Showing posts with label mcse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mcse. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

55 Microsoft exams and 29 certifications planned for retirement

Massive changes are inbound as Microsoft announce the latest plan for exam retirements amid a raft of new technology launches.

Following the arrival of new technologies including SharePoint 2016, SQL Server 2016 and the imminent arrival of Windows Server 2016, we are beginning to see the first of the new exams and aligned certifications emerge. 


This move sparks the end for exams and certifications aligned to technologies now rendered legacy. The release of so many new platforms sees a huge number of exams and associated certifications on the chopping block. 

Let’s take a closer look at those planned changes arriving in the coming months which could affect you.


Windows exams

With the arrival of a second Windows 10 exam, 70-698: Installing and Configuring Windows 10, there now exists a pure route to MCSA: Windows 10. This removes the exitising Windows 8 requirement finalises the retirement of exams 70-687 and 70-688.

Despite being planned for July 31, 2016, the exams have been given a retirement extension as interest lingers for the Window 8 platform among the enterprise.


Retiring on December 31, 2016
70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows 8

Windows Server exams

We recently saw Windows Server 2016 move to Technical Preview 5 and the arrival of three MOCs aligned to MCSA: Windows Server 2016.


With Windows Server 2008 now two versions out of date and 8 years old, its unsuprising we see the exams aligned to the technology marked for retirement. 

Extended retirement date to December 31, 2016
98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

Retiring on July 31, 2017
70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring

70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring

70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows Server 2008

SharePoint exams

Not much movememnt on the SharePoint front, especially considering the arrival of SharePoint 2016. The planned retirement for SharePoint 2010 MCTS and MCITP exams announced in January 2016 is going ahead as planned. 

Interestingly, we see the new inlcusion of a planned retirement for the MCSD: SharePoint Applications recertification exam. Are Microsoft removing the need for recertification or retiring the certification itself? Time will tell.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications
70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-517: Recertification for MCSD: SharePoint Applications

Certifications retiring:
MCTS / MCITP SharePoint 2010 Configuring / Administrator
MCTS / MCPD SharePoint 2010 Developer

SQL Server exams

The arrival of SQL Server 2016 has made zero changes to planned retirements of SQL server certification upgrade exams from SQL Server 2008. Suprising, considerinf we have seen the first peak of three new MCSA SQL Server 2016 certifications:

MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Administration
MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Database Development
MCSA: SQL Server 2016 - Business Intelligence Development

Announced in January 2016, we remain on course for the July 31, 2016 retirment dates. 

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-432: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
70-448: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
70-457: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2

Certifications retiring:
MCITP Database Administrator - SQL Server 2008
MCITP Business Intelligence Developer - SQL Server 2008
Upgrade to MCSA SQL Server

Visual Studio and .NET exams

There is big movement in the Visual Studio and .NET space. A whole raft of new plans for exam retirements have emerged. Again we see the inclusion of exams aligned to recertification marked for retirement. This adds weight to the possiblility of Microsoft removing recertification requirments across the board.

We also see the addition of new retirements affecting the Universal Windows Platform, Azure and SharePoint 2013. With a vast range of certifications affected.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
98-379: Software Testing Fundamentals

Retiring on September 30, 2016
70-481: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 and JavaScript
70-482: Advanced Windows Store App Development Using HTML5 and JavaScript
70-484: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-485: Advanced Windows Store App Development Using C#
70-490: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
70-491: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-492: Upgrade Your MCPD: Web Developer 4 to MCSD: Web Applications
70-499: Recertification for MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management

Retiring on March 31, 2017
70-354: Universal Windows Platform – App Architecture and UX/UI
70-355: Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns
70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
70-489: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions

Certifications affected/retiring:
MCSD: Universal Windows Platform 
MCSD: SharePoint 2013 Applications 
MCSD: Web Applications
MTA Software Testing Fundamentals
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications
MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Data Access


Microsoft Dynamics exams

Big changes are abound in the Microsoft Dynamics space as well. New versions of Dynamics CRM and AX have seen exam retirements planned across the board for the Dynamics AX 2012 and Dynamics CRM 2013 platforms. 

