How do these changes impact my existing Microsoft certifications?
Will there be an upgrade path from my current MCITP or MCPD certification?
Q. Why is Microsoft changing their certification program?
A. As Microsoft continues to release cloud-enabled technology solutions, they reinvented their certifications to validate deeper and broader skills on the latest technologies and they made the process of achieving a certification more rigorous. These changes to the Microsoft certification program are necessary to help IT professionals and developers stay relevant as technology solutions shift to the cloud.
Q. Why did Microsoft change the names of their certifications?
A. The names -- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) -- were changed to better reflect the experience, knowledge, and skills that IT professionals and developers need to build and manage technology solutions that may include multiple technologies, whether on-premise or in the cloud.
Q. Why did Microsoft raise the expectations for minimum skills to achieve certifications?
A. Microsoft raised the minimum expectations to recognize and validate the full set of skills that a candidate needs to successfully build a technology solution. They also included topics relevant to working with solutions in the cloud. With increased minimum expectations, individuals are trained to be up to date on Microsoft technologies and better able to satisfy the needs of the organization.
Q. What key changes is Microsoft making to the program?
A. To stay relevant, Microsoft certifications now validate a broader and deeper set of skills to build Microsoft technology solutions in the cloud or on-premise, rather than an individual component of a Microsoft technology. Since Microsoft cloud service offerings are continuously updated to the latest technology version, Microsoft is adding recertification to the Microsoft certification program to keep IT professionals and developers up to date on the latest version of technology.
Q. Are the exams more challenging?
A. There are many aspects to a candidate's perception of how challenging an exam is. Microsoft's program changes address each of those aspects, including:
- Setting the bar higher for minimum experience expected from successful candidates
- Increased or higher level skills validated
- More challenging question types
Q. What are the key changes Microsoft is making to the exams?
A. The content tests on a broader and deeper skill set required to be successful with a platform technology (vs. only a component of the technology). Successful candidates will be expected to have more real-world, hands-on experience with the technology solution.
Q. Will the price per exam be changing?
A. Exam prices are not changing as a result of these program changes; however, Microsoft reserves the right to adjust pricing at any time. Consult the Prometric web site for current pricing at www.prometric.com/microsoft .
Q. Which certification should I start with?
A. The MCSA certification is the starting point for Microsoft technical certifications. The MCSA certifications provide a clear starting point for job seekers who are early in their technology careers and are ready to prove that they have the minimum set of skills to hit the ground running.
Q. What should I do if a certification isn't available for the technology that I'm interested in?
A. We recommend that you pursue the Microsoft certification paths that are currently available and sign up to receive notifications (microsoft.com/learning/mcse) about updates on new certifications as they become available. In most cases, upgrade exams will also be available to shorten your path from an MCITP or MCPD to the new MCSE and MCSD certifications. You can trust Global Knowledge to be ready with the training you need to meet the new certification requirements.
Q. What happens if I pass a single exam?
A. By passing a single exam you can share your transcript with others to prove that you passed that exam and show your progress towards a specific certification.
Q. Will I be able to access the MCP member site by passing only one exam?
A. Yes, you will be able to access the MCP member site after passing one exam. You will be able to view and share your transcript, enabling you to show your progress towards your certification goals.
Q. What is the difference between the new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and the old Microsoft Certified System Engineer certifications?
A. Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certifications focus on the ability to design and build technology solutions, which may include integrating multiple technology products as well as spanning multiple versions of a single technology. MCSE also demonstrates a candidate's commitment to remain current on the latest technologies through recertification.
Q. Why don't any of the certification titles at the expert level have a product version number in them anymore?
A. Expert-level certifications do not include a product version number because they may cover multiple versions of a single technology and multiple technologies as part of the solution.
Q. Since expert-level certifications don't include a product version number, how will I show what product versions my certification covers?
A. At the expert-level, it is expected that you are up to date on the latest version of the technology. This is validated through the recertification requirement for each expert-level certification. Therefore, no version number is necessary for the certification name.
Q. How will earning the new expert-level certification better prepare me to pursue a master-level certification?
A. Expert-level certifications better prepare you to pursue a master-level certification by validating the full range of skills and abilities required to be successful at building technology solutions. Expert-level certifications also validate deeper technology skills than were included in the past, which helps bridge the gap to the difficulty level of master certifications.
Q. How do these changes impact my existing Microsoft certifications?
A. 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 transition to legacy status. Legacy Microsoft certifications will still appear on your transcript and will be designated as such.
Q. Will there be an upgrade path from my current MCITP or MCPD certification?
A. If you achieved an MCITP or MCPD certification that corresponds to a new expert-level certification, there will be a shorter upgrade path available to you for a limited time.