In their recent newsletter IASA have reported that Microsoft will end it’s Microsoft Certified Architect Program for Infrastructure and Solutions and cover the cost to transfer existing MCA holders to CITA-P.
Here’s the full press release below:
Austin, TX, (PRWEB) May 3, 2010 — In a conference call and email announcement on Wednesday April, 28, Microsoft Learning announced that it would discontinue offering the Infrastructure and Solutions architect certifications, and would fund the migration to the Certified IT Architect Professional (CITA-P) offered by the International Association of Software Architects (IASA).
IASA has created a grandfathering process to allow easy adoption of the CITA-P certification for current Microsoft Certified Architects holding the Solutions or Infrastructure specialization. As MCA’s have already gone through a rigorous interview process similar to the CITA-P Board review, the grandfathering process focuses on mapping skills and experience to the IASA skills taxonomy.
Andy Ruth, the Vice President of Education for IASA, launched the MCA Infrastructure and the MCA Solutions credential in 2004 while with Microsoft Learning. According to Microsoft, the credentials were launched to help establish the IT Architect profession at a time when the IT industry needed thought leadership and architectural taxonomy.
Ruth believes the profession should be self managed by the practitioners in the form of a professional association, as in other industries–medical, legal, etc. “The certification of a profession needs to be run by the profession, not from within a vendor with a specific product or technology. Microsoft releasing the certification to IASA is recognition of that.”
“IASA is not trying to sell a product or specific technology, so individuals and organizations can be confident there are no ulterior motives in their certification and education programs,” said Paul Preiss, CEO of IASA.
“IASA’s mission is to support architects on their career path, and ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver on the core value proposition of the profession: to make and save their employer money through the use of information technology (IT).”
Darren Day, Microsoft Certification Business Manager, who hosted the call for Microsoft said that IASA has “developed large and supportive communities dedicated to the IT Architect profession.” He continued, “They are technology agnostic, respected in the industry, and offer trusted IT architectural programs and credentials for the breadth architect.”
Jim Wilt, Chief Software Architect at Metrics Reporting, a member of IASA, and MCA-Solutions Certified Architect said the transition to CITA-P was a good idea. “Because the association built a community of practicing architects by initially developing training and education programs and then received input from that community prior to releasing a certification, IASA is a natural fit to certify architects who have the skills and experience necessary to perform at an industry level.”
In the six years of the MCA program, 113 solutions and infrastructure architects completed the certification. The CITA-P adoption path has been much quicker as 23 IT Architects have already gone through the certification. With the MCA grandfathering, upcoming boards scheduled in Ireland, India, and the US, IASA expects to double that number this calendar year. For more information on IASA or the CITA-P, visit the IASA website.
For MCAs that do not choose to migrate to the IASA CITA-P, Microsoft will pay for a three year membership fee in The Open Group’s Association of Open Group Enterprise Architects (AOGEA). Though the Open Group does offer two certifications, TOGAF and ITAC, it was determined that neither of these mapped to the MCA Solutions or the MCA Infrastructure.
Microsoft will continue to offer the depth Architect credentials that are Microsoft technology specific, including Microsoft Exchange, SQL, Windows Server – Directory, OCS and Share Point. More information on these certifications can be found at www.microsoft.com