"So, an MCP and an MCTS walk in to a bar…"

Are you a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) if you earn a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)?

  • Yes, in that you become part of the Microsoft Certified Professional community, with access to the MCP site, benefits (Knowledge Base, etc).

  • No, in that you do not earn a credential called "MCP."

Someone joining the program on a new technology will earn an MCTS as their first certification, instead of an MCP as been the case in the past. For example, a never-before-certified person passes 70-236 to earn MCTS: Exchange Server 2007 and become part of the MCP community (site, welcome kit, logo, benefits). This MCTS will have the same access as someone who joined the program three years ago by passing an MCP exam (for example 70-271) to earn an MCP.

One of the good things about this is that it allows you to better highlight what you know. Instead of passing a challenging exam and becoming one of 2 million "MCPs," you pass a challenging exam to join the program as one of 1,679* "MCTS: Exchange 2007."

There are/will be a few instances in which taking one exam earns you neither an MCP nor MCTS (70-536, for example)... in this case passing that first exam gives you an MCP ID and access to the MCP site but you are not eligible for logos, certificates, or welcome kits until you complete your MCTS credential.

People will still earn MCP credentials for the foreseeable future... because many people are still joining the program for the first time on Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP, etc, so their first exam (70-290 or 70-271, for example) earns an MCP.

If you fail your first exam (MCP or MCTS), you should still get an MCP ID--but no site access, benefits, etc.

Did you already know this? Did I just bore your head off?

Your friend,

*I know we haven't updated this page (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/certified.mspx) since November. Someone is poking around on our behalf, trying to make sure data on the new certs is accurate to minimize freakouts (yours (and mine, resulting from yours)) upon posting.

Comments (25)

  1. William says:

    Wow and here i was all excited to see what us MCP’s were drinking compaired to those new MCTS’s……

  2. Interesting point at blogs.msdn.com

  3. Ray Frangie says:

    Hey Trika…

    Just thinking out loud here…

    What are the odds of updating our transcripts to show if we’re a charter member of a respective certification?

    Like for example, i’m a Charter Member for MCDST, MCITP:EST, and MCTS:Vista… Can we somehow put on the transcript, Charter Member, like next to each of these certs or something along those line?

    Just my $0.02



  4. Pedmil says:

    Nice comment Ray Frangie … Great Idea (I).

    Trika what about Navision Certifications they don’t even get MCPID, why is that so different?

  5. Brent Stineman says:

    Thanks for the info Trika. This explains a few things. I’ll spread the information around our organization.

  6. jtb says:

    clarity is always appreciated…

  7. wrz says:

    What if I someone passes MCTS exam first (for example 70-620) and then old MCP (70-270)? Is such person MCTS only? From your post it looks passing MCTS means no MCP in future, and doing it in opposite way means both credentials. I’ve started learning to MCSA/MCSE. I’ve already scheduled two exams (70-620, 70-623) I was hoping to walk in to bar with 3x MC* credentials after that MCP, MCTS and MCITP 🙂 I’ve based my expectations on things  that are written on microsoft web pages and in MS Press MCTS Training books! If I knew it few days ago I would chose 70-270 first before 70-620. That would give me one more credential just by different order of passing exams…. with same amount of learning and exams.

    And please don’t say things like  

    "One of the good things about this is that it allows you to better highlight what you know. Instead of passing a challenging exam and becoming one of 2 million "MCPs," you pass a challenging exam to join the program as one of 1,679* "MCTS: Exchange 2007."".

    Maybe I would like to be one of those 2 million MCPs?

    Just give me correct information when I pay for something so I could chose what I would like to get.

    In my situation it’s too late to reschedule exams. Using information from MS pages and knowing server 2008 is coming with new type of certs  I’ve decided to take MCSA path first. Thanks to wrong information from direct MS sources I fell robbed from MCP now. I wonder what other "things" I will discover with MS MCSA hidden terms in future.

    Please don’t think I am rude. I’m not native speaker but as far as I know  such action is called fraud…

  8. edge says:


    maybe you can help me with this. I passed a couple of new exams these days but they still are not showing up in my mcp profile.

    how should I proceed to add them to my actual mcp id so I can print transcripts, show to the employers etc?



    edge at superedge.net

  9. The current page still says ANY exam that is not retired earns an MCP. How hard is it to update that page with accurate information?


    it says: "Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) candidates are required to pass one current Microsoft Certification exam* that provides a valid and reliable measure of technical proficiency and expertise."

