Microsoft MCSE and MCSD Certification

Introducing the New Streamlined Microsoft MCSE/MCSD Certification Paths

On September 26, 2016 Microsoft introduced 5 new MCSE & MCSD certification paths that closely align with industry-recognized areas of competence, and provide flexibility to showcase specific skills on Microsoft products and services. Each path identifies technical competencies that are widely recognized by both Microsoft partners and customers. If you hold MCSA certification, getting to the next level has never been easier!
MCSE certification

How to achieve a Microsoft MCSE/MCSD certification

  • You need to earn the qualifying Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification in the learning path.
  • Then you must pass a single additional exam from the list of electives.
  • Click on your path of interest in the diagram below for complete details on the MCSA certifications and electives required for that MCSE certification.
  • The resulting MCSE or MCSD certification will be added to your transcript and will never expire.

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How to maintain a Microsoft MCSE/MCSD certification

  • Each year you have the opportunity to re-earn the certification by passing an additional exam from the list of electives. The option to re-earn the MCSE/MCSD certification every year demonstrates growth in Microsoft product knowledge.
  • Each time you earn certification, a new entry will be added to your transcript.
  • This new process replaces the existing MCSE/MCSD requirement of taking a specific recertification exam every 2 or 3 years.

How to transition to the new streamlined Microsoft MCSE/MCSD certifications

  • Individuals who hold active qualifying MCSE or MCSD certifications will earn the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certifications for 2016 without having to take any additional exams.
  • All individuals who have passed a qualifying elective exam since January 1, 2016 will be granted the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certification for 2016 without the need to take additional exams.
  • Through December 31, 2016 individuals with inactive MCSE or MCSD certifications can earn the new certification by either taking a recertification exam or a new exam from the list of electives associated with the corresponding path.

Here are the 5 new certification paths. Simply click on your path of interest for an in-depth description of each area, its elective exam pool and the corresponding courses. To learn more, contact us here or call 800-699-4007.

new mcse certification paths

Streamlined MCSE Certifications FAQ

Q: What is the difference between the MCSE/MCSD certifications introduced in September 2016 and the existing ones?

A: First, the 5 new MCSE and MCSD certifications (MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSE: Mobility, MCSE: Data Management and Analytics, MCSE: Productivity, and MCSD: App Builder) are aligned to Centers of Excellence, used by the Microsoft Partner Network to identify technical competencies that are widely recognizable by both Microsoft partners and customers. Second, they do not have a recertification requirement. Instead, every year you have the opportunity to re-earn the certification by passing an exam from the list of electives. This demonstrates your investment in broadening or deepening your skills in a given Center of Excellence.

Q: What about my current MCSE/MCSD certification?

A: All MCSE and MCSD certifications released prior to September 2016 will be retired on March 31, 2017. If you hold an active MCSE and MCSD certification as of September 26, 2016, it will remain active on your transcript until retirement of the corresponding technologies, at which point the certifications are moved to the Legacy section of your transcript.

Q: What is the upgrade path to the new certification from my current MCSE or MCSD certification?

A: To recognize your efforts in keeping your existing MCSE certification up-to-date, all individuals with active MCSE and MCSD certifications from the following list will earn the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certification for 2016, without the need to take additional exams:

  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Private Cloud
  • MCSE: Data Platform
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • MCSE: SharePoint
  • MCSE: Communication
  • MCSE: Messaging
  • MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: Web Applications
  • MCSD: SharePoint Applications

Through December 31, 2016, individuals with an inactive MCSE or MCSD certification can earn the new certification by either take a recertification exam or taking a new exam from the list of electives associated with the corresponding Center of Excellence.

Q: What if I am working towards an existing MCSE/MCSD certification but have not yet earned it?

A: All individuals who have passed a qualifying elective exam (from the elective pools of the above tracks) since January 1, 2016, will be granted the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certification for 2016 without the need to take additional exams, if they have met all exam requirements.

Q: What should I do if I have an older MCSE or MCSD certification that goes inactive prior to March 31, 2017?

A: In association with the March 2017 retirement of the older MCSE and MCSD specialties, we have adjusted transcripts so that any individuals that had an active MCSE or MCSD on Sept 26, 2016 will preserve that status after March 31, 2017.  If your MCSE or MCSD inactive date was prior to Sept 26, 2016, you will need to recertify (and, thus, reactivate) before March 31, 2017 to maintain that credential.

Q: Why are recertification exams being retired on March 31, 2017?

A: Recertification exams have largely focused on reviewing skills that you have already proven, rather than changes in the products and services.  The choice of elective exams in the new streams allows you to focus on the newest technologies, in the specialty area of interest.

Q: What is the difference between “recertifying” and “re-earning”?

A: For all previous MCSE/MCSD certifications, you were required to recertify to keep the credentials in the Active section of your transcript.   If you wish, now you have the option to re-earn the MCSE/MCSD certification every year, to help you demonstrate growth in Microsoft product knowledge.

Q: Why is Microsoft moving to an annual cycle to re-earn certifications?

A: The cadence of changes in the Microsoft products and services is much quicker than it was even a few years ago.  With some products like Microsoft Azure adding features on a weekly basis, demonstration of continued technical competence requires a much faster pace than every three years.

Q: How long is my new MCSE valid?

A: New credentials do not expire, nor do they require recertification. Prior to this change, certification holders had to recertify for MCSD every two years and for MCSE every three years. Instead, candidates can now take additional elective exams – or the next-generation replacement exams – in the following year to re-earn a new MCSE or MCSD.