Seriously--Microsoft Certificationist!

Krista Wall (Microsoft)

The joke's on me
On April 1st, I proposed an idea for recognizing folks who earn Pro-level certifications on multiple versions of more than one technology. And I was serious. Well, at least I was seriously considering the idea. I guess the joke is on me, because posting on April Fool's Day sort of backfired.

Why did I post a real idea on April Fool's Day that I wanted to get real feedback on? Great question. I didn't want to post it on a regular day--because honestly, I'm not totally committed to the idea myself, and didn't want this to be a case of "why did you even ask us if you weren't going to do it?" In retrospect, I wish I'd posted on a different day.

Some specifics
Andrew Bettany suggested that I repost later to show that I was serious. So here's the elevator pitch:

What do you think?
I really do want your feedback on the idea described above, and I really do want you to vote in this poll on the forums. I need clear
 support from the community for the idea in order to move forward with figuring out how to make it happen.

Hate the idea? Well, you should still vote in the poll. Have some suggestions for how to make this idea better? Bring 'em on in the comments. In Atlanta for TechEd? I'd love to hear your suggestions in person. You can find me in the Microsoft Learning booth in the Expo Hall.

  • What we would call it: "Microsoft Certificationist" or "Microsoft Certification Guru" or something of that nature--feel free to suggest other names on the forum post.
  • Who would be eligible: Those who earn at least four Professional level certifications or higher (i.e., any combination of MCPDs, MCITPs, and Masters). MCTS shouldn't count for this, in my opinion. Would MCSE count? Maybe--you tell me on the forums. I say at least four, because I'm looking to recognize folks who have earned Pro-level certifications on multiple versions of more than one technology. For example, a .NET developer who earned an MCPD: Web Developer and MCPD: Windows Developer on both .NET 3.5 and .NET 4.0, or maybe someone who earned three MCITPs and an MCSE.
  • Where you would see it: transcript; virtual business cards; printable certificate; other?
  • What it would be worth to you: Microsoft would be formally recognizing your long-term commitment to keep up with the latest version and to grow your skills to span multiple technologies over the course of your career.
  • Why I think you'd want it: I know there are a bunch of you out there who would already qualify. (Think of it! Your name in lights!) For those of you who don't, it would give you something to strive for.
  • Anonymous
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    Hi Krista!

    Funny you should choose to repost this today, I did not see the original.

    Saturday I blogged about wondering if there is any value in Microsoft Certifications (in SharePoint specifically).

    I like your idea on the top of it, except for the fact that many times a Certification doesn't mean anything more than a person has some academic knowledge of a Microsoft Technology. It doesn't mean they have a clue how to implement or use it.

    What's worse is that there are sites out there devoted to giving the people the questions on the tests, so if a person wanted to be a "Microsoft Certification Guru" all they have to do is spend a couple of days memorizing the questions on the tests and then passing them without knowing a THING about the technologies.  This would quickly cheapen any value having such a title would bring.

    I would LOVE to find a way to stop these posers from getting certified and bring some meaning to something like this... it would be TREMENDOUS to those of us looking to hire talented people.  


  • Anonymous
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    Great idea. Perhaps it could be named Microsoft Certified Paper Tiger.

  • Anonymous
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    Cool Idea. I would definitely like to have such a title. Holding MCITP Database Developer (2005 and 2008), MCITP Database Administrator (2005 and 2008), MCITP Server Administrator, MCITP Enterprise Administrator, MCSE:Security, MCSE:Messaging and MCT. Yes, I do have a life outside the Microsoft World as well :)

  • Glen Software Smith - MCM MCT
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    Hi Krista,

    I have problems with the names Certificationist or Certification guru, it seems to give the impression that one is a collector rather than that one has a broad area of expertise. I already edit the Certifications I have when applying for a project, and just keep the relevant ones in. If you could find a way to emphasize broad expertise "multi area specialist"? fine, otherwise please give us an opt out so that we do not have something we consider negative added to our transcript.

    I also wondered about if it loses focus if it just applies to multiple certs in the similar technologies,, MCPD .Net 3.5 and 4.0 or whether it would have more value when there are different technologies, e.g. Windows and Exchange.

    Keep the good ideas coming though.

  • Richard Karsch
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    there was a microsoft web-page  with the "number of mcp wouldwide" which showed the number of people with each certification. Unfortunately this page is gone and there is no way to see how valuable each cert is.

    Cisco also shows how many people have more then one CCNE.

    PLEASE, aktivate this page again!


  • Lars Helbig
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    This sound like a good idea and could help to bridge the large gap between the almost ubiquitous MCITP and the near unatainable MCM certifications. A way to show that someone is not 'just' a MCITP.

