Microsoft Certified Master (and Virtualization info at TechEd)

I would like to poast what I've learned about the Microsoft Certified Master, but I am too busy sitting in a beanbag giving snarky hats to accomplished IT professionals, so I will just post the link to where you can learn more: for now.

We're doing a Live Meeting with Per and Vicki (the people who just did the Masters presentation here at TechEd) on July 30, so sign up for that to learn more and ask your questions directly to the Masters team. Register for:

We also just published a press release that talks about Masters and our plans for virtualization. Check it.

Tomorrow Jim Clark, from the certification team, and I are doing a lunch session (Jim will be the one talking, I'll be the one behind him playing the tambourine) about Windows Server 2008 certification... and we'll talk about what's happening with virtualization certifications. We have more info to share than I just posted about Hyper-V, so come check it out:

12:00 Noon on Friday, (Subhead: When Most of You Are Tanning by the Pool or Flying Home)
Room N310E
What Ever Happened to the MCSE? - The Windows Server 2008 (and Virutalization!) Certification Story

See you there.

Comments (16)

  1. BEACHDBA says:

    Thanks for adding a higher level cert two weeks after I acheived what I thought was the highest level cert: MCITP DBA.  Good looking out!


  2. Jeremy says:

    I hope it’s not really going to cost $18,500.  This leaves it out of reach of the average Joe.  I’ll never be able to take this because there is no way my boss will fork out that kind of cash and neither why I.  It’s really disappointing.

  3. Adrian says:

    Hi Trika,

    Can you tell me please if this course will be available in Europe?

    Thank you

  4. George Roubchinsky says:


    Question: I already fulfil ALL exam requirements for two of these 3 "masters", and fulfil other work experience requirements. What is(are) the EXACT next step(s) to apply? (inside Europe!) And how much is it?

    Simply could not find this info anywhere…

    Big thanks.

  5. Perfarny says:

    Hi George,

    We are not quite ready to sign people up for the program. We hope to have that ready in 4-6 weeks.

    Pricing is set, and it is $18,500USD for the 3 weeks of training and first attempts at each exam. In FY09, we will be delivering in Redmond, WA (US) only, but in FY10 (July 2009-June 2010) we will start delivering worldwide. Our goal in FY10 is to deliver in 2 EMEA based locations, and 2 APAC in addition to 3 sites across the US. More details to come.

    For now, please keep checking back to the URL: for updates on the program and registration.



  6. Ray Aslin says:

    Hello – have a question about this – is the MCM a planned replacement for the MCA?

    They would seem to be duplicate efforts, I’ll be it not exactly the same thing, but pretty close.

    This is an interesting concept.  MCSE is/was an inexpensive cert because you could self study.  Classes which cost 2-4k could be self studied for about 150-200 in materials (that’s a liberal estimation, personally I’ve done it for much less).

    The exams themselves didn’t amount to much —a 7 exam cert would cost you 2k or so, over the course of a year, for materials and exams.  This is on a whole different level of expense.  I think it will be cost prohibitive for 95% of IT employers and employees.  Only high end service providers, and the big 3 (dell, hp, ibm) will likely bite on this.

  7. Hi Ray!

    Master will not replace MCA.

    We are fully committed to the Microsoft Certified Architect certifications. Based on feedback over the last several years, we are evolving the programs to more fully meet customer and industry needs. This will likely mean an expansion of the MCA family and a focus on growing the communities overall. In  a nutshell, we’re making the differentiation clearer between a top technical person and an architect as we’re finding the skillsets and job roles are actually quite different. Stay tuned for further details on the MCA evolution.

    In terms of price / audience…These certifications, like all of Microsoft’s certifications, aim to be the appropriate certification for the appropriate audience. For Master, the audience is highly experienced, highly skilled and specialized individuals who spend the majority of their time deisgning, building and troubleshooting solutions built on a particular product. These certs aren’t the next MCSE, they’re not ‘better’ than MCITP, they just cater to a niche audience who has expressed demand for this type of certification. I think specialized consulting companies are a natural fit (as you mentioned) but I want to make sure to also acknowledge that it’s more about the job role / function than who you work for.

