I received the following email last night from the Advanced Certification group. This saddens me in more ways than I can say.
We are contacting you to let you know we are making a change to the Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, and Microsoft Certified Architect certifications. As technology changes so do Microsoft certifications and as such, we are continuing to evolve the Microsoft certification program. Microsoft will no longer offer Masters and Architect level training rotations and will be retiring the Masters level certification exams as of October 1, 2013. The IT industry is changing rapidly and we will continue to evaluate the certification and training needs of the industry to determine if there’s a different certification needed for the pinnacle of our program.
As a Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, or Microsoft Certified Architect, you have earned one of the highest certifications available through the Microsoft Certification program. Although individuals will no longer be able to earn these certifications, you will continue to hold the credential and you will not be required to recertify your credential in the future. You will continue to have access to the logos through the MCP site, and your certifications will continue to show in the appropriate section of your transcript, according to Microsoft technology retirement dates. If you are a Charter Member, you will continue to hold the Charter Member designation on your transcript.
Also as a Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, or Microsoft Certified Architect, you are a member of an exclusive, highly technical community and you’ve told us this community is one of the biggest benefits of your certification. We encourage you to stay connected with your peers through the main community distribution lists. Although we won’t be adding more people to this community, you continue to be a valued member of it. Over time, Microsoft plans to transition the distribution lists to the community, and, with your consent, will include your information so that it can continue to be a valuable resource for your ongoing technical discussions.
Within the coming weeks, you will receive invitations to an updated community site. This community site will require you to sign in with a Microsoft Account and will replace the need for a Microsoft Partner account as is required today. From this site, you will be able to manage service requests for the Masters and Architects communities – such as ordering welcome kits and managing your contact information for the distribution lists and directory – and accessing training rotation and other community content (if applicable).
If you have not ordered your Welcome Kit, the last day to do so is October 31, 2013. To order your Welcome Kit, please contact the Advanced Cert team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank you for your commitment to Microsoft technologies.
Director, Certification Product Management
Developer & Platform Evangelism
I have invested countless hours and untold effort into Microsoft certifications for my career. It is very disheartening to see Microsoft discontinue this level of certification.
There are a lot of really smart folks out there with MCSE certifications, which is now the “top tier” certification available. But there are also a lot of “paper” MCSEs who gained their certifications using “brain dumps”. Those folks are easily weeded out when the rubber hits the road, but they still cheapen the certification.
One of the most important aspects of the MCM certification program is that we spent three weeks in Redmond training directly with the product group, 7 days a week, 12-20 hours a day. This was followed by a grueling 3 hour written exam and an 8 hour qualification lab. Even after all that training, the pass rate was less than 30%.
I will miss not having the opportunity to upgrade in the future, but at least we still have contact info for each other and we still have access to each other through the MCM DL.
And I can still say I’m a Microsoft Certified Master.