Last year Microsoft launched the new Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). This is the latest initiative from Microsoft to provide training and an educational platform to help fill the ever growing skills gap in IT. Initially, Microsoft launched the program with a single track; the Data Science Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) track. Due to the huge success of this initial track, Microsoft announced earlier this year they are expanding the Microsoft Professional Program to 2 more additional tracks; Big Data and Front-end Web Development.

Microsoft Professional Program Success

On the success of the MPP program, there have been over 60,000 people enroll in the Data Science track, with over 1,100 total graduates! These graduates have completed the curriculum and proven their skills by completing a challenging capstone project as well. This increasingly strong interest in the MPP program is mirrored by the industry-wide growth in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) world-wide.

In addition to the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP), Microsoft also has a number of other online courses they’ve made available on the edX platform. In fact, over 2.6 Million students have registered for Microsoft courses to-date; which puts Microsoft at the top of the largest corporate partner on the edX platform.

The MPP Formula

The Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) has built out a proven formula for learning success with the first certification / online degree track of Data Science. Microsoft is continuing the successful formula of the Data Science track with the 2 new, additional Big Data and Front-end Web Development tracks.

The MPP formula consists of the following primary facets:

  • Rigorous, industry-validated structured learning paths
  • Hands-on, real-world exercises to test and validate learner skills
  • Challenging and exciting capstone projects that enable learners to demonstrate their skills in a real-world environment and build a professional portfolio
  • Delivered via the open, flexible edX platform

These facets of the MPP Formula, combined with industry standard curriculum, real world demonstration of skills, and the broad reach of the edX platform make the MPP program extremely strong. It allows everyone access to the tools necessary to build their skills and advance their careers in the areas of Data Science, Big Data, or Front-end Web Development.

Big Data Track

The Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) track for Big Data guides students through learning how to build big data solutions with batch and real-time processing using Microsoft Azure managed services and Open Source systems including Hadoop and Spark. This track includes 10 courses across 8 skill areas with a total of 12 – 30 hours per course.

Here’s a list of the Skill Areas, and the Courses to choose in each area. Some areas do offer the students choice of 2 different options of the course to take for that skill area.

  • Area: Get Started with Big Data
    • Course: Big Data Orientation – Learn how the MPP program works and get up to speed with some basic data fundamentals.
  • Area: Analyze and Visualize Data
    • Course Option 1: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel – Explore tools in Excel that enable the analysis of data, including improved visualizations and business logic.
    • Course Option 2: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI – Connect and visualize data with Microsoft Power BI to import your data, author reports using Power BI Desktop, and publish reports to the Power BI service.
  • Area: Work with NoSQL Data
    • Course: Developing NoSQL Solutions in Azure – Learn the fundamentals of NoSQL and explore several non-technical data storage options in Microsoft Azure.
  • Area: Querying Relational Data
    • Course: Querying Data with Transact-SQL – Learn to query and modify data in SQL Server or Azure SQL Database using Transact-SQL (T-SQL) language.
  • Area: Implement a Data Warehouse
    • Course: Delivering a Data Warehouse in the Cloud – Learn how to deploy, design, and load data using Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
  • Area: Process Big Data at Rest
    • Course Option 1: Processing Big Data with Azure Data Lake Analytics – Learn how to use Azure Data Lake to store and process big data in the cloud.
    • Course Option 2: Processing Big Data with Hadoop in Azure HDInsight – Learn how to use Hadoop technologies in Microsoft Azure HDInsight to process big data.
  • Area: Process Big Data in Motion
    • Course Option 1: Processing Real-Time Data Streams in Azure – Learn to use Microsoft Azure technologies and services to process Real-Time data in the cloud.
    • Course Option 2: Implementing Real-Time Analytics with Azure HDInsight – Learn to use Hadoop technologies like HBase, Storm, and Spark in Microsoft Azure HDInsight to create real-time analytics solutions.
  • Area: Orchestrate Big Data Workflows
    • Course: Orchestrating Big Data with Azure Data Factory – Learn how to use Microsoft Azure Data Factory to orchestrate big data workflows in the cloud.
  • Area: Build Big Dat Analysis Solutions
    • Course Option 1: Developing Big Data Solutions with Azure Machine Learning – Learn how to build predictive web services for Big Data workflows using Azure Machine Learning.
    • Course Option 2: Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server – Learn how to use Microsoft R Server to analyze large datasets using R.
    • Course Option 3: Implementing Predictive Solutions with Spark in HDInsight – Learn to use Spark in Microsoft Azure HDInsight to create predictive analysis and machine learning solutions.
  • Final: Big Data Capstone Project
    • Microsoft Professional Capstone: Big Data

Each of the above Skill Areas that contain multiple course options only require you to take a single course in that category to satisfy that particular Skill Area. Once all the above skill area requirements have been met, the last process to complete the MPP Big Data program is to complete a final Big Data Capstone Project.

