Microsoft are changing their certifications to be role-based so there will no longer be MCSA Server 2016 or MCSE Core Infrastructure . In fact there will no longer be any MCSA, MCSD or MCSE certifications as they will be retiring on January 31, 2021 and the focus has shifted to Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert, Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate, Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert and other role specific certifications.
How big of a change to Microsoft certifications is this?
In total Microsoft are retiring 15 certifications and 43 exams and have added 34 new role based certifications. If you’re planning on getting certified this year, there is no longer any point in getting your MCSA Server 2016, MCSE: Core Infrastructure or any of the MCSA, MCSD, MCSE certifications. There’s no point in doing a certification that’s going to expire in less than 12 months.
So, what to do instead? Well some of the new certifications are so new there aren’t any textbooks for them yet. But not all of them. At the MCSA level there’s Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate and at the MCSE level there’s Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert.
The best course of action
If you get the latest certifications early on, you’ll not only be up to speed with the latest technology, but you’ll also stand out in the job market as there won’t be as many people with these certifications. As a bonus companies will want to hire staff that have these new certifications which is just the sort of thing that allows you to negotiate a higher salary. If you are currently on the service desk and want to move up to an engineer role then getting a bleeding edge certification such as Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert could be just what you need. Although we don’t have much data on the salary that these certifications command previous experience in the industry tells us that getting certified has the potential to raise your salary by around $10,000-$20,000.