in reply to
[Slightly OT]: Is certification worth it?
What kind of job are you looking for? What kind of experience do you have right now?
If you already have some experience in programming etc, you could possibly get an employer first and let them pay for any courses/exams. You might not make a lot of money, but it'll probably pay more than fast-food and I would guess it'd be more fun :-)
If feel you need a certification, you can probably buy some books, study at home and do just the exams for a lot less than 8000 pounds. For instance, IIRC the sun java certification exams cost about 250 euros, add a couple of hundred for the books and you could save yourself a lot of money. Dunno about the MS exams, though.