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10 Microsoft Exams to Retire in January 2013

Discussion in 'News' started by SimonV, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator


    10 Microsoft Exams to Retire in January 2013

    Microsoft will be retiring ten exams on January 31, 2013. The list includes MCTS exams related to Microsoft Office 2007 (SharePoint Server 2007, Visio 2007, Project 2007 and Project Server 2007), along with an MCITP exam for Office Project Server 2007 and 5 exams related to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0

    To get the full details, see the full Microsoft exam retirement schedule
    Certifications: MOS Master 2003, CompTIA A+, MCSA:M, MCSE
    WIP: Keeping CF Alive...


    1. Sparky
      Exchange 2007 exams gonna go in September - feels like it has only been out 5 mins!
    2. onoski
      At this rate at which exams are getting retired so early in their lifespan one wonders if it's viable sitting Microsoft exams?
    3. anandsoft
      The certification exams are getting introduced and retiring at a faster than ever pace! As I see, the certification holders need to struggle for renewing the certs which is not the case for a regular degree. Further, a degree is considered much more valuable that a cert. It is time that companies evolve a long term plan for awarding certs that have life time value.
      Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
      dmarsh likes this.
    4. JK2447
      I wonder what kind of package these exams get when they retire? They have worked for Microsoft for a few years so you'd imagine a good lump sum and yearly payment wouldn't you. Hopefully the odd one will end up in the Caribbean. Catch up on the gardening.
      AdamV likes this.
    5. JK2447
      Not sure what's happened to the link but you can access it here
    6. AdamV
      So the way it looks is that a bunch of exams are retiring in July 2012 (mainly upgrades from SQL 2005 to 2008 and upgrades to .Net 3.5 developer exams), and some more in September 2012 (including a few Exchange 2007 ones).

      Nine exams are retiring in January 2013 - 4 for NAV v5, 4 for Project Server 2007, and 1 for SharePoint 2007

      In all the cases above, there is already a new version of the software and exams to go with it) which has been in the market for some time, and in some cases a second new version superceding that too. I'm not really sure how much value there would be in getting these old certs for five-year old products rather than trying to qualify on the new version instead.

      There are loads more retiring in July 2013, including most of the core "old" MCSE exams for Windows Server 2003, XP and Vista, as well as Windows 7 MCDST ones (since the MCDST certification itself will be retired for the next generation of Windows Client). So in over a year from now, you will no longer be able to get a new certification to prove you know about a ten-year old operating system. I'm not really sure I would classify that as being 'retired early', although Exchange 2007 does seem a bit young at only 5 years.

      Any certifications you already hold are not being 'retired' - they are still completely valid and will show up on your MCP transcript to prove you still hold the qualification, albeit in a section relating to "legacy" technologies when the products in question reach the end of mainstream support. This is unlike many other key technology vendors where after a period of time you are no longer allowed to show or claim you have the cert you trained for, use the logo or anything else unless and until you revise up again and re-take the appropriate exams.

      With the newer certifications such as as the 'new' MCSE for the Cloud, these will need to be renewed - if you want to show that you are staying current. The certifications will show the related version number of the product where applicable, so you will have an MCSE in Server 2012 for example, or SQL 2015. If you don't renew, you still keep the cert and it still shows up on your transcript.
      This seems to me to be a big improvement on the old "MCSE" branding which could have been in Windows / Server / Exchange 2000, or involved Server 2003, Windows 7 and Exchange 2007 so a big difference between people's real skills could be hidden under the same banner, and many hiring managers did not seem to care enough about the details to draw any distinction.
      Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
    7. dmarsh
      You're nuts ! MS certification seems to become a bigger joke by the day.

      Half the developer exams are only 2 years old, the older ones being only 4 years old. It can take 1-2 years for MS to release a training guide!

      So we now have certifications almost being retired faster than people can write and publish books and courses for, let alone take those courses or read those books in order to take the exam!

      Most of the .NET 4 training guides are less than a year old.

      MCPD 70-518 Exam Ref: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4: Amazon.co.uk: Tony Northrup, Matthew A. Stoecker: Books
      Publisher: MICROSOFT PRESS; 1 edition (9 Jan 2012)

      This one is 6 months old ! It could take someone six months too read it.

      Publication Date: October 22, 2012

      Not a cert training guide, but a related MS press book, not even released yet.

      The certification / education process by definition must move slower than the technology, its a mistake to have essentially an educational system try to stay in lock-step with a technology development cycle or marketing / product release cycle. I've made this point many times before about the MS cert system.

      It has always been practically impossible to upgrade your MCSD/MCPD but if they retire upgrade paths it will be literally impossible, you will have to start from scratch. This is not acceptable, it needs to be easier to maintain certification without constantly being on the certification wagon, they shouldn't disenfranchise experienced developers who have sat their exams in the past so readily.

