Special Edition: Microsoft Launches Next Generation of Certifications

Microsoft Learning has formally announced the release of its new three-level certification program, which is comprised of (from bottom to top) the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified IT Professional or Professional Developer, and Microsoft Certified Architect. This reorganization will start with Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 certifications, which will be available next month.

“Microsoft is making the change to the certification program to better meet the needs of our customers, with literally thousands of customers and businesses providing feedback on the design,” said Al Valvano, business and product strategy group manager for Microsoft Learning’s certification and assessment operations. “We have heard from IT managers that the proliferation of credentials is making it more difficult for them to understand which credentials best meet the needs of their business. To address this, we have created a framework that keeps the number of credentials to the minimum while still allowing individuals to show their specialization.”

This focus will come from a structure that covers separate technologies horizontally and deals with different occupations and levels of expertise vertically. This is intended to make certification paths more condensed and inexpensive, as well as ensure that every certification is more relevant and clear-cut vis-a-vis the products and services it covers. Additionally, because of this more modular approach, certificants will have the option to either demonstrate their command of multiple technologies or illustrate their expertise within a particular profession.

“The new program is designed to emphasize both the primary technology skill…



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