FREE quarterly webinar: Investigating the Security Roadmap, 3/22 at 11 AM EST

March 21, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Transcender news | Leave a comment
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Internet Security is the hot business topic of the day. The fragile infrastructure of the forever expanding internet is a concern for every corporation, government entity, and non-profit agency. However, challenges always bring opportunities.

Our security testing expert, Robin Abernathy, will map out the security certification landscape and discuss the most logical choices for your career.  Kaplan IT Training’s quarterly webinar will discuss the certification and career options in the varied fields of cybersecurity, including exam costs, requirements, job roles, and skills measured. There may be a place in the world of securing information for you. Join us to find out on March 22nd, 11AM EST.

To register for the webinar, click this link.

Limited time remains to earn many MCTS, MCPD, and MCITP certifications before July 31

June 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | 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 https://transcender.wordpress.com/category/certification-paths/ to find the latest posts by date on this topic.

If you’ve been working toward a certification in certain MCPD, MCITP, or MCTS tracks, you will want to take note of the following upcoming exam retirements. As always, having a retired exam in your certification track does not invalidate the certification – but if you miss the window to take the exam, you will have to hope the tests you’ve already passed also count toward a current certification track.

Windows Server MCTS, MCITP, and 2003 MCSA

The following Windows Server exams are retiring on July 31, 2015:

  • 70-643: TS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring
  • 70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist
  • 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • 70-693: PRO: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

These exams affect the following tracks:

MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008 – the 70-643 and 70-647 are two of the required exams for this five-exam track. It’s not yet listed as a “legacy” certification, but unless you have the other three exams under your belt, you may be better off aiming for the three-exam track MCSA: Windows Server 2008. (If you do earn the MCITP: EA, you get dual credit for the MCSA: Windows Server 2008.)

MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2 – 70-659, 70-669, and 70-693 are the last of the available exams for this three-exam track. As with the MCITP: EA, you lose the chance to finish this track after July 31. Past that date you’ll have to earn the three-exam track MCSA: Windows Server 2008.

If you have the MCITP: EA, the MCITP: VA, or the MCSA 2008, you can take exam 70-417 to upgrade to the MCSA Windows Server 2012. There is no expiration presently listed for that upgrade track.

The 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist provides combined credit for the 70-640, 70-642, and 70-643 exams – but only if you also earned the MCSA in Windows Server 2003. Those exams count toward the MCITP: EA or MCITP: VA, which in turn are equivalent to the MCSA: Windows Server 2008.

Windows Client MCTS

The following Windows client OS exam are retiring on July 31, 2015:

  • 70-681: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying

The retirement of this exam will retire the MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration certification. The only remaining Windows 7 MCTS will be the MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration (70-680).

This retirement does NOT affect the current Windows 7 MCITP certifications, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (70-680 and 70-685) and Enterprise Desktop Administrator (70-680 and 70-686).

Visual Studio MCPD

The following Visual Studio 2010 exams are slated to retire:

  • 70-518: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 70-519: PRO: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4

These exams represent the last chance for you to bump your Visual Studio 2010 MCTS certification to either MCPD: Windows Developer 4 or MCPD: Web Developer 4, so if you plan to earn either of those designations, be sure to schedule the applicable exam before July 31, 2015.

SQL Server MCTS, MCITP

The following SQL Server exams are retiring on July 31, 2015:

  • 70-433: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Deployment
  • 70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

The 70-433 is required to earn the MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development and counts toward the MCITP: Database Developer 2008. The 70-450 and 70-451 are required for both MCITP tracks for SQL Server 2008. Your only other certification option for SQL Server 2008 is the two-exam MCSA: SQL Server 2008.

Microsoft recently announced that the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 will be the final MCSA track for SQL Server. For SQL Server 2014, only the pro-level MCSE: SQL Server 2014 will be offered. You can read the FAQ for more information on the upcoming change.

SharePoint MCTS, MCITP, and MCPD

No exams are scheduled to retire in this category until January 2016.

Lync and Lync Server

Microsoft released an update to these retirements on July 1:

The retirement date of Microsoft Lync 2013 exams have been moved to November 30, 2015. This is good news for those who want to achieve Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Communication in this calendar year. You now have more time to prepare, but be sure to schedule your exam appointment soon! For more details about this retirement date change and the specific exams involved, please see the announcement on Born to Learn blog.

