Microsoft Certifications: New vs. Old

If you have been following the trend in the world of Information Technology, you would have discovered that a lot of overhauls havebeen taking place in different areas.And especially in vendor-specific certificates. Not very long ago, Microsoft announced a major change in its certification program, which now has more job-role focused credentials. The IT giant has made it easy fortheprofessionals to decide on the certificatethey want to pursue. Thequalified specialistscan now choose their certification paths based on their job roles. In other words, they can earn the credentialsthat validate that they are up-to-date with the current technicality and requirements that their job titlesdemand.

Microsoft Certifications: New vs. Old

According to Microsoft, the professionals can now explore the credentialsbased on their job roles, specific technology, certification type or level. And, of course, they can filter all of it on the official website for theiraccommodation.Let’s look at the different options available for each of the categories.

Certifications Based on Job Roles

An individual can search for the certifications based on job roles. Currently, these certificatesinclude Administrator,AI Engineer,Customer Engagement Consultant,Data Engineer,Data Scientist,Developer,DevOps Engineer,Enterprise Administrator,Finance & Operations Consultant,Fundamental Skills,Messaging Administrator,Modern Desktop Administrator,Security Engineer,Solutions Architect,Teamwork Administrator. Each category has at least one specified credential. And in course of time even more certificates will appear for each one. The specialistspursuing the Microsoft certificationscanlook forward to more challenging and rewarding professional paths.

Technology-Based Certifications

Those professionals who want to be Microsoft certified also have the opportunity to choose their certifications based on Technology. Currently, there are ten technology-based sections. These include App Builder, Azure, Development, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, Mobility, Productivity, SQL Server, Windows, and Windows Server.It is important to mention that some of the technology-based categories don’t have specific credentials under them yet. For instance, Mobility is yet to have thecertifications designed for it. It is believed that with time, more certificates will be added to the list.

Certification Type

The individuals can also tailor their paths based on the certification type. The currently available types include download MTA, MCSA, MCSD, MCSE, MOS, and MCE. This is in close relationship with the certification level, which includes Fundamentals, Associate, and Expert. These focus on the type and level of credential you want to pursue per time. You can also monitor your progress based on these.

Highlights of Microsoft Certifications

There are two different hierarchies in the newly introduced Microsoft certification structure. These two have the same grading mechanism, with an entry-level credential covering fundamental concepts as the foundation, an advanced technical mid-level certification, and an expert certificate designed for the experienced professionals. It is important to mention that in anew order of the Microsoft certification path, the entry-level credential on the ladder is not a requirement for a mid-level certificate. However, you have to earn a mid-level credential before you attempt the final level.

Let’s look at the highlights of the different levels of the Microsoft certification path.


This is the first level on the Microsoft certificationladder. The credentialsunder this level are aimed at those individuals whoare new in the field of technology. There areno prerequisitesfor Microsoft MTA. It covers the fundamentals of technological knowledge and also provides a good starting point in the industry. It is essential to mention that earning theMTA credential does not mean you have attained theprofessional level.


Fortheindividuals withadecent level of understanding and experience in the field of technology, the associate-levelcredential should be the first step. It is recommended for the candidateslooking to take up an entry-level job role in ITas it validates the basic skills required to function in an entry-level role. This is a prerequisite for the next level.


MCSE is the highest certificationlevel designed for the IT professionals and it validates the comprehensive technical abilities of the certificateholders. MCSD is also in the same category as MCSE and it certifies hands-on skills that are required to develop contemporary web and mobile applications and services. Prior to the introduction of the new role-based certificates, there were six different MCSD certifications. However, the new path features only one MCSD credential. It is believed that with timemore options will be made available in this regard.

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

MOS doesn’t follow the same path as the other credentials. It is indeed a separate certification, developed to enable the dedicated users of Office to validate their technical skills and abilities in the world where practically everyone has Word and Excel capabilities on their resume. There are three different levels under the MOS certification path. There are several certificates, which confirm the general skills in Office365 and Office 2019, specifically Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook. There are also expert certifications, which represent the higher level credentials covering Word and Excel technologies. The final level is Master, which is available for PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access to obtain the proficiency level of these technologies. Technically, this certification path is very close to MTA and MCSA as there are no requirements needed to write the standard-levelMOS exam. All you have to do is choose the tests you want to write, pass them and get certified.


The new role-based Microsoft certifications are here to stay. Of course, it can be a bit overwhelming to understand at the initial stage but with time, everything will become clearer and with prep materials from different resources, there is so much you can do with the preparation process. You can check ExamSnapfor some up-to-date and relevant tools for your exam prep. Believe us, it will help you greatly with any of the tests we mentioned above.

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