MCA is too expensive

When was the last time you heard of well-regarded MBA programme that is cheap? On the other hand the $10K is the training budget for two years of any senior IT professional (2-3 conferences per year). And the MCA programme is not here to make a profit – it is a cost-recovery (calculate the cost of each review board member for a week plus all the mentoring time). No, MCA is not for engineers, it is for people who are able to gather business requirements, translate them to appropriate language and audit the execution.


MCA is not endorsed by academic world

This is a chicken-and-egg problem. Why would academic endorse something that is not proven, tested and verified through several years long cycle? MCA programme needs to show clear ROI, certified people need to prove their qualities and the process behind the programme needs to be tested and verified. Compare it to other serious certifications, such as CISSP in security field or PMP in Project Management – they were not developed by academic world either.


MCA is not recognized by clients/HR/employers

That is such a fallacy! Looking at Exchange world nobody wants to have a large-scale Exchange deployment without a formal stamp of MCA-Messaging person (formerly known as Exchange Rangers). I already saw job postings where MCA is a huge advantage to get the position. I also know at least one big (and I mean BIG) System Integrator where you have to pass the MCA certification in order to keep the title of an Architect.


MCA is too hard (also MCA is too elitist):

I never heard of a soldier who would whine that Navy SEAL training is too hard or too elitist. MCA programme is a top-gun certification and is not easy to achieve. The goal is that industry starts to value the MCA logo as second-to-none when it comes to credentials of IT professional. If that means we need many years to grow the MCA community, so be it. The quality bar should stay high.

Many MCA fallacies that spawn on the web forums are stemming out of the misunderstanding of the target audience for MCA. MCA programme is not necessarily for old pros who worked with .NET and SQL Server since the dawn of time. If someone spent countless hours installing, testing, uninstalling and reformatting in Beta-ville, that does not make him an IT architect. Architect title is not the new black for engineers – it is a stand-alone profession with its own roots and own destiny.

Just like never-ending battle between construction architects and civil engineers, there will be a battle between IT engineers and IT architects for the top of the hill. Derogative terms used to describe MCAs in some forums ("Microsoft-certified project managers @ $10K a pop") are just the beginning.

But I take it as a really advanced form of flattery to an IT Architect profession.