This will impact a significant number of Specialist certifications aligned to the Dynamics platforms. All are expected late 2016/early 2017.

Exams retiring on December 31, 2016
MB2-700: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications
MB2-701: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
MB2-702: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment
MB2-703: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration
MB5-705: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations
MB6-700: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Project
MB6-702: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials
MB6-703: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade and Logistics
MB6-704: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Development Introduction
MB6-884: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Lean Manufacturing
MB6-885: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector
MB6-886: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Process Manufacturing Production and Logistics
MB6-889: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Service Management

Exams retiring on March 31, 2017
MB6-701: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Retail
MB6-705: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Installation and Configuration

Certifications retiring:
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications
Specialist: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customisation and Configuration
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Project
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Retail
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade and Logistics
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Development Introduction
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 Installation and Configuration
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Lean Manufacturing
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Process Manufacturing Production and Logistics
Specialist: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Service Management
Specialist: Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations

Other exams

Retiring on September 30, 2016
70-673: TS: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management (SAM)

Retiring on January 31, 2017
74-697: OEM Preinstallation

Friday, 27 March 2015

Better Business Cases, VMware VCP6-DT & more – Firebrand’s new courses


By Sarah Morgan


We are excited to announce the addition of five new accelerated courses to the Firebrand portfolio.

You can now experience Firebrand’s accelerated and distraction free, all-inclusive training on these brand new courses:


VMware® Mirage [V5.0] and Horizon with View [V6.0]: Fast Track - Only 5 Days

Get the latest version of the massively popular VCP5-DT on this five day course you’ll get your VMware Certified Professional 6 – Desktop (VCP6-DT) certification. Learn how to install, configure and manage VMware Horizon and get access to 24-hour labs and the same hardware you’d find in a real data centre.

Find out how to get VCP6-DT certified in just five days on this official all-inclusive VMware course.


Microsoft MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps - Only 6 Days

This brand new accelerated six day course is 50% faster than traditional training! Get MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps certified and you’ll learn the skills you need to manage devices in a modern bring-your-own-device BYOD enterprise.

Firebrand is also a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner - that means you'll get access to Microsoft Official Curriculum. Find out why this Microsoft MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps course is 50% faster than traditional training now.


Better Business Cases: Foundation and Practitioner - Only 3 Days

Learn how to use The Five Case Model, the UK Government’s best practice approach to planning public sector spending proposals. This model is recommended by the HM Treasury for use in Government departments and Government bodies.

Production of business cases is a mandatory part of planning a public sector spending proposal. If you’re responsible for spending public money, this certification that cannot be overlooked.

Learn how to develop an effective business case on this accelerated 3 day course.


Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Trade & Logistics / Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Financials

Get training in line with the newest version of Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 R3 on these courses:


On these accelerated Microsoft Dynamics AX courses, you’ll study the Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) and get access to exclusive Firebrand R3 material. You'll also sit your exam onsite at the end of your course.


Over 180 courses and counting

Firebrand is committed to developing accelerated courses in line with new technology. To keep up to date with our newest and most cutting edge accelerated courses, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and LinkedIn.

Firebrand’s portfolio now exceeds 180 accelerated courses from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, (ISC)2 and CompTIA.

Find out how you can get certified at twice the speed and take a look at our full range of accelerated training.


About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 9 January 2015

How to retake your Microsoft exams for free


By Sarah Morgan


Want to become a Microsoft certified professional or master a new Microsoft technology in 2015? Second chances don’t come around every, day but with Second Shot you can now get a free retake for that tricky Microsoft exam.


How to get your free exam retake


Take any MCP exam between 5 January 2015 - 31 May 2015 and if you don’t pass you’ll get a free retake.

Failing your first attempt isn’t fun and it’s even worse when you have to shell out £99 for a retake. Luckily for IT professionals out there who want to get Microsoft certified in 2015, over the next five months, your second attempt will be free.



Plus, Microsoft Second Shot is redeemable for every different exam you take.

To schedule your retake, sign in with your Microsoft account, select your exam from this list and select ‘Schedule now for free.’


