imageI remember getting my first MCSE certification in the mid-1990s and feeling really proud of the accomplishment.  Many of my peers at that time also pursuing an MCSE felt that it was a certification that would increase their likelihood to get hired over a candidate that did not hold the certification.  Things were good and we were all doing well. 

Over the years, the MCSE was replaced by the MCITP certification, which, in my mind and that of some of my peers, did not have the same “cachet” as the MCSE certification.  In fact, many companies were still specifying MCSE instead of MCITP (a search on www.workopolis.ca that I just ran for MCSE returned 115 results versus 30 for MCITP – results may vary based on when you do it).  That’s why it is nice to see that the MCSE designation is back – and improved to boot!  But why are we doing this?

The Cloud Changes Everything

The need for cloud computing skills has been pushing the market for months. Solution providers are seeking cloud-ready employees to bring their businesses to the next level. The cloud computing market is evolving at such a pace that while the number of job postings is skyrocketing, the talent isn't there to fill the positions.

In the past 20 years, Microsoft Certifications have been THE tool to address the skills gap. To be relevant, certifications need to continue to be the tool needed and recognized in the market.

That’s why we have reinvented our certification program—to certify a deeper set of skills that are mapped to the Cloud and to real-world business contexts. Rather than testing only on a component of a technology, IT Professionals and Developers are now tested on more advanced skills and a deeper understanding of the technology.

Today’s Big Announcement

Today, we announced that we have reinvented our certifications to validate the skill sets needed to develop, deploy, and maintain Microsoft technology solutions. These certifications recognize IT Pros and Developers who have skill sets that run both broad and deep. Certifications are available at three skill levels:

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

The Associate (MCSA) level is the prerequisite certification necessary to get your Expert level certification. This certification validates the core skills you need to get your 1st job in IT.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) &
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

The Expert level is Microsoft’s flagship set of certifications validating that your skills are relevant in the constantly changing tech environment. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is the destination for established IT Professionals who have expertise working with Microsoft technology solutions. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is the destination for established Developers who have expertise developing solutions with Microsoft tools.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM)

After you have achieved your Expert level certification, Master is the next destination. This certification is for the select few who wish to further differentiate themselves from their peers and achieve the highest level of skills validation.

The picture below, found on the Microsoft Learning web site provides a mapping between the existing certifications and the new cloud-first certifications (MCSA, MCSE, MCSM):

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Get Certified as an MCSE for the Private Cloud and SQL Server 2012 Today!

MCSE certifications are available today for Microsoft’s Private Cloud and SQL Server 2012 technologies today. 

The requirements for the MCSE Private Cloud certification take advantage of existing exams and skills you may have already taken, such as the 70-659 exam that can be taken in place of the 70-247 exam until January 31, 2013.  Don’t forget that you can also get a free exam voucher and a $75 gift card if you pass the 70-659 exam before May 31, 2012 – see Ruth’s blog post on this for more details!

The full path can be found on the MCSE Private Cloud page on the Microsoft learning web site, and a quick view of what is needed is as follows:

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Details on becoming an MCSE for SQL Server 2012 can also be found on the Microsoft Learning web site, however there are two distinct certifications for SQL Server 2012 to allow those with expertise in the Database Platform to showcase their skills, as well as those whose focus is on Business Intelligence.  The available options for SQL Server are as shown below with full details on the SQL Server 2012 certification page on the Microsoft Learning web site.

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New Certifications Are Available Now

You can find a lot more information about the reinvented program and the first new certifications: Private Cloud MCSE, Database MCSE & Business Intelligence MCSE and the links below. There is also a 2-for-1 exam offer from ProMetric that you or your staff may want to look into. 

Get your staff to start the journey to the MCSE certification today or look at what is needed to upgrade an existing certification to the new MCSE.  Having skilled IT professionals knowledgeable on the latest Cloud-enabled technologies can only help to ensure a more robust IT infrastructure in your or your client’s organization.

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