      These processes are becoming more and more arduous and ridiculous.

      The industry has become almost entirely self serving, they have totally forgotten about the needs of the customers, the people that take the exams and certify. These people in essence need relevant industry qualification(s) to get work.

      Customers may not care about a product version number, marketing, or the latest buzzwords. A lot of development is still not done for the cloud or metro for instance. Technology education should not be driven by marketing, this is the core problem at the heart of the MS cert program. Marketing people who most likely will have never taken one technical/engineering/hard science exam in their life are making all the decisions.

      The lunatics are running the asylum...
      Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
      Bluerinse and simongrahamuk like this.
    8. wagnerk
      I will actually say that I did like the Microsoft certifications. However...

      It went from the certifications being retired (on NT4) to staying active (again on NT4 up to 2003 r2), then changing to the (support) life with Windows 2008/2008 r2 now being only active between 2-3 years...

      To be honest I do not see as much value in Microsoft's certifications as I once did (not saying that I don't see any value, just not as much). I'm only planning to do the upgrade exams for the MCSA 2012 and Windows 8, but apart from that I'm concentrating on my academic (PGCert/PGDip/MSc) qualification as I know I won't have to upgrade or renew that in a couple of years time...
    9. JK2447
      Would it be fair to say the lack of drive to get more MS certs only occurred once you had most of their main certs mate? I am finding it difficult to get motivated to get an MCITP. Before I had my MCSE I was a man on a mission ha ha I will get an MCITP/MCSA as there is a lot in 2008 I'm not fully aware of, which is quite bad as a server admin I think.

      One thing I'd have to say about Microsoft certs, and Citrix and VMware for that matter, is that compared to my academic studies, vendor certification actually teaches you how to troubleshoot and fix things. I don't think I learned how to fix anything doing my degree. I learned the science behind it all. That is not to knock degree's, I'm glad I have mine, but I think vendor certification is more useful in a support role IMHO. I feel the opposite applies to a development role.
    10. dmarsh
      Agreed I don't really think you should have IT Support or Business IT degrees or the other million bull**** degrees that exist today.

      If you took a Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree then quite simply its likely that the degree was specifically designed not to train you for a job in IT support, they are likely aimed at training you how to design and build your own computer, not how to operate one.

      Just as a chemistry degree doesn't teach you how to hand out aspirins at boots, you take a pharmacy degree for that.

      As far as I know there are no degrees in plumbing and few mechanics have degrees in mechanical engineering...

      In fact it increasingly makes NO SENSE to require people to take expensive courses to learn little, in order to then get a minimum wage job, when they could learn all the required skills on the job.

      However If you are going to have IT support degrees then there is no reason why they can't contain most of the content from the A+/N+, CCENT, MCSA in which case they would teach you real world skills. I believe some modern IT Support style degree courses do cover such material.
      Last edited: Jul 3, 2012
    11. AdamV
      I agree that the developer certs do seem to be turning around faster than many of the others. but I suppose if there are new dev languages and tools out there, then a dev who is current on those new things needs to demonstrate that. A 2 year old cert on VB6 does not show me you can develop .net 4 apps for a website linked to a transactional SQL2008 backend (I almost made it sound like I know anything at all about that for a moment!). Anyway, this thread was originally about the exams retiring in January 2013, all of which will be for technologies at least 5 years old and possibly superceded twice over by then. I don't see anything on the list about .Net 4, so that year-old book looks good for another year or more yet (noting that exams retiring in July 2013 are on the page already).

      I also agree Microsoft were very slow to release some training courses, as they do seem to have a habit of having several major product releases all at once which makes it harder to get the planning and resources right (think back to Exchange 2007, Vista and Office 2007, then Server 2008 and Windows 7 hard on its heels, and now Server 2012, Windows 8 and SQL 2012 all at once). In many cases courses were started while the product was in CTP or Beta, then revisited after RTM to make sure they were correct (well, sometimes at least) but this meant a real v1 course and exam might come a few months after product release - for the core stuff, Then they would set to work on the additional courses round the edges.

      The bigger problem now for all of us is that technology cycles are far shorter - the old fashioned way was to release a big new product every 3 years or so, everyone said "wait for service pack 1 before touching it" and so getting certified a year or two after release seemed OK. Now the products come out about every twoor three years, but in between there are far bigger functional changes than just the service packs - the R2 releases of Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and SQL Server 2008 all had significant new things in them. Is it valid to say you are an expert on these products if you don't have this new knowledge as well?