After completing the above Skill Area requirements, and completing the Big Data Capstone Project, you will complete the MPP program and earn your certificate. The Big Data Capstone Project will test your ability to apply the skills learned by implementing them in a practical exercise.

Front-end Web Development Track

The Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) track for Font-end Web Development guides students through learning how to build website and web application solutions industry standard languages and frameworks that include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Angular, Bootstrap, and jQuery. This track includes 13 courses across 11 skill areas with a total of 15 – 30 hours per course.

Here’s a list of the Skill Areas, and the Courses to choose in each area. Some areas do offer the students choice of 2 different options of the course to take for that skill area.

  • Area: Get Started with Web Development
    • Course: Web Front-end Developer Orientation – Introduction to the track, and an introduction to various technologies used to create web sites.
  • Area: Create a Basic Web Application
    • Course: Introduction to HTML and Javascript – Learn the essentials skills to create web applications using HTML5 and Javascript.
  • Area: Use a Scripting Language to Build Dynamic Web Apps
    • Course Option 1: Introduction to JavaScript – Learn to use the Javascript programming language to add interactivity to web pages.
    • Course Option 2: Introduction to TypeScript – Learn to use the TypeScript programming language to add interactivity to web pages.
  • Area: Use CSS to Simplify UI Management
    • Course: CSS Basics – Introduction to the basics of web design using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
  • Area: Use CSS to Build a Powerful Web UI
    • Course:L Advanced CSS – Gain a solid foundation to develop and test device-friendly websites using CSS.
  • Area: Use UI Frameworks to Build a Responsive Web UI
    • Course: Introduction to Bootstrap – Learn to use Bootstrap to implement mobile first web pages with CSS and Javascript.
  • Area: Use a Framework to Build a Dynamic Web UI
    • Course: Introduction to jQuery – Learn to use jQuery to simplify common tasks in Javascript when adding interactivity to web pages.
  • Area: Use a Framework to Simplify and Manage Data Binding
    • Course: AngularJS: Framework Fundamentals – Begin programming with AngularJS, a complete Javascript-based open-source framework.
  • Area: Use a Framework to Build a Complex Single-Page Application
    • Course: AngularJS: Advanced Framework Techniques – Take your AngularJS skills to the next level as you learn a full range of advanced features for programming with Angular.
  • Area: Use Cloud Services to Create Web Apps with High Availability and Scale
    • Course: Building your Azure Skills Toolkit – Build-up your Azure Toolkit using a variety of services like Cognitive Functions and Cosmos DB.
  • Area: Use Open Source Web Tools to Support Dynamic Build Scenarios
    • Course: Using Open Source Web Tooling to Improve Development Proficiency – Learn how to use current Open Source tools such as Node.js, Bootstrap, Font Awesome, and NPM to improve your web development proficiency.
  • Area: Use DevOps Tools and Processes to Manage Web Application Projects
    • Course: Introduction to DevOps – Learn to make your application lifecycle faster and more predictable for both developers and the operations team
  • Final: Validate Your Web Development Skills
    • Microsoft Professional Capstone: Front-end Web Development

Each of the above Skill Areas that contain multiple course options only require you to take a single course in that category to satisfy that particular Skill Area. Once all the above skill area requirements have been met, the last process to complete the MPP Big Data program is to complete a final Front-end Web Development Capstone Project.

After completing the above Skill Area requirements, and completing the Front-end Web Development Capstone Project, you will complete the MPP program and earn your certificate. The Front-end Web Development Capstone Project will test your ability to apply the skills learned by implementing them in a practical exercise.

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has 15+ years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Microsoft Certified (MCSD) Azure Solutions Architect. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.

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