Frequently asked questions


Q. Which exams qualify for Second Shot? 

A. Second shot applies to every exam in the MCSA, MCSE, MCSD, Microsoft Specialist and Microsoft Dynamics courses.

However, it does not apply to the MTA and MOS exams as these do not qualify you for the MCP certification. 


Q. How many exams can I take with the offer?

A. You’ll get one free retake for every exam that you do not pass first time. However, the retake must be the same exam as the one you didn’t pass.


Q. Will my free retake expire?

The Second Shot offer is only valid for 30 days from the date of your first exam.


Q. I’m a government employee, can I participate?

A. Due to government gift and ethics laws, government employees (including military and public education employees) are not eligible to participate.


Q. Can I schedule my first attempt and retake at the same time? 

A. No, you will not be able to register for your exam retake until you have taken (and failed) the initial exam.


Q. I missed my initial exam appointment. Can I use Second Shot to schedule a new appointment free of charge?

A. Nope. The free retake offer will only be useable if you do not pass your initial exam (you must attend the exam).

However, if you provide 24 hours notice you will be able to reschedule your first exam. The same applies to your retake (providing your newly scheduled exam is taken prior to Second Shot’s 30 day expiration).


Q. Can I combine Second Shot with other offers?

A. Yes, Second Shot can be combined with other Microsoft offers. Find out more about Microsoft’s current IT training and certification offers here. Or find out more about software assurance training vouchers here.

You can also combine Second Shot with Firebrand offers.


Q. I’m a student eligible for academic exam pricing. Does this offer apply to me too?

A. Yes.


Q. Can I redeem Second Shot for cash or credits?

A. No.


Q. Can I redeem my Second Shot in a different region to the one where I purchased the initial exam?

A. No, Second Shot exams can only be retaken in the same region they were initially purchased.


Related Articles:

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Are you affected by the 31 Microsoft exams retiring in 2015?


Image courtesy of Graeme Weatherston at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Don't get caught out by the numerous Microsoft exam retirements planned for 2015. There are a colossal 31 exams planned for retirement over the next 12 months.

This inflated list is the knock on from 2014 when 7 exams were given a 12 month stay of execution despite Microsoft planning the retirement of 14 exams on July 31st 2014. These 7 exams will now join 26 additional Microsoft exams which will be phased out in 2015.

Largely affected are the legacy MCTS and MCITP certifications which have been gradually replaced by new MCSA, MCSE and MCSD certifications associated to latest technologies.

So lets take a look at the planned list of withdrawn exams. (The information that follows is subject to change.)


Microsoft Dynamics


With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 announced on the 1st December 2014, it is unsurprising that a series of exams are planned for retirement. The legacy technologies to be affected include 2009, 2010 and 2011 versions of Dynamics.

Microsoft Dynamics exams retiring on December 31, 2014
  • MB3-859: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Financials
  • MB3-860: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Project Series
  • MB3-861: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Installation and Configuration
  • MB3-862: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Inventory and Order Processing
  • MB4-873: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Financials
  • MB4-874: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Installation and Configuration
  • MB5-537: Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System 2.0 Store Operations
  • MB5-538: Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System 2.0 Headquarters
  • MB5-845: Microsoft Dynamics POS 200

Windows


With the replacement MCSA: Windows 8.1 on offer and a new Windows 10 Operating System set for release in 2015, the following Windows 7 exam retirements are to be expected.

Windows 7 exams retiring on January 31, 2015

Windows 7 exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-681: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying
  • 98-349: Windows Operating System Fundamentals

Windows Server


The MCTS Windows Server 2008 R2 certification has long since been replaced by the latest MCSA: Windows Server 2012 and follow on MCSE: Server Infrastructure certs. It was only a matter of time before the virtualiztion exams for Windows Server 2008 took their place in the hall of fame.

Windows Server 2008 R2 exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization

SQL Server


It's about time these SQL Server 2008 exams were kicked to the curb. Exams 70-450 and 70-451 were two of the lucky certifications to be spared in 2014, looks like their days are now numbered. Alternative certifications include the MCSA: SQL Server which leads into MCSE: Data Platform and MCSE: Business Intelligence which are aligned to SQL Server 2012 and 2014.

