I have been studying for Microsoft certificate for recent days, and I have made some research on which certificate is right for me. There are many programs for Microsoft developers and specialists such as MCAD - Application Developer, MCSD - Solution Developer, MCTS - Technology specialist, and MCPD - Professional Developer.
MCTS and MCPD are newer certificate programs which are more focused on latest technologies and products from Microsoft. MCTS enables professionals to target specific technologies and to distinguish themselves by demonstrating in-depth knowledge and expertise in their specialized technologies.
So for programmers and developers, MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 is most suitable choice. To get MCTS certicate, you only need to pass two core exams related to .NET Framework Foundation and Client development for web, windows or distributed. For me, i plan to become MCTS on .NET 2.0 Web Application, firstly.
MCAD seems more difficult to get, having to pass 3 exams and also it is focused on older and wide technology: As you know, .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1 which are now less used, about to lose its popularity. Furthermore, to become MCAD, one should be familiar with all of three platforms, i.e, Web, Windows and Distributed.
After becoming MCTS, you can upgrade to MCPD - Professional developer, by giving only one more exam. Lets say that you have MCTS: .NET 2.0 Web Application certificate, you will have one more exam and then you will become MCPD: Web Developer which is similar level to the MCSD. MCSD is more difficult to get, having to pass total 5 exams and focused on old technologies.
If you plan to certify you knowledge by Microsoft, i suggest you to study for MCTS and MCPD not MCAD and MCSD. I will post my experience, resources and links related to preparation, practice and exam for MCTS after i got my certificate.