Monday, September 26, 2016

Updated MCSE Certification for Exchange

I got a surprise email today indicating that I have a new Microsoft certification, the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Expert): Productivity. This is the new MCSE certification that encompasses certification for Office 365, Exchange, Skype for Business, and SharePoint. The existing MCSE: Messaging is being retired March 31, 2017.

The overall MCSE certifications have been reorganized around the technical competencies that Microsoft partners are organized around. So, there are going to be less MCSE certifications with a wider focus:
  • MCSE: Productivity (includes Exchange)
  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (Windows Server and Azure)
  • MCSE: Mobility (Windows 10 and Intune)
  • MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (SQL Server)
One of the big changes is how the MCSE ongoing certification is managed. The current MCSE: Messaging required recertification every 3 years to retain the MCSE. There was a specific recertification exam or you had the option to complete a series of MVA courses.

In the new MCSE: Productivity, you do not need to re-certify every three years, but you have the option to update your MCSE each year by taking a new elective exam. The desire for the new MCSE is that you are constantly improving you skills by adding to them each year. Effectively, now instead of getting a permanent MCSE, you get an MCSE for the year. And you can continue to get it yearly.

You also get more options for how to maintain your MCSE: Productivity. The base certification for the MCSE: Productivity is the MCSA: Office 365. Then you add a new elective each year. Some of the options are:
  • Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
  • Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Microsoft provides a FAQ about the new MCSE certifications here:

Details about the MCSE: Productivity are here:

And a blog posting on Born to Learn explaining the change:

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