No less often than once a quarter, and sometimes as often as once a month, Microsoft updates its “Number of Microsoft Certified Professionals Worldwide” page. The last update occurred at the beginning of December (12/1/2008), the prior update occurred on 10/27/2008. In the interim, some interesting developments have occurred:
- Across the board, new-wave credentials are growing in population–this means MCTS, MCA, MCITP, and MCPD–a phenomenon I can’t help but think that MS Learning staff finds comforting. The first year of any new cert program is always a little slow and often proceeds by fits and starts. Things here finally seem to be smoothing out as the program moves deeper into its second year.
- Within MCTS, the biggest winners are the .NET Framework 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 credentials, which reflects their early-into-the-program presence and the popularity of the MS development tools and database platform. Other areas with more than 10K achievers include MS Exchange Server 2007 Configuration, and MS SharePoint Server 2007 configuration, plus all the Windows Server 2008 topics (Active Directory, Applications Infastructure, and Network Infrastructure). Windows Vista Configuration has jumped to a surprising 48,962, and is now the most popular MCTS credential (more than 20% ahead of SQL Server 2005, which comes in second at 40,202).
- MCITP numbers are all still pretty low (mostly just over 1,000 to somewhat more than 8,000) and continue to show slow but steady growth. Leading topics are Enterprise Administrator, Enterprise Support Technician, and Database Administrator. Lagging way behind are MS Office Project Server 2007 (under 400), Consumer Support Technician (1,037), and Business Intelligence Developer (1,043). No big surprises there, except perhaps that Enterprise Administrator totals are nearly double those for Server Administrator totals (8,320 vs. 4,654).
- MCPD numbers also remain low, but likewise manifest steady growth: Web Developer comes out on top at 7,784, followed by Enterprise Application Developer at 6,330, trailed substantially by Windows Developer at 2,749. I’m guessing we’ll see these numbers jump in the next reporting period, owing to substantial jumps in MCTS developer numbers over this period.
Another interesting historical phenomenon emerges from MCSA and MCSE numbers. Whereas MCSA counts are uniformly much higher for Windows Server 2003 than for Windows Server 2000, MCSE numbers decline steadily from NT (395,818) to Windows Server 2000 (290,456) to Windows Server 2003 (141,498). Certainly, I believe Microsoft wants to reverse this trend and seeks to endow its newer certs with more cachet and value. It will be interesting to see how this desire plays out in future numbers.