By Ron Grattopp ….. In case you didn’t know, Microsoft Certification celebrated its 20th anniversary on January 31st and to mark that milestone they have launched a year-long effort called “20 Years|20 Ways”. And, on April 11, we announced some significant changes to our MCSE Certification program, “MCSE: Reinvented for the Cloud”.
Microsoft’s revamped program is aimed at maintaining market relevance as the industry shifts to the cloud. We believe these changes will now validate a broader and deeper skill set required to build solutions on-premise or in the cloud. Moreover, we’ve added recertification requirements to ensure that IT professionals and developers who hold our certifications are up-to-date on our continually evolving technology. Here’s an overview of the new certification framework:
The Associate Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications. This level of certification is for IT Pros and developers looking to get their start in a Microsoft technology career, and will validate the “core platform skills” needed to work in a Microsoft-based IT environment. The MCSA level certifications are a prerequisite for the next level of certifications (MCSE/MCSD).
The Expert Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or its developer equivalent, Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification. The MCSE/MCSD is considered Microsoft’s flagship certification for individuals who want to lead their organization’s transition to the cloud. These certifications recognize IT professionals and developers with broad and deep skill sets across Microsoft solutions.
The Master Level is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) certification represents the highest degree of knowledge and skills validation. As you can see below, The MCM/MCSM certifications are aimed at validating individuals' ability to design and build solutions that could integrate a multitude of technologies, versions and products.
For a complete listing of all Microsoft Certifications see Microsoft Certifications by Name; or you can also view Microsoft Certifications by Technology.
As far as what happens to existing certifications, here’s an excerpt from the FAQ around that; “The existing MCTS, MCITP, and MCPD certifications are currently valuable in the market and will remain valuable as long as companies are using the technology covered in your certification. As new technologies are released, they will be released in the new solutions structure. Over time, the MCTS, MCITP, and MCPD certifications will retire and will transition to a legacy status. Legacy Microsoft Certifications will still appear on your transcript and will be designated as such.” Of course, you can use the link above to access the FAQ directly to address other questions you may have.
Ron, think you forgot to mention that for certain technologies they also have a level beyond the MCM so that for those of us in the Sharepoint and exchange world we have the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)