Microsoft Rallies Its Certification Program to the Cloud

The company reshaped the program in accordance with industry trends

Today, Microsoft announced a series of changes to its certification program so as to bring it in line with the evolution of cloud technologies.

The change was also fueled by the fact that an increasing number of companies is adopting cloud to improve productivity and cut costs.

Research firm IDC expects IT innovation produced by the cloud to create US$1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues by 2015, which determines top companies to employ people with the right skills to take full advantage of the cloud.

Thus, the Redmond-based software giant has reshaped its Microsoft Certification program so that people can validate their IT skills, standup in the crowd, and impress hiring managers.

“The changes we’re making will help technology professionals gain the skills they need to plan, design, implement and operate cloud and hybrid solutions today and into the future,” says Don Field, senior director of product management for Microsoft.

“And it will help hiring managers find people who have the skills they expect in their IT environments moving forward.”

Cushing Anderson, program vice president of the Consulting, HR and Learning practices at IDC, believes that these changes are an evolution toward greater industry relevance and business value.

Microsoft’s revamped program is aimed at validating a broader and deeper set of knowledge and skills and is set to ensure that candidates have the right set of abilities that companies are looking for.

Moreover, the approach ensures that candidates can work with a range of products and services that involve both cloud and on-premise technologies.

According to Microsoft, there are three skill levels included in the new certification framework:

The Associate Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification, which provides a clear starting point for job seekers early in their technology career. Candidates must prove they have the required skills to hit the ground running. This level represents a foundation and is the prerequisite certification necessary to earn an MCSE.

The Expert Level comprises the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or its developer equivalent, Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and is Microsoft’s flagship certification for individuals who want to lead their organization’s transition to the cloud. These certifications recognize IT professionals and developers with broad and deep skill sets across Microsoft solutions.

The Master Level is the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) certification that differentiates the select few from their peers and represents the highest bar of knowledge and skills validation.

The software company also notes that MCSE is currently its flagship credential given the fact that most people aspire to it. It was aimed at validating individuals' ability to design and build solutions that could integrate a multitude of technologies, versions and products.

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