Microsoft will retire all of these exams on July 31, 2015:

  • 74-322: Microsoft Lync Server 2010—Advanced Design and Deployment
  • 74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment
  • 70-336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 70-337: Enterprise Voice Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 74-338: Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer

These retirements will conclude the availability of the Lync Depth Support Engineer and Lync Network Readiness Assessment specialist certifications. Going forward, Lync will be merged with the MCSA: Office 365 certification and the MCSE: Communication Solutions Expert certification.

Retiring in 2016

Looking ahead, Microsoft has announced that they plan to retire several more exams in January 2016, including 70-66270-66370-66770-66870-459, and 70-460. However, exam retirements are always subject to change, so be sure to check the retirements announcement page a minimum of three months before you plan to take an older certification exam.

Happy certifying!

~Ann and The Transcender Team

Other posts you may interested in:

Customer asks: Is now the time to study for Windows Server 2008 certification, or Server 2012?

Customer asks: What Windows Desktop Client exam should I take for the MCSA or MCTS?

MCTS, MCITP, MCPD: What is dead may never die, but rises again, more certified than before

August 14, 2013 at 8:15 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Just over a year ago, George posted a comprehensive list of the exams scheduled to retire on July 31, 2013, which can be summed up as “looks like practically everything.” For a while, it also appeared that all Visual Studio 2010 exams would expire last month.

However, Microsoft listened to customer feedback and extended, or suspended entirely, retirement of some of the more sought-after tests. Next, it turned out that the demise of the MCTS and MCITP was greatly exaggerated as well. While many of the exams for those technologies did expire, Microsoft softened the rollover by shifting many existing 2008 exams to the resurrected MCSE and MCSA certifications, and extended deadlines for certifying in key technologies into 2014.

These zombie tests have escaped the headsman’s axe… FOR NOW. We suggest you not delay your study plans, because by 2014 they may be going back into the grave, never to rise again.

What is dead may never die, but rises again, stronger than before....

What is dead may never die, but rises again, stronger than before….

When you play the game of certs, you upgrade….or you die

While most Visual Studio 2010 exams are gone, if you currently hold an MCPD certification on Visual Studio 2008, you can still upgrade your certifications to Visual Studio 2010.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0: Upgrade Paths
    • 70-521: Upgrade: Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Developer Skills to MCPD .NET 4.0 Windows Applications Developer. Exam retires July 31, 2014.
    • 70-523: Upgrade: Transition Your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Web Developer Skills to MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer. Exam retires July 31, 2014.

And although the component exams are retired, those who hold an MCSE on Windows Server 2003 can still take the three-in-one 70-649 to earn the triple home run of three MCTS (Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration, Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration, and Windows Server 2008 Application Platform Configuration ).

  •  Windows Server 2003 MSCE to Windows Server 2008 MCTS: Upgrade Path
    • 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist (hurry; retires January 2014)

I Want My MTV..C…ITP…TS

If you are still seeking the elusive one-test certification, the MCTS, these options are still alive and kicking. Expiration dates vary between January and July 2014, and in some cases are still listed as July 2013 on the individual exam pages, so please confirm availability with Microsoft or Prometric:

  • 70-177: Earns the MCTS: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuration
  • 70-433: Earns the MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development
  • 70-506: Earns the MCTS: Silverlight 4, Development
  • 70-643: Earns the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuration (note: as of this writing, this exam is listed as expiring in the overview, but is shown as live until January 2014 on the Microsoft master list)
  • 70-659: Earns the Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-662: Earns the MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuration
  • 70-667: Earns the MCTS: SharePoint 2010, Configuration
  • 70-669: Earns the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • 70-681: Earns the MCTS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deployment

If you are still working toward an MCITP, these component exams have been extended until January 2014:

  • 70-450: PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution
  • 70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-663: Pro: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • 70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator
  • 70-682: Pro: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
  • 70-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

Finally, although the component exams may have been salvaged and reassigned to different certifications, you only have until January 2014 to earn the MCITP or MCTS credential itself. After that date, even if the same exam is still active, it will count toward a different certification.

They’re Dead, Jim

These exams ARE RETIRED as of July 31, 2013. Requiescat in pace.

