Microsoft Office 365 is transforming the way IT Professionals provision our Office products and administer our industry leading business productivity tools (Exchange, SharePoint and Lync).
How do you plan to position yourself as a certified Office 365 professional as the industry evolves using cloud services?
Today, Microsoft is announcing the availability of two new exams that help test an individual’s competency of Office 365. Those that pass the following two beta exams, will receive our Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification for Office 365. This certification will be promoted across the IT Industry as our “cloud services standard” that Microsoft expects from IT Professionals who are responsible for the migration and administration of Office 365 business productivity services. We plan to change the Microsoft Partner Network requirements for Office 365 partner competency in early 2014, with these new exams as requirements for their consulting staff to maintain.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Office 365
Beta exam – 71-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
Beta exam – 71-347: Enabling Office 365 Services
Beta exam period runs: December 6th – February 16th, 2014.
We recommend that you register immediately in order to take advantage of the early availability of these exams. If you register, please ensure you are committed to attend.
Testing is held at most Prometric testing centers worldwide. These beta exams may not be available in all countries (see Regional Restrictions). All testing centers will have the capability to offer these exams in its live version.
Regional Restrictions: India, Pakistan, China, Turkey
If you pass a beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form. The 71-xxx identifier is used for registering for beta versions of MCP exams, when the exam is released in its final form the 70-xxx identifier is used for registration. Please note that these exams are testing on the current version of Office 365. The final exams will be released in February 2014. At that point the “Beta” tag will be removed from the exam name. Your Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) transcript will not reflect “Beta” in the exam title.
By participating in beta exams, you have the opportunity to provide the Microsoft Certification program with feedback about exam content, which is integral to development of exams in their released version. We depend on the contributions of experienced IT professionals and developers as we continually improve exam content and maintain the value of Microsoft certifications.
To register for your exam, go to the Prometric website http://www.prometric.com. If you have difficulty registering online, call Prometric at (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926). Let the representative know that you would like to register for a Microsoft beta exam and provide them the following exam information:
71-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
71-347: Enabling Office 365 Services
Outside the U.S./Canada, please contact: Prometric: www.register.prometric.com/ClientInformation.asp
Note that you will need to call Prometric directly to reschedule or cancel your exam. Rescheduling or cancelling your beta exam through Prometric’s web site will incur a fee.
Testing is held at Prometric testing centers worldwide, although these beta exam may not be available in all countries (see Regional Restrictions). All testing centers will have the capability to offer these exam in its live version.
To register in North America, please call: Prometric: (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926)
You will be given four hours to complete the beta exam. Please plan accordingly.
You can find the exam preparation information in the following exam webpages. Under the “Skills Measured” section of each page, you can find the technical areas that you will be measured in the exams.
Additional Office 365 exam preparation materials are on Microsoft Virtual Academy.
You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about beta exams here:
For Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) help and information, you may log in to the MCP Web site at http://mcp.microsoft.com/ or contact your Regional Service Center: www.microsoft.com/.../assisted-support.aspx
For updates and information about exams, visit the Born to Learn blog at: borntolearn.mslearn.net
If you have questions or comments about the Microsoft Learning Subject Matter Experts program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Lots of work going on in the world of developer and SQL certification - here are the top three things you need to know:
Read on to learn more…
Windows UX Design Specialist
Microsoft Learning Experiences is excited to announce availability of Exam 74-353: Windows UX Design. Exam 353 validates skills associated with applying Microsoft user experience (UX) guidelines to the design of Windows 8 Store applications. By passing this exam, you will earn a Microsoft Specialist certification. This certification complements the skills validated in the MCSD: Windows Store Apps certification.
Training related to the Windows UX Design exam is available in two forms:
MCSD: Windows Store Apps
Updates to the MCSD: Windows Store Apps exams to address features in Visual Studio 2013 and Windows 8.1 are now complete.
