There’s so much talk about what certification to get, what exam to pass, what are the requirements, and how to get certified. However, the opposite side of the coin is the older certifications and exam that go away over time. When technologies become obsolete, Microsoft retires certification exams that are no longer as relevant as they once were to make room for the newer certifications coming out with current technologies.

Microsoft Certifications Retiring Early 2019

Here’s a list of Microsoft certifications that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2019:

  • MCSE: Mobility
  • MCSA: Office 365
  • MCSA: Windows 10
  • MCSA: Dynamics 365
  • MCSA: Machine Learning
  • MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure

As a result of one or more of the required exams being retired (see list below), these certifications will no longer be obtainable once the exams for them are retired. If you have already earned one of these certifications, they will still show on your transcript that you have them.

Also, here’s a list of the Microsoft certifications that were retired on December 31, 2018:

  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
  • MCSA: Cloud Platform
  • MCSA: Linux on Azure

These certification retirements are due to the shift in the Microsoft Certification program moving to a more Role-based certification model. As then below list of exams are retired, and the above certifications are retired as a result, there will be announcements and releases of new exams and certifications that are replacing them. Not only are the new certifications coming more aligned to job-roles, but they will be more relevant to the current state of technology than the old exams / certifications that are being (or have been) retired.

Also, keep in mind that even though Microsoft has retired the MCSA: Linux on Azure certification due to the 70-533 exam being retired, you can still take the LFCS exam. The LFCS certification is a non-Microsoft certification, and is not being retired. Just needed to mention this, as I’ve received a few questions regarding this.

Replacement Certifications

The list of certification retirements above is a little disconcerting to some. Keep in mind that any earned certifications will still show on your transcript, and you don’t need to earn any new certifications unless you feel it would benefit your current role and/or career.

Also, here’s a list of a few of the new certifications that have been announced, or are coming soon that will be replacing many of the retired certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Microsoft Certified Messaging Administrator Certification
  • Data & AI Certification (coming soon)
  • Dynamics 365 Certification (coming soon)

Microsoft Exams Retiring in Early 2019

Here’s the list of Microsoft certification exams that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2019:

Retiring on March 31, 2019

  • 70-331 Core Solutions in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (originally published ¬†Feb. 1, 2013)
  • 70-332 Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (originally published Feb. 1, 2013)
  • 70-341 Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (originally published Jan. 15, 2013)
  • 70-342 Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (originally published Jan. 15, 2013)
  • 70-346 Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements (originally published Feb. 17, 2014)
  • 70-347 Enabling Office 365 Services (originally published Feb. 17, 2014)
  • 70-695 Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications (originally published Jan. 23, 2015)
  • 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices (originally published Sept. 1, 2015)
  • 70-698 Installing and Configuring Windows 10 (originally published Jun. 7, 2016)

Retiring on April 30, 2019

  • MB2-715 Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement Online Deployment (originally published Feb. 24, 2017)
  • MB2-717 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (originally published Feb. 21, 2017)
  • MB2-877 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service (originally published Dec. 8, 2017)

Retiring on June 30, 2019

  • AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition (originally published Late 2018)
  • AZ-202 Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition (originally published Late 2018)
  • AZ-302 Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition (originally published Late 2018)
    • Being replaced with AZ-300 & AZ-301 exams
  • 70-473 Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (originally published Oct. 27, 2015)
  • 70-475 Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions (originally published Oct. 27, 2015)
  • 70-773 Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (originally published Jan 3, 2017)
  • 70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (originally published Jan. 3, 2017)
  • 70-775 Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (originally published Feb. 22, 2017)
  • 70-776 Engineering Data with Microsoft Cloud Services (originally published July 5, 2017)
  • MB2-718 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service (originally published Feb. 21, 2017)
  • MB2-719 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing (originally published June 28, 2018)
  • MB6-895 Financial Management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (originally published Nov. 3, 2017)
  • MB6-896 Distribution and Trade in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (originally published Oct. 25, 2017)

Retiring on July 31, 2019

  • 70-343 Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 (originally published Apr. 5, 2013)

What does “retiring” an exam mean?

