In the process of consulting and training many people in the efforts of studying for various Microsoft certifications, in particular Azure certification, I do receive a lot of various questions. On of the questions I’ve seen a lot is in the area around Exam or Certification expiration and/or renewal. So, I thought I’d explain a bit on what causes a Microsoft certification to expire, and how to renew your certifications when necessary. Read More
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 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 2018 to shed a little light on this to those who may not really be aware. Read More
Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-535 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified Architect.
Book Availability: It’s worth noting that the scheduled publish date for this book is May 20, 2018. At the time of writing this, the book may not be available for a few months yet, so you’ll want to consider this before preordering the book. Read More
Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Second Edition of the Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-532 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified Software Developer. Read More
Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Second Edition of the Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-533 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified IT Professional. Read More
Back in mid-2016 Microsoft announced the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). The MPP program is an online certification/”degree” program from Microsoft that allows anyone to study and obtain a larger certification (that is also similar to an online micro-degree) in a specific area of expertise. In the past, the program consisted of 5 programs to choose from, but recent Microsoft has added the sixth track of choice to the Microsoft Professional Program. Recently, Microsoft has added a brand new “IT Support” track to the Microsoft Professional Program. This sixth track certainly rounds out the MPP program to cover a very broad array of technology areas that ANYONE can study, learn, obtain certification/degree, and CHANGE THEIR LIFE by filling the skills gap! Read More
It’s been about 1.5 years since Microsoft first announced the Microsoft Professional Program. Basically, the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) is a cross between an Online Degree and a Multi-Exam Certification. It’s a good move by Microsoft to provide a better training path than certifications, while simultaneously working to fill the skills gap that traditional degree programs have difficulty filling. Essentially, it’s a good cross between the two paths, providing yet another great non-traditional alternative to education and career advancement. Plus, now the Microsoft Professional Program offers 5 different “degree” tracks to choose from! Read More
Last year Microsoft launched the new Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). This is the latest initiative from Microsoft to provide training and an educational platform to help fill the ever growing skills gap in IT. Initially, Microsoft launched the program with a single track; the Data Science Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) track. Due to the huge success of this initial track, Microsoft announced earlier this year they are expanding the Microsoft Professional Program to 2 more additional tracks; Big Data and Front-end Web Development.
There are many different certification exams from Microsoft covering all the different technology areas. There are also many different certification paths like the newly redesigned MCSE and MCSA certifications that are made up of multiple certification exams. Unfortunately, the list of Microsoft certification exams can be a bit cumbersome and difficult to search through on the official Microsoft Learning site. For this reason, I have created a simple, open source, Microsoft certification exam finder tool.
The Build Azure Exam Finder allows you to search and filter through a list of Microsoft certification exams. It works by having all the exams in the list assigned Tags that you can easily filter on to find the exam(s) you’re looking for. You can filter on a combination of technologies or larger certifications like MCSE and MCSA to find the exams you’re looking for.
You can access the Build Azure Exam Finder tool here: http://exams.buildazure.com
The tool currently includes 31 exams in the list, and I’m planning on adding more soon to fill it out to contain a nice list of the various Microsoft certification exams available. I hope this tool helps others discover the certification exams and larger MCSA or MCSE certification paths that fit their expertise and knowledge areas. I was inspired to build this simple tool by many of the Microsoft certification questions people have been asking me through this blog and elsewhere online, as it helped me realize that there’s a real discoverability problem in how Microsoft present the certification information on the official Microsoft Learning site.
In the past once you passed a specific Microsoft certification exam you were not allowed to retake that exam again, ever. After all, there wasn’t really any benefit to since you passed the exam and it counted towards earning you a specific certification. Back then the exams did not undergo any major updates or restructuring until they were retired and replace with a brand new exam on the latest technology and product releases. With the recent changes and restructuring of the Microsoft certification program, the exam are now getting updated periodically and you will now be able to retake an exam after such updates have been made.
As of March 17, 2017, the necessary changes have been put into place to allow for exam to be retaken on an annual basis. After a period of 365 days from the date you pass a certification exam, you will now be able to retake that exam again. This will allow for you to retake a particular exam, or at least the most recent update of that exam, to be used as the qualifying elective exam necessary to renew an MCSD or MCSE certification and keep it active for the current year.
Currently, the exams eligible to be retaken are:
- 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
- 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services
- 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
- 70-475: Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
- 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016
- 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016
- 70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016
This new retake policy is a really great improvement. It was previously assumed that only a new elective needed to be passed every year to keep the MCSD or MCSE certifications current for the given year. If this were required then you would be required to keep learning new technologies and product releases to pass an exam even if they didn’t relate to you job duties. However, by allowing already passed exams to be retaken annually, you will now be able to renew and keep up-to-date by continually brushing up and maintaining the exam skills that pertain to your daily job duties over time.
This change goes along with the other improvements being made to the Microsoft certification that are really making the program much better than it was in the past by keeping the certifications relevant and useful.