Microsoft CUTS HALF Its Microsoft 365 Certification ExamsApril 11, 2023 by Vlad Catrinescu 0 Comments Passing a Microsoft certification exam always feels great! What doesn’t feel great? Studying for an exam that won’t exist anymore! Don’t worry! As usual, when it comes to Microsoft certifications and exams, I have you covered!Read the highlights below to get a taste of what you can expect.Video Highlights– Microsoft is just about to cut half its current portfolio right now. Microsoft currently has twelve different certification exams. It will go down to six. So if you want to make sure you’re not studying for an exam that’s about to be canceled. Also, learn about the latest exams because we’re also getting some new exams.– The Teams Application Developer Associate will retire or have retired at this point in March 2023. For the general public, however, Microsoft partners can still take the MS-600 exam and certification until December 20 23. Microsoft did not announce any replacement. However, Microsoft did hint that there would be a new Microsoft 365 dev exam.– Microsoft 365 Certified Security Administrator associate will retire in June 2023. Microsoft recommends that you focus on one of the exams from the Security, Compliance, and Identity Portfolio. No news yet if the AZ-500 will affect it.– The exams MS-100 and 101 will be retired in July 2023. Instead of being an enterprise administrator expert, you will now just be a Microsoft 365 Certified Administrator Expert. You will still need an Associate Level prerequisite before you go pass the Expert Level Certification.– Microsoft recommends focusing on the MS-203 and MS-700 exams instead. The exams will be retired again in July 2023. The exam page is not yet updated. However, the courseware retirement page is updated.– Microsoft has been giving less and less importance to training new It professionals on Microsoft 365. Fewer exams mean fewer opportunities to get certified. For Microsoft, certifications are a marketing tool. I hope this will change in the future.Video TranscriptI am doing this video to make sure you’re not currently studying for an exam that Microsoft is just about to cancel, because there are some big changes coming, especially for the Modern Workplace exams, or Microsoft 365 exams. Microsoft is just about to cut half their current portfolio right now as I’m recording this video.Microsoft currently has twelve different certification exams. It will go down to six, and the current portfolio that looks something like this will go down to something more like this. So if you want to make sure you’re not studying for an exam that’s just about to be canceled, and also you learn about all the latest exams because we’re also getting some new exams, which is exciting.Make sure you watch the rest of the video right after the intro. First of all, before we talk about the new stuff, let’s do a quick recap of the current Microsoft 365 portfolio. Right now we have one fundamental level certification, five associate level certifications, two expert level certifications and two specialty level certifications.As a summary, if we dive a bit deeper, the first certification is the Ms 900, Microsoft 365 Fundamentals Exam, which gives us the Microsoft 365 Certified Fundamentals Certification. This is an optional certification, but I highly recommend it before you move over to the Associate Level certifications. Now, if we talk Associate levels, our first exams are MD 100 and MD 101, which if you pass both of them will give you the modern Desktop Associate Certification.We then have exam Ms 203, which gives us the messaging Administrator Associate certification. We then have Ms 500, which gives us the security Administrator Associate. We have the Ms 700 Managing Microsoft Teams exam, which gives us the teams administrator associate.Then next up, Ms 600, which gives us the teams Developer Associate. So those are our associate level certifications. Then we have two different expert level certifications.First of all, we need to have an eligible associate level Cert. Then we need to pass the Ms 100 and Ms 101 certification, which again, together those two exam plus a prerequisite will give us the Enterprise Administrator expert. We do have a second expert level certification, which is you need to have the team’s administrator associate.So the Ms 700 plus the Ms 720 exam, which will give us the team’s voice Engineer expert. And for our specialty level exams, we have two of them. First of all, exam Ms 220, which if we pass it gives us the Exchange online Support Engineer specialty.And the Ms 740 troubleshooting Microsoft teams, which if we pass it gives us the Teams Support Engineer specialty. So this is the current Modern Workplace portfolio as I’m recording this video. But things are about to change.On February 1, Microsoft posted a blog post called evolving Microsoft 365 Certifications to help keep you in sync with a new era of work and they announced some of the portfolio changes in there. And I’ll make sure to add a link to this blog post in the description of this YouTube video. Okay, so what are our changes? First of all, for the Modern Desktop Administrator Associate, the certification name will change.It will become Microsoft 365 certified Endpoint Administrator Associate. The MD 100 and 101 exams will