Windows Client:

70-270 – Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional
70-620 – TS: Configuring Microsoft Windows Vista Client
70-622 – Pro: Microsoft Desktop Support – ENTERPRISE
70-623 – Pro: Microsoft Desktop Support – CONSUMER
70-635 – TS: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008, Desktop Deployment
70-660 – TS: Windows Internals
70-683 – TS: Windows 7, Preinstalling for OEMs

Windows Server:

70-169 – TS: Windows Small Business Server 7, Configuring
70-290 – Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
70-291 – Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-293 – Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-294 – Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure
70-297 – Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure
70-298 – Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
70-299 – Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
70-648 – Upgrading your MCSA on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist
70-656 – TS: Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, Configuring
74-679 – Windows Server 2008 Hosted Environments, Configuring and Managing
70-690 – Windows Server 2008 HPC Environments, Configuring and Managing
70-691 – Windows Server 2008 HPC Environments, Developing
70-699 – Windows Server 2003, MCSA Security Specialization Skills Update

Visual Studio:

70-502 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Presentation Foundation
70-503 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation
70-504 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Workflow
70-505 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development
70-536 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
70-561 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Application Development
70-562 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development
70-563 – Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
70-564 – PRO: Designing and Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
70-565 – PRO: Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

SQL Server, Lync, and Office Communications Server:

70-451 – PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Designing and Optimizing Database Solutions
70-452 – PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing a Business Intelligence Solution
70-664 – TS: Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Configuring
70-665 – PRO: Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Administrator

The official list of retired Microsoft certification exams is here.

Customer asks: What Windows Desktop Client exam should I take for the MCSA or MCTS?

April 15, 2013 at 9:37 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | 1 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 https://transcender.wordpress.com/category/certification-paths/ to find the latest posts by date on this topic.

In response to a recent post, blog reader Raj asked,

Please tell me which certification is best for Windows 7 – MCSA or MCTS ?? And how many exams I need to give to pass that particular exam. Also, I would like to know the validity of that certification.

The good news is that until January 31, 2014**, you don’t have to choose; the same exam counts towards both certifications. The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) credentials are one-test certifications: one exam, and you’ve earned it. These are the same exams that are being phased out by Microsoft in favor of the new MCSA/MCSE certification family. The MCSA/MCSE credentials will require that you pass a minimum of three exams.

During the overlap period, however, select MCTS exams will serve double duty and count toward both certification families. We love a 2-for-1!

**ETA 8/15/2013: as Microsoft has changed several of the exam retirement dates since this post was written, please be sure to check the exam retirement master list or contact Microsoft directly to ensure the exam you need is still active.

What about the MCITP for desktop clients?

The MCITP desktop certifications (Windows Vista and Windows 7) are dependent on their underlying MCTS certifications, so these are being phased out as well. You only have three months left to take a Vista exam; all Vista-related exams are retiring on July 31, 2013.

The MCITP for Windows 7 is retiring on January 31, 2014. Please note that the actual exams are not being retired on that date; they’re being repurposed to the new certification paths of MCSA and MCSE. So after January 31, 2014, you won’t earn the MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 or the MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7 certifications, but you can still take Exams 680, 685, and 686.

Also, any MCTS and MCITP certification will stay on your Microsoft transcript after the certification itself is retired, and you can mention it on your resume and to hiring managers for as long as it seems relevant to do so.

How does the MCITP relate to the MCSA?

Until January 31, 2014, the MCITP: EDST and the MCITP: EDA in Windows 7 are both functionally equivalent to the MCSA: Windows 7. To earn the MCSA: Windows 7, you have to pass this exams:

plus one of these two exams:

If you have already passed these exams, you should have received a notice from Microsoft that you were retroactively granted the MCSA as well.

The MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician on Windows Vista and the MCITP: Consumer Support Technician on Windows Vista are not functionally equivalent to the MCSA for Windows 7, and Microsoft has not announced an upgrade path (as of the time of this post).

Why should I still care about MCTS?

The MCTS is the last of the one-test certifications. If you need a Microsoft certification under your belt today, the clock is ticking down to do so. Because the Windows 7 MCTS exams count towards the MCSA in Windows 7, you lose nothing by taking them.

There are only two MCTS level exams for Windows desktop operating systems:

If you don’t have experience in Windows 7 desktop client, you can take the 70-620 for a few more months.

Okay, so what test do I take today?

