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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.” ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Get a job in Germany – where most activities are precursors to drinking
A Brit explains the fun to be had rolling rocks down country lanes
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
100 IT workers face the axe at CSIRO
Union says management's version of events is wrong and that one in five will go
Young Germans: PLEASE! ANYTHING BUT a digital STARTUP
But Spanish and Italian youths want to set them up themselves
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.