Microsoft recently announced its plan to reintroduce the MCSE and MCSA certifications, which address the evolution of technology toward cloud computing. Many IT professionals are already aware of the MCITP certification that resulted from the Microsoft Server 2008 upgrade, but it appears the company tossed the four-year-old certification. With the reintroduction of the old but new MCSE and MCSA certifications, Microsoft also detailed that each one is not necessarily the same as it used to be.
The Cloud Take-Over
Reinvented for the cloud, Microsoft wants its new certification program to reflect the changing role of IT pros in the cloud. The MCSE is not much different from earlier certifications such as the MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional). It helps IT professionals display their skills and knowledge in the field, and it assists managers in hiring the most informed person for the job.
In the past, Microsoft offered a certification upgrade path with each release of a new server version. However, cloud services do not have versions. Therefore, Microsoft needed to revamp the certification process in order to identify that an IT professional's skills are current with the technology. On that note, Microsoft announced recertification based on members' input in the program.
Before the Windows Server 2008 version, MCSE stood for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Now, this acronym is short for Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert. Along with the MCSA, or Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate, Microsoft revealed three skill levels of certification:
• The Associate Level is the foundation MCSA certification for people just starting out in IT. In addition, the MCSA is a prerequisite certification. No one can achieve the MCSE or MCSM without first completing the MCSA.
• The Expert Level holds the MCSE certification and the MCSD, or Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer. Microsoft claims that the MCSE is the certification that most people aspire to because it validates their skills and ability to do the job.
• The Master Level comprises the MCSM (Microsoft Certified Solutions Master) certification. This level represents IT professionals with the knowledge and most reliable skills to handle any cloud or on-premise technology in the industry.
Microsoft Certification Evolution
Microsoft believes the new three-tier certification process ensures hiring managers are always up-to-date on IT pros with the skills regarding new cloud services and advancements in the technology. This solutions-based approach gives IT newcomers and working professionals the knowledge necessary to work with cloud and on-site technologies.
The MCSA, MCSE and MCSM certifications give everyone the chance to evolve and grow as IT professionals. Microsoft is a leader in cloud technology, so any IT pro with a current certification on his or her resume increases the chance of landing a job in the field. It ensures customers and hiring managers that the person is informed and able to do the job affectively.