What You Should Know About the New Microsoft Certifications

The Microsoft certification program has been overhauled to include cloud-related skills and a focus on real-world solutions. With this reformulation come new certification names. A few have familiar acronyms but different meanings: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) replace Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD). The master-level certification changes from Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) to Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM).

What Does This Mean to You?

  • More Microsoft experience is required: Now you must have two years of experience to be eligible for the MCSA (up from six months) and four years for the MCSE (up from two years).
  • Broader Microsoft experience is needed: You will need both on-premise and cloud experience for Microsoft technologies to achieve the new MCSA and MCSE certifications.
  • MCSA candidates will take more exams: You must pass three exams for the new MCSA certification.
  • MCSEs must recertify. The new MCSE certification is not version specific and requires passing two exams. Those who become certified must renew every three years.
  • Revised relevance for the MCSA and MCSE. While the MCSA will be technology specific, the MCSE will focus on business context and real-world solutions across different Microsoft technologies.

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