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Top 5 Free Microsoft Training Courses From MVA

Top 5 Free Microsoft Training Courses From MVA
Credit: Shutterstock/BranislavNenin

Microsoft has scored a lot of praise for its Virtual Academy website, which offers registered users free access to hundreds of IT-related training courses. Now, the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is back in the spotlight with a totally redesigned version of the MVA website.

The new MVA website includes a great new homepage that makes it much easier for visitors to jump to the different tech categories containing the training they're looking for. The homepage contains links to the RSS feeds that list MVA's newest and most popular courses. The page also displays the latest tweets from the MVA Twitter feed (@MSVirtAcademy) and has links to all of the various MVA social networking pages, including the YouTube channel. It even displays the most current post from the MVA blog.

Most impressive is the global friendliness of the new MVA website. The site is now available in ten different languages, including French, Japanese, Spanish Latin America, and Simplified Chinese.

The new MVA website includes a great new homepage that makes it much easier for visitors to jump to the different tech categories containing the training they're looking for. The homepage contains links to the RSS feeds that list MVA's newest and most popular courses. The page also displays the latest tweets from the MVA Twitter feed (@MSVirtAcademy) and has links to all of the various MVA social networking pages, including the YouTube channel. It even displays the most current post from the MVA blog.

Credit: Microsoft

Most impressive is the global friendliness of the new MVA website. The site is now available in ten different languages, including French, Japanese, Spanish Latin America, and Simplified Chinese.

So, what are the most popular MVA courses? Here are the top five with some related certification info for each one.

The C# Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners course is a good fit for anyone looking to start their IT certification journey with a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification from the Developer track. It is also a great starting point for candidates who want to pursue the more advanced Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer certification.The course is comprised of 25 video episodes each outlining a C# concept applicable to video games, mobile and client applications.

A perfect training option for candidates who want to earn the MTA certification in Database Fundamentals (see next item for distantly related higher-level database credentials), this course offers a good introduction to Microsoft SQL Server terminology and concepts. Beginners learn skills to work with relational databases, database management systems and database components. Video lessons cover creating databases and database objects, using DML statements, SQL server administration and more.

A higher-level course that most closely maps to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification in either the Data Platform or Business Intelligence track, the Querying with Transact-SQL course includes demos, hands-on labs and self assessments in addition to lectures to help IT pros master T-SQL. The query language is used in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database and is ideal for not only database professionals but application developers as well.

We already gave readers a heads up about this free Windows 10 for IT pros training course a couple of months ago and it's still one of our favorites. The video course covers Windows 10 deployment, management, provisioning, device management, security, authentication and a whole lot more. Although the course doesn't tie into a specific certification, it ends with a recommended list of resources and next steps. 

It's no surprise that two of the top five MVA courses are related to Microsoft's newest operating system. That said, Windows 7 is still currently the top desktop OS in the enterprise, and will likely continue to hold that slot for quite some time (as of early September, Windows 7 is running on nearly 60 percent of all desktops worldwide, according to NetMarketShare). Candidates might therefore consider the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification in Windows 7 to be Microsoft's most relevant desktop certification for today's workplace. But it's never too early to start learning Windows 10 and this course covers the biggest announcements around the new OS from Build 2015. The course includes lessons on the new Windows 10 app model, open source software, Microsoft's Edge and more.

What do you think of Microsoft's new Virtual Academy website and what are some of your favorite MVA training courses? Let us know in the comments section.