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Fallout from the Return of MSCA and MCSE: What happens to MCTS and MCITP? What else?

Last week I blogged to announce the re-introduction of new and reinvented MCSA, MCSE, and MCSD credentials from Microsoft. This week it's shaping up that the MCTS and MCITP credentials will be fading into obscurity as their product bases get retired. There are some upgrade paths and potentials to consider, and holders of the MCTS and MCITP should begin planning a new cert campaign. Read on to understand what's in your future if you hold a current Microsoft certification

To begin, let me dispense with the Microsoft credentials that remain unchanged in the wake of the introduction of the re-invented MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer), and the brand-new MSCM (Microsoft Certified Solutions Master). The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) offerings will continue on as before, unaltered and unaffected. Pretty much everything else will shift and move, so I'll tackle the rest of the Microsoft Certifications in alphabetical order, by cert abbreviation (and label, where needed):

  • MCAD [Microsoft Certified Applications Developer]: There’s no migration path but this should incline developers to consider and pursue the new MCSD (those with an MCPD on Visual Studio 2010 will have a migration path, however)
  • MCDBA [Microsoft Certified Database Administrator]: There’s no migration path. but this should incline database professionals to the MCSE on SQL Server 2012, which comes in Data Platform and Business Intelligence flavors
  • MCDST [Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician]: There’s no migration path but holders of this certification will want to get on an MCSA track for Windows Server 8 or Windows 8 desktop editions
  • MCITP [Microsoft Certified IT Professional]: The new MCSA falls more or less on par with some MCITP credentials, and it’s no big stretch for them to pursue the new MCSE (for which the relevant MCSA is a pre-requisite). Current MCSA and MCSE tracks are limited, but this will expand dramatically over the next year, as the new MCSA and MCSE tracks take more complete shape.
  • MCPD [Microsoft Cetified Professional Developer]: This current job-role focused development credential will be supplanted by the new MCSD, so developers should plan to find the MCSD for the platform(s) of their choice within the next 12-18 months
  • MCSA [Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (new), Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (old)]: There’s no migration path from old to new MCSA, and many IT professionals will have earned various MCTS credentials or an MCITP in the interim. They’ll simply follow their platforms and services to the new MCSAs of their choosing. Current tracks are limited, but will expand soon.
  • MCSD [Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (new), Microsoft Certified Software Developer (old)]: There’s no migration path from old to new MCSD, and many developers will have earned various development MCTS credentials or an MCPD in the interim. They’ll simply follow their platform interests and allegiances to the new MCSD of their choosing.
  • MCSE [Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (new), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (old)]: There’s no migration path from old to new MCSE, and many IT professionals will have earned various MCTS credentials or an MCITP in the interim. They’ll simply follow their platforms and services to the new MCSEs of their choosing. Current tracks are limited, but will expand soon.
  • MCT [Microsoft Certified Trainer]: MCTs must re-up every year to teach specific elements of the Microsoft Official Curriculum anyway so the rhythm of this credential won’t change, though the exams and the names of the credentials to which they teach will change substantially—as they always do!
  • MCTS [Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist]: This topic-focused, single-exam credential will be supplanted by the multi-exam MCSA as the existing MCTS topics age out of the Microsoft exam portfolio. MCTS holders should let their platform or service interests guide them into appropriate MCSA choices.
  • MTA [Microsoft Technology Associate]: This program aims at high school and community college students. So far Microsoft has announced no changes to the structure or layout of this program, but we can expect its content to shift dramatically with the upcoming introduction of Windows Server 8 and Windows 8 desktop versions, and new versions of SQL Server, Systems Center, and so forth.

And in case you didn't read the bullet entries above carefully, I'll repeat that certain current credentials (MCTS, MCITP, MCPD) will no longer be maintained or updated after this month (April 2012), and that older (MCDST, MCDBA) credentials are now more or less passe. Finally there's no clear upgrade from old MCSA, MCSE, and MCSD to new credentials of the same name, so IT pros will have to earn their way into these new credentials as they first earned their way into their predecessors.