Microsoft released "Microsoft Technology Associate" to offer students a certification in the fundamentals of IT and development. Unlike more advanced Microsoft certifications, MTA targets students with no prior IT or development experience or employment. It's available exclusively in educational settings and is designed to easily integrate into curricula of existing computer classes.
"MTA offers three IT certifications, three development certifications and one database certification. IT section includes tests in Networking Fundamentals, Security Fundamentals and Windows Server Administration Fundamentals. The development certification offers tests in Software Development Fundamentals, Windows Development Fundamentals and Web Development Fundamentals. The database certification covers Database Administration Fundamentals. Students can pursue as many or as few certifications as they choose."