Difference between MCPD, MCAD, MCA/MCM
MCPD is thing that you should go for being a .Net Developer
Path is: MCP > MCTS > MCPD
There is no specific certification for Silverlight. you need to do certifications for WPF + WCF instead.
- MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Communication Foundation Applications Exam 70-536 and Exam 70-503
- MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Presentation Foundation Applications Exam 70-536 and Exam 70-502
MCTS is more focussed on development Technologies like Dot Net Framework 2.0, 3.5 and 4 and technologies like Desktop development, ADO.net, WPF, WCF etc. YOu should be following the path MCP > MCTS > MCPD
You will need to 70-536 .Net Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation. This will make you an MCP. Then you can choose any MCTS Certification that may either relate to Web Development or Desktop Development, Distributed Application Development, Windows Development or more. Then after the completion of MCTS in one more (at least one) you will need to go for MCPD for that specific MCTS you have completed.
- Windows technologies
- Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft .NET Framework technologies
- Microsoft SQL Server technologies
- Microsoft Office System technologies (including Office SharePoint Server and Office Project Server)
- Microsoft Exchange Server technology
- Other technologies
MCPD Certifications are more closely related to software development using .Net Technologies.
MCAD contain mostly retired exams. You may call these Legacy Certification program.You should not be going for it.
MCSD is a retired certifications program. You should not go for it.
There is no such thing as MTA I guess. You probably meant MCA (Microsoft Certified Architect). This program is currently limited to certification related to the following MS Solutions.
Microsoft currently offers three MCA certifications:
- MCA: Microsoft Exchange Server
- MCA: Microsoft SQL Server
- MCA: Windows Server: Directory
Microsoft plans to extend the MCA certifications to include two other technologies:
- MCA: Microsoft Office Communications Server
- MCA: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
MCM is Solution Specific. Not strictly related to coding or development from scratch. Its about being able to develop solutions out of Microsoft solutions like:
- MCM: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
- MCM: Microsoft Lync Server 2010
- MCM: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
- MCM: Microsoft SQL Server 2008
- MCM: Windows Server 2008 R2: Director
Microsoft provides Self-Paced Training Kits for almost all of of its Exams.
Various third party sites also sell sample test papers. You may google them.
Mostly the exams are easy if you have experience of 2-3 years in development using .Net technologies. You may start here:
MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework 2.0 Foundation
Difficult Level between each
Not all of them are strictly related to one another except MCP, MTS, MCPD and MCM. They are not hard at all if you relevant experience. If you dont I suggest that you go through the relevant Self-Paced Training kit from Microsoft.