Microsoft Certifications: The What, Where, How and Why

Microsoft Certifications: The What, Where, How and Why

06 January 2022

Microsoft redesigned their portfolio and ecosystem of certifications. Actually, they started doing that a few years ago with the introduction of the role-based certifications, but the portfolio of certifications was growing and growing, so probably now is the best time to shed some light and explain the new certifications.

For the past 10+ years, the certification for Microsoft products was a simple thing of learning and passing exams based on a predefined track to achieve the level of MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) and then passing an additional elective exam to reach MCST level (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). There were several tracks dedicated to different technologies and products but the logic behind the certifications was basically the same.

The reason why people were getting certified was to either promote themselves, their companies or to simply show their level of expertise.

Nowadays, Microsoft is slowly retiring the MCSA and MCSE certifications, and it is about time…

Times have changed and the certifications needed to go into depth of the products and product functionalities. The technology became diversified, and the certifications and courses had to follow this diversification.

Take for example the certifications for Microsoft 365 or Office 365:

In the previous form of the certifications there was only one certificate MCSA: Office 365 that covered the Cloud productivity product and only one track how to obtain it.

With the new certifications, there are 3 levels: Fundamental, Associate and Administrator then several tracks for how to obtain the level of certification based on the main product within Microsoft 365 system.


From the chart, we can see that there are 5 entry certificates with the title Administrator associate marked with two stars. However, starting from any of them and passing additional 2 exams will earn the title Enterprise administrator Expert marked with three stars.

So, the certification and titles can be achieved based on the primary knowledge of the learner and then built upon that knowledge to progress higher on the scale.

This growth model is implemented in all the tracks for certification regardless of if it is based on role, product or service.

What is new is the additional certifications intended for professionals that are not practicing or hands on administering the products, but simply want to show their understanding of certain technology.

These are the Fundamentals certification which are marked by a single star on the badge.

To help with the development of professionals Microsoft provides a comprehensive portal where all the information about the certificates and titles together with the required exams are defined.

Read more:


This portal also provides information about the learning tracks for each of the certificates. When talking about learning to take an exam Microsoft provides two types of learning aids:

  • Online and free, as part of the portal
  • Instructor-led and paid

Although the materials are developed by Microsoft and provided on the portal, the instructor-led courses are provided exclusively by certified Microsoft training centers.

With all these materials and information, Microsoft has made it easy to get certified for the exact role and certification that is needed by the learner, and that is a nice change.

For additional inputs, Insoft Services provides Microsoft training in EMEAR. We offer Microsoft technical training and certification courses that are led by world-class instructors. Check the links below for more details:

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Subject Matter Expert
Insoft Services
Martin is an experienced IT consultant with 15+ years of experience from working at world leading companies like HP, IBM and Microsoft. He was involved as a consultant and subject matter expert in numerous Cloud migration and implementation projects in the banking and public sector. Martin Graduated as an Information Science engineer but also holds a Masters degree in Intelectual Property Law and is a Microsoft Certified Trainer.

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