An update to Microsoft certifications: MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE retiring end of June 2020

Photo by @loic / Unsplash.com

The only constant in life is change. And I love it! For me, the ability to accept continuous change is one of my internal KPIs, that I use to playfully measure if I’m still a good fit to work in IT. Each morning when you wake up, something evolved, changed or retired – and it’s up to you to ingest and digest that, and work with that new information as you best can.

So, last night Microsoft Learning announced – perhaps not unsurprisingly – the retirement of the MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE certifications on June 30, 2020. This is due to the focus being shifted towards role-based training. Take a look at the list of certifications from the official Microsoft Learning guidance:

Instead of generalized skills, certifications are now focusing more precisely on platforms and specific roles. You can view all current certifications here.

In essence, the following certifications will be retired on June 30, 2020:

  • MCSA: BI Reporting
  • MCSA: Dynamics 365 for Operations
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Admin
  • MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Dev
  • MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014
  • MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSA: Web Applications
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2012
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2016
  • MCSD: App Builder
  • MCSE: Business Applications
  • MCSE: Core Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Data Management & Analytics
  • MCSE: Productivity

And if you’ve already achieved one of the exams that are being retired, you can review the recommended path onwards here. The FAQ in the announcement provides a lot more info if you’re unsure what to do next. Key here is that if you’re currently in the middle of completing one of the certifications that are being phased out, you’ll need to hurry and get it done by end of June.

For anyone already completed one of the exams to be retired, now is a good idea to think about the future. All achieved MCSE/MCSD/MCSA certifications will be marked as Inactive two years from the retirement date. So make sure to mark that in your calendars to throw a decent party! I’m in the same boat, as many of my existing – although admittedly quite old – certifications will become even more obsolete:

For Microsoft Partners, who need to maintain a level of certifications to be compliant with their competencies, the updated guidance can be found here. Partner Center will reflect these new changes in March.

The only constant in life is change, and now it’s time to move on!