SQL Server exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • 70-459: Transition Your MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform
  • 70-460: Transition Your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence

Office 365


As Microsoft's cloud powered Office 365 continues to proliferate businesses across the globe, we see the first spate of exam retirements for Office 365. You can already work towards the replacement exams which are included as part of the MCSA: Office 365 credential.

Office 365 exams retiring on December 31, 2014

Office 365 exams retiring on January 31, 2015
  • 74-325: Administering Office 365 for Small Business

Project and Project Server


Back in 2013 we saw the launch of Microsoft Project and Project Server 2013. So as Project Managers adopt the new software or transition from the 2010 version, we wave goodbye to the associated MCTS exams.

Project and Project Server exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-177: TS: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring
  • 70-178: TS: Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2010

Visual Studio


With the introduction of HTML5, Microsoft appear to be diversifying their offering away from .NET as they react to the evolution of the Developer world. Microsoft's entry level developer focused MTA certifications will also see a new lease of life in 2015 as the certs gain increased credibility.

Visual Studio exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-518: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 70-519: PRO: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 98-363: Web Development Fundamentals
  • 98-372: Microsoft .NET Fundamentals
  • 98-374: MTA: Gaming Development Fundamentals

Volume Licensing


Volume Licensing exams retiring on January 31, 2015
  • 70-671: TS: Designing and Providing Volume Licensing Solutions to Small and Medium Organizations
  • 70-672: TS: Designing and Providing Volume Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations


Other technologies


Forefront and BizTalk Server 2010 exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-158: TS: Forefront Identity and Access Management, Configuring
  • 70-595: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010



Author Bio


As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 3 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.


Friday, 26 September 2014

E is for Expert – which MCSE is made for you?


By 


The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification was the crown jewel of Microsoft’s certification portfolio for two decades, most notably during the Windows Server 2003 and XP era. Then came the rise of Microsoft Certified ITProfessional (MCITP). Although the replacement series of certs was popular, the MCITP struggled to gain the traction of MCSE. The old MCSE was a known quantity, it had an industry recognised credibility that the MCITP could never quite match.


In 2012, Microsoft decided it was time to revive the MCSE. The flagship certification was reinvented with a different name - Microsoft Certified SolutionsExpert, which came with some fundamental changes:
  • Microsoft introduced the need for recertification every two or three years 
  • The legacy was MCSE focused purely on individual job roles, whereas the new Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certification focuses on the holders ability to design and build technology solutions. 
As it stands there are currently eight MCSE credentials available:
  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure 
  • MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure 
  • MCSE: Private Cloud 
  • MCSE: Data Platform 
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence 
  • MCSE: Messaging 
  • MCSE: Communication 
  • MCSE: SharePoint 
Do you want to know which one is made for your skills and needs? Read on to find out.


MCSE: Server Infrastructure


What you’ll learn: With the MCSE: Server Infrastructure certification you’ll be skilled to run an efficient and modern data centre. You’ll also be an expert in identity management, systems management, and storage planning, as well as designing and deploying a virtualised environment.

It’s also worth mentioning that this certification is currently the highest level credential you can achieve on Windows Server 2012.

Who’s it for: If you’re looking to work as a computer support specialist and information security analyst, the MCSE: Server Infrastructure is highly recommended for you, as it will significantly improve your employability prospects.

Prerequisites and upgrades: To earn an MCSE a relevant MCSA is required, in this case it is the MCSA: Windows Server 2012. However, you shouldn’t worry if you have an earlier certification like the MCSA: Windows Server 2008 or a relevant MCITP, because there are upgrades available for these certifications:
  • MCITP: Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008 
  • MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008 
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2 
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010 
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010 
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010 
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 
In order to upgrade, you’ll need to sit the following exams:
  • Exam 70-417 - Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012  
  • Exam 70-413 - Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure  
  • Exam 70-414  - Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure 


MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure


What you’ll learn: The MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure credential proves that you know how to design, deploy, manage and maintain a Windows Server 2012 desktop infrastructure in a virtualised environment.

Who’s it for: Are you interested or already working as a desktop support manager or a data and applications manager? Then this is the cert you need.