    However your proposed criteria might be a bit too broad. Many who has been in the business long enough will have accumulated enough certificates to qualify even if they never went beyond their one speciality. Some sort of differentiation should be made between those with experience who have been certified on differnt versions of the same product and thos who have a number of different current pro-level certifications.

    If you could get a nice official looking document or logo out of it and/or have it be recognized in the Microsft Partner program that would make such a distinction very valuable and would probably encourage people to get more than a single pro level cert.

  • Wayne Hoggett
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    What we would call it:

    No ideas sorry.

    Who would be eligible:

    Those who earn at least three Professional level certifications or higher, no MCSE, the 4 must be the latest certification version given say 6-12 months to upgrade, you lose the title when you lose a current version, and the certificate has a start and end date if it has expired.

    Where you would see it:

    Transcript, certificate, special webpage or website

  • Anonymous
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    What is the point of commenting and filling your polls? You do not listen to your customers complains and ideas, you have probably already made decisions about it and will implement it in 3 weeks from now.

    Maybe you should start from FIXING issues reported here and don't implement new mess with too complicated cert system? Maybe you should fulfill some promises you have made here months and YEARS ago!

    What is the point of new worthless paper (oh I forgot your certs are not only value free but  paper free as well) .


    The won't show it, There  must have HUGE drop in increasing those numbers. It disappeared some months after introducing MCTS/MCITP crap:)  Guess why they need all those cost cutting, and price increase :)

  • tangurena
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    In my opinion, this would be a bad idea. Achievements are fine for xbox live, but I think they're a bad idea for showing one's qualifications in the work environment.

    If you do make this happen, would there be some way that folks who *do* qualify for it could opt out?

    | |


    I think it is a good idea. The MCM qualification is one we would all love but for most of us the cost is too prohibitive. To have a cert that identifies those professionals who have a broader range of expertise is a good thing.

    I think the name should avoid being jovial, I like the suggestion from Glen “multi area specialist”.

    I also agree with Lars that it should recognise 3 or 4 existing ITPRO qualifications. Maybe have a 2nd Qualification for someone who has been certified in the same area and has kept up to date through let’s say 3 generations of a software product.


  • drsutton
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    I like the idea

    I agree there is a huge gap between Pro and MASTER

    the multiarea specialist leans back toward TS

    maybe a bit closer is Microsoft Certified multi area pro -

    but  MCMAP??? sounds like Mickey D's sandwich...anyway

    It sounds like a good idea to showcase those who have gone further and certified more over a longer period of time

  • Claymoore
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    I was thinking Microsoft Solution Expert, but the initials are too close to MCSE.  Microsoft Solution Strategist perhaps?  Time to break out the thesarus.  MS already uses Specialist, Professional, Master, and Architect in other titles so you should use something else to avoid confusion.  I would hesitate to use 'Certification' in the title as that may imply you are an expert at passing certification exams, and not an expert in combining multiple technologies or versions into a single solution.  (Whether that is true or not is another debate entirely.)

    For qualification, I think you should have the option of either going 3 deep in a specific technology or 3 wide in different technologies.

    You could qualify with professional level certification in 3 different versions of the same product.  For example, you would qualify if you had an MCSE: Messaging 2003, an MCITP: EMA 2007 and EMA 2010.  This track demonstrates depth in a product and rewards someone for their their deep experience with a product as well as maintaining their certifications.    I think the MCSE, MCDBA or MCSD should only count towards the '3 deep' qualification.  The intent is to reward people for maintaining their certifications, so you should require at least one current Pro cert or only count one previous (non-MCITP) cert to prevent all the old NT4/2000/2003 MCSEs from automatically earning the new title.

    Alternatively, earning 3 Pro certifications from different product groups would also qualify.  For example, you could have an MCITP Enterprise Administrator (or SA), Virtualization Administrator, and Enterprise Desktop Administrator (or EDST).  This rewards people with a broad base of experience for maintaining their certifications .  Since the MCITP Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator both focus on Server 2008, I think they should only count as one technology in the '3 wide' example.  The same goes for multiple MCITPs in Exchange or Desktop.

  • Wayne Hoggett
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    Claymoore - Sounds good!

  • Anonymous
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    What do you think about "Microsoft Certified Infrastructure Expert", which is the combination of MCITP:SA,MCITP:EA,MCITP:EVA,MCITP:EDA and MCTS:SCOM2007 or MCTS:SCCM2007 ?

    Then you have a certification which is broad and has a function, but it is also payable to do. I also think that there is a market for such certification.

  • Anonymous
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    I also do have some ideas about certifications:

    1) I like "Microsoft Certified Infrastructure Expert" title, suits well.

    2) IT would be great to have some PRO-level certs for System Center Family.

    3) it WOULD be great to have advanced level cert for cloud computing technologies: MCITP VA, Ething like thatA, and SCVMM 2012 + SCOM 2012... Some like that.

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