What is Replacing Microsoft MCSD, MCSA and MCSE Certification?

MCSE is one of the most prominent and most sought after Microsoft credential for IT professionals working in the field of hardware and infrastructure. It is one of the oldest certifications in the industry offering expertise level in different areas of specialization.

For a newbie in the field of IT, it can be very confusing to understand the nomenclature, path to follow and area of specializations to choose from. In fact, if we throw some light on the history of MCSE, we can understand the source of confusion. Initially it was launched by the name of Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), later on this specialization got changes to Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and post 2014 again to the original name but this time it is called Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

Let us discuss the current offerings and areas of specialization it covers. MCSE is a mix of courses and certifications clubbed together as per the area of study. As of today, Microsoft has divided its certification portfolio into five technology streams namely:-

  • MCSE: Business Applications ( Focused on Dynamics 365)
  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure ( Focused on Server and Cloud)
  • MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (Focused on SQL, BI and Data Science and Analytics)
  • MCSE: Mobility ( Focused on Client OS and Devices)
  • MCSE: Productivity ( Focused on Server, O365, Skype for Business, SharePoint)

Microsoft Replacing MCSD, MCSA & MCSE Certifications - Check Role Based Certifications

After the expiration of MCSE, MCSA, and MCSD on 31st January 2021, Microsoft has replaced these certifications with new role-based credentials. This retirement of product-based certification comes as a much-coveted relief. This is because Microsoft's role-based certificates verify the competence of a technical professional to learn in the first 3-5 or 5-7 years on the job; this experience is equivalent to beginner, intermediate, and expert categories.

Microsoft to replace MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE with role-based certifications and check new role based certifications

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Recommended Path to Microsoft Role-based Certification Options

MCSE: Core Infrastructure

Start your Azure journey with any of the following: 
  • Azure Administrator Associate
  • Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Azure Security Engineer Associate

MCSE: Productivity

Start your Microsoft 365 journey with one of the following: 
  • Teams Administrator Associate
  • Messaging Administrator Associate
  • Security Administrator Associate
Then take: 
  • Enterprise Administrator Expert

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics

Start your Azure Data & AI journey with any of the following: 
  • Azure Database Administrator Associate (coming soon) 
  • Data Analyst Associate (coming soon) 
  • Azure data Engineer Associate
  • Azure AI Engineer Associate
  • Azure DAta Scientist Associate

MCSD: App Builder

Start your Azure Developer journey with the following: 
  • Azure Developer Associate

You May Also Like: 7 Important Tips for Passing Microsoft Certification Exam

MCSE: Business Applications

Start your Dynamics 365 journey with any of the following: 
  • Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Assocate
  • Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Field Service Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate

When you take your first Microsoft course and pass your first certification exam, you become a Microsoft Certified Professional i.e. MCP. This is your first step towards MCSE.

You take one or two more courses depending on your interest and job need, you attain Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA). MCSA is a sort of half way of the MCSE certification journey. You can achieve MCSA with various combination of certification courses. Currently, Microsoft offer MCSA in 17 technology streams. You can understand the scope and variety from the number of combinations you can opt-in for MCSA. We will cover the MCSA options in detail in another article.

MCSA is your first step towards the area of specialization, once you have achieved the MCSA, you need to select one elective specialization and pass the certification course to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). Although the MCSE titles are five in number but the option to choose the elective course will be ample as per your interest and job role. The Diagram below gives a detailed overview of the options to pursue and achieve the MCSE certification.

To maintain the MCSE Status you need to meet the recertification requirements every 3 years.

  • MCSE: Business Applications
  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
  • MCSE: Mobility
  • MCSE: Productivity

As of now in 2021, moving forward from 1 February 2021, users will need to go with new role based certifications as given above. You can start your learning with Koenig Solutions and Boost your career growth.

MCSE, MCSD, MCSA Certifications Retired on January 31, 2021

Retired MCSA Certifications Retired MCSD Certification Retired MCSE Certifications
MCSA: BI Reporting MCSD: App Builder MCSE: Business Applications
MCSA: Dynamics 365 for Operations - MCSE: Core Infrastructure
MCSA: SQL 2016 BI Development - MCSE: Data Management & Analytics
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Admin - MCSE: Productivity
MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Dev - -
MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 - -
MCSA: Universal Windows Platform - -
MCSA: Web Applications - -
MCSA: Windows Server 2012 - -
MCSA: Windows Server 2016 - -
Source: Microsoft

Also Read: Guide to Becoming Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

List of MCSA, MCSD, MCSE Exams That Retired on January 31, 2021

  • MB6-897: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail
  • MB6-898: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources
  • 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016
  • 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016
  • 70-334: Core Solutions for Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
  • 70-333: Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015
  • 70-743: Upgrading Your skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016
  • 70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016
  • 70-465: Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server
  • 70-466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server
  • 70-345: Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • 70-339: Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
  • 70-457: Developing Mobile Apps
  • 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • 70-483: Programming in C#
  • 70-487: Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
  • 70-537: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack
  • 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications
  • 70-765: Provisioning SQL Databases
  • 70-745: Implementing a Software-Defined Datacenter
  • 70-761: Querying Data with Transact-SQL
  • 70-767: Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL
  • 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • 70-413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
  • 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
  • 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
  • 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
  • 70-464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases
  • 70-467: Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
  • 70-778: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power BI
  • 70-768: Developing SQL Data Models
  • 70-762: Developing SQL Databases
  • 70-764: Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure
  • 70-777: Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions
  • 70-779: Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Excel
  • MB2-716: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration
  • MB6-894: Development, Extensions and Deployment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance
  • 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3
  • 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012
  • 70-705: Designing and Providing Microsoft Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations
  • 70-740: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
  • 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
  • 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases

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Armin Vans
Devpriyam is a Microsoft Certified Trainer with rich experience in Database Administration, System Administration, Oracle Applications, Troubleshooting, and Backup & Recovery concepts. I deliver training on various Database Systems Management tools.

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