Continue Reading Customer asks: What Windows Desktop Client exam should I take for the MCSA or MCTS?…

Transcender developers discuss the behind-the-scenes development strategy for practice exams

January 17, 2013 at 9:55 am | Posted in Microsoft, Transcender news, Uncategorized, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Our partners at Global Knowledge recently sat down with several members of the Transcender practice test development team — specifically George, Aima, and Josh — and picked our brains about “how their practice exams are developed and how they have evolved to keep up with changes coming from Microsoft. In the end, we learned that there are major challenges in writing practice exams that accurately reflect and teach students important exam concepts, Microsoft is moving towards more open standards, and customer feedback is crucial to developing and evolving Transcender practice exams.”

You can read the entire article here on the Global Knowledge blog: The Evolution of Microsoft Certification Practice Exams.

Everything old is new again: the MCSE and MCSA are dead (long live the MCSE and MCSA)

May 14, 2012 at 8:15 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | 37 Comments
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(ETA 10/01/12: Microsoft is still rolling out changes to these tracks. Be sure to check Microsoft Learning, Born To Learn, and our blog for the most current information on MCSA and MCSE. Because 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.)

We also recommend you review our post on merging your MCITP with the MCSA: Customer asks: Is now the time to study for Windows Server 2008 certification, or Server 2012?

Yesterday a vendor called me on the phone and said that he had a great price on the latest MCSE classes. He went on to explain that these classes taught all the latest, hottest technologies. They were so virtualized, a team of physicists argued over their very existence. They were so far up in the cloud, you needed a telescope to find your exam. Once he’d wound down the hyperbole, I asked him what operating system was covered in the classes, and he proudly told me, “Windows Server 2003.”

I have news for you, buddy: Windows Server 2003 is nine years old. The problem is that MCSE, as a certification, became both the gold standard for HR staff and a synonym for the “brand” of Microsoft certification. When Microsoft retired those certifications in favor of the MCITP and MCPD and MCTS in 2005, they had problems selling the switch to die-hard certification holders. More importantly, it faced uneven adoption in the business realm. No one really jumped on the bandwagon. Human Resource managers and hiring managers still referred to MCSA and MCSE in job listings.  Vendors who called me on the phone only knew “MCSE” and “MCSA.” (Sales people in my own office still do not understand the differences between MCTS and MCITP, but at least they realized the MCSE was gone.) I’ve had students tell me they’ve applied for recent jobs that cited a MCSE as a requirement. I guess Microsoft felt the time was right to reanimate the dead MCSA and MCSE certifications. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now–that clueless vendor had it half-right. The MCSE and MCSA are back!

The new MCSE is not your Dad’s MCSE. First of all, MCSE now stands for Microsoft Certified SOLUTIONS EXPERT, not Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.  If you attain the new and re-released MCSE, you are an expert in Microsoft solutions, not an engineer. (You are an engineer if you passed a lot of physics and calculus classes.) The new MCSA is now called Microsoft Certified SOLUTIONS ASSOCIATE, instead of  Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator. That also makes more sense. If you attain the MCSA you are certified in various Microsoft solutions, but not necessarily a sysadmin. The old MCSE made you pass several tests based on the Windows operating system plus an elective subject, like Exchange Server or SQL Server. The new MCSE currently offers certifications in MCSE – Private Cloud and MCSE SQL Server 2012. Going forward, Microsoft will offer more MCSE certifications as new versions of products are released. Look for the MCSE Data Platform certification to roll out tests in June 2012. The new MCSA is similar the old MCSA. Microsoft currently offers certifications in MCSA Windows Server 2008 and MCSA SQL Server 2012, but will offer more MCSA certifications as new versions of products are released. To get the MCSA: Windows Server 2008, you would have to pass the following:

  • Exam 70-640 – windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
  • Exam 70-642 – Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
  • Exam 70-646 – Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator

Hey, wait a minute. Wasn’t there already a certification for someone who passed the above tests? Yeah, it was called the MCITP: Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008. The good news is that if you’ve been studying toward these exams, you haven’t wasted your precious certification time. The Private Cloud certification requires that you pass the following:

  • Exam 70-640 – windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
  • Exam 70-642 – Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
  • Exam 70-646 – Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator
  • Exam 70-247 – Configuring & Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012  OR  Exam 70-659 Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtualization
  • Exam 70-246 – Configuring Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

