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Microsoft Revamps Certification For The Cloud

The growing impact of the cloud is shaking up the way OEMs, manufacturers and vendors do business. As a result, organizations must arm partners and team members with the training and resources to follow suit, and make the transition successfully. On April 11, 2012, Microsoft announced that it revamped its certification program to directly address technology’s transition to the cloud.

To ensure organizations have the right people with the right skills in their channels, Microsoft is providing a certification program that is designed to “validate IT skills, distinguish yourself from other job candidates, and impress hiring managers,” according to a company announcement.

“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,” said Don Field, Senior Director of Product Management for Microsoft, in a press statement. “And it will help hiring managers find people who have the skills they expect in their IT environments moving forward.”

Prior to this change, most operations focused on deploying a base infrastructure. With this now available in the cloud, Microsoft is shifting operations to make team members focus on becoming “cloud architects,” who will assist customers in deciding on the right cloud technology, and helping organizations make the transition from on-premise solutions to the cloud.

The new certification framework has been streamlined to three skill levels:

  • The Associate Level: Covers the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification, which provides a clear starting point for job seekers early in their technology career. This level represents a foundation and is the prerequisite certification necessary to earn a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification.
  • The Expert Level: Includes the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or its developer equivalent, Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). This level is Microsoft’s flagship certification for individuals who want to lead their organization’s transition to the cloud, and overall, have deeper skill sets of Microsoft solutions. Holders must re-certify every two or three years, to ensure qualifications and skills are up to date.
  •  The Master Level: The Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) certification is cited by the company as the “highest bar of knowledge and skills validation.” This elite group of IT professions are educated to create “the most innovative business technology solutions.”

The revamped program was developed to ensure certified individuals have the skills required to steward an organization’s journey to the cloud. For example, since many companies will have both cloud and on-premise technologies, individuals must have deeper sets of knowledge and skill to learn how to work with a mix of products and services.

“Microsoft offerings, from on-premise to private cloud and public cloud, are very broad, and we are reflecting the breadth and depth of those offerings in the ways that we train and certify developers and IT professionals,” Field said. “With its rigor and completeness, the new MCSE is the embodiment of the solutions that Microsoft is bringing forward.”

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About Alicia Fiorletta

Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.

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