The following Exam Detail pages now reflect the updated exam objectives:
To learn about the updates to Windows Store App Development using C#, we recommend reviewing the recordings from these Jump Start courses:
To learn about the updates to Windows Store App Development using HTML5, we recommend reviewing the recording from this Jump Start course:
Updated Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC) for Windows Store Apps will be available in January 2014.
Certification Updates for SQL Server 2014
In reviewing the SQL Server 2014 product, the Microsoft Learning Experiences team determined that the new features focus on performance tuning and high availability. As skilling and testing around these features is best suited for the MCSE level, the following updates are planned:
To help prepare for the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 exams, recordings are now available for several recent Jump Start courses for database administrators and developers:
As a reminder for those individuals who already hold any MCTS or MCSA certification on SQL Server 2008, there is a streamlined two-exam upgrade path to MCSA: SQL Server 2012:
From now through May 31, 2014, there is a special promotion of 25% off the cost of these exams, plus free retakes if needed.
And, what is it that Anti-Piracy Program Managers do here? (For those of you who know me and my love for movie lines, can you name the movie this is borrowed from? Emphasis on the word "do here" as in "what is that you'd say you do here?")
Welcome to December and the end of the year!
For this month’s blog, I thought I’d do something a little different. I’ve talked about how I rely on others to be my eyes and ears when it comes to exam security. Our Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT) are a big part of that process. We rely on them to not only prepare students to pass our exams and get skilled, but we also rely on them to be an integral part of the security efforts here.
Because I’m not often in a classroom setting, I reached out to an MCT for her perspective on what students should look for when it comes to security and a good instructor. Rachel Jones is a software developer and trainer who teaches throughout the country as well as internationally. She holds degrees in both Computer Science and Business. Rachel serves as a Subject Matter Expert to Microsoft and is passionate about helping others prepare for careers in the IT industry by developing quality certifications and curriculum. She holds several industry certifications such as, MCSD, MCPD, MTA, MCLC, MOS, and CTT+.
I asked Rachel a few questions about how security in a classroom comes into play.
Kerri: What kinds of things should an instructor be doing to prepare students to take an exam fairly and without taking security risks? What should students look for?
Rachel: Students should look for an Instructor that upholds a high level of integrity. A good instructor will cover test objectives and provides examples but never give out specific test questions. If an instructor ever encourages you to use brain dump sites to pass the test, this is a good sign that his/her method of teaching may also lack in quality.
Instructors should provide an overview of the test objectives and give real-world examples of applied knowledge. Specific test questions and answers should not be discussed in the classroom. Also, it’s a good practice to remind students that while working in a team environment, they should not share answers to the test as it devalues its credibility.
Q. Should students care how a trainer prepares them for an exam, as long as they pass it?
A. Yes, because training should be centered around learning to use the skill in a real world environment. Passing the certification should be evidence of the result and not the result, itself. It would be like an earning a driver’s license without knowing how to drive!
Q. Should students be concerned when an MCT points to or uses brain dump (or other illicitly-obtained) material? Or should they leave that responsibility to Microsoft and/or the Learning Partner?
A. As an instructor, it’s my responsibility to uphold the value of the certification process. Encouraging brain dump sites devalues the certification which is a reflection on me as well as the certification. How students view the credibility of certification begins with me! If I, as the instructor, adhere to a high standard, it will most likely affect how the student views the process.
As a student, it’s important to be part of the effort to reduce cheating on certification exams. When others cheat, it devalues the efforts of hardworking, honest certified professionals.
Q. What should a student do if they think an instructor is promoting use of such materials?
A. The first line of defense would be to discuss the concern directly with the instructor and the training center. If the instructor continues to promote materials and practices you feel are unethical, you should let Microsoft know. They have processes in place to harshly penalize those that do not maintain the ethical standards set forth by the MCT program. (Note from Kerri: Feel free to use the firstname.lastname@example.org alias to report any concerns.)
