April 11, 2012— Microsoft today announced that it has reinvented its certification program to directly address technology’s evolution to the cloud. More detail here.
The new certifications align to real-world solutions rather than specific products and validate a broader and deeper set of knowledge and skills. Because many organizations will continue to have a mix of both cloud and on-premise technologies, the new solutions-based approach helps ensure technologists can work with a range of products and services and manage a mixed environment in a way that is seamless for users within and outside their organization.
The new certification framework has also been streamlined to three skill levels to make it easier to navigate:
The Associate Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification, which provides a clear starting point for job seekers early in their technology career. Candidates must prove they have the required skills to hit the ground running. This level represents a foundation and is the prerequisite certification necessary to earn an MCSE.
The Expert Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or its developer equivalent, Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and is Microsoft’s flagship certification for individuals who want to lead their organization’s transition to the cloud. These certifications recognize IT professionals and developers with broad and deep skill sets across Microsoft solutions.
The Master Level is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) certification that differentiates the select few from their peers and represents the highest bar of knowledge and skills validation.
Cloud technology creates new opportunities and job roles, but it also impacts current ones. We recommend that you start by building skills that apply to both on-premise computing and cloud computing. If you already have on-premise skills, you can enhance your skill set to include cloud computing, and then validate your abilities with Microsoft certification programs, like the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). Consult the following tables for guidance on where to get started.