I think you will like this.

Microsoft certifications for new technologies--in the MCTS, MCPD, MCITP format--will retire when Microsoft discontinues mainstream support for the underlying technology (Gerry posted this earlier). At retirement, your certifications will move to a 'retired' section on your MCP transcript, so you can show a full picture of your cert history.

Many of you are aware that this is a change from what we announced earlier, when we said that the professional series certifications--MCITP and MCPD--would require a refresh (or recertification) of one exam every three years. There are good reasons why we started out that way, and good reasons why it has now been aligned with the MCTS retirement policy, instead. 

  • "Current technology" doesn't mean the same thing to every customer around the world. We didn't want our refresh policy to rule out the option of pro-series certs for those of you who aren't using the newest thing from MSFT
  • It is simpler this way. Having two different retirement policies (between the MCTS and professional series) was making things more difficult than we'd like for you and for us.
  • It just makes sense, per the feedback and good points many of you made on this blog and elsewhere.

What this means to you if you have ALREADY earned an MCITP or MCPD: Your cert will not retire until mainstream support for the underlying product retires. So, those of you with MCITP: Database Administrator today--your certification will retire with SQL Server 2005 mainstream support is discontinued, whenever that will be. You will not be asked to "refresh" at your three-year mark. In related news, you'll start to see versions included in the MCPD and MCITP certifications so you can earn a professional-series cert that is clearly tied to the technology you're on...

As usual, nothing is very black and white around here and there are lots of discussions about the best way to go to make you, MSL, and Microsoft better off... hopefully this is going in the right direction.

Comments (14)
  1. Name required says:

    Some common sense. Thank You!

  2. Peter Read says:

    hmm..  just one query – does that mean we’ll be seeing "MCITP: DB Admin (SQL 2005)" and "MCITP: DB Admin (SQL 2008)" for example, with a separate PRO exam each?

    I thought the rationale was that the tech-specific knowledge is covered by the TS level certs, and the PRO were meant to be higher level "what DBA’s need to know that isn’t tied to the tech (or at least not a specific version of it)" ?

  3. dave says:

    Thank goodness someone saw sense – at least on the recertification topic.

    I had no intention of recertifying anyway.

    The never ending list of TS and ITP’s has ruined the nice clean easy to understand set of MCSE/MCDBA structure. It’s a real shame that, unless you aspire to architect, there isn’t a general high level qualification to go for.

    But dropping the silly recertify every 3 years is great!

  4. Pete says:

    Dave’s idea of a higher level certification just below MCA should be something like the Scripting Games. You have to write a script that does something automatically and which works within say half an hour to an hour. Most high level stuff isn’t done by the GUI it’s mostly scripting. Maybe there will be a cert for that in the future. The Scripting Games were very successful and maybe a scripting cert would be more relevant everyday than MCA?

  5. This is a great idea. I feel that Microsoft technologies move fast enough in development and in the marketplace to make people upgrade their skills to the next version, anyway.

    Kudos to Microsoft on this decision! 🙂 It does make me feel more comfortable about my decision on the MCITP exam I am taking next week! 🙂

  6. yiseiluk says:

    Life cycle of some MS products are actually quite short. On the other hand the processing time of the certificates are extremely long….

    I took the WM5 exam 70-500 in June 2007 when it just released, but it was Nov 2007 when I received the certs and all new PDAs come with WM6 and by now, Mar 2008, WM7 is coming….

    Though WM5 is not a discontinued product but the timing that MS release the exam and certifcate obviously cannot catchup with the product’s life cycle

  7. Alice says:

    YAY! 😀 I am SO glad to see they changed their mind about the three-year ‘hamster wheel policy’, and ESPECIALLY the ‘certs vanishing when MS decides nobody should be using this technology anymore’ policy.

  8. My CCNA certification is retired. What to know why? Because it meant nothing to me, I didn’t work with the technology after training, and didn’t see the point in recertifing.

    Not sure if this was a smart move or not. I smell the familiar scent of the old MCSE NT4 certification in the stagnant air.

  9. Michael Dragone says:

    Great news! Thanks, Trika.

    @dave: Seconded regading the "high level qualification." We need something between the IT Profssional level and Architect, maybe earned when you have say MCITP: Enterprise Administrator plus Messaging Administrator or DBA…hiring managers in my experience are only looking for the "letters" and now the letters can mean a lot!

  10. ryangaraygay says:

    Looks like a very good compromise. I agree that a certification should expire eventually but at the same time not too soon that it feels like their efforts to keep just aren’t given enough recognition.

    As for producing a long list of certifications because of this one, it’s way better than re-certifying or having a certification overstay when the person is really not qualified anymore. And besides this is only because Microsoft keeps on looking for ways to make IT and Development better. Whether we can keep up or I should say that’s something to be thankful for.

    Keep those sound decisions coming!

  11. Memmorium says:

         Good idea!

    P.S. A U realy girl?

  12. Jeff Guillet says:

    This is really great news, especially for those of us who certify very early in the product cycle.  Kudos, Learning Team!

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