Feeds

Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Redmond decides it won't replace Masters certifications, so lesser certs get more rigour

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft has decided it won't replace the Masters-level certifications it once described as the "pinnacle" of a Redmond-centric IT pro's education.

Redmond ”retired” the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM), and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) certifications last year.

At the time of the canning, Redmond said only a couple of hundred IT pros a year felt the need to ascend those peaks of attainment, leading Microsoft to suggest the qualifications weren't helping its products to succeed.

Last September, Microsoft's head of certifications Tim Sneath told The Register Microsoft was “looking to see if there’s a better way to create a pinnacle, WITHOUT losing the technical rigour.”

Today, Sneath told us that Microsoft is not planning a new pinnacle but is in the process of adding rigour to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certifications to reflect the fact there's nothing tougher on offer in Redmond's new certification regime.

Sneath said Microsoft wants to make the MCSD and MCSE “harder for everyone”.

To that end, he said Microsoft will add "a variety of richer test types that make it harder for people to memorise answers. We're also adding richer questioning types. In test for SQL certifications we ask you to actually create an SQL query.”

The requirement to actually wield SQL has been included to make certifications reflect more real-world effort, instead of just theory.

In the same vein, Microsoft is trialling a new Review To Cert Pilot” that sees developers hoping to place an app in the Windows store have their code reviewed by members of Microsoft's Premier Field Engineering (PFE) team. Passing that review and winning a place in the Windows Store will replace one or more exams needed to attain the MCSD.

Sneath said this kind of structure is designed to make Microsoft certifications more rigorous, while also making it possible for more people to attain the qualifications. Microsoft wants big and broad community of certification-holders, rather than being able to point to a small elite.

"We are looking to much broader impact," he said.

As the new certifications are formalised, Microsoft will find ways to promote MCSE and MCSD as something special. Sneath said when he won his MCSE around 20 years ago “I thought I was pretty special. We want to bring that back.” ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft changes cert test providers, hints at fun new exams
If you really love taking tests with Prometric, do 'em before Christmas
Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years
Doesn't anyone know anything about SQL? Or Java? Or Linux? Or programming? Or...
Amazon hiring in Australia for 'new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative'
Is Jeff Bezos moving his grocery business beyond the US West Coast?
Symantec security chap signs for CSIRO's ICT In Schools
Vulture South is closing in on our goal of 20 new recruits to help teachers and kids
A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...
Uni-ditching teens are COMING FOR YOUR JOBS
How to promote CSIRO's ICT in Schools in your community
Vulture South is closing in on its target to find volunteers to help teach tech in schools
Everyone's an IoT expert but now there's a certificate to prove it
Cisco creates Certification of Things for industrial sensor-footlers
Facebook wants Linux networking as good as FreeBSD
Help The Social NetworkTM make the kernel better
LinkedIn settles missed overtime pay case: Will pay $6m to staffers
US Dept of Labor: It violated Fair Labor Standards Act
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.