When I started looking at my Microsoft certification options for the New Year, I saw the announcement that the Windows 10 Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and the Mobility Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) being retired on March 31, 2019. Somehow I missed that announcement before I posted my Exam Replay certification video last October.
Here are the replacement certification exams:
- The Windows 10 MSCA exams being replaced by the Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop Administrator Associate exams, “Windows 10” (MD-100) and “Managing Modern Desktops” (MD-101).
- The Mobility MCSE exams being replaced by the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert exams, “Microsoft 365 Identity and Services” (MS-100) and “Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security” (MS-101).
Here are three options for getting Microsoft certified in early 2019.
1. GET CERTIFIED WITH OLD EXAMS
Can you take one or two exams to complete the old MCSA/MCSE certification in less than two months? That depends on how good are your studying habits. Some people can pass an exam after studying for several weeks; other people require a lot more time.
When I did my A+, Network+ and Windows 2000 certifications in the early 2000s, I spent two months studying for each exam. As I have gotten older, my ability to learn large amounts of technical material in a short time has diminished. I’m no longer the young person in college who can read a 1,200-page textbook the night before and still ace the final exam the next morning.
If you have mental stamina to complete more than one exam in less than two months, good luck.
2. GET CERTIFIED WITH NEW EXAMS
The beta exams are available today but there are no prep materials like classes, study guides or testing software. If you are well familiar with the retiring exams, you could take the beta exams and hope for the best. Or you could wait until April 2019 for the new exams to no longer be in beta.
As for prep materials, you may have a longer wait. Amazon list the study guides as being available in June and July.
- MD-100: Windows 10 Study Guide (June 2019)
- MD-101: Managing Modern Desktops (July 2019)
- MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services (July 2019)
- MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security (June 2019)
3. GET CERTIFIED WITH OLD AND NEW EXAMS
You can take the old exam, “Installing and Configuring Windows 10” (70-698), which is typically the first exam that most people take for the Windows 10 MCSA certification. That exam will substitute for the Modern Desktop Windows 10 (MD-100) exam. You can later take the Managing Modern Desktops (MD-101) exam to complete Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification.
That is the only path between the old and new certifications. Microsoft does not have a transition exam to qualify the Windows 10 MCSA certification as a requirement for the Enterprise Administrator Expert certification. Retiring exams and certifications will show up as active on your transcript.
I’m taking the third option since I already have the prep materials for the first Windows 10 MCSA exam and I got my Exam Replay voucher with Windows 10 testing software before the special offer expired a few days ago.