Microsoft extends Windows 7 and SharePoint Server 2013 certifications to mid-2018

January 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Key certifications receive new lease on life

Microsoft announced that they have extended the life of certifications that were previously slated to expire in 2017. These exams will now expire on July 31, 2018:

  • 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring
  • 70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
  • 70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator
  • 70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
  • 70-489: Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions

 

The good news is that you now have over a year to study for and secure these key certifications – and Transcender has a full range of practice tests, e-learning, and practice labs to help you succeed.

Windows Server 2008 to be retired in mid-2017

All of the following exams will retire July 31, 2017:

  • 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
  • 70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
  • 70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator
  • 70-694: Virtualizing Enterprise Desktops and Apps

Continue Reading Microsoft extends Windows 7 and SharePoint Server 2013 certifications to mid-2018…

User security features in Windows 10: a free Transcender webinar

January 19, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Transcender news | Leave a comment

Windows 10 has some exciting new additions for its users, and our audience will receive an inside look at the latest security updates during our first webinar presentation of the year.  Join us for this LIVE and free webinar on January 25, 2017. Our Microsoft industry expert, George Monsalvatge, will cover the history, applications, functions, best practices, and security features of Windows 10. He will also explain why it is important to keep up-to-date on your certifications, and introduce you to some new features included in the latest version of Windows 10.

Some of the webinar topics include:

  • What is Windows 10?
  • User security features
  • Keeping up with the latest versions

Join us on January 25, 2017 at 11:00 AM CT for the free webinar. Click here to register for the event!

 

Microsoft changing Windows 10 certification paths; Windows 8/8.1 certifications to retire in December 2016

November 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Disclaimer: Exam retirements are subject to change without notice. Please go to the Official Microsoft Retired exams list to confirm or deny a specific test’s retirement date, as it may have changed since this post was originally published. Click our blog’s Certification Paths category to find the latest posts by date on this topic.

Test takers, take note: Windows 8 and 8.1 certifications are being retired in December, while Windows 10 certification paths are changing. If you are only one test into the two-test sequence, be sure to schedule your exam before the retirement.

These exams will no longer be available after December 31, 2016:

  • 70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
  • 70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
  • 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
  • 70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8

If you have passed either the 687 or the 688, but you do not pass the sister exam, you will not have a valid certification after December 31.

What to do if you still need that MCSA: Windows 8 in your certification wallet

You may not know that if you hold an older certification – even as far back as Windows 2000 – you can bypass the two-exam path to a MCSA: Windows 8 and take a single upgrade exam.

You can take the 70-692 and earn the MCSA: Windows 8 if you hold any of these old-school certifications:

  • MCDST: Windows XP
  • MCSA: Windows 2000
  • MCSA: Security on Windows 2000
  • MCSA: Messaging on Windows 2000
  • MCSA: Windows Server 2003
  • MCSA: Security on Windows Server 2003
  • MCSA: Messaging on Windows Server 2003
  • MCSE: Windows 2000
  • MCSE: Security on Windows 2000
  • MCSE: Messaging on Windows 2000
  • MCSE: Windows Server 2003
  • MCSE: Security on Windows Server 2003
  • MCSE: Messaging on Windows Server 2003

You can take the 70-689 and earn the MCSA: Windows 8 if you hold any of these more recent certifications:

  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
  • MCSA: Windows 7
What to do if you want to jump to the MCSA: Windows 10

There are now two distinct paths for the MCSA: Windows 10 certification. If you have already earned the MCSA: Windows 8, you can upgrade to MCSA: Windows 10 by taking and passing this exam:

If you’re starting at square one, you can earn the MCSA: Windows 10 by passing two exams:

That’s right – there is no separate “upgrade exam” that takes you from an MCSA: 8 to an MCSA: 10. The 70-697 will either upgrade your prior cert, or knock out half of the testing requirements for a brand-new MCSA.

What to do if you’re still in a Windows 7 shop

While you will no longer have the ability to earn Windows 8 and 8.1 certifications, Microsoft has not announced any immediate plans to retire the MCITP in Windows 7. The MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7 and MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 are still valid certifications and can be earned with a two-test sequence:

MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7:

  • 70-680: Windows 7, Configuring
  • 70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7:

  • 70-680: Windows 7, Configuring
  • 70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator

Note that the MCSA: Windows 7 is listed as a “retired certification” on the Microsoft legacy certifications page. (For more information on Microsoft’s newly streamlined certifications, read this post on Born To Learn.)

Note that as of this writing, there do not appear to be any direct upgrade exams from the MSCA: Windows 7 (or its equivalent MCITPs) to the MCSA: Windows 10. Your best bet there is to take the two-exam sequence starting with 70-689 (upgrade to MCSA: Win 8 from MCITP: Win 7) and 70-697 (upgrade from MCSA: Win 8 to MCSA: Win 10). Remember that you need to pass 70-689 before December 31, but you can take the 70-697 at any time in 2017.

