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Microsoft Certifications are earned by passing exams aligned to a specific certification. The process of earning certification has changed multiple times since its inception.
The current iteration was introduced in February 2020, when Microsoft announced that it was retiring all existing Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications, introducing new pathways, and changing the way individuals earn and maintain those Microsoft certifications. Under the new process, the number and selection of exams required to achieve a Microsoft certification varies.[unreliable source?]
These certifications were planned to be phased out effective June 30, 2020 in favor of "role-based" certifications focused primarily on Azure and Microsoft 365. However, on March 26, 2020, Microsoft announced that the remaining exams associated with MCSA, MCSE and MCSD will retire on January 31, 2021.
Historically, MCSE and MCSD credentials required the individual to recertify after a period of two to three years in order to keep the credential in the "Active section" of their transcript. Under the new system, the MCSE and MCSD credentials no longer have a recertification requirement, they remain on the "Active transcript" of the holder, once gained. Individuals instead can now re-earn a certification every year by passing an additional elective exam. It was done to reflect the increasing cadence of updates to Microsoft products and services, where products like Microsoft Azure are adding new features every 48 hours.
The current list of Certifications are:
- Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
- Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE)
- Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
- Windows Virtual Desktop Specialty
- Azure IoT Developer Specialty
- Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
- "Microsoft Learning: Become a Microsoft Certified professional". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
- "Massive changes to Microsoft Certifications". blog.firebrandtraining.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
- Mary Jo Foley. "Microsoft is retiring its MCSA, MCSD and MCSE certifications in June 2020". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
- Matt Barclay. "Microsoft Announces Date of Sweeping Retirement of MCSA, MCSE, MCSD Certifications". GlobalKnowledge.com. Retrieved 2021-02-09.
- "Top 12 Questions About the New Streamlined Certification Paths". Born to Learn. Archived from the original on 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
- "Browse Certifications and Exams". Microsoft.