My View on the New Microsoft Certification Titles

April 30, 2012

In the past few weeks we’ve learned that Microsoft has changed the structure of the certification program that has been established in 2007.

Right now we had three different tiers of the certification:

  • Technical Specialist (MCTS): the competency in a specific technology
  • Professional Developer (MCPD) / IT Professional (MCITP): the competency in design, analysis and decision-making about the technology
  • Master (MCM): the top-level certification for a specific technology

Well, now Microsoft has changed the tiers into the following:

  • Solutions Associate (MCSA): The entry-level certification
  • Solutions Developer / Solution Expert (MCSD / MCSE): The professional-level certification
  • Solutions Master (MCSM): The top expert level

The focus here is on the competence in providing solutions, on premise, cloud or hybrid. The exam content and difficulty are adjusted to the real-world solutions, not to a technology-only crammed concepts and code. It should protect and ensure the value of the new certifications in the real world.

I think that there’s still a lot of work to do for Microsoft to successfully communicate the need for a change. As far as I can read, the new certifications are “cloud-ready” but I have a tingling feel that it’s a marketing rebranding of an existing 3-tiered structure, together with really important changes in the format and content of the certifications. In my opinion, the changes themselves should be highlighted more prominently but they are hidden among the Azure/Cloud marketing fluff.

Microsoft has posted more information about the new certification schema and the upcoming titles. The first new certifications are: Private Cloud MCSE, Database MCSE & Business Intelligence MCSE:

Profile picture

Written by Edin Kapić Insatiably curious code-writing tinkerer. Geek father. Aviation enthusiast. Cuisine journeyman. Follow me on Twitter