The 70-246 and 70-247 exams should be released this summer. The SQL Server 2012 MCSE Server certification has two different platforms:  Data Platform or Business Intelligence. To get the MCSE: Data Platform, you have to pass the following:

  • Exam 70-461 – Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-462 – Administering a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database
  • Exam 70-463 – Implementing Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-464 – Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
  • Exam 70-465 – Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server 2012

If you have a MCTIP: Database Developer 2008 certification or MCTIP: Database Administrator 2008 certification on SQL Server 2008, you can upgrade to the MCSE: Data Platform by passing the following:

  • Exam 70-457 – Transition your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012 Part 1
  • Exam 70-458 – Transition your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012 Part 2
  • Exam 70-459 – Transition your MCTIP to MCSE: Data Platform

To get the MCSE: Business Intelligence, you have to pass the following:

  • Exam 70-461 – Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-462 – Administering a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database
  • Exam 70-463 – Implementing Data Warehouses with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-466 – Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Exam 70-467 – Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

If you have a MCTIP: Business Intelligence 2008 certification on SQL Server 2008, you can upgrade to the MCSE: Business Intelligence by passing the following:

  • Exam 70-457 – Transition your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012 Part 1
  • Exam 70-458 – Transition your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012 Part 2
  • Exam 70-460 – Transition your MCTIP: Business Intelligence 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence.

These exams should be released later this year. This would be an excellent time to answer some questions I’m sure you have.

What about your MCTS and MCTIP certifications?

Well, you will still have those, but as time goes by they will retire.

If I get a new MCSA or new MCSE certification, will I have to recertify?

You betcha, brothers and sisters. The MCSA and MCSE certification will probably last only about 3 years before you have to recertify.  What constitutes recertifying?  You will have to pass a test or series of tests. The MCTS and MCTIP will become  like a Cisco CCNA certification, the CompTIA A+, and other certifications where you will have to recertify every three years. Microsoft wants to keep the MCSE and MCSA certifications relevant.  You can read more about this policy on Microsoft’s site. If you’re still confused, I recommend these informative videos from the Born To Learn blog:

Microsoft Certified Trainers Explain MCSE

In my next blog post, I’ll go over the new “extended matching” item types being rolled out in Microsoft’s exams. Until then, keep your nose clean and your acronyms straight. –George Monsalvatge

What We’re Working On – March Edition

March 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Transcender news | 9 Comments
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The only hint of Spring around here is the calendar reminder to spring forward our clocks this weekend. So I hope that as you read this from whatever part of the world you find yourself in today, you’re safe, warm, and studying hard.

As for the latest developments in Development (heh), we released a few things, we’re working on a few things, and we’re sitting & waiting on a few more things. But I won’t bore you with the details, so here are the highlights:

The recently revamped CCNP practice test products (ROUTE, SWITCH, TSHOOT) have been published and are available for purchase HERE:

The certification track has undergone a lot of change, but this new approach by Cisco seems well received by IT professionals. We’re curious to know: what do you think about the new 3-exam track? Are you a newbie to certification and feeling relieved because taking three exams sounds way better than taking four? Are you a CCNP veteran and just blasé, confused, or frustrated by yet another change to the track? Let us know with a comment here, or drop Troy (mcmillantroy) an email at troy.mcmillan@kaplan.com, as he’s always interested in hearing your feedback.

George (gmonsalvatge) has finally been freed from the grip of Windows Server 2008 R2 and is focused on finishing up a couple of SharePoint 2010 products. I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but it’s worth repeating here – the SharePoint 2010 products on our project schedule for this year are the TS – Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring (70-667) and the PRO – Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator (70-668). Some of you have emailed to request the Developer practice products for this track, but as of this post those particular tests have not made it onto our 2011 project plan. But keep sending me your emails if you’re looking for study materials for 70-573 or 70-576. I really do track our customer’s interests. I take your requests and add them into our backlog so whenever we have some wiggle room in our schedule, I know exactly what you’re looking for us to publish!

