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Aug 24 2012   5:41PM GMT

Planned MS Certs Retirements Paint The Shape of Certs to Come

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

In early August, MS Learning Product Manager for developer and SQL server certifications posted an interesting item to the Born to Learn blog entitled “Upcoming exam retirements and availability of related certifications.” This innocuous title actually heads some extremely interesting information, as I will soon elucidate. Let’s start with a table of upcoming retirements based on associated retirement dates to provide a snapshot of what she reports:

Upcoming MS Cert Retirements for 2012/3
Visual Studio 2008 & 2010
SQL Server 2008
July 31, 2013
MCITP: Database Developer 2008 MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Workflow Foundation Applications
MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Applications
MCITP: Business Intelligence 2008 MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Applications
MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Applications
MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development MCPD: Web Developer 4
MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications
MCPD: ASP.NET Developer 3.5 MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Data Access
MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Web Applications
MCPD: Windows Developer 3.5 MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Presentation Foundation Applications MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Applications
MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation Applications
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
July 31, 2013
MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuration MCITP: Enterprise Administrator 2008
MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuration MCSA on Windows Server 2003
MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuration MCSE on Windows Server 2003
MCITP: Server Administrator 2008 MCSE: Security on Windows Server 2003

What does this table really tell us? Several interesting observations emerge from this collection of cert exams scheduled for retirement at the end of July in 2013:

  • The key to the retirement date is that it tells you when the associated certs will no longer be available to be earned. Presumably, this means the exams will also disappear from the roster of available items in the MS exam catalog.
  • We are seeing the pending lapse of certifications based on Visual Studio 2008 and 2010, SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2010. That means that only newer versions than these will remain valid certs in another couple of years — namely Visual Studio 2012, Windows Server 2010 R2 and Windows Server 2012, and SQL Server 2012.
  • This is the quickest and most aggressive retirement schedule I’ve seen so far from MS, and I have to believe it reflects a strong “out with the old, in with the new” mindset along the lines of “out with MCITP, MCTS, and MCPD; in with MCSA, MCSE, and MCSD.”

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