Ask the Expert

Why bother with certifications when Microsoft just keeps uping the ante?

Market's demand for MCSE's is what drives people to get certified in the first place. Why should anyone get certified with Windows 2000 when the demand is not that great?!! Plus, by saying that they would not support NT 4.0 and with them releasing new versions so quickly, who the heck would want to keep up? It's just too much of an investment in time and money. I am surprised there are even 47,000 Windows 2000 MCSE's out there. 10 of my friends and myself are NT 4.0 MCSE's. We've changed our minds about getting certified for Win2000. We started studying for it up until they announced the launch of XP. Why even bother ??!!! BBB (betrayed by Bill)

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Now that Microsoft has extended the life of the MCSE (and other credentials) on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, and added retired (!) electives to the list accepted for the MCSE on Microsoft Windows 2000, you may want to reconsider your position on the subject. In the past 10 days, they've done a lot to make people who already have MCSEs lives much easier, and made it easier to re-certify in the Windows 2000 track if they want to (and less necessary for them to do so, if they don't).

Check out the following Web pages for some truly interesting news:
(1) MCSE on Windows 2000 now lists retired exams as valid electives http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=mcp&PageCall =requirements&SubSite=cert/mcse&AnnMenu=mcse (Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page)

(2) MCSE on Windows NT 4.0 is no longer retiring
- NT 4.0 MCSE requirements:
http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=mcp&PageCall =nttrack&SubSite=cert/mcse&AnnMenu=mcse
- "Microsoft Enhances its Certification Program to Address Market Needs"
http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=mcp&PageCall =announcement&SubSite=articles
- Related Press Release: "Microsoft Revamps Its IT Certification Program to Meet Customer Needs" http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2001/Oct01/10-11MCPUpdatesPR.asp

(3) Microsoft revises exam discontinuation policy
http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=mcp&PageCall =retired&SubSite=examinfo

I think they've finally had a much-overdue "reality check" and are showing some welcome signs of intelligent life. Look this stuff over, and drop me an e-mail at etittel@lanw.com to let me know what you think, or to share any additional questions with me.

This was first published in October 2001

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