Bundle and save with exam vouchers and practice tests from Transcender

Be sure to subscribe to email updates from Transcender to receive future sale alerts, bundles, deals, and discounts!

Windows 7 Practice Exams and Bundles

Windows 8 Practice Exams and Bundles

Windows 10 Practice Exams and Bundles

Happy certifying!
-The Transcender Team

Transcender adds GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) to its practice test lineup

November 12, 2016 at 8:02 am | Posted in GIAC, Transcender news | Leave a comment
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As reported by Stanford Journalism, the demand for infosec jobs is likely to rise 53 percent through 2018. Earning a cybersecurity certification can help qualify you for those jobs. In response to the growing demand, Transcender has added a top infosec vendor to our security exam lineup: Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). GIAC is an OS-neutral organization that develops highly focused security certifications, including some of the hardest and most prestigious in the field.

The GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials exam is an ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 accredited certification and lasts for four years before the candidate must re-certify. This is an intermediate-level exam that covers a wide range of topics, from the nuts and bolts of logging and network protocols to overall risk management and security practices.  You can click  here for a complete list of the topics you’ll see on the GSEC exam: https://www.giac.org/certification/security-essentials-gsec

Transcender’s SecurityCert: GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) 2016 Practice Exam is meant for candidates who want to demonstrate they are qualified for IT systems hands-on roles with respect to security tasks. To be successful, candidates need to understand information security to a practical level beyond simple terminology and concepts. Our practice test has 360 practice questions and 558 flashcards to help you prepare for the live exam, which has 180 questions and up to a 5 hour time limit.

The GSEC: GIAC exam is $1,249 (or $689 when taken with an associated SANS training course). Our practice exam  formats range from $99 – $119, so we can offer you a cost-effective way to test your chops before sitting the live question bank. (If you’re new to Transcender, welcome! And be sure to review why you should read those long, boring explanations.)

Happy certifying,

-The Transcender Team

Overcoming fear (of) and loathing (for) professional development: a free Transcender webinar

October 17, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Transcender news | Leave a comment
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Are you passionate about professional development? We are too! Troy McMillan has prepared an informative FREE webinar to discuss common barriers to professional development, and strategies for finding the right path.

This webinar is suitable for both managers and team members. Managers can find out how to best encourage their team to gain new skills by taking advantage of learning opportunities. Staff members can discover what a steady dose of skills improvement can do for their outlook and their career.

When: Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Time: 11:00 AM EST / 10:00 CST / 9:00 MST / 8:00 PST
Presenter: Troy McMillan

To register, click this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4211778623661375236

(Transcender will not sell, share, or otherwise use your contact information.)

Microsoft raised exam certification prices in July

August 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Transcender news, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Microsoft made a worldwide adjustment in the price of their MCP and certification exams for non-academic titles. The increased prices went into effect on July 18, 2106.

The pricing change does NOT affect pre-paid vouchers from Transcender or vouchers purchased from Pearson VUE, Courseware Marketplace, or through academic Volume Licensing. You can continue to use any vouchers you bought prior to the pricing upgrade without having to make up the additional cost.

Student discounts have not changed, but they will be calculated from the new exam price.

In most cases the price increase was around USD $15. To find a price for a specific exam, find your test on the Microsoft Certification Exam List or go directly to Pearson Vue and check the price for your region.

Free webinar on social media hacks – staying safe while surfing

July 29, 2016 at 11:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What do you think when you hear “social media hack?” The top of everyone’s nightmare list is having an attacker take control of your Facebook account and impersonate you online, expose private information, or steal your data – or your money. This kind of hack gets the most news, and it’s potentially the most dangerous attack. The results can range from simple pranking or trolling to blackmail, identity theft, account lockout, and financial loss.

But how easily can you recognize other types of social media hacks – the ones that try to steal corporate data, spread malicious websites or code, or even influence the course of an election?

What makes these attacks uniquely “social media” based is that they rely on these huge user bases of relatively unsophisticated users – like grandma and your boss’s boss – and they take advantage of how few checks and balances there are when it comes to creating a user profile.

Join Transcender’s training expert George Monsalvatge for a 45-minute webinar that will help you (and your users) identify these increasingly sophisticated and distributed attacks aimed at social media networks. The webinar is FREE and relatively painless to join – just click the helpful link below:

Social Media Hack Attacks:
Staying Safe While Surfing
Register Today!
This webinar discusses several types of social media attacks and discusses best practices in order to prevent social media attacks.
8/3/2016 at 12:00 pm EST / 11:00 am CST

 

Lightning deal: Microsoft offers FREE upgrades for 2016 MCSA in June

June 16, 2016 at 8:35 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Microsoft recently announced an incentive for IT pros working toward their MCSA in Windows Server 2012 or their MCSA in SQL Server 2012/2014: finish your certification by June 30, 2016, and earn a free voucher for the 2016 upgrade exam.