    *A current exam is any exam that has not been retired.

    That seems pretty plain and simple to me. So why isn’t 70-536, which is a hard exam from what I know, enough to earn a MCP with benefits?

    If I take just the 70-528 exam would I get MCP with benefits? If so shouldn’t I just take that exam first? I don’t understand why this has to be so overly complicated…

  10. Niall says:

    @Brian B

    That would seem to be the case, but take a look on that page at the exam tracks that qualify for MCP status.. None of them are MCTS, MCITP or MCPD tracks. They are the older certs such as MCAD,MCAD.NET,MCSA,MCSE,MCDST and MCDBA.

    I have had the same problem as yourself explaining that even tho they have finished the 70-536 exam, they dont have a cert as its a 2 part cert. Its annoying but thats the way it is.

  11. trikah@microsoft.com says:

    Hi, Brian. That’s lame. You’re right. We’ll update our content so that people know what happens when you pass 536 (even if they find it annoying…)

    By passing 536 you do get access to the MCP site and some benefits – the only thing you DON’T get is an actual certification (and certificate) to put on your resume.

    Thanks for the reminder; sorry for a crap experience. Look for updates in the next few weeks to make this crystal clear.

  12. rickym61 says:

    Hi Trika, just like to say passed my MCTS today, the session you held on exam cram session for 70-620 was very helpful, hope there will be many more cram sessions in the future…

    Now to decide what to study for next 🙂

  13. trikah@microsoft.com says:

    That’s great. Congratulations Ricky!

  14. Whatever says:

    What a great way to waste $125 this week – Glad to know I passed a test that is meaningless (70-536).

  15. trikah@microsoft.com says:

    @Whatever: Not meaningless. If you really think that, give me a call and we can talk +1 425-703-9198

  16. kctxau says:

    The credentials aren’t order specific are

    they? ie A first timer can take the 620

    today and earn the MCTS and tomorrow take

    the 70-270 and earn the MCP credential


  17. trikah@microsoft.com says:

    @kctxau: YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR! (I’m not sure you’re a sir, that is a quote from Johnny Carson, I think). But you are correct.

  18. Ugarovesk says:

    Hi Trika,

    I think that in the Knowledge Base(MCP Site) there is a lot of IT content. Where is the Developer content?

    What do You think?



  19. Aravind says:

    i got selected in mnc in india,didint get my joining date still,i finished my mcts 70-536 wat shld i do next

  20. onyi says:

    someone said if i pass my 62o dats vista, ill be diven mcts and mcp certs. pls is this true? he said it was given to him that way.

  21. onyi says:

    someone said if i pass my 620

    dats vista, ill be diven mcts and mcp certs. pls is this true? he said it was given to him that way.

  22. daveinVA says:

    Trika, I was wondering if folks who hold MCTS can use the MCP logo as well without the "MCP" credential. The reason why I ask this is I hold just the 70-620 MCTS on Vista and I have access to the MCP logo in the logo builder along with the MCTS logos. Can this logo be used for official publication as we MCTSs are part of the MCP community or is this logo’s availabilty just a fluke? The reason why I ask this is that my supervisor thinks I am an MCP even though I tried explaining this old/new exam stuff to him and I am trying to figure out if these differences really are apples to apples or apples to oranges.

  23. nogi says:

    hmmm… if i take 270 and 620 and passed both then i earnd two designations wich MCP and MCTS?

  24. nogi says:

    im planning to earn MCSA/MCSE designation, i already passed 720, and planned to take 620, 290, and 291 before the end of the year. if i passed those 3 exams do i earned 2 desgination which is MCSA and MCTS or just MCSA?

  25. Sacko says:

    I have looked through several sections on the MS website and from my reckoning it is now even less clear what is required to become a MCP.

    Trika, people are paying large sums of money to be certified and furthermore they are settling up their careers based on info on the MS website.  The dubious nature of this info is unfair to people starting out in the technology field.  They are investing into MS by taking these exams – do the right thing and make the information transparent rather than misleading.

    A suggestion would be a page detailing the minimum MCP requirements.



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