    In terms of the target audience, then, I think the value of the programs will ensure their participation, as it will be a great differentiator for them when compared to their peers.



  8. Jacksin says:

    Hi All,

    It seems that we have another certificate out there. But….who concern the developer(programmer)?

    From the highest MSA to this Master, again, I totally believe that developer putting their effort in the Microsoft Certified Program is too stupid. Developer having the MCPD doesn’t have a positive response from the employer. And even worse, Microsoft is now going to make the others to be a master or even Architecture level.

    So, please give those having a MCPD or preparing the MCPD candiates a reason why they should continue for something meanless?

    At least, if master is a pre-required level for Architecture, why don’t make a new Master for Developer, focus on the software design, Architecture and Enterprise Architecture?


    MCPD EAD, WinDev

  9. Glenn Jefferson says:

    So here is my question:  In the requirements ( it mentions needing a 300 level experience of AD.

    Now if we’ve already recieved the MCITP: Server Administrator & Enterprise Administrator, and had the MCSE and MCSA on server 2003 is their anything additional that we need or do we simply just apply for it?  

  10. Kevin says:

    Wow, $18,500.  That’s actually more expensive that the Architect level certification.  That certainly seems out of whack.  Based on it being a 3-week course I was anticipating something like $7500-$9000, that’s more in line with what other training programs cost, and even then it was too pricey.

    I understand your point about trying to cater to a niche market, but I firmly believe that there are plenty of people out there who are capable of learning the material, or who already have the knowledge and experience necessary to fulfill the requirements of the Master program.  By limiting it only to people who can afford to shell out $18,500 and take three weeks of time off of work (or have an employer or customers who can afford to go without you for three weeks consecutively) you’re putting up an unnecessary barrier to entry.

    I was a little concerned when I saw the Architect program having a $10,000 price tag.  I was beginning to wonder if certification hadn’t turned into a profit center for Microsoft.  After working with Windows 2003 for a number of years I finally started testing for the MCSE:Security, and found the exams somewhat challenging.  Afterwards I started working on the MCITP:Enterprise Administrator, and found the exams to be almost laughably easy by comparison.

    After I finished the MCITP I started to wonder what was happening to the certification paths.  Under the MCSE programs you had to pass 7 difficult exams.  Under the MCITP programs you had to pass only 3-5 exams (depending on the certification path) and they were much easier.  Is the MCITP supposed to be valued less than the MCSE?  Now that Microsoft has released two new, much more expensive certifications, I’m beginning to have my doubts about certification at all.  It feels like you have made the MCITP easier (and therefore less relevant) than the MCSE, and are now pushing these higher level certs as the ones that actually carry weight, then decided to charge through the nose for them.  It reminds me a bit of VMWare’s certification, where even if you pass the VCP exam you do not get the certification until you have taken the $3000 classroom course.  It feels like a money grab to me.

  11. Glenn says:

    Kevin, agree with you 100% on everything.  The mcitp exams were a joke compared to the mcse 2003 exams.  it will be a shame if it costs 18.5k with a 3 week class.  how many companies would allow that!

  12. says:

    Stand by, y’all. Per (the Masters program owner) has been working overtime answering a bunch of questions all over the place – I’ve asked him to post to my blog so you guys can get more info all in one place. Look for something on Monday. I’ll make sure he’s sees your points, too Kevin and Glenn and all so he can respond to that too.

  13. Kevin says:

    Thanks Trika.

    Also, I want to apologize if my previous comment came out sounding like a rant.  I just wanted to bring out a couple of key points that have led me to be pretty disappointed in how the master level certification is coming around.  I look forward to Per’s comments.

  14. says:

    This Just In: No One Minds a Rant Now and Again

  15. Hi All, As Trika pointed out we just announced the Microsoft Certified Master programs at TechEd ( Press

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