Q. How can students let instructors know when they are doing a good job teaching and upholding security standards?
A. Most courses end with an evaluation process. Instructors truly value hearing student feedback. In addition to completing the standard 1-9 ratings, take the extra minute to write in a comment on how you appreciate the instructors’ high ethical standard. This provides reinforcement to the instructor. In addition, these evaluations are also sent to Microsoft and provide valuable information to them. On the flip side, if you feel the instructor violated the integrity of the MCT program, let him/her know in the evaluation.
Thank you Rachel! I appreciate you taking the time to talk about security in a classroom.
For my readers, as always, if you see behavior in a classroom that you question or have a concern about, please let me know.
Got a tip for me? Let me know at email@example.com.
Hello, database geeks! Yes, SQL Server 2014 is the new shiny object, but you also know the importance of keeping your credentials current while expanding your product knowledge. For those who are certified in SQL Server 2008, we'd like to remind you about upgrading your certification to MCSA: SQL Server 2012. It's time to get it done. Why now? Because you can save 25% on the upgrade exam pack, and get free retakes just in case! Here are the details:
Who qualifies for this offer?If you currently hold one of these certifications, you can take advantage of this upgrade offer:
What can I upgrade to?
What exactly do I get in this upgrade offer?
You get 25% off the price of these two (2) upgrade exams when purchased as a pack, and each exam comes with one free Second Shot (retake) if you fail.
How soon do I have to commit to this?
You have to buy this upgrade offer by May 31, 2014. You also need to finish using all the exam vouchers and free retakes by December 31, 2014.
What if I already took one of the exams in this upgrade pack?
You can still take advantage of our Second Shot offer on single exams.
What if I miss the upgrade window and want to update my certification later?
When the upgrade exams retire (and they will, date TBD), you'll have to start over with a new certification path, which typically means taking three exams at the regular price.
What if I need help preparing for these exams?
Check out the online study group for SQL Server. There are Microsoft Certified Trainers and your fellow IT Pros there to help and provide support.
Go ahead. Buy the upgrade pack now.
This is a guest post by Andy Syrewicze, a seasoned IT Pro of 10+ Years. Andy focuses on Virtualization, Managed Services, and the Microsoft Server Platform. You can find him on Twitter as @asyrewicze.
Hello, Born to Learn Readers,
Technical Evangelist Keith Mayer and I are doing a series on TechNet Radio titled "Hyper-V from a VMware Admin’s Perspective." In this latest episode, we're walking you through the finer points of virtual machine mobility with Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
For those Administrators that work with virtual infrastructure on a daily basis, the live movement of virtual machines is often one of the more overlooked functions of a hypervisor, yet it serves such an important purpose in IT today. VM mobility is what allows us to get our work done behind the scenes when making dramatic changes to physical infrastructure. It’s a key piece needed to balance workloads dynamically across several hosts in a cluster, and it provides IT pros the ability to move virtual machines from dev/test to production with the click of a button. I would argue that this feature alone has prevented countless hours of planned production downtime due to needed hardware maintenance or patching. The IT pro of today can simply Live Migrate the production workload to different hardware while the aforementioned maintenance is completed. Seems like magic really. If I could go back and tell my “Windows 98/95 desktop administrating former self” about what was to come, I’d be met with blank stares and disbelief. Even with that said, Microsoft has now stepped things up a notch.
VMware admins are all very familiar with vMotion and storage vMotion. In this Podcast we’ll see how Microsoft has not only met VMware on equal footing, but has provided additional functionality. We’ll be covering all the various movement scenarios such as movement between clusters and shared-nothing live migrations. Also, it’s not enough to just move a VM. The quicker we can do it, the quicker we can complete the task at hand, and move onto more pressing matters. Compressed Live Migrations and Live Migration over SMB-Direct (RDMA) is enabling lightning fast VM movement from host to host. The idea of live migrating entire farms in a matter of seconds is starting to become a reality.
Also, we’ll be covering the use of multiple NICs and the built in Windows Server 2012 R2 NIC teaming features and how they apply to Live Migrations. Hope you enjoy this show. Feel free to contact me or Keith should you have any questions.
