid has a promising future in computers, but the reality is that most of those high-schoolers won't actually take a computer career, and most of those that eventually do will have another several years of college to learn other general skills before they'll (maybe) use that certified knowledge.

      • An MCSE certification is only useful in one particular field, under very particular circumstances.

        And those circumstances won't exist anymore by the time they graduate. Way back in 6th grade, we were first taught DOS and Windows 3.11. By 8th grade, my elementary school upgraded to Windows 98. At high school, we were mostly taught programming and basic system administration on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. While I went to university, Vista wooshed by without leaving much of a trace. Before I graduated, even the biggest and most conservative corporations started switching from XP to Windows 7. And shortly

        • by cbhacking (979169)

          Because you can navigate the command prompt and write batch scripts, are familiar with driver configuration concepts (still relevant today if you're developing them, admittedly pretty useless just as a user of PnP hardware), know what Windows binaries look like inside (assuming you used the debug program available at the time), understand hierarchical file systems and the Windows registry, are familiar with Windows shortcuts files, are familiar with Windows' built-in programs (really, many of them haven't c

          • Because you can navigate the command prompt and write batch scripts,

            Even after all those years, DOS command line is still so pitiful that I have to install Cygwin whenever I need to do any serious scripting on Windows. Knowing DOS command line won't help you understand Unix shells simply because the most useful Unix shell features don't exist in DOS and things like variables and pipes are so limited in DOS that they're almost useless.

            are familiar with driver configuration concepts (still relevant today if you're developing them, admittedly pretty useless just as a user of PnP hardware),

            What driver configuration concepts?

            know what Windows binaries look like inside (assuming you used the debug program available at the time),

            We didn't, I don't and I don't see the relevance of such knowledge. Those who really need to know that can

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        ...but the reality is that most of those high-schoolers won't actually take a computer career, and most of those that eventually do will have another several years of college to learn other general skills before they'll (maybe) use that certified knowledge.

        Good. Them most of them won't choose those electives over Jazz Band.

    • MCSE? (Score:4, Informative)

      by drainbramage (588291) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:52PM (#45484755)

      MCSE: Minesweeper Consultant and Solitaire Expert
      ---
      They get school credit for that now?

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      How is getting an MCSE any more or less useful

      Because Shop classes will teach you a skill which isn't connected to a sales force of marketing drones. Besides, once you learn how to use a table saw and glue clamps in woods class, you can build on that foundation to create irregardless of where you buy your wood or glue. That's not the case with Microsoft.

  • I thought we'd put that behind us finally. That everyone, including the HR drones and PHBs, understood that those things were meaningless.

    Or am I getting another chance to play my favorite interviewing game again?

  • by wumbler (3428467) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:57PM (#45484787)

    Several years back, I gave a few guest lectures at some local univesities about network security. Intrusion detection was an important topic. There are some very nice open source IDS out there, Snort obviously being the most well known one. So, what does the university do? Instead of using Snort as a basic teaching tool, they instead went for a proprietary solution of some mid-teer vendor. As a result, they passed on a perfectly good opportunity to let students take a look 'under the hood' and see how the inside of such a system works by examining the source code, limiting them to just fiddling with the UI of the proprietary vendor. Shameful!

    In the local press we can always read wonderful accounts how Microsoft "donated" millions of dollars worth of software to local schools. Of course, it's never reported that there is hardly any cost to Microsoft in doing so, definitely not millions, and that in return they get well-trained Microsof-monkeys entering the work force, knowing and demanding to only work with Mircosoft tools. Shameful!

    It began a long time ago when Apple started to be "generous" with discounts and donations to schools. Microsoft and other vendors are following this "proud" tradition: Schools miss the chance to teach actual understanding of fundamental principles and instead degenerate their courses into nothing more than vendor training. There is too much lobbying, wining and dining and backroom dealing going on here. Where open source should make huge inroads, instead the vendors are doing their best to lock in entire future generations.

    • It began a long time ago when Apple started to be "generous" with discounts and donations to schools.

      Donating hardware, or heavily discounting it, is a far cry from donating software. The fact that you, in the previous paragraph, pointed that out and then decided that donating hardware by Apple is bad is odd. Is IBM or HP or Dell donating hardware similarly bad? Do you object to schools getting discounted hardware for some reason?

      • by wumbler (3428467)

        Corporations generally donate to further their own agenda and for their own good. If they can use it to accomplish vendor lock-in then they will do so. Sometimes, they can only use it for some feel-good PR. The former is dangerous and should be resisted, just like a trojan horse. The latter is about the same as advertisement on "free" web sites: You accept it as necessary for the operation of the sites, but you mostly just ignore it.

