Customer feedback was the driving force behind Microsoft Corp.’s decision to drop the deadline for upgrading its Microsoft certified systems engineer certification, says a spokeperson.
As late as September, the Redmond, Wash.-based company demanded Microsoft certified systems engineers (MCSE) take the Windows 2000 exams before 2002 or their Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) designation would lapse. Jahnis Gillan says this is no longer the case.
“We’ve been getting significant feedback from our customers that the NT 4.0 skill set is still very relevant to their environments. We’ve listened to that feedback and we’ve now decided to allow multiple certifications within our MCSE program,” says the marketing manager, channel development, for Microsoft Canada.
In the past, Gillan says, Microsoft only recognized certification on its latest technologies, but Microsoft will recognize NT 4.0 certification for now.
“It’s important to us what the customers are telling us, and as long as they’re looking for that certification and they feel it’s relevant still we’ll continue,” Gillan says.
This wasn’t the only change to the MCP. Microsoft also announced the addition of the Microsoft certified systems administrator (MCSA) certification. Gillan says it’s not the full-blown MCSE program, but one that caters to for network administrators and engineers. The program consists of three core exams and one elective exam demonstrating the ability to administer and support Windows 2000 and Windows .Net systems.
“We feel it will create a big opportunity for network and system administrators for both hiring and promotion purposes, but we also see a significant opportunity for the MCSA in today’s market because the demand for network administrators is increasing significantly. This credential focuses on an exclusive job function found within most of our corporate customers,”Callaghan says.
“This fills the niche market and the demand for the growing number of network and system professionals for Microsoft Windows 2000. It’s what the market’s been waiting for.”
Callaghan says she doesn’t expect the new designation to cut into MCSE numbers. She says they serve two distinct markets.