And if this episode alone is not enough to satiate your need for more Hyper-V, Microsoft Learning is putting on a two-day Jump Start on Windows Server virtualization, centered around Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Microsoft will even provide attendees with a FREE exam voucher (while supplies last) for exam 70-409, to earn your Microsoft Certified Virtualization Specialist title. There is no better time to get trained and prove your expertise in virtualization!
Keep on learning and thanks for watching.
Welcome to November already. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting colder and darker and you may be hunkering down to study for more Microsoft certifications.
Since we just finished Halloween in the U.S., I was reminded of the old verse from Sir Walter Scott:
Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive…
(Or is that Shakespeare? Feel free to discuss.)
That verse particularly applies to brain dumps as they deceive the public. I know I’ve talked about brain dumps before. But another aspect of their insidious nature is that some of them not only provide exam content, but they actively mislead someone into thinking they are getting our exam content when it’s not our content at all. Often the “exam material” they sell isn’t remotely related to the exam. They feed the unsuspecting purchaser a bunch of garbage.
We see many comments from examinees who failed our exams and want to know why, because they purchased “exam prep” material from braindumpX. When we investigate that site or source, we find out that their content is not ours or is completely wrong. A customer of the site wouldn’t know that, of course. (Yet another good reason not to use a brain dump.) They think they just paid for a Microsoft exam and got burned.
While that’s a good lesson for the purchaser in not skirting around legitimate study sources and gaining the skills in the first place, I still don’t like how these sites affect people. Even though they are using brain dumps, which violates our exam agreement, it’s unfortunate because they erroneously think Microsoft’s exam content is available. I often tell people not to assume that brain dump sites have our content; a lot of the time, they don’t. Some of them take your money first and never even provide any exam material, real or not. These are scam enterprises. They base their business on that deception.
And it’s also unfortunate because the perception is that Microsoft’s exam content is “all over the place” when really, it is not. But there’s no way to determine that unless a purchase leaves you empty-handed. Of course, the free marketplace may dictate that the more people who get burned by these sites, the faster they will go out of business. However, that's not a strategy for braindump management I want to rely on.
That’s why we still work hard to take these sites down; why we have updated our exams to thwart piracy by continuing to innovate around the design and delivery of our exam content and questions. Trust us—we’re doing everything we can to stop pirates, but much of it is invisible to candidates.
As we get closer to the updates on the Windows Store Apps exams to address features in Visual Studio 2013 and Windows 8.1, we wanted to make you aware of two details:
1. There has been an modification in the exam release schedule:
2. Individuals focusing on Windows Store App Development using C# now have the opportunity to register for refresh Jump Start events (or review the recordings made available 2-3 weeks after the live sessions):
Details on all exam updates are now available for review in the Skills Measured section of each Exam Detail web page:
Updated Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC) will be available in January 2014.
Whether you have started on the path to earning your certification or are just about to begin, we recommend that you continue moving forward. For developer certifications on Windows 8 application development with Visual Studio 2012, the exams you take now will still count towards your certification.
To learn about new product features covered in the revised HTML5 exams, we recommend that students review the Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Refresh Jump Start.
In February 2014, recertification options will be made available for:
Read the FAQ on the Visual Studio Certification page to find out more.
Hi! I’m Victoria. Some of you may know me as the marketing manager for the Microsoft Technology Associate certifications. Along with helping people earn their first technical certification, I wanted to tell you about some of the other things I work on. My passion and job is to help people explore options or enhance their careers using technology. Happily, the Microsoft resources and opportunities at our disposal just keep getting better. Whether I’m talking to a student or a mid-career professional looking to branch out into a field with more potential and job security, I can provide them with information, show them free and fee training resources, and point them to a learning roadmap to help them get started. As a starting point, check out our new Aspiring Technologist page for those interested in exploring a change or starting a new career in technology.
