Microsoft Certifications: I’m Already Certified as an MCTS but I Want to Upgrade. Where do I Start?

Congratulations on achieving your MCTS credential and moving into the new generation of Microsoft certifications.  Because this blog is focused on developer and SQL Server, I will concentrate my topic on the following certifications;

TS: .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications
TS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications
TS: .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Applications

MCTS: SQL Server 2005
MCTS: SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence

One of the first things I want to clarify is the definition of upgrade in relation to your certifications.  Upgrading means to move from an older version to a newer version.  Similar to trading up your old car for a newer model.

Going from MCTS to MCPD is not considered an upgrade in this instance.

Developer Related:

The .NET Framework 2.0 was the first developer certification track that used the new generation certification credentials.  This means that it is the first MCTS set of credentials for developers.

We created three pillars, or silos, known as Windows developers, Web developers and distributed apps developer.   These three pillars have worked fine for the .NET 2.0 world but as we move into 3.5, there are more technologies added to the framework and as a result, we have added more MCTS certifications.

Rather than setting up 3 pillars, we concentrate on the specific technologies such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Communication Foundation, Workflow, ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows Forms.  WOW, six certifications?  What the heck?  Well, the main reason is to allow you to more closely focus your credential on specific technologies.

SO, what is the upgrade path Gerry?

In short, there isn't one.  If you have an MCTS already, you need to take one exam to get a 3.5 credential.  For example, if you are a TS:.NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications, you would likely want to get TS: .NET 3.5 Framework, ASP.NET.  You only need to take exam 70-562.

What if you don't have an MCTS already?  You will need to take 70-536 first, the same exam that is the foundation for .NET 2.0.  Then you would take the exam of your choice based on the technology, for example 70-502 for TS: .NET 3.5 Framework, Windows Presentation Foundation.

So, in a sense, there is an upgrade path that is almost equal to starting from scratch.  Almost equal because you may have already passed 70-536, which means only one exam for a TS.

Hopefully this makes some sense to you.  Simply put, one exam is the upgrade path, but there are more choices in technology in 3.5 than you had in 2.0.



Comments (11)

  1. Congratulations on achieving your MCTS credential and moving into the new generation of Microsoft certifications

  2. dpwebs says:


    when can we expect to receive results for .net 3.5 beta exams?

  3. dpwebs says:


    when can we expect to receive results for .net 3.5 beta exams?

  4. Did you see this post at

  5. dpwebs says:

    Which post? I am not sure on which post you are directing me

  6. Dragan,

    To answer your first question, the results come out at around the same time the exam goes live.  You should see those result around the first of April.

    As to your second question, that comment above is from a trackback.  I typically don’t approve them but this one got posted here for some reason.


  7. dpwebs says:

    OK. thanks!

  8. Kris says:

    I have an appointment in a test center for the 70-536 exam next week. There are already questions about VS2008 and .NET 3.5 ? Because I learned "only" VS2005 and .NET 2.0 ….

    I thing 70-526 at the end of march

    Tell me the material (questions scoop) is still the same ? I’ll need an update to new technology (.NET 3.5)


  9. Robert says:

    What is the retire date for MCSD?  How much longer will it be good for?

  10. Hi Robert,

    The MCSD certification will retire in March 2009.


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