On August 17, 2011, I posted a blog entitled “MS Recerts Are Coming” to follow up on my original July 27 item “Microsoft Seeks Recert Feedback.” In those posting I reported on Microsoft’s survey to ask certified professionals about their thinking on recertification and related requirements (the 7/27 item) and then to report that the Windows Phone Developer MCPD (and since then, the Azure Developer MCPD) have gained recertification requirements. On Monday, I had a nice conversation with Don Field, Senior Director of Microsoft Certification Programs at Microsoft learning to discuss the results of their recertification survey. He also posted a short item on Born To Learn on Tuesday, 9/20/2011, entitled “Recertification survey: Results are in!” that discuss the company’s findings on that survey.
Here are the high-level results, lifted straight from Don’s blog:
- Most respondents (84%) were neutral or positive about requiring candidates to demonstrate continued competence. 65% of respondents were either positive or very positive.
- When we asked how often someone should need to recertify, most people recommended between 2 and 3 years.
- Requiring an individual to pass an exam specific to that certification was rated the most preferred and most relevant activity for demonstrating continued competence.
- The vast majority of respondents (93%) answered that recertification would have either no impact or a positive impact on the value of the program. 75% of respondents felt that it would have a positive or very positive impact.
My own follow up conversation with Don also included some further interesting highlights as well. First and foremost, this introduction of recerts for the two credentials already mentioned (MCPD on Winodws Phone Developer and Azure Developer) do not necessarily indicate that any and all MS credentials will become subject to automatic expiration dates and mandatory renewals in the immediate future. It’s certainly a possibility that some will become subject to renewal, but there’s a lot of thinking, research, and planning that will be necessary before any dominoes start falling over. Second, MS hasn’t ruled out continuing education in lieu of re-examination for any certs, though re-certification examinations certainly do have a lot in common with earlier upgrade examinations for the MCSE and MCSA credentials. Third, it’s very important to understand that most respondents to the survey, and most employers, all agree that recertification adds value to existing credentials, and will probably boost the standing and value of the newer Microsoft certifications as well.
I think this is a very positive development myself, and that it shows the continuing maturation and evolution of the Microsoft certification program and its growing portfolio of credentials. And with CompTIA just having switched over to regular recertification for its credentials as well that means that the Top 3 programs –namely, Cisco, Microsoft, and CompTIA—all make recertification part of their standard way of doing business. I have to think this is all to the good for IT professionals, the companies that hire them, and the recruiters or headhunters who seek out qualified IT talent for placement in IT positions.