And there’s one more thing I want to share with you: I want to remind everyone how critical it is to be aware of data security across the IT industry. And, along with that awareness, is the need for more skilled security professionals. Information Security is much more than a buzz phrase. For businesses to stay compliant and competitive, data security has got to be “top of mind” for everyone from the CXO and Data Analysts to Finance and Marketing. Is our workforce prepared for the security challenges in front of us?
My goal is to make sure that those just entering the technology workforce understand the importance and fundamentals of data security and that those of us who may have been in the industry for a while don’t forget how important it is. I found this article to be an eye-opener to the challenges and skills gap when it comes to data security.
“Constantly evolving cyber threats require the engagement of all of us – from government and law enforcement, to the private sector and the public. It makes sense when you realize that cyber crime now totals $100 billion – a number expected to increase in the years ahead.”
Contact me if I can be of help to you. Check out our new Aspiring Technologist page, and don’t forget to think about data security!
Happy Halloween! The ACE Chronicles takes you behind the scenes to see what life is like on Halloween in the hallowed halls of Microsoft Learning Experiences. Find out what Super Sigma and Psychomagician learned about how Microsoft goes a little nuts on Halloween!
Melissa Bathum and I just spent most of the day at the production studio where we will be bringing Microsoft Insights to you LIVE on October 29, 2013. We're very excited to see all the pieces of the event plan come together, so I wanted to sit down and write a quick note to tell you more. For those blog readers who don't know her yet, Melissa is our Events Manager. Many of you have met her at Certification Central during events such as TechEd. Although our team cannot be at every conference to meet everyone, we want to hear from you and help answer your questions about training, certifications jobs and career development more often. That's why online events such as Insights are becoming more important for you and for us.
During our last online event "Certified Career Day" in March, we discussed the opportunities cloud technologies are creating, and the gaps employers are seeing in training and experience. This time, during Insights 2013, we are zooming in tighter on these topics. We are extending that conversation into specific technology and career paths, the earning and growth potentials for each path, and how the picture differs from one region of the world to another. To put it more frankly: why are so many tech jobs left unfilled? How much do they pay? What does someone, whether experienced or new to technology, need to do to acquire the most in-demand knowledge and skills? What about the age-old debate over college degrees vs. technical training?
Microsoft Insights will not be one of those webcasts that you just log in and sort of watch on your second (or third) monitor while working away. We have assembled a team to answer your questions in real time. Melissa and I will personally be watching your comments and getting them to the panelists for response and discussions. You can either interact with other attendees or our team within the virtual event platform, or talk to us via Twitter (follow @MSLearning). We will use the hashtag #MSInsights13.
Here's the day at a glance (all times PDT, GMT-7) so you can plan to tune in:
9:00am-10:00am PDTOur panel of experts (check them out) will reveal research data and share their perspectives on technology employment and earning trends.
10:10am-12:00pm PDTGet the story directly from those who have been working, learning and finding success. If you're a developer or need to hire one, you won't want to miss the interview with Jeremy Foster (Technical Evangelist | @codefoster) and Chris Gardner (Senior Software Engineer | @freestylecoder)!
Bonus: If you join us LIVE on the 29th, you'll be entered to win a certification exam pack, valued at US$450. There's still time so register now! See you on the 29th!
(Microsoft Insights event sweepstakes rules)
To help students stay current with upcoming releases of Visual Studio 2013 and Windows 8.1, several Windows Store Apps exams will be updated on November 18, 2013.
Details on the exam updates are now available for review in the Skills Measured section of each Exam Detail web page:
To learn about new product features covered in the revised HTML5 exams, we recommend that students review the Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Refresh Jump Start. Individuals focusing on Windows Store app development using C# will still find the introduction module of this Jump Start relevant, while a C#-specific refresh Jump Start is planned by the end of the calendar year.
