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Microsoft Ending Three Certifications in June

Microsoft announced plans on Thursday to end three certification programs on June 30, 2020, and that separate exams for Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 won't be available.

Going away in June will be certification programs for the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). Individuals can still obtain those certifications, but "you'll want to pass all required exams before they retire," Microsoft's announcement advised.

Alongside those three certifications going away, the announcement offered a list of Microsoft exams that also will get axed on the June 30, 2020 date. On the chopping block, in part, are Skype for Business exams, a managing SharePoint Server 2016 exam, an exam on networking with Windows Server 2016, and plenty of SQL Server exams.

The shocker, that there will be no future exams for Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019, was noted in a Twitter post by Greg Shields, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and Redmondmag.com contributor.

Microsoft explained it was doing away with the Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 exams because the "content will be included in role-based certifications on an as-needed basis for certain job roles in the Azure Apps & Infrastructure and Data & AI solution areas."

In 2018, Microsoft switched to a role-based certification approach. It's based on six job roles, namely Azure Administrator, Azure Developer, Azure Solutions Architect, Azure DevOps Engineer, Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop Administrator and Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator.

Reactions to Microsoft's announced certification program changes appeared to be mostly negative, based on responses to Microsoft's Twitter post announcement. A common reaction was that Microsoft only cares about pushing its cloud technologies now, and not its server technologies that get installed on premises.

A Feb. 27 petition in Microsoft's training support discussion forum requested that Microsoft push out the June 30, 2020 end date for the certifications because it just won't provide enough time to complete the programs. It takes three months to complete an exam, and the MCSA certification would take about nine months to complete, the petition argued.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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