Prerequisites and upgrades: If you already have the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 you are looking at a much faster process. You’ll ‘only’ need to pass two exams:

  • Exam 70-415 - Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure 
  • Exam 70-416 - Implementing Desktop Application Environments 

Of course there are upgrades available for this certification as well. Upgradeable certs include:

  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010

In order to upgrade from any of the above, you’ll need to pass the following three exams:

  • Exam 70-417 - Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 
  • Exam 70-415 - Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure 
  • Exam 70-416 - Implementing Desktop Application Environments 



MCSE: Private Cloud


What you’ll learn: The MCSE: Private Cloud certification proves your skills in managing and implementing Microsoft private cloud computing technologies. Combined with Windows Server and System Center, you’ll be able to build your Microsoft private cloud to provide flexibility for your IT infrastructure.

Who’s it for: As a MCSE: Private Cloud certified professional you’ll be qualified for jobs such as server administrator, systems programmer and network manager.

Prerequisites and upgrades: To earn your MCSE: Private Cloud, you’ll need to get the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 first. Or you can upgrade from these and take a shorter route:

  • MCSA: Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7

Exams needed to upgrade:

  • Exam 70-417 - Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 
  • Exam 70-246 - Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 
  • Exam 70-247 - Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012


MCSE: Data Platform


What you’ll learn: This cert demonstrates your skills in building and administrating large scale data solutions both on-premises and in cloud environments.

Who’s it for: Database analysts and designers.

Prerequisites and upgrades: This certification requires the MCSA: SQL Server credential prior to attaining the full MCSE: Data Platform. Upgrades are available from MCITP: Database Developer 2008 and MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 via the following path:

  • Exam 70-457 - Transition MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1 
  • Exam 70-458 - Transition MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2 
  • Exam 70-459 - Transition MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform 


MCSE: Business Intelligence


What you’ll learn: The MCSE: Business Intelligence cert will equip you with the skills and techniques needed to design, build and implement a Business Intelligence platform for SQL Server.

Who’s it for: This cert is ideal for professionals pursuing a reporting engineer career.

Prerequisites and upgrades: To earn your MCSE: Business Intelligence credential you’ll first need to get the MCSA: SQL Server certification. Or if you already have the MCITP: Business Intelligence 2008 you can upgrade by passing the following three exams:

  • Exam 70-457 - Transition MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1 
  • Exam 70-458 - Transition MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2 
  • Exam 70-460 - Transition MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence 



MCSE: Messaging


What you’ll learn: With this certification you’ll be able to help your peers to stay connected, access files anytime from anywhere and maintain general messaging security. Learn how to migrate your company to the cloud without trouble, increase productivity and flexibility and improve data security. You’ll also learn to reduce data loss, and improve data security for your organisation.

Who’s it for: The MCSE: Messaging certification is a must have if you’re looking for a position in network and computer systems administration.

Prerequisites and upgrades: To get the MCSE: Messaging cert, first you’ll need to have the MCSA: Windows Server 2012. Plus you can upgrade as well, if you have any of these:

  • MCSA: Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange 2010
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7



MCSE: Communication


What you’ll learn: With the MCSE: Communication cert under your belt you’ll be an expert in creating a consistent, smooth communications experience within your organisation. You’ll know how to configure, manage and maintain Lync, and monitor the state and quality of communications in your network.

Who’s it for: Similarly to the MCSE: Messaging, the MCSE: Communication certification will also qualify you for a position in network and computer systems administration.

Prerequisites and upgrades: It probably won’t strike you as a surprise but the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 is the first certification you’ll have to obtain on the track to your MCSE: Communication cert. Upgrades are available from:

  • MCSA: Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7

You’ll just have to pass these exams:

  • Exam 70-417 - Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 
  • Exam 70-336 - Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 
  • Exam 70-337 - Enterprise Voice & Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 



MCSE: SharePoint


What you’ll learn: The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: SharePoint (MCSE) is a globally recognised standard for IT professionals. With it you’ll boost your expertise in helping your company organise, sync, collaborate and share information across the entire organisation.

Who’s it for: Professionals pursuing a career as a systems or network analyst.

Prerequisites and upgrades: Needless to say MCSA: Windows Server 2012 is a prerequisite and upgrades are available from:

  • MCSA: Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7

You’ll just need to pass:

  • Exam 70-417 - Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 
  • Exam 70-331 - Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 
  • Exam 70-332 - Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Eight certifications, eight paths do go down. Some of them are similar; some of them are fundamentally different. Which one will you pursue?