Some of you may remember that in February I asked you to complete a survey to provide feedback on some ideas that I had for improving the score reports. Some of you may also be wondering whatever happened with your feedback... well, much of your feedback was mixed with no particular idea standing out as the "right" direction to head with the score reports. As a result, I went back to the drawing board, did more benchmarking with how other certification programs were reporting results, worked closely with our tools team to determine what was possible in our channel, refined my ideas, held more focus groups, and finally landed on what I think will best address much of what you'd like to see in score reports based on comments that you provided when completing that survey in February.
After all this time, I'm super excited to announce that I have a prototype of the new and improved score reports ready to go, and they are currently being pilot tested on exams 410, 411, and 412 with 480 soon to follow!! If you want to see it, go take one of those exams! (I know... shameless plug!). Here are the key improvements/changes:
As you can see, the fail score report was changed more substantially than the passing score report because candidates want more feedback on their performance so that they can better prepare to retake the exam. My impression from the survey results and focus groups is that most candidates who pass rarely look at the score report (they may read it the first time they pass) and don't use it for skill growth. Failing candidates do, though.
These score reports are currently being pilot tested on exams 410, 411, and 412 with 480 soon to follow. If you take one of these exams in the next few months, please let me know what you think of the new score reports (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or respond to this blog). If all goes well, we will start rolling out the new reports in January as we publish new exams.
For your viewing pleasure, an example of a failing score report:
And, an example of the passing score report:
Chances are you’ve heard about Microsoft Insights—our free online event taking place October 29th (9 A.M. Pacific Time). You won’t want to miss this awesome opportunity to hone your professional goals! Whether you’re seeking to advance your skills or launching a career in technology, insider tips on emerging opportunities in technology fields and available training and resources will leave you better prepared to succeed. Our panel of industry experts will help you answer these questions:
Another GREAT reason to attend—By signing up and attending, you’ll be automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win a Certification exam pack for your choice of MCSA: Windows Server 2012; MCSA: SQL Server 2012; MCSA: Windows 8; or any MCSD Certification. Check out the rules for more details.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for Microsoft Insights 2013 today!
Heads up, IT Pros! If you are still kicking around the idea of upgrading your certification to Windows Server 2012, it's time to get it done. Why now? Because you can "buy 2, get 1 free" on exams, and get free retakes just in case! Here are the details:
What can I upgrade to?There are the three upgrade paths eligible for this offer. Pick one! (No substitution on exams.)
You get three exams for the price of two, and you get one free retake on each exam in the pack if you fail.
You have to buy this upgrade offer by May 31, 2014. You also need to finish using all the vouchers and free retakes by December 31, 2014.
What if I already took some of the exams in these discount packs?
Check out the online study group for Windows Server. There are Microsoft Certified Trainers and your fellow IT Pros there to help and provide support.
Go ahead. Buy the upgrade pack now. There won't be a better offer any time soon.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted to the blog to ask for design feedback on the review screen of the exams. I received some helpful gems in the comments and I thank those of you who took the time to review the screenshots and offer suggestions and observations!
Today, I am posting a link to a survey to collect feedback on the look and feel of the exam questions, including the mark for review and comment features. The survey should take about ten minutes to complete. If you are interested in the future design of the exam questions, please complete the survey by following this link:
Thanks, as always, for your interest!
Are you attending PASS Summit this year? We are bringing Certification Central to you in Charlotte, North Carolina!
You already know that Microsoft training and certification help keep your skills relevant, applicable and competitive. With Certification Central onsite at PASS Summit 2013, you'll have the chance to learn, practice, and talk one-on-one with technical training experts on a variety of technologies. Ready to get certified? All MCP (070) exams will be offered to summit attendees at 50% off!
Take advantage of this great opportunity to fulfill your certification requirements, at just US$75 per exam! The exam discount offer is only available to registered PASS Summit 2013 attendees. Seats are limited, so reserve your spot by registering via PASS Summit website soon!
If you have been reading my blogs you know that at the end of each one I give an alias through which people can contact us with questions, tips, and concerns regarding security. (Hint: it’s email@example.com.) Since I can’t be at every testing center or at every training session, I do appreciate when people alert us to security concerns, brain dumps, proxy testing, fraud, and the like. This alias is monitored by me and my colleagues; rest assured your emails do not end up in a black hole. We then work with our various associates—test centers, legal team, exam development team, and customer service—to investigate the allegation further.
