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Microsoft Announces Date of Sweeping Retirement of MCSA, MCSE, MCSD Certifications. Read How it Impacts You.

Feb. 27, 2020
Global Knowledge

Microsoft is retiring certifications in SQL Server, Windows Server, App Builder, Web Applications and more on January 31, 2021.

In the following, we detail what and when Microsoft certifications and exams are retiring and what your recommended next steps should be during this transition (includes a transition path free download). If you have more questions, tweet us at GKonMicrosoft or call us at 1.800.268.7737.


First, if you’ve recently earned one of these certifications or have been studying for an upcoming MCSA, MCSE or MCSD exam, take a deep breath, you’re OK, but you need to move quickly.

Per Microsoft, “If you have passed a qualifying exam, it will still count towards competency attainment for 12 months after the exam is retired.”

If you are pursuing a qualifying exam, “you can continue earning the MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE certifications as long as the required exams are still available. As we retire the exams that are part of those certification paths, you will no longer be able to earn those certifications. If you are unable to complete the required exams before they are retired (6/30/2020 1/31/2021), please visit Competencies and select the competency of interest to review the latest requirements.”


To speed up your exam prep, check out our Microsoft certification prep training courses.

What specific certifications are scheduled to be retired on January 31, 2021?

MCSA Certifications:

MCSA: Dynamics 365 for Operations
MCSA: BI Reporting
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Admin
MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Dev
MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014
MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
MCSA: Web Applications
MCSA: Windows Server 2012
MCSA: Windows Server 2016


MCSD Certifications:

MCSD: App Builder


MCSE Certifications:

MCSE: Business Applications
MCSE: Core Infrastructure
MCSE: Data Management & Analytics
MCSE: Productivity


List of Microsoft Certification Exams Retiring on Jan. 31, 2021

70-333: Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015
70-334: Core Solutions for Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
70-339: Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
70-345: Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
70-457: Developing Mobile Apps
70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
70-413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases
70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases
70-465: Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server
70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server
70-467: Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3
70-483: Programming in C#
70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications
70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
70-537: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack
70-705: Designing and Providing Microsoft Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations
70-740: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016
70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016
70-743: Upgrading Your skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016
70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016
70-745: Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter
70-761: Querying Data with Transact-SQL
70-762: Developing SQL Databases
70-764: Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure
70-765: Provisioning SQL Databases
70-767: Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL
70-768: Developing SQL Data Models
70-777: Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions
70-778: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power BI
70-779: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel
MB2-716: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration
MB6-894: Development, Extensions and Deployment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance
MB6-897: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail
MB6-898: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources


We want you to succeed, so we recommend that you if you're planning to register for one of these courses, book it now, so you have plenty of time to prepare by the 1/31/2021 deadline.


What are the next steps to transition to Microsoft role-based certifications:

Microsoft certification retirement and role-based certification transition plan


Why is Microsoft retiring the MCSA, MCSE and MCSD certifications?

They are focused on ensuring your skills are as current and relevant as possible.

Per Microsoft, “In order to keep the Microsoft Certified Professional program current, Microsoft Learning continually reviews our current and planned certifications to ensure that our certifications reflect the latest Microsoft technologies as well as those technologies that Microsoft Certified Professionals use every day.”

“We are making a significant shift in investment on our certification program to focus on job roles
to better-align with industry and hiring trends, allowing users to keep pace with changes in technology and business needs. Our role-based certifications will clearly state that you are Microsoft certified in a job role and show the type (i.e. fundamentals, role-based, or specialty) and level (i.e., associate or expert) at which the certification sits in our framework.”


Read Microsoft's official statement.

Additional FAQs:

Q. How can I prepare for the qualifying Microsoft certification exams faster?
A: Take one of our Microsoft certification exam prep courses.

Q. What happens to Windows Server and SQL Server certifications? Will there be Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 certifications available?
A: No, there will not be Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 certifications. Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 content will be included in role-based certifications on an as needed basis for certain job-roles in the Azure Apps & infra and Data and AI solution areas.


Q: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certifications are product-based certifications. Will they be retired as a part of this?
A: No, MOS certifications are not being affected by this retirement.

Q: Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications are product-based certifications. Will they be retired as a part of this?
A: No, MTA certifications are not being affected by this retirement.


If you have more questions, tweet us at GKonMicrosoft or call us at 1.800.268.7737.


Note, per Microsoft, this information is subject change.​