Basically, when a Microsoft certification exam is retired the exam will no longer be available to take. This means that only the people who have already passed it will ever be able to pass the exam. It also means that since the exam is retired, the certification earned by passing the exam may be deactivated. If your certification is deactivated due to an exam you previously passed being retired, then you may need to take and pass a new Microsoft certification exam to re-earn the current version of that certification.

Also, just because an exam is scheduled to be retired doesn’t mean you can’t take it anymore. You actually have until the planned expiration date to take and pass the exam. And, if that exam and it’s related certification is relevant to your job duties, or planned career path, then you may still want to take the exam. However, generally this means there is likely a newer exam, and possibly certification, available for you to pass that would probably be more relevant to your job / career future. In the end, knowing if / when a certification exam is being retired, it’s still up to you to decide if that exam is worth taking before that retirement date passes.

Microsoft does publish the exams they are retiring and the planned retirement date, but the information is a bit hidden / buried within the Microsoft Learning site. As a result, I thought I’d post about the Microsoft Certification Exams that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2019 to shed a little light on this to those who may not really be aware.

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion some people have regarding Microsoft certification exam retirement and certification deactivation. If you have further questions, please post them in the comments. Thanks!

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Certified Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect (both MCSD and MCSE), a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and self proclaimed Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.

11 Comments

  1. Hi Chris,

    When is the Data & AI Certification scheduled to be released?

    IMO: So there is a plan to terminate current certification paths within data science & engineering but have no replacement yet. And the paths around ML/AI have only been up for less than year. To me that is disastrous. I know that I shouldn’t complain about improvements that make the certification offering more in line with real job roles. But I think that Microsoft should have stuck with the program that they have already put a lot of investment in developing, a program that clearly must have been good for something. How will I know that they won’t make new paths in 2020 and make the 2019 paths void? The paths need to be seriously thought out and kept with for at least a couple of years to build confidence with the professionals. If they feel the urge to throw it in the bin some months down the road there should at least be some ruling principle that they will stick with the “cards” they have for some (serious) time. Now they just come off as extremely indecisive.

    /Jonathan
    Data Scientist @ Forefront

    Reply

    1. Chris Pietschmann January 4, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      The Data and AI certification paths are supposed to be released soon. I don’t know if that means this month, or just within the next couple months. The important thing is that the old certifications that are set to retire will be replaced with new job-role oriented paths. This is a new direction Microsoft Learning is following that better fits what people do on the job. As far as the future, certifications can change over time, the important thing is that you’re certified and you can choose when/if to renew or earn the new certifications if you feel it will benefit your career. IMO, they aren’t being indecisive, they actually changed their mind based on tons of customer feedback and are reorienting the certifications to be more meaningful and valuable to everyone.

      Reply

      1. This change seems to specifically benefit people already in careers. What about those that want to go on a certification path in order to pursue careers? I, for instance, would like to pursue a career in Cloud and/or Azure. What would be my options?

      2. Chris Pietschmann March 3, 2019 at 7:16 pm

        Job role based helps even if you aren’t in IT yet. If you are looking to be a developer or administrator then it’s more clear what Microsoft certifications would fit the direction you’re aspiring to pursue.

  2. Hi Chris,
    Could you please help to understand, how to earn MCSE certification in Cloud as per 2019 track ?

    Thanks
    Rahul

    Reply

    1. Chris Pietschmann March 3, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      You’ll need to pursue one of the new Azure certifications tracks as the MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure has been retired. You can find info about these on BuildAzure.com under the Certification section.

      Reply

  3. does anyone know when the new AZ203 courses will be released( replacing AZ200)

    Reply

    1. Chris Pietschmann March 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      There already is training content from multiple different vendors available for the Az-203 certification exam.

      Reply

  4. Good breakdown, thanks!

    Reply

  5. Has Microsoft decided to retire AZ-300/AZ-301? Any tentative dates?

    Reply

    1. Chris Pietschmann February 15, 2019 at 6:27 am

      No AZ-300 and AZ-301 are not being retired.

      Reply

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