        You raised good points, so let me clarify: The different paragraphs talk ab

  • Career vendor lock-in. Microsoft wants to get 'em young and turn them into advocates in the name of self-interest, who will keep renewing their certifications and shelling out money to do it, and who will continually keep corporations from switching because it's what they know.

  • Cisco does it to. (Score:4, Informative)

    by mcbridematt (544099) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @05:19PM (#45484963) Homepage Journal

    I was able to do the CCNA program as a unit [vic.edu.au] for my high school certificate (VCE) here in Victoria, Australia. It was delivered through Cisco's Network Academy - to get the credit you had to pass the tests on netacad, but you still needed to sit the formal certification exams afterwards if you wanted the actual CCNA certification.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      After going through that do you think it would have been better to do something general on networking or is the Cisco stuff portable enough?
      • I think the Cisco stuff, as I did it, is portable enough. At the time Cisco released a new revision of the course which had two different editions: 'Discovery' (hands on -presumably not so portable) and 'Exploration' (theory based - following on from the previous version).

        The theory based course covers the fundamentals of networking (at the small enterprise and ISP level at least) very well - quite a bit of the stuff in the curriculum appeared again in the telecommunications subjects I've done at University

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Then that is a thing of value to the student as distinct to a thing of value to only Cisco then.
          With the MS stuff people are assuming it won't be broad enough based on their earlier efforts (just a map to a GUI maze in the worst cases from a decade back) but it all really depends on what is actually in the course.
    • I've wondered about the cisco certifications, did MCSE instructor led courses for the first couple of modules of win2kserver but really quickly realised only a small part of that would be useful in the future. are the Cisco certs better in this regard? ie, are the skillsets still relevant/translatable after 5 years?
  • Courses Include (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @05:26PM (#45485067)

    I think some slashdotters might need some fundamental reading education.

    The summary says "Courses Include". It isn't just Microsoft.
    Article actually says "including SAP, Microsoft and Cisco".

    So long as there isn't exclusivity, the fact these are being offered free to students is a good thing. Yes there is a bit of lock in on the corporate side, that is why they do it for free. Why do you think there are "educational" copies of software for just about everything? Out of the goodness of their bleeding hearts? Heck I know we used Sun systems because they donated the lab to our University (not that I ever did again).

    High School gives you the basics, University gives you fundamentals. College/Technical school gives you certifications. To get a job, many go get certifications post university, I did. I am looking at getting another (Oracle, ya ya I know). However the fact that you can do it in high school, it counts as a credit, AND it is free? That has got to be a good thing. So long as it is not exclusionary (though I would imagine to get credit you would have to be a little discerning). Yes you have to keep up on certifications, or work in the field, but they are probably more or as useful as some of the non-core garbage offered in school these days.

    • SAP?!

      Won't anyone think of the children?! This has to stop!

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      I did some cisco and microsoft certifications in highschool.... more than 15 years ago. Not for credit.

      They were super useful in terms of getting summer jobs, and some practical IT experience so that even if you don't intend to be an IT guy you aren't completely clueless about how all of this shit works. It's not like universities do a great job of telling students what IT resources are available to them or how to use them. It's all well and good to have free access to piles of software (either to use or

  • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @05:30PM (#45485103) Journal

    Of course the predictable chorus of anti-Microsoft content has popped up.

    My suggestion to you folks is that if you have such issues with Microsoft offering course content to schools, go ahead and come up with an alternative and make it happen. It should be easy to come up with a course, develop all of the materials, train the instructors and keep it up to date.

    Until then, deal with the reality that the large majority of the world runs Microsoft software. There is a Windows application to support practically every business process in existence. It might not be the best solution every time, but it is a solution.

    When I was school, Novell was the dominant vendor. I got my CNA through an ROP program. That class exposed me to a lot of relevant information. Everything from the OSI model, to file system permissions, to client / server architectures, etc. I never thought, "Oh my God. I am being impoverished by learning about technology that companies are using in the real world!" At 16 years old I was excited to be working with servers and clients and learning more about computers than I was able to learn at home. My Novell specific knowledge is worthless now, but the fundamental information that I got from the class, and the real world experience that I got is something that I use daily.

    Who cares if Microsoft is providing the curriculum? Kids are being given the opportunity to expand their knowledge of computers and networks. Kids are naturally curious. If the Microsoft way of doing things sucks, they will come up with other ways to do things.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      O'Reilly's "Practical Programming" + a Python interpreter, even if it ran on MS Windows, wouldn't be the ecosystem lock-in that a Microsoft cert is.

