Microsoft to stop Masters level certification exams on Oct. 1

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.

Source: Neil Johnson via ZDNet.com | Image via Microsoft

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14 Comments

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The economics of the program come down to the employers. How much more money can you make with this certification? It much not be much if their numbers are in the hundreds.

Spicoli said,
The economics of the program come down to the employers. How much more money can you make with this certification? It much not be much if their numbers are in the hundreds.

Quite a lot actually. Employers with MCMs on the payroll have a leg up on winning bids than other companies do. It is a lot of time and $ to have someone be unbillable while sitting the training and pass the exam and qualification-lab (I've done them and they're quite tough), but the rewards can be worth it. MCM also opens the doors to a unique community and direct interaction with the PG.

In the IT world, exists 3 ways to increase our prestige:
-titles/degree/certification.
-experience.
-to create (or be part of the team that created) some stunning project/software.

However, some people min-maxing it (i.e. cheating), adding a lot of titles/certificates over real experience, or adding experience without adding new certification/titles.

In the case of MCM, some people are rushed for obtain it (with less of 15 years of experience), i know the case of some MCM with 8 years of experience. And for people that is able to obtain the MCM and have 15-20 or more year of experience, they think that is better to jump straight to a b-school than to follow a ultra-specialization.

Why do you think more experience is what is needed to achieve these?
In my experience it's 10+ year experieced IT people that haven't got a ****ing clue about current times of computing - and don't care.

Far fewer than hoped?! Its like £18,000 (afaik and can remember) to sit the courses, with the team that develops the solutions (Exchange Team, Lync Team, etc). It the most intense three weeks a person can sit through and from what I am hearing from a colleague that is going to sit the Lync Masters course, of which I think there is only 15 in the UK, it is solid 8-6 training and until at least 10/11 at night studying in the labs and accommodation.

If something more accessible (read affordable) was to be provided, it might be utilised more.

The way some of the infrastructure needs to communicate for specific roles, one might have less hardship building a working hyper-drive unit.

Perhaps they will replace it with something fairly comparable and more affordable. I'm not condemning them for this change the way some people are. There are loads of changes going on at Microsoft right now and I will wait and see what happens next.

They're cutting the cord on a program whose support costs exceed the benefits.

Only a few hundred people have attained the certification in the last few years, far fewer than we would have hoped.