MCAD: New Paths to Certification

MCAD: New Paths to Certification

If you are an MCAD, and are working with Visual Studio 2005, we have news for you. We have created two new paths to help you earn a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) credential so you can prove to employers and customers you have the skills they can rely on to develop .NET 2.0 applications.


If you are focusing on:

*  Windows application development then exam 70-558 is the one for you. MCADs who pass this exam will earn an MCTS: .NET 2.0 Windows Applications certification. Visit the Preparation Guide for 70-558 to learn more about the exam.

* Web application development then you should check out exam 70-559. MCADs who pass this exam will earn an MCTS: .NET 2.0 Web Applications certification. Visit the Preparation Guide for 70-559 to learn more about the exam.

Why did we create these two new exams?

Previously the paths for transitioning from MCAD to a .NET 2.0 certification were geared toward those wishing to earn a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credential. We created these two new paths because we know there are a lot of you out there that would rather make the jump to MCTS first, and then work on your MCPD later if that is your ultimate goal. One of the best things about updating your certification to MCTS on .NET 2.0 is that you’ll only have to take a single exam to earn an MCTS credential on the new .NET 3.5 tracks.

· Visit the Visual Studio 2008 certification overview page to learn more about the .NET 3.5 tracks.


So, does this mean that exams 70-551 and 70-552 are going away?  Absolutely not.  If you are an MCAD and you want to attempt these exams, by all means feel free to do so.   We recommend that MCSD candidates take these exams but that MCAD candidates concentrate on the 70-558 or 70-559 exams.

Part of the reason for this change is to help make these certifications a little more clear.  The original upgrade story appeared to be a somewhat limiting.  Also, keep in mind that the MCAD and MCSD certifications will have their requisite exams retired in March of 2009.  That means you will no longer be able to acquire the MCAD or MCSD credential.  If you don’t have it already, or maybe you are part way there but ready to give up and just go the “start my 2.0/3.5 from scratch” route, reconsider that and look at these upgrade exams.  This could help shorten your certification path.


As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.



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  • Please add 2 and 3 and type the answer here:
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  • You MCAD holders who weren't that jazzed on the upgrade path to .NET 2.0 MCPD (with exams 70-551 and

  • In the last year I've been upgraded my MCSD credential doing the 70-553 and 70-554 exams. But with this exams we don't earn the MCPD Web Developer neither MCPD Windows Developer Certification. Why?

    So, if I would like to migrate to .NET 3.5 MCPDs Certifications, I'll need to do the 70-566, 70-567, 70-568 and 70-569 exams?

    Is that correct?

  • This is a great news... thanks for this decision.

  • Hi Thiago,

    In order to upgrade to MCPD, you would need to take the existing 70-551 or 70-552 exams.  Those were and still are the upgrade exams for MCSD or MCAD to MCPD on Windows or Web.   We don't recommend that MCAD candidates take the MCPD upgrades but rather the new MCTS upgrade exams.

    You can still choose whichever exam you want to achieve the desired credential, we just found that MCAD certified candidates were not passing the MCPD upgrade exams, or were choosing not to take them.  


  • Hi Gerry,

    As a sys engineer who is certified on a number of Windows and application is this a true upgrade exam? I guess I mean do you have to have a previous MS programming cert in order to complete the 70-559 exam and earn the MCTS: .NET 2.0 Web Applications certification?

    I'm finding the lines blurring more and more from a sys admin vs development areas. I mean I think to be a good administrator these days you need to have some basic programming experience.

  • Also Thiago can earn his MCPD:Win&Web by passing 547 and 548 exam.

  • Thanks Ulugbek,

    Although those two exams can be used to acquire the Windows or Web MCPD for 2.0, Thiago was referring specifically to upgrade exams, and the two you mention are not upgrade exams.  You will need to pass 70-536 plus the appropriate MCTS exam before you can acquire the MCPD by taking one of the exams you mention.

    If you are an MCAD or MCSD, it is a shorter path to take the upgrade exams.

    Also, Thiago mentioned passing the Enterprise upgrade exams and wondering why the Web and Windows weren't awarded as well.  I missed that the first time around but the answer to that is simply because the coverage of the Web and Windows topcis are not as complete in those upgrade exams as they are on the others.


  • Hi Sean,

    These exams are a true upgrade however, you must have either an MCAD or an MCSD before you can be awarded the credential after passing one of these exams.

    Yes, the lines are starting to blur somewhat and I agree with your statement that a good Administrator should know some basic programming skills.  ADSI, WMI, VBScript and PowerShell force the admin to understand programming constructs in order to be successful in automating their environment using these scripting tools.

    I also believe it is important for the developer to understand some administrative concepts as well when it comes to authorizations for users and applications.



  • Hi Gerry,

    AFAIK MCSD.NET + 553 + 554 + 547 + 548 = Full MCTS&MCPD .NET 2.0 (at least in my case it worked). That's why I suggested to Thiago to pass only 547&548 exams, because they're more focused than 551&552.

  • Thanks for clarifying Gerry. Totally agree. I have developed good scripting skills in the past but now I work a lot with Sharepoint and other web based apps I find that I need to be looking into code more and more to try to find the cause of different issues.

    I have been pondering taking the following two exams in order to demonstrate to potential new employers (and myself) that I have skills across both dev and admin areas.

    Exam 70–536

    Exam 70–528

    Currently work in an 3rd level app support role supporting MOSS 2007, Exchange 200x, SQL 2000/2005 and a hoard of other 3rd party apps (CRM, etc). Have about 10 years sys admin exp with MCSE NT4/200x, MCTS, MCITP. Have also completed training with Ed Wilson on scripting techs.

    Have about 12-18 months working with VS 2005. Your thoughts?

  • Ulugbek,

    Yes, those will provide all those certifications.  They are NOT and upgrade path however.  And that is the original question.

    You are talking about 4 exams where I am talking about one or maybe two.


  • Hi Sean,

    I say go for it.  You sound like you have some dev experience with Visual Studio and that is a great start.  70-536 is not an easy exam but if you use the prep guide and gain experience in those areas, you are well on your way to be a programmer in .NET 2.0.

    Sounds like you have researched this well and know what you want. You have chosen the correct path for being more proficient on SharePoint developing as it is based on Web technologies.  Don't forget to download the SharePoint SDK too.

    If I can help with further questions let me know.


  • I am a MCPD- Enterprise Application Developer - .Net 2.0, so based on the Microsoft web site information, I think I will have to take 70-568 and 70-569 to upgrade to MCPD Enterprise - .Net 3.5.

    Do you have any idea of when these exams will be available in Beta form?

    Thanks for the information.


  • Hi Joe,

    When it comes to developer certifications, I know it all.  :-)

    These exams are a composite of the requisite TS and Pro level exams.  This means their timelines are based on the completion of the requisite exams.

    Now, because they are a composite, they are comprised of items from exams that have already gone through a beta phase which means these exams will not have a beta period.  They will be launched in their live format.

    You should see them on or around January 19, 2009.


  • I'm an MCPD Windows developer.  I see that there is now a 70-566 exam planned to upgrade to .NET 3.5.

    When will this test become available, and what sorts of topics will be included?

    Also, it looks like there isn't an MCPD test for Windows Presentation Foundation.  Is that correct?

    Thanks much.


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