Q

Can I still still become an MCSE on NT 4.0 even though I missed the cutoff date?

I have passed the four core exams plus one elective exam for NT4.0. Then February 28, 2001 came and went and I did not pass my second elective exam - which meant I did not became an MCSE on NT4.0. With Microsoft's decision about reinstating MCSE 4.0 again, does that mean that I can take my one elective exam - and if I pass I will be able to get the MCSE on NT 4.0 certification? Dear Readers, I apologize profusely for my original, incorrect...

posting on 11/03/2001, which I am correcting today, thanks to feedback from eagle-eyed reader Jason Wilkening. I have now contacted and confirmed with Microsoft's Training and Certification organization by phone what also appears explicitly in their terrific FAQ entitled "Frequently Asked Questions About the Change in Certification Policy" at http://www.microsoft.com/TrainCert/highlights/announcefaq.asp

Here's the correct skinny:
1. Anyone who passes remaining requirements can still obtain credentials on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, as long as they passed all now-discontinued required exams prior to February 28, 2001, including:
* Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
* Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer + Internet on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
* Microsoft Certified Professional + Internet on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

2. Thus, if a candidate lacks only electives to obtain any of these certifications, and valid electives are still available for the taking, completing those electives will earn them that certification.

3. For the MCSE, those who also failed to complete the desktop OS portion of the four core exams, can still take and pass exam 70-098 ("Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Windows 98") to meet that requirement, and can thus complete one or two electives and this exam, and still get certified as an MCSE on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.

See "MCSE on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Certification Requirements" at http://www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcp/mcse/nttrack.asp for more information.
--Ed--

My original response follows below:

You have asked an extremely important question; a question, in fact, that I had interpreted incorrectly until an alert reader copied me on some recent correspondence he's had with the Microsoft Training and Certification department.

Careful reading of the dislaimers and provisos on the Web site bears out Microsoft's pronouncement on this topic, so I don't think they're being completely arbitrary about this pronouncement, which I paraphrase as:

"Only individuals who met the requirements for the MCSE on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 on or before February 28, 2001, remain certified as such."

In other words, if you didn't meet the requirements by that cutoff date, it's no longer possible to meet them now, and become certified as an MCSE on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings to many who came close, but didn't quite finish by the cutoff date, but it seems that you will have no choice but to pursue the newer credential if you want to become an MCSE.

The good news is that if you took an MCSE elective for NT 4.0 that also counts toward the MCSE on Microsoft Windows 2000, you can still count it as progress toward that goal. Small consolation, I know, but at least some consolation is available.

If you don't agree with this policy of Microsoft's, I implore you to e-mail or call the MCP organization, and try to ferret out somebody with the authority to address their policy to block you from finishing your MCSE on Windows NT 4.0. This means e-mailing MCPHelp@microsoft.com or call (800) 636-7544. If worst comes to worst, and you get no response, please send a registered letter or FedEx to their address at:

Microsoft Training and Certification Programs
PO Box 911
Santa Clarita, CA, 91380-9011

Be sure to include your MCP ID on any and all correspondence with them. I've found this a reliable way to get answers to tough questions like yours, but they will ignore all correspondence that does not include a valid MCP ID.

This was first published in November 2001

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