Thursday, 29 June 2017

Microsoft Certifications - Should Microsoft have a Re-Think?

Any IT Pro will know that certification is part of the career path although it can seem at times there are no real benefits to doing so.
For most of us it's a love of what we do, a way of keeping aligned with the industries we serve, taking pride in what we do and wanting to continually embrace whatever the industry adopts. When you look at the benefits that come associated with Microsoft certification it does make you question is it really worth it?

When you look at the particular benefits of being an MCP or equivalent there's nothing that's particularly substantial:

- A Microsoft Certificate
- A Microsoft Signature Block
- A Professional Transcript
- 40% of Microsoft Print Books
- Some 3rd Party Discounts
Microsoft will highlight that certification will dramatically improve your chances of getting a job, being promoted or opening other doors in which I don't disagree with but it's not a definitive measure or a certain outcome.
Certification can be considered just be a stepping stone, a foundation knowledge given that modern day systems especially cloud platforms are evolving constantly making some certification guides all too unreliable given they are not updated beyond their initial release. Other sites like Channel9 (, Microsoft Mechanics ( and YouTube are probably a better source of information. This was the case with the 70-533 exams (Azure IaaS) where the exam objectives changed when Azure Resource Manager was introduced into the exam.

It would be great to see Microsoft 'Re-Think' their 'Program Benefits'........

- Give better discounted exams to existing MCP's
- Give better/more opportunities to get hands on with Cloud based platforms. The old TechNet subscriptions were ended in 2013 and although there are some virtual labs and limited time that can be used on Azure it's just not enough.
- Provide more cost effective exam material including exam simulations or actually provide it for free with every exam booked.
- Provide better virtual labs that target the skills required by the certification.
Experience and longevity within the industry is key, the ability to adapt, change and embrace new technologies and principles is the real test. IT is a massive challenge for any company and only with the right motivated individuals who are inspired to innovate and put customers at the heart of everything will succeed.


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