      The course and exam cycle is improving. Many courses are being built smarter and getting to market quicker and many will be released into the wild in a v1 form quickly (actually version "A"), then replaced soon after with a B revision to iron out the wrinkles. In general we are seeing course before exams now (it did always seem a bit daft when this was the other way round). As for other authors' works, and MS Press publications, I guess they work to their own rhythms. While sales must inevitably drop off after the next product release, there will usually be a market for some time to come - I suspect even the self-paced guides for Server 2003 and Exchange 2007 are still selling strongly.

      My specialist field is Dynamics CRM. Since 2011 was released last April (or thereabouts) there has been a fairly big 'minor' release last November, and another due imminently. The new features of these are simply not covered on any of the main courses, and not included on the exams. So anyone getting certified today in CRM 2011 Applications for example simply has not proven that they know how to use several of the features which will be available to them if they install the product next week. And what about after the next 'minor' release, and the one after that? Since CRM is also offered as a cloud solution, these in-between release are happening every 6 months or so, without a change to the version number. I don't think it is too unreasonable if people were asked to re-certify in their area of specialism every few years (that's 5 or 6 'releases' later) - after all, if you are really working with this product every day you would know about this stuff without having to take a specific course. A bit of light revision and off you go to Prometric.
      Incidentally, all of the training material for the CRM courses is available to all CRM customers. Either as e-learning modules or to download the pdfs of the MOC courses (kinda defeats the object to some extent to do an instructor-led course with no instructor and no labs, but still useful as most of the courses are built on a fairly vanilla setup). There are even some courses available that way that do cover the R7 topics which are not available as a classroom course (but not leading to an exam).

      I suppose part of the point is that we are seeing the rise of the true specialist, as it is almost impossible to remain an IT generalist and an expert at the same time in a diversifying and growing field. It is not expected that everyone will be a Server 2012 MCSE (unlike old-school assumptions that every helpdesk person on minimum wage should have one if you see some job adverts).
      If you do get a 'new' MCSE on Server 2012 then you pretty much know your subject inside out - Windows Server 2012. You no longer have to get related 'elective' subjects like Exchange or SQL to round out your resume to get the certificate. If those topics are your specialism, you would qualify in those specifically (with a baseline of server / network infrastructure knowledge, for sure). Although the name remains the same as the old one, the MCSE is no longer a single "one size fits all" badge to attain, it is (like the MCITP) a technology-specific certificate intended to show you are an "expert" in that specialist field.

      Areas like medicine move at a similar pace to IT - that's why doctors who have a top class degree still have to undertake continuous professional development to show they are current (as do lawyers, accountants and many other professionals). I guess they might moan about this too, but it is an essential part of their budget of time and money every single year.

      While a degree or similar qualification does not expire, I don't think it is any more valid after a few years as proof of domain knowledge in a subject that moves at such a pace. Some of the stuff covered on CompSci programming courses when I was at university was not even current then! A year or two later and everyone decided that everything should be object-oriented and much of what had been learnt on procedural languages like Fortran and Pascal was seen as irrelevant. Networking? IPX over 10Base-T if you were lucky, more likely some obscure mainframe protocol for running your green-screen terminal. (I'm showing my age too much here, so maybe I'll stop before I start muttering "the kids today..." and "All this was fields...")

      What a degree does give you, and show to others, is a proven approach to learning, to sticking at a subject for the long term, for acquiring knowledge and understanding for yourself. These are all valuable traits and demonstrate how you might tackle new challenges in the future. I would know, if I was hiring you, that you ought to be able to approach a new area you have not used before (say setting up clusters, or desktop virtualisation with some new product) and turn your hand to it, read up on it, figure it out and get it working - successfully. This would be a huge plus on your CV, but would not tell me whether you know anything about a current version of a particular technology and can support or troubleshoot it. However, I would assume you understand some basic underlying principles and theories in ways that perhaps technical certs don't give you, and that you have shown you can apply yourself to finding things out and applying that knowledge, so even if you don't know the answer today you can figure it out by tomorrow (or sooner).
      I believe there is a huge gap between truly understanding some of the fundamental principles underlying things and having some surface knowledge of a list of facts. This is something not well addressed by current Microsoft exams which test lots of little facts (some other vendors do slightly better, but not much) and unfortunately opens the doors to braindumpers to become "paper MCSEs". This also seems out of step with the generation Y kids joining the workforce who are quite comfortable with the idea that all facts are just a Google search away, so why do I need to learn all this dry stuff? A degree almost goes to the other extreme in that it should set you up with a set of skills which last longer, but the knowledge may be slightly less practical in its immediate application.

      So should exams get retired (ie no longer be available to be taken)? Sure, if they are no longer relevant as marketable skills, or do not count towards the 'top level' certificates any more.