Upgrade path for Windows Server 2016

The MCSA in Windows Server 2012 requires three exams:

  • 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

If you have all three under your belt by June 30, you’ll qualify for a free voucher to sit exam 70-743: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016. No exam details are available at this time.

Upgrade path for SQL Server 2016

The MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 also requires three exams:

  • 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
  • 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014
  • 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014

Interestingly, although only one upgrade exam number is shown for SQL Server 2016 (70-762), it looks like there are actually three separate upgrade options:

  • Earn an MCSA: SQL Server 2016 (Database Development) by taking 70-762: Developing SQL Databases
  • Earn an MCSA: SQL Server 2016 (Database Administration) by taking 70-762: Provisioning SQL Databases
  • Earn an MCSA: SQL Server 2016 (Business Intelligence Dev) by taking 70-762: Developing SQL Data Models

Again, Microsoft hasn’t released any exam objectives or details at the time of this post.

Do I have time to study?

Absolutely. Transcender has a full range of practice tests, e-learning, and virtual labs for each track, including a 30-day online access version of the practice tests:

What if I already have an MCSA in 2012 / 2014?

The wording was “between now [June 2] and June 30, 2016,” so this offer is probably limited to people who haven’t yet passed all the required tests. You can see Microsoft’s original post at the Born To Learn blog, and ask whether the offer extends to those who already have their certification in hand. However, as a certified professional, you should already be receiving emails from Microsoft each time a free beta exam is released (like the recent offer for the 70-698), so if you don’t qualify for this deal, odds are that a similar one will come your way.

Happy certifying!

~ The Transcender Team

Flash sale! CompTIA A+ Exam Series Will Retire June 30, 2016

May 4, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Posted in CompTIA | Leave a comment
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Have you been studying for the A+ at a leisurely pace, figuring there’s plenty of time to knock it out? Did you pass the 220-801, only to wait for the right time to take the 220-802? If so, time is no longer on your side. The 800 version of CompTIA’s flagship certification exam will retire in just under two months. This is relevant because you cannot mix and match exam versions. If you passed the 220-801 or 220-802 exam, you must pass the other 800-series exam to obtain your A+, or else take both 900-series exams.

You will need to complete the English-language 800 series exams by June 30, 2016 to see the old test objectives. After that time, all test takers will have to sit for the 220-901 and 220-902 instead.

Our CompTIA specialist, Robin Abernathy, has covered the updates to the A+ exam in a series of blog posts. Part 1 explains how the exam topic breakdown differs in 901/902 compared with 801/802 and suggests that test-takers adopt a different study approach. Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and (forthcoming) Part 5 drill down into the nitty-gritty differences between the two knowledge banks.

If you don’t feel like clicking over right now, suffice it to say that Robin (and most test-takers) felt that the 801/802 topics had enough overlap that the test taker could (and probably should) schedule both exams to fall as close as possible to each other – even within the same day – and knock out their A+ certification in one fell swoop. Both tests covered aspects of the same technologies, so studying for one meant studying for the other by default.

By contrast, there is almost NO overlap between the topics tested on 220-901 and 220-902, which means that you’ll want to study and sit for each exam separately.

The 901/902 drops some outdated topics (no more questions on CRTs or Windows XP) and modernizes device coverage – instead of laptops, “mobile device” questions also cover tablets and phones. It also moves the OS focus beyond Windows to acknowledge the presence of both Linux and Mac OS X in the workplace. The 901/902 is also more hands-on than in previous generations – some may say it’s harder; others may call it more realistic. For example, instead of being asked to define a given command’s function, you could be given a scenario and asked to choose the best command to troubleshoot this device. Instead of simply identifying what a setting does, you will likely be asked to choose the correct setting for a given set of conditions.

There is still plenty of time to buy your 800-series A+ practice exams, and to help you study, Transcender has put them on sale.

SAVE 50%

on the 30-Day Online Access practice exams to test your knowledge for the 220-801 and 220-802 certifications.

Enter promo code: T2016EXP

Pass Guarantee not valid for last minute study aid promotions.

 

Announcing Microsoft’s FREE upgrade exam for Win 8 MCSAs

March 30, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Are you a Windows 8 MCSA? If you are, and you earned your MCSA: Windows 8 certification between February 15, 2015, and May 31, 2015, you can take Exam 70-697: Configuring Windows Devices for free. Doing so will earn you the MCSA: Windows 10 certification.

To take advantage of this offer, you MUST sign up using the link on the Microsoft site, and you MUST take (and pass) the exam no later than May 31, 2016.

Because you are limited to one free exam attempt, you may want to take advantage of Transcender’s full range of prep materials. We offer the Microsoft Practice Exam for 70-697 MSCert: Configuring Windows 10 Devices, an online Practice Lab with virutalized machines, and professional e-learning courses with 18.5 hours of instruction.

If you earned your MCSA: Windows 8 after the cutoff date, you can still register to take exam 70-697 and earn the MCSA: Windows 10 – which is still a solid move for your certification career.

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