Please know that we take all suspected piracy leads seriously and initiate actions as appropriate. All allegations are thoroughly investigated before we take any action necessary to put a stop to any fraudulent practices. These investigative efforts can be complex and take time, so even though we work to get these matters resolved as quickly as possible, rarely is there the instant satisfaction of seeing results immediately.
If you’ve sent in a tip, and you never hear back about what happened next, it may seem like you’re being ignored. As a policy, Microsoft does not comment on the details of our investigations. Not only would it be hard for us to follow up with everyone who gives us a tip, there are many legal and practical reasons why we don’t elaborate.
It’s always a double-edged sword when it comes to commenting on investigations; on one hand, it would be nice to let everyone know about progress we made. On the other, to do so might undermine what we do and how we do it. So even though there are times when I personally would love to write about a victory, or to respond to an impassioned tipster, I have to maintain silence so that I don’t thwart any investigation or action in progress.
Please join me on October 29, 2013 for Microsoft Insights—the first in a series of live online events designed to help inspire and guide your technology skills advancement, whether you're just starting out or striving for new opportunities. Learn about emerging opportunities in technology fields, get insights on the wealth of training and resources available to help you get ahead of the pack, and get help deciding if certification is right for you.
Our panel of experts will share their views on technology training and careers, covering:
Our esteemed panelists include:
Who should attend:
Get more details and sign up today!
On Twitter? Tell your friends about this by clicking http://clicktotweet.com/L7RVN . See you online soon!
A few weeks ago, we asked what questions you had about the upcoming changes to Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, and System Center 2012 R2. Psychomagician and Super Sigma thought that the best way to share the answers would be to ask the person who “owns” these decisions within Microsoft Learning Experiences. Let’s meet Erika Cravens as she shares the answers to your burning questions:
You had a lot of questions, so this video is crammed with lots of information, tips, and things to think about as you prepare to earn these certifications or take the next step in the path toward certification.
Want answers? Watch the video today!
Did we miss something that you want to know? There’s still time to get your questions answered!
Do you remember when I asked you what questions you have about how the upcoming changes related to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 releases will impact exams, associated courseware, and books? We got a great list of questions, and Super Sigma and Psychomagician are actively investigating them (stay tuned!). During this investigation, Psychomagician reached out to MS Press to find out the plan for updating books. During that investigation, Anne Hamilton, who leads this team, asked that I post the following blog on her behalf. Here's the answer to "When and how will books be updated to reflect the changes that are coming?"...
I’m Anne Hamilton, the publisher for Microsoft Press. I wanted to share our certification title plans to help you prepare for your exams.
First off, in the Windows Server 2012 R2 MCSA track, we are planning to have the following titles available within 30 days of the exam. Highlighted titles are currently available for Windows Server 2012, and will be updated for R2. The remaining titles will be new for R2.
This slightly longer Exam Ref will be available about a month later.
For the Windows 8.1 MCSA track, we are planning to have the following titles available within 30 days of the exam. Highlighted titles are currently available for Windows 8, and will be updated for Windows 8.1. The remaining titles will be new for Windows 8.1.
For the Windows Server 2012 R2 MCSE track, we are planning to have the following titles available within 60 days of the exam:
Several of these titles are yet to be announced, but will show up here shortly. Check back every few weeks as the titles are added, and once there, you can pre-order them. Stay tuned for more info!
If you’ve used a Training Guide or an Exam Ref to study for an exam, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the series. Let us know what you think.
I am very EXCITED to announce that we will beginning this month, subject matter experts (SMEs) who act as lead item writer or participate in alpha review or item selection/standard setting meetings will receive credit for the exam, meaning they will no longer be required to take the exam!! Can I hear a "WOOT!" from everyone!!!
