It's important to invest in your professional development both to keep your skills up-to-date and to further your career.   Have you set your personal Learning objectives for the year ahead?   Microsoft products and technologies are constantly evolving with new releases all the time - are you keeping pace?

The last thing you want is to find yourself out in the cold.    You may be an expert in supporting Windows 3.1, Windows NT4 Server or Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM).  However that's no good if you need to find a new job or want a change in direction and you don't have the knowledge and experience of the latest Microsoft products such as Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Systems Center Operations Manager 2007.

If you are looking to build your knowledge as an IT Professional or IT Developer - there are many options and you can find details of the following on the Microsoft Learning Website:

Don't forget the Microsoft Events Website.  You can find details In-person events, Live webcasts, On-demand webcasts, Podcasts, and access to the latest information on free TechNet and MSDN Virtual Labs.    Virtual Labs are a good way to enhance your knowledge - and the best thing is that they are free!

If you are looking to really distance yourself and demonstrate you are the best of the best - then Microsoft Certifications may be for you.   Learn More..

  • Technology Series: Specialist certifications train IT professionals in implementation, building, troubleshooting, and debugging of a specific Microsoft technology.

  • Professional Series: Professional credentials validate the skill set required for a particular job.

  • Master Series: Master certifications identify individuals with the deepest technical skills available on a particular Microsoft product.

  • Architect Series: The Certified Architect program makes it easy for companies to identify experienced IT architects who have completed a rigorous peer review process.
     

Three things to consider when you develop your career development plan: 

If you are employed by a company that purchases Microsoft products with Software Assurance are you taking advantage of the free benefits of that program?
Check out the Microsoft Software Assurance - E-Learning Benefits

Are you taking advantage of all the FREE training?
Check out the Microsoft Events Website, or leverage the resources on the TechNet and MSDN portals.  On the Events site you can find details of In-person events, Live webcasts, On-demand webcasts, Podcasts, and access to the latest information on free TechNet and MSDN Virtual Labs.

When training budgets are tight - do you need to pay the full price, or is there a special offer that will save you or your company money?  
Check out the Microsoft Learning Special Offers.