      Should you be able to keep a certificate indefinitely when you have passed it? Definitely, as long as it is clear what it represents. I would be quite happy to take someone on knowing they got their first MCSE in Windows NT3.51, 4, or Server 2000, as long as they have the skills to do the job being asked of them today (which of course may be a long way from the server support stuff they did 10 years ago in their career). Knowing you have those old-school skills from when you really did have to figure things out and Google was a glint in Larry Page's eye is important, but if those are the only skills you have, then not so much.

      Should you have to recertify every 2/3/5 years? Yes, if that means showing that you still have a current skillset in a particular technology you claim to be expert in. If you don't work in that particular arena any more then you don't need to anyway - maybe you moved from server infrastructure across to messaging, or from databases into development. Like I said above, I think you should still be able to show, forever, that you have an MCSE on 2003, or Server 2012 or whatever, but should not be able to pretend that qualifies you to work on MacWindows iOServer 2019

      Is an academic qualification such as a degree a 'better' qualification than a vendor certification? Are apples better than elephants? They speak to different skills and I treat them differently. So yes, a degree is something I would like to see for some roles, but I would also need to know you had some job-relevant practical knowledge to hit the ground running (not every problem can wait until you have worked it out by tomorrow morning).

      I guess I better click on that "Post Quick reply" button now, before this become a long ramble...
    12. Sparky
      Finally started looking at Exchange 2007 exams only to find out that they retire next week, oh well! :)
    13. livingwater
      'Retire' is Orwellian speak for "killed off" depending on what you believe, they then go to calculator heaven
    14. dmarsh
      C# and VB .NET are the main languages for certification they are 11 years old and still in active use so no not new, just updated, .NET 4 exams are being retired, .NET 4 is not old or outdated.

      Yes and No, you need to demonstrate competence, however certification is not really the way to do that. I believe certification like education should prove baseline mainstream knowledge. Someone certified on .NET 4 is still likely to be a good hire, in fact some .NET 4.5 exams aren't out yet so its simply not realistic to expect what you are outlining.

      No this just proves you know nothing about what you are talking about.

      1. You can't have a 2 year old VB6 cert, they expired 5+ years ago along with the old MCSD and MCAD.
      2. .NET 4 and SQL 2008 apps are now old and outdated acording to you, according to you they should certify on .NET 4.5, C#5, VS 2012 and SQLServer 2012 ?
      3. You have been able to write decent transactional websites on MS technology for 10+ years at least, you don't need new tech or a certification.
      4. "technologies at least 5 years old" - .NET 4 is just over 2 years old not 5.
      5. "I don't see anything on the list about .NET 4" - Did you even read the list? (yes my original post was including all exams retiring in 2013, that is why I mention .NET 4)

      Maybe yes, maybe no, but either way it doesn't mean you need to certify on that material, which was my original point, you need to certify core product knowledge, not minor features released in minor versions.

      You are making my point, the cert process and especially the cert taker cannot follow the technology cycle. Its technically not possible in most cases, you'd have to be sitting beta exams all the time with no training materials, even this would not work as sometimes the beta exams are not out in time. There is always going to be a 1-2 year lag, by definition certification can't prove you are current on bleeding edge technology like you want it to.

      Cert exams can be extremely tough, unfortunately a bit of 'light revision' isn't enough for many exams even if you work with the technology.
      Then there is the time and expense of preparation and going to the test centre, many centres only open a few hours and your boss isn't going to give you time off...

      I like Channel9, but the one paid for e-learning module I sampled from MS was a truly awful experience.

      I can't agree with this, its merely impossible to jump through the hoops to get the certs, its not impossible to be a specialist and a generalist.

      A totally unrelated field which is therefore irrelevant, if you look at a lot of GP's they study like mad for 6 years then they put in minimal effort to learn new stuff. There are many cases of patients having to look after number one and educate their GP. You could even argue the intense degree education and then limited continuing education is an unsuitable model for GP's and that a different model should be adopted.

      I went to college a LONG time ago, yes I learnt 80x86, Ada, FORTRAN, SQL and COBOL, I also learnt Smalltalk and C++, both object orientated languages. SQL, FORTRAN and C++ are still relevant in certain contexts, also modern languages like Java and C# have roots in both C++ and Smalltalk.
      TCP/IP was widely available from the mid 90's, a progressive college could well have taught it to you.
      Yes I learnt to program on VAX mini computers and 286's, didn't do me any harm. You are probably using an OS based on the NT kernel which has its roots in DEC VMS.

      I beleive in Joel Spolsky's phrase "Smart and gets things done..", this applies whether the person has no quals, certs or a degree.
      Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    15. ade1982
      As an aside, I had an email today saying all their forefront stuff was being killed off, which means there will be more exams in retirement to follow no doubt.

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