Some important notes on eligibility for this awesome benefit:
Here's what I think are likely to be the most frequently asked questions... Let me know what other questions you have. In the meantime, add yourself to the SME database to increase the probability that you will be asked to participate in one of these exam development sessions!
Q: Who is eligible for exam credit through this process?
A: Currently, only the lead item writer, alpha SMEs, and item selection/standard setting SMEs are eligible. We are exploring other opportunities that might qualify, but only those SMEs who have seen all or most of the items on the exam are eligible because they have distinct advantage over other candidates.
Q: Does this apply all Microsoft certification programs?
A: Yes. SMEs who act as the lead item writer and/or participate in alpha or item selection/standard setting process for MTA, MBS, MOS, and MCSA/E/D exams are eligible.
Q: What must I do to earn this credit?
A: You must have a MCID and participate as the lead item writer and/or participate in alpha or item selection/standard setting process for new exam content development, what Microsoft considers v100. This benefit does not apply to the development of recertification or upgrade exams. If you are removed from an eligible exam development activity or leave prior to completing it, you will not be eligible for this benefit.
Q: Does this apply to new content that is developed to sustain an exam?
A: No. This only applies to the development of new exams because we expect that our content development vendors will hire certified SMEs to assist with the development of content associated with the sustainment of an exam.
Q: How will this be reflected on my transcript?
A: Exactly as all other exams that you have taken and passed appear on your transcript. Note that exams earned in this way will ONLY appear on your Microsoft transcript. They will NOT appear on the exam delivery provider’s transcript.
Q: When will this appear on my transcript?
A: Microsoft certification management database will be updated monthly to reflect this credit. The request will be submitted on the first business day of the month and will appear within 5 business days on your transcript.
Q: What should I do if I believe I should have received credit for an exam, but it doesn’t appear on my transcript?
A: Contact your regional service center.
Q: What date will be associated with this exam on my transcript?
A: The date that the credit is awarded. For some exams, this may be the date that drives your recertification requirement, so pay particular attention to this date if you want to maintain any associated certifications.
Q: Will I earn the associated certification if this is the last exam that I must pass to meet the certification requirements?
A: Yes as long as you have met all the certification requirements, the credit earned through this process applies as if you actually took and passed the exam.
Microsoft Learning Experiences is in the process of updating the MCSD: Windows Store Apps exams to reflect the upcoming release of Windows 8.1. We are also creating the recertification exams for these two credentials:
Would you like to have a voice in what we assess on these updated exams as well as the recertification exam? How many questions should we include on these exams to measure each of these skills? Recertification is a big deal, and if you are on the path to earning one of these certifications or have earned one and need recertify, here's your chance to be sure we are measuring the right skills in the right ways to ensure continued competency! We also need your help ensuring that we are assessing the skills initially in the right proportions, too. You can help us by completing any one or more of the online surveys by Thursday, September 19th.
481 and 482: http://microsoftlearning.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bJEWbxflXNL29ZX
If you develop using C#, please complete these surveys:
Your voice matters! Complete one or more of these surveys today to ensure the ongoing validity of your certification!
Note: If you are viewing the survey in Internet Explorer 9, you’ll need to switch to Compatibility Mode for the survey to function properly.
In light of the upcoming releases of Visual Studio 2013 and Windows 8.1, you may be wondering how the updates will affect the corresponding MCSD: Windows Store Apps certifications.
Here are a few things you can count on:
Whether you have started on the path to earning your MCSD certification or are just about to begin, we recommend that you continue moving forward. For developer certifications on Windows 8 application development with Visual Studio 2012, the exams you take now will still count towards your certification.
As the new technology updates become available, you will see a variety of training made available through Microsoft Learning Partner offerings, searchable here. These resources may include First Look clinics, hands-on labs, and courses using Microsoft Official Course content. In addition, many training resources will be available to you directly through Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). The following MVA courses geared towards exam preparation are available now:
For the latest information on upcoming changes to the certifications and related exams, please review our Visual Studio FAQ.