Josh (codeguru) has successfully tackled through the most difficult topics in the 70-516 C#/VB practice test and is now breezing through the last few sub-objectives to wrap up development on this one and move on to the Windows Application PRO practice test product. The order of attack for the remaining practice test products in this track remains as follows:

  1. 70-518
  2. 70-521
  3. 70-519
  4. 70-523

What we really had fun with the last few weeks was the CompTIA A+ refresh videos. Well, fun for us, but torture for Robin, who (it turns out) hates hearing her recorded voice…honestly, that only made it funnier! But that’s neither here nor there. What I wanted to share with everyone was the link to all 4 videos on our YouTube channel. The conversations aren’t very long, and they’re certainly not boring. What they are is informative. You’ll get to see these two brainiacs sharing their knowledge about A+ exam history, trends, changes and its future. Don’t bother checking out this series if you’re looking for test questions and answers – we take our NDAs very seriously around here. But do take a few minutes to listen if you’re getting ready for the A+ exams or even if you have your A+ certification and want to stay on top of new topics.

One last thing, speaking of new topics – our friends at Train Signal (with the help of their friend Mike Rodriguez) posted a great list of March certification updates. Let me know if anything in this write-up catches your eye. There are a few things that were already on our radar, but our opinion isn’t the only one that counts around here, so can’t wait to here what you think.

Thanks for reading & happy Spring!

~Aima

Attention DoD Employees, Partners, and Hopefuls

October 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Transcender news | Leave a comment
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If you’re an employee, contractor, or partner of the Department of Defence (DoD) and you’ve been dragging your feet on meeting the 8750.1 Certification requirement, we’re here to help! Or if you’re looking to complete your credentials in hopes of landing a job with the DoD, we’re here to help you too! Transcender has mapped out the certification requirements along with nifty links to our study tools that will prepare you to pass those exams. We’ve also provided some key contact information in case you have any questions not covered on our Web site or in the DoD literature.

The Directive’s requirements are clear: ALL military, contract, civilian, or foreign employees with access to a DoD system must be certified by January 1, 2010, to be considered in compliance and avoid loss of funding to their organization. So check out the details of DoD 8750, and follow the Transcender roadmap to get you started!

–Aima Rotella

IAT Level I IAT Level II IAT Level III
CompTIA A+ CompTIA Security+ ISC2 CISSP
CompTIA Network+

IAM Level I IAM Level II IAM

Level III

CompTIA Security+ ISC2 CISSP ISC2 CISSP
IASAE I IASAE II
ISC2 CISSP ISC2 CISSP

From MCSE to the future of Microsoft certification

July 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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For a really great explanation of the business logic behind Microsoft’s shift away from the flagship MCSE certification toward a tangle of specialized certs, check out Geek of All Trades’ “Microsoft’s New Certifications: What They Are, Why They Matter.

So if you’re still floundering and wondering what certification to strive for with current and forthcoming technologies, read the article. Also check out our related blog posts on the topic from Troy (The New MS Certifiications for Dummies) and Josh (Carving Out the .NET Certification Path).

The new Microsoft certifications and outside vendors: No credits at this time

October 22, 2008 at 4:29 pm | Posted in CompTIA, Microsoft | 2 Comments
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This follow-up to Troy’s post on the next wave of Microsoft certifications answers two questions:

  • Do outside certifications, such as CompTIA’s Security+, still count as elective credits toward any Microsoft certifications?
  • Where’s the new version of the MCSE: Security certification?

Let me sum up: Yes and no, and matter is never lost, just transformed.

Let me explain. I couldn’t find an answer to the first question on any Web site, so I went to the source and communicated with Rob at Born to Learn and with Carol at CompTIA. Both confirmed that Microsoft does not apply outside vendor certifications to any “new generation” MS cert – MCTS, MCITP, MCPD, MCM, or MCA – at this time. (You can find out exactly what is required on the Certifications Overview page.) I’m guessing this is because the new certifications were designed for a higher level of specialization and a shorter exam sequence.

However, if you are currently working toward your MCSA or MCSE – certifications that will remain valid for Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 for the duration of these technologies – then you can apply valid third-party certifications as an elective, same as before. Depending on your path, CompTIA’s A+, Network+, and/or Security+ certifications may count. Refer to this FAQ for more details.

The MCSE: Security specialization, as such, is no longer a supported path for Windows Server 2008 and related technologies. Microsoft did a really good job of explaining the hows and whys with this FAQ. As with other certifications, you can now pick the MCTS or MCITP that showcases your particular credentials, such as the MCTS: Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server.

For those of you working toward a CompTIA Security+ certification, the new exam was released on October 14. We will announce the Transcender pratice test version as soon as it is available. The changes at Microsoft have no effect on CompTIA certification paths.

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