Forecast & Review: Certification

Ed Tittel

The old Chinese curse goes something like this: "May you live in interesting times." Looking at Windows certification over the past year, we've certainly seen lots of interesting developments and changes. In addition to the proliferation of exams for Windows XP and Windows Server .NET, we've watched Microsoft create parallel exam tracks for Windows 2000 and newer versions. Redmond is even planning a tandem discontinuation strategy so that individuals pursuing new certifications need not worry that their credentials will become passe, whether they focus on Windows 2000 or Windows XP and Windows Server. NET.

Even more interesting was Microsoft's reversal of plans to retire MCSEs and other certifications based on Windows NT 4.0 as of December 31, 2001. Not only will these credentials remain valid indefinitely, but Microsoft now permits individuals to apply nine originally discontinued Windows NT 4.0 elective exams to the

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Windows 2000 MCSE as well.

Looking forward, we'll see the completion of the Windows Server .NET exams to round out the newer version side of the Windows 2000 MCSE certification track. I'm sure we'll also see some dramatic changes to the developer programs itself -- especially the MCSD and a planned mid-level cert -- to take congizance of Microsoft's increasing emphasis on .NET technologies.

Ed Tittel is a principal at LANWrights,a network-oriented writing, training, and consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. He is the creator of the Exam Cram series and has worked on over 30 certification-related books on Microsoft, Novell and Sun related topics. Ed teaches in the Certified Webmaster Program at Austin Community College and consults.

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