Microsoft killing MCSM and MCM certifications

netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
Tim Sneath Senior Director, Microsoft Learning at Microsoft Corporation - responded why in a post in this link

His email address is in there, I recommend everybody email him to change his mind, here is what I sent him:

Dear Tim Sneath,

I read your post in the connect forum about your decision to retire these master level Microsoft Certification programs. You mention there is a chance at a replacement program in the future, however it does not make sense to cancel these programs before that point. You recently removed the expensive training barrier from the test but have not given it time to see if more people will work to achieve this accomplishment. Additionally this makes Microsoft the only vendor that does not have any master level certifications in order for professionals to show their life long work, skills and abilities. The MCSA and MSCE of past and present still have tarnished records of being paper certificates in many circles. Why would I now try for my MCSE if there is no path beyond that point? It would make more sense for me to move to Cisco and work towards a CCIE in order to show my experience and skill level I have spent over a decade building.

Microsoft has a serious image problem for many reasons the last few years but this decision along with removing TechNet is like a knife in the back of all IT professionals. Even with the shift to more consumer type devices and the cloud, skilled IT professionals will still be needed for a considerable amount of time. I would urge you to reconsider this decision or announce a replacement program immediately. Show us that Microsoft cares about IT professionals, talk is cheap!




  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    What Microsoft needs is to replace this program with something like a VCAP-like exam, totally lab based (but not 6 hours!), no training requirement but you must have a MCSE and it should be relatively cheap to do. VMware got it right in how they structure their certifications in my opinion. And now that Server 2012 is powershell based for even the smallest things, using scripts to score an exam, it's a real possibility for the future.

    Cost & return on investment was a killer for this program, it had no brand recognition either, I can't say I'm particuarly that sad to see it go in it's current form. Though I feel sorry for Robert Kaucher who was ramping up for an attempt on SharePoint.
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    I'm a bit sad to see it go. Since the training requirements had been set aside I was seriously considering going for an MCSM. I definitely would be all for some lab based exam stepping in. I'd prefer if they did that for the MCSE actually. I'm not a fan of all of these multiple choice questions that can be all too easily dumped and not validate any sort of ability in the field.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon --
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008
    netsysllc wrote: »
    Why would I now try for my MCSE if there is no path beyond that point? It would make more sense for me to move to Cisco and work towards a CCIE in order to show my experience and skill level I have spent over a decade building.
    This is silly. People aren't getting MCSE/MCITP because of the MCM program.
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  • netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    People who would want to get MCM or MCSM have to get MCSE first in order to qualify. I myself have thought about MCSM and that would be the only reason I would upgrade to the MCSE and I surely am not the only person on earth with that thought.
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    For most people, having MCSE is more than enough.
  • TheProfTheProf Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 331 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think regardless, an MCSE is a great cert to have, but I can also understand why some of the IT professionals who have a very high level of knowledge and experience wouldn't care much about the MCSE. They could very well be beyond that point which is why the MCM or MCA are the certifications they're after.

    In these situations, it's the minority as most of us probably won't go for those certs.
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    Really not happy about this. An Exchange MCM has been one of my goals for the last few years, in fact we discussed it during my annual review just last week. So far I had not been able to get my employers to pay for the Master's rotation but I was at the point of pursuing the written exam on my own since the training is no longer required. I wanted the training though, I wanted to be challenged like that for three weeks.

    Microsoft doomed this certification from the start. The original Ranger program was designed to train internal support engineers. MS later made it available to select partners before finally making it public, but it was really still only accessible to internal engineers. The cost of the required training, plus 3 weeks of travel, plus 3 weeks non-billable, pushed the total cost to about $50,000. Dropping the training requirement made it accessible to everyone who met the career requirements, however that change was made 8 months ago so it hasn't really been enough time to see if that made a difference.

