When Do My Certifications Retire?

We are starting to see a lot of questions around the retiring of certifications and credentials so Trika thought it would be a good idea for me to post about that.  What a good idea.  And, it gets me off the hook for coming up with an idea for today's post.  She really looks out for me, Trika does.  πŸ™‚

So, here is the scoop.  For the new generation certifications, MCTS, MCPD and MCITP, you can expect the certifications to retire when mainstream product support ends.  That means support for the product or technology. 

When this happens, the certification will likely be removed from your credential.  We are looking at the best way to do this with ideas such as removing it from your transcript altogether, leaving it on the transcript but in a section labeled "Retired" or something similar, or just plain leaving it on your record.

Of course you will not be able to earn the certification anymore and the exams will be pulled.  Hopefully that answers your questions around the retirement story.

Comments welcome as always.



Comments (22)
  1. jeff.s says:

    PLEASE leave retired exams on transcripts. Product support might end, but technology has a way of sticking around. Those of us that depend on certifications to help market ourselves could very well need it on our transcripts at some point to show potential clients.


  2. Daniel says:

    I second that. I personally don’t want to be working on technologies related to my current certs, say, 8 years from now but acknowledging that these certs had been achieved at some point in my career would, I’m sure, be occasionally useful.

  3. We are starting to see a lot of questions around the retiring of certifications and credentials so Trika

  4. Did you see this post at blogs.msdn.com

  5. NIall says:

    Hi Gerry

    Personally I think they should remain on your transcript, be either as retired or at someway.

    People work hard to achieve them in the first place, even tho its out of date, it still does show that they achieved them. Just look at the NT 4.0 qualifications for example.. well out of date but still there on your transcript..

    From my own point of view, I have 3 MCPDs, 5 MCTS and 2 MCITPs. Wouldnt really not like them to disappear!!!

  6. Tarique says:

    Please don’t remove the retired certs from our transcripts πŸ™‚ . We’ve worked very hard for them.

    When applying for jobs, it makes a better impression if they see you had started doing certifications 7-8 years ago.

    For example if you are applying for applying for a SQL Server 2008 job, and the employer that you has certifications on SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008, he will recognize that you have been working with the technology for a long time and are probably pretty good at it.

  7. Becn says:

    What they mean is

    "When we have a new product, we will retire your certification to force you to learn the new one and so support our latest new thing … regardless of whether the market has any install base to think of"

    This isn’t about acreditting skilled technicians – its ALL about marketing.

  8. Becn, I’m sorry you feel that way or have taken that idea from this post.  I can assure you that nothing can be further from the truth.

    Your desire to pursue or not to pursue certification is of course entirely up to you.  Our decisions to retire certications are based purely on product lifecycle and nothing more.


  9. Alfred Myers says:

    They shouldn’t be taken from the transcript.

    I also think that separating them to a "Retired" section does no good. I’d rather prefer having the ability to mark any certifications I don’t want appearing anymore on my transcript. Something on the lines of a CheckBox or a ComboBox setting its visibility do public or private.

  10. Theodore says:

    I stand by the common thread that ‘retired’ certifications should not be removed from the transcript.

    As an example – I’m dealing with clients on both sides of the house at my company (Java and .NET) who don’t necessarily use the most up-to-date versions of the technologies.  I think it’s still useful to show that I have been certified on their levels of the various products because it gives them some additional reassurance that I know how to use the software they have, rather than just the ‘latest and greatest’.  I’m sure plenty of others are in that boat as well.

    The other issue is the perception of a certification-go-round.  It is important to be using newer versions of technologies, but by retiring certifications (as opposed to simply withdrawing the exams from the market) makes it feel at times as if the primary impulse here is to earn money off developers with constant recertification, rather than gently encouraging us to keep up to date.

    Course, this is just my $0.02, but hey…

  11. Tariq says:

    I agree with everyone here. If the technology is obsolete and no longer used, then just stop offering certification exams in them. Why retire them?

    By getting a certification on a technology, we are showing we have a certain level of expertise on it. Just because the technology is obsolete, that doesn’t mean we have lost our expertise in it.

    If you retire our certification/remove it from our transcript, it implies that we have lost our expertise in that technology.

    I’m sure you guys don’t want to do that, do you?

  12. Microsoft certifications for new technologies–in the MCTS, MCPD, MCITP format–will retire when Microsoft

  13. Microsoft certifications for new technologies–in the MCTS, MCPD, MCITP format–will retire when Microsoft

  14. Mehran says:

    Please correct me if I am wrong but one of the main reasons why whythe new certifications were introduced was to allow individuals to target specific technologies. So based on this definition, the retirement of those certifications doesn’t make sense.

    When somebody is recognised as "MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications", the title of the exam is descriptive enough to show that the candidate took a series of exams related to developing web applications based on the .NET Framework 2.0.

    When new certifications are introduced, the exam title includes the version number so it is clear whether the candidate has acquired the latest certification.

    To be honest, I am struggling to understand what it means to say my "MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications" is retired? Does it mean that I can’t develop .NET 2.0 web applications anymore??

  15. Hi Mehran,

    Let me clarify for you.

    Retirement of a credential means simply that you can no longer acquire it.  Once mainstream product support from Microsoft ends for .NET 2.0, the ability to acquire any of the .NET 2.0 certifications goes away.

    If you already have one or any of the credentials, it simply gets moved to the "retired" section of your transcript.  (Yes, we decided to move it to retired and delete it as most comments above suggested.)

    So, when we say retired, it doesn’t mean that you no longer have the certification, it’s just deemed older technology.

    Look at it this way, by the time support for .NET 2.0 ends, we will likely be in version 5.0.  That means that people using 2.0 will either be upgrading to 5.0 or at the least, 3.5.


  16. Aymincendiary says:

    Anybody know when XP Professional Administration 70-270 will retire? I’m considering going for this exam since I learned on XP.

    Let me know so I can plan accordingly.


  17. All Microsoft certification exams have their dates set to retire on or around the same time that Microsoft stops mainstream product support.


  18. Kengkaj says:

    Does that mean after certifications are retired, the certifications are still valid (can show in resume, name card, etc.)?

    Can you put in website then? Because from the website it’s not clear at all.

    Even in this blog, you said "the certification will likely be removed from your credential.".

  19. Kengkaj says:

    I got an answer from this website: http://www.itcareerplanet.com/article.php/3785431

    "β€œIn contrast with the older program, the new program certifications will at some point become null and void,” says Linsky."

  20. Which is no different than what I said Kengkaj.


  21. DOuglas Miller says:

    Can anyone say for a fact that the 70-270, 70-290, and 70-291 exams will retire Mar 31, 2010?

  22. Douglas,

    Sorry for the delay in responding but because these exams are not developer focused, I had to check-in with the Product Manager for these.

    The simple answer is they will not retire on March 31, 2010.  We will give at least a one year notice prior to any exam retiring.  These notices may be found here, http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-dev.aspx#tab4

    To give you a rough timeline, consider these exams in market until Windows 8 starts to make its appearance.


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