    • "My suggestion to you folks is that if you have such issues with Microsoft offering course content to schools, go ahead and come up with an alternative"

      The whole fucking reason for this 'free' offer is to keep alternatives out of Australian schools. How about the Australian educational establishment coming up with their own material, like they used do it BM, that is before Microsoft.
      • by SteveC5 (3440305)
        The industry will value an MCSE over a Austrialian educational "certificate of completion" any day.... Is MSFT also investing in trying to get people to keep using their products? Sure.... The whole industry does and has been doing this.... Cisco is doing it. I remember back in the 80's Apple had a program where you gave your school your grocery receipts and they would "donate" equipment based on how much in receipts were collected. I believe IBM did this as well... Students will either stick with MSFT
        • by wumbler (3428467)

          This is not a failing of the companies. When I said "shameful" in my earlier comments about this, the shame applied to the educational institutions.

          The companies just do what they have to, somewhat without compassion, but still: Corporations are in it to make money, whether we like it or not. Fairness, morals, ethics and concern for the common good are completely irrelevant in that endeavour. We created corporations, now we need to live with the fact that they are going to do whatever it takes to make money

        • "The industry will value an MCSE over a Austrialian educational certificate of completion" any day", SteveC5

          Commonly known in the industry as a Microsoft Certified Sandwich Engineer Certification, for anyone not familiar with the term ...
      • by dave562 (969951)

        What free alternatives are they keeping out of the schools? I would be interested to see what OSS focus curriculum is out there.

        What makes you think that they come up with their own material? I am having a hard time believing that they wrote their own history books, math books, etc.

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        The whole fucking reason for this 'free' offer is to keep alternatives out of Australian schools.

        What alternatives? Does Apple or the Free Software Foundation or the Linux Foundation offer some sort of training like this? If not then maybe they should, Apple certainly offers their products at significant student discounts and companies like Adobe do similar things. They invest in things like this and perhaps the Free Software crowd needs to as well?

        How about the Australian educational establishment coming up with their own material, like they used do it BM, that is before Microsoft.

        What makes you think that would be any different?

  • by Master Moose (1243274) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @05:31PM (#45485109) Homepage

    This reminds me of the future school in the Simpsons that was sponsored by Pepsi. I believe credit could be gained by answering any question with Pepsi.

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @05:32PM (#45485125)

    Could be worse. Could be like every school in suburban Arizona or Utah which has a Mormon/LDS temple built adjacent to it, offering Seminary as an elective.

    You need something in the neighborhood of 20-24 "credits" to graduate high school these days -- that's 6 half credit classes per semester for 8 semesters/4 years. Of those 24, 16 or so might be actual book learnin'. The rest are PE and electives. Some of those electives are forced: 1-2 half credits of a foreign language, 1-2 half credits from (pick 1: shop, cooking, sewing), 1-2 half credits from music/art. And the remaining 4 are generally pretty open.

    I'd rather them earn a Microsoft cert in even the dumbest of Microsoft technologies (Sharepoint?) than go next door for further indoctrination by the Mormons.

    ...or maybe not. Mormon make great neighbors.

    [Aside: "Two" is the answer to "How many Mormons do you take fishing with you." If you take one, he'll drink all your beer.]

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      Could be worse. Could be like every school in suburban Arizona or Utah which has a Mormon/LDS temple built adjacent to it, offering Seminary as an elective.

      Here in Georgia, the high school I went to shared part of a lot with a small church (no street between the buildings, and separated only by a few yards). Eventually the school bought out (or emminent domained?) the church and it got turned into the electronics/robotics and theater building.

      [Aside: "Two" is the answer to "How many Mormons do you take fishing with you." If you take one, he'll drink all your beer.]

      Down here in Georgia, we say the same thing about Baptists. And I went to a Baptist university :)

  • Why not do this for all certifications, CCNA, CCNP, Linux+, A+ etc... Just for Microsoft certifications really is showing a large bias towards other systems.
  • Next, Next, Finish (Score:2, Insightful)

    by s.petry (762400)

    And now you have a useless certificate falsely claiming that you know something about computers as a MSCE

    The brilliant part is that Australia tax money will pay for this trash!

    • by SteveC5 (3440305)
      How many recent highschool grads are you going to hire for a critical IT role regardless? I'd rather have something I could put on my resume to get my foot in the door. May even help get a part time "helpdesk" job while going to college. As long as they know this doesn't guarantee "guru" status, I don't see how this hurts them...

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