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Microsoft to Streamline its Certification Paths

Microsoft to Streamline its Expert Certification Paths

On 26 September 2016, five new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Developer (MCSD) specialties were released. These credentials are aligned to Centers of Excellence (CoE), used by the Microsoft Partner Network to identify technical competencies that are widely recognizable by both Microsoft partners and customers. Note: These certification changes apply only to MCSE and MCSD certifications. You will continue to earn and upgrade MCSA certifications as you do currently.

Transitioning to the New Microsoft Technical Certifications

To recognize your efforts in keeping your existing certifications up-to-date, those individuals who currently hold active MCSE or MCSD certifications from the following list will earn the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certifications for 2016 without having to take additional exams:

  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Private Cloud
  • MCSE: Data Platform
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • MCSE: SharePoint
  • MCSE: Communication
  • MCSE: Messaging
  • MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: SharePoint Applications

In addition, all individuals who have passed a qualifying exam since January 1, 2016 will be granted the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certifications for 2016 without the need to take additional exams, if they have met all exam requirements.

Retiring MCSE & MCSD Certifications

As the final part of the transition process, all existing MCSE and MCSD certifications listed below are retired on March 31, 2017:

  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Private Cloud
  • MCSE: Data Platform
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • MCSE: SharePoint
  • MCSE: Communication
  • MCSE: Messaging
  • MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management
  • MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect
  • MCSD: Web Applications
  • MCSD: SharePoint Applications

After that date, these certifications will no longer be attainable, but if already earned, will remain on your transcript in either Active or Inactive state until retirement of the corresponding courses, at which point, the certifications will be moved to the Legacy section of your transcript.

The Five New Expert Certifications Below. Click the Images for a Detailed Look at the Requirements.

Microsoft Technical Certification Paths
Microsoft Technical Path - Productivity
Microsoft Technical Path - Mobility
Microsoft Technical Path - Data Management and Analytics
Microsoft Technical Path - Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
Microsoft Technical Path - App Builder

FAQs about Microsoft Technical Certifications

The new MCSE and MCSD certifications (MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSE: Mobility, MCSE: Data Management and Analytics, MCSE: Productivity and MCSD: App Builder) are aligned to Centers of Excellence, used by the Microsoft Partner Network to identify technical competencies that are widely recognizable by both Microsoft partners and customers. These credentials do not have a recertification requirement. Instead, the achievement data signifies how you keep up with the changes to the technology. Every year, you have the opportunity to re-earn the certification by passing an exam from the list of electives, demonstrating your investment in broadening or deepening your skills in a given Center of Excellence. Each time you earn the certification, a new certification entry is added to your transcript. This process replaces the existing recertification requirement of taking a specific recertification exam every two years (MCSD) or every three years (MCSE) your certification from becoming active.
All MCSE and MCSD certification released prior to September 2016 will be retired on 31 March 2017. All active MCSE and MCSD certifications remain active on your transcript until retirement of the corresponding technologies, at which point the certifications are moved to the Legacy section of your transcript.
To recognize your efforts in keeping your existing MCSE certification up to date, all individuals with active MCSE and MCSD certifications from the following list will earn the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certifications for 2016 without having to take any additional exams:

  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Private Cloud
  • MCSE: Data Platform
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • MCSE: SharePoint
  • MCSE: Communication
  • MCSE: Messaging
  • MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: Web Applications
  • MCSD: SharePoint Applications

All individuals who have passed a qualifying elective exam since 1 January 2016 will be granted the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certification for 2016 without the need to take additional exams, if they have met all exam requirements.
For all MCSE and MCSD certifications released prior to September 2016, MCSE candidates are required to recertify every three years, and MCSD candidates recertify every two years. Recertification requires passing a recertification exam specific to your speciality.

Recertification exams cover material from the exams taken to originally earn the credential, with particular emphasis on the most recent product and process changes.

MCSA certification do not require recertification.

Microsoft Certifications are valuable in the market and remain valuable as long as companies are using the technologies covered in the certification. Over time, certifications retire and eventually transition to a Legacy status. Legacy Microsoft Certification appear on your transcript, designated as such. For the most current certification status, refer to the Retired certifications page.
Depending on the certification you have achieved, most certifications have an upgrade path available. For more information, check the “How to upgrade” section on the appropriate certification page.
To find out about new certification releases, refer to the newly released certification exams on the certification exams page.
Those who have been working with the technology should start with the MCSA or MCSD certifications, which are prerequisites for any further certifications. The MCSA certification validates that job seekers have a minimum set of skills to hit the ground running.
Find out which exams qualify for the MCSD and MCSE certifications introduced in September 2016, on this Microsoft technical certifications chart.
When you pass your first Microsoft Certification exam, you become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community, with access to all of the benefits provided through the Microsoft Certification Program and the MCP member site. You can share your transcript with others to prove that you have passed that exam and to show your progress towards a specific certification.
Certifications that require recertification are not versioned because they may cover multiple technologies.