Microsoft Launches the Next Generation of Certifications

The next generation of Microsoft certifications-a three-tiered map-is more streamlined and discernable to users. Partners can cross-link their competencies with certifications.

Microsoft Corp. Monday unveiled what it called a new generation of certifications for partners and IT executives, more reflective of the skills required.

The new certification map is three-tiered—Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified IT Professional or Professional Developer, and Microsoft Certified Architect—intended to provide a more accurate demonstration of an individuals skills and a more streamlined training process.

The new titles and certifications better reflect the more specialized skills required of the technology, said Lutz Ziob, general manager for Microsoft Learning, in a prepared statement. Microsoft Learning administers the Redmond, Wash., software makers certification programs.

Current certifications will continue, but new software will require certification under the new system. The first credentials will be awarded in early 2006 for partners and IT personnel working with Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005, slated to launch Nov. 7, Microsoft said.

Two exceptions, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certifications, will continue to be recognized, said a company spokesperson.

For partners, the certifications are now linked to partner competencies, eliminating the formerly redundant system of dueling benchmarks.

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