    Microsoft also never promoted the certification. 2 MCMs meet the same partner competency certification requirements as 4 MCITP/MCSEs. Since there are maybe a couple hundred MCMs compared to thousands of MCITP/MCSE, that didn't encourage partners to push employees to pursue the MCM. If Microsoft added a Platinum partner level - with benefits that made it worthwhile for a partner to earn that level - that required MCM then we would have seen a push for more MCM training. The supply and demand for the cert suddenly would have made it worth pursing as an individual as you could count on a big bump in pay.

    Right now my MCSE:Messaging is worth just as much as someone who just finished a bootcamp and passed the test. My resume is what differentiates me from him. An MCM was a way to prove that my knowledge was beyond those of a replacement level geek off the street and that I should be paid more. Now the only other separation I can add is an MVP. I haven't been a big fan of the MVP program as it seems more like a popularity contest than a representation of your technical skill. However, it does carry some weight with my employer and we have several MVPs on staff. I guess it's time to stop studying and start blogging.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    This makes me happy I decided against specializing in one or more MS areas. I was seriously looking at a 3-5 year path to MCSM DS and/or Exchange at one point. Now, I'm really glad I've looked in other directions. Yes, the MCSEs and even MVPs will still be there, but this really puts a damper on someone interested in mastering a Microsoft infrastructure solution. Cisco, VMware, and RedHat are looking like much stronger specialization areas right now. That will get more people in them, more people evangelizing them instead of Microsoft (I recognize none competes with MS across all solutions, but my point stands), and in turn make MS specialization less attractive.

    Now there's still a big market for Microsoft solutions and people who have mastery of them, make no mistake. People like Claymoore and Everyone are not going to up and find themselves unemployable or taking pay cuts. However, it makes life harder, for sure, and for anyone still considering specializing, this is a big reason not to.

    It seems as if MS will try to replace the MCSM program, from Tim Sneath's explanation, but I'm really thinking the damage as been done. MCSE was already having reputation issues back in 2003, and the switch to MCITP unquestionably damaged the program. Job ads asking for MCITP were few and far between up until, ironically, maybe the last 12-18 months when the nomenclature was switched yet again. The new MCSE and MCSA lines have some content issues, and represent more confusing name and scope changes. The changing scopes, intents, tests, and paths of each certification line have been complicated so much, MS ought to consider releasing a Microsoft Certification Specialist certification, so that those of us who've taken the time to navigate and understand the mess that it's become would have a credential to show for it.

    The irony of all of it is that MS's products, with a few big exceptions, have improved considerably since the 2003 iteration and even the 2010 iteration For example, Hyper-V is really attractive on paper, but the lack of a good, cohesive specialization path around it means very few are evangelizing it compared to VMware, and relatively few are implementing it. If MS would stop making bad choices in interacting with infrastructure professionals and constructing their specialization paths, these products could do a lot better.

    I don't know if I'd give up on MS altogether, but a lot of damage has been done to the community the last few years. I truly hope things can get turned around, because even though I'm not truly specialized, I've invested a lot in learning Microsoft products, and MS failing will adversely affect my value.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,172 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I am not a fan of the change either.

    I wonder if some of this has to do with OS, ADDS, SharePoint, Exchange, etc becoming commoditized and (at least, as many people are assuming) will continue to be shifted globally into the service provider space rather than managed by Internal IT? That would seem to require less "master" level SME's in corporate IT and more in the Microsoft organization (as it was before with the internal Ranger program) or in the provider space.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
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  • netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Not that I could ever do it this soon, I will be lucky to do my MCSE until sometime next year, but they have given a 90 day extension to the MCSM programs Microsoft to offer masters-level certification exams until late December - Neowin
  • MrAgentMrAgent Member Posts: 1,309 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The funny thing is, they never made the exams available for the 2012 track.

    MCSM Directory Services | Microsoft Learning

    This is something I was considering as well.
  • cknapp78cknapp78 Member Posts: 213 ■■■■□□□□□□
    This is ridiculous. Thankfully I didn't get to far into my MCM Exchange studies. And now Microsoft hires a Nokia guy for their new CEO? Microsoft should just stick with what they know best and stay with Desktop and Server OS and Apps. What's next? A new MCM certification in Nokia phones? Please...

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