Just before Microsoft stopped taking new or renewed subscriptions to its TechNet service this week, the company quietly announced yet another change that could impact many IT pros. In an email sent to many Microsoft Certification community members, the company announced it will no longer offer Masters level certification exams as of Oct. 1.
The same email, as posted on the TechNet blog of Microsoft Senior Consultant Neil Johnson, added that the company will no longer offer Masters and Architect training anymore. People who have already reached the Masters level of certification from Microsoft will still be able to claim that credential and will not need to be re-certified.
The Microsoft Connect message board has been one of the places where community members have written and posted their displeasure on this move. However, Tim Sneath, Microsoft's senior director of Microsoft Learning, did address those concerns in his own board post. In short, it would seem that the Masters certification program has not been as successful as Microsoft would have liked. Sneath said:
The truth is, for as successful as the program is for those who are in it, it reaches only a tiny proportion of the overall community. Only a few hundred people have attained the certification in the last few years, far fewer than we would have hoped.
However, Sneath indicated that Microsoft is still interested in creating a new high level certification program for IT pros and that the company may just be "taking a pause" before launching a new and improved exam program.