About the Author:

Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

If you have an MCSE/MCSD or are planning to get one – this affects you


By 


Microsoft’s head of communications, Tim Sneath wants to make the MCSD and MCSE ‘harder for everyone.

Last year, the retirement of Microsoft’s Master level certs left the most determined of IT professionals without top tier Microsoft qualifications to strive for. The Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) have all been discontinued without replacement.

But whilst there are no plans to release a new pinnacle certification, Microsoft does have something else in mind.


Without the Master Level certifications, there's a new top tier

Currently, the most advanced Microsoft certifications on offer are the MCSE and MCSD. To reflect their top-tier status, Microsoft now plans on upping the difficulty of both MCSE and MCSD certifications. 

Sneath describes the changes: ‘[Microsoft] will add a variety of richer test types that make it harder for people to memorise answers. We’re also adding richer questioning types. In testing for SQL certifications, we ask you to actually create an SQL query.’

The aim is to make certifications reflect more practical knowledge, not just theory.

Microsoft wants the route to an MCSE/MCSD to be more rigorous, but without excluding the majority. Instead of just a small elite group of cert holders, Microsoft now wants to embrace a broader community. These tougher certs will be promoted as something new and unique.

Sneath received his MCSE 20 years ago – ‘I thought I was pretty special. We want to bring that back.

And the changes to MCSD and MCSE certs don’t just apply for new candidates. As MCSE holders are required to recertify every three years, and MCSD holders every two years; these changes definitely have the potential to catch some professionals out.

Microsoft haven't yet announced a time-frame for these new updates, so if you’re recertification is looming, or you’re planning on achieving one of Microsoft’s new pinnacle certs – now's the time to so. You can find our full range of MCSE and MCSD certs here.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

SQL Server 2014 certifications: What you need to know


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With the release of SQL Server 2014, Microsoft has made some significant changes to their current SQL Server certifications. And unlike the move from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2012 – the certifications associated with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 don’t follow the usual trend. The release of SQL Server 2014 is a little different.

How different you ask? Well, we’ve put together a handy FAQ to explain just that.

Q. Will Microsoft be providing a new MCSA: SQL Server 2014 certification? 

A.  There are currently no plans to offer a new MCSA certification. Certifications for SQL Server 2014  will only be offered at the MCSE level. This new product focuses on performance tuning and high availability – features best suited for the advanced MCSE.

Q. How will this affect the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 certification? 

A. Don’t worry. You’ll still be able to get the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 qualification. Its associated exams (70-461/70-462/70-463) will remain without any alterations. The MCSA: SQL Server 2012 will also remain as the prerequisite for both MCSE certificates.

Q. How does SQL Server 2014 affect the MCSE: Data Platform and MCSE: Business Intelligence certifications?

A. The MCSE: Data Platform (70-464/70-465) and MCSE: Business Intelligence (70-466/70-467) exams were updated In April 2014 with SQL Server 2014 topics. Their exam numbers will stay the same.

Q. I’m already working towards earning an MCSA/MCSE certification associated with SQL Server. How will the changes to Microsoft's Official Curriculum affect me?

A. If you are currently studying for your MCSA: SQL Server 2012, you have nothing to worry about. This MCSA and its associated exams will not be changed. Though you may now find it referred to as MCSA: SQL Server.

Both the MCSE: Data Platform and the MCSE: Business Intelligence were updated April 2014 to include SQL Server 2014 content. If you earned your MCSE credential before this, you will not be tested on SQL Server 2014 or future releases until your recertification exam.

If you are on track to earn your MCSE credential after the exam updates, make sure you revise the correct material. You can do this by reviewing the details on the revised exam objectives which you can find on the Firebrand website.

Q. I want to start learning more about the updates to SQL Server 2014. Where can I find training material?

You can already find a series of free training modules available via the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Alternatively attend our 3 day course focused on updating your skills for SQL Server 2014.


Hopefully we’ve answered your SQL Server 2014 certification questions. But if not, don’t hesitate to contact us directly through our social platforms or just leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.


About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.