Update 11/18/216: There is a living FAQ from Microsoft Certification Program-Team on their Born To Learn blog.
I just sat outside GWCC to get my mind free after a Microsoft Ignite morning full of networking, hands-on labs and expertise exchange as an email from Microsoft Certification Program team reached me. As of now I’m recognized as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Productivity (Charter) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (Charter). But what’s the deal with that?
Well, what place on earth could fit better than the world’s biggest technology conference for such an email to get? Right – none! So I’ve just stepped over to the guys from Microsoft Certification Program team and asked them. As you might know I used to be an MCSE: Private Cloud and Messaging for over three years now so I would have had to recertify by the end of this year. Why? Because 2012/2013 MCSE certifications require to recertify every three years. Now most important thing first: MCSE Messaging and Private Cloud certifications are supposed to retire by end of March 2017! Means for me that I’ll have a little work to do in autumn. Or don’t I?
MCSE: Productivity is the new MCSE certification for the collaboration and productivity track; an expert certification for SharePoint, Skype for Business or Exchange specialists. As these three products are unified in Office365 it made sense to adjust these certification tracks. So MCSE: Messaging went up in the all new MCSE: Productivity certification. Further information on the new MCSE: Productivity certification can be found here.
MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure is the first infrastructure certification for cloud experts just as cloud architects or cloud admins. With the release of Windows Server 2016 with its cloud capabilities and with Azure Stack on the road it was important to reflect that in an expert certification track as well. MCSEs on Cloud Platform and Infrastructure are experts for private, hybrid and public cloud infrastructures using Windows Server, Azure, OMS and/or Azure Stack. Information on the new MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure are provided by Microsoft.
Do you have to recertify the new MCSEs as well? Short answer: no! The new MCSE certifications do not expire. Does it make sense to re-earn the certifications? Absolutely! Re-earning one of the new MCSEs means that you have to take one of the elective exams that count credit towards the respective MCSE certification. So if you earn the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure in 2016 and you take exam 70-534 (Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions) in 2017 your transcript will show that you’ve earned the certification in 2016 and 2017 which proves that you stay up to date.
One thing that might require you to recertify your legacy MCSE certifications nevertheless might be that Microsoft Partner Program has not yet adopted the new certification tracks. I took the oppurtunity and walked over to the Microsoft Partner Network guys and asked them what they plan. Short thing: Gold competency for datacenter will change as well by spring 2017 so if your MCSE: Private Cloud counts credit towards your company’s gold competency and your company has to recertify at the beginning of 2017 it might be important for you to recertify nevertheless.
An overview over all five new MCSE certifications is provided by Microsoft in their Born To Learn blog.
Finally, I’m glad that Microsoft recognizes cloud infrastructure experts with their own certification as of now and that I am one of the lucky Charter Members, early adopters of a new certification.
Bye for now,