retire in July 2023. So if you’re studying for those exams, you need to pass both of them before July 2023.If not, they will be gone. They will be replaced by a single exam called MD 102 Endpoint Administrator. So the good news is that you will only need one single exam if you want to get the Endpoint Admin Associate certification.So that’s the good news. And it will be available in beta starting in May 2023. So this is our first certification that will still be there, but will get an update.Instead of two exams, it’ll be one exam and the name will change from Modern Desktop Administrator Associate to Endpoint Administrator Associate. Okay, next up, we have a retirement and a change. And let’s talk about the Team’s Voice Engineer Expert, which before you needed to have the Ms 700 and the Ms 720 to get this expert level certification.Well, the Ms 720 exam and the related certification. So the team’s voice engineer expert will fully retire in June. Will fully retire in June.2023. Instead, what Microsoft decided is to create a very similar role. So we will get a new exam and a certification, but the name will actually be called microsoft 365 Certified Collaboration Communication System Engineer Associate.So this will be an associate level certification and it will add quite a few objectives, especially around meeting rooms and audiovisual installs, things like that to the list of evaluated objectives. The Ms 721 exam. So we will get this new exam called Ms 721.This is available right away in beta at the time of recording this video again in April 2023. So if you’re interested in getting the new one, it’s available today. And I do have some good news for you as well.Especially if you passed already the Ms 720 exam, you will automatically get the new certification. So if you are already a Team’s Voice Engineer Expert, you will automatically get the Collaboration Communications Systems Engineer Associate and you’ll be able to renew that certification for free for the next years. Of course, remember, we have to renew them every year now for free on Microsoft Learn.Okay, next up, let’s switch over from administration, talk a bit about development, and we’ll talk about the Microsoft 365 Certified Teams Application Developer Associate Certification, the Ms 600 exam and its certification. So the Teams Application Developer Associate will retire or have retired at this point in March 2023. For the general public, however, the Ms 600 exam and certification can still be taken by Microsoft partners until December 2023.Now you might find it super weird like Vlad, why would it be retired for the public but not for partners? That is because this certification is required for different Microsoft Partner program competitive for different Microsoft Partner program competencies competency. It’s because this exam is required for different Microsoft Partner program levels. So for example, I’m sure you’ve seen logos of companies saying we’re a Gold Partner or a Silver Partner.Well, in order for them to get that Gold Partner or Silver Partner, they need to pass certain Microsoft exams and the Ms 600 was one of them. So that’s why if you work for a Microsoft Partner, you will need a Private Access code. So make sure to work with whoever manages the partner program with Microsoft in your company or with the Learning Partner that gave you the training.This way, you get your Private Access code so you can still pass the exam until December 2023. Right now, Microsoft did not announce any replacement. However, Microsoft did hint that there will be a new Microsoft 365 dev exam.So this is a quote from the blog post that I talked about a bit earlier. So what they said is that to focus on developing the right experience, will retire the certification and corresponding exam Ms 600 building Applications and Solutions with Microsoft 365 Core Services on March 31, 2023. The key is there at the bottom in green.We’ll be sure to let you know when the new experience is available. So even if Microsoft did not say we will have a new exam, this is the number. Here’s everything you need to know.They kind of hinted that we will have a new experience. Okay, so this is it for Ms 600. Next up, another retirement, the Ms 500 exam.And the Microsoft 365 Certified Security Administrator associate will retire in June 2023. Microsoft recommends that you focus on one of the exams from the Security, Compliance, and Identity Portfolio. So the SC-900, 200, 300 or 400 and there are no news yet if the AZ-500 will affect and there are no news yet if the AZ-500 will suffer a similar fate.Remember, before the Security, Compliance and Identity Portfolio even existed, we had three exams AZ-500, which was Azure Security and Compliance, and MS-500, which was Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance. And initially, when Microsoft announced the Security, Compliance and Identity Portfolio, a lot of people asked, hey, does that mean the MS-500 and SC-500? Does that mean the MS-500 and AZ-500 exams will go away? And at the time Microsoft said no, there is currently no plan to replace those certifications. So it seems they did have a change of heart in the past year and a half and now the Ms 500 is going away.Okay, next up, we also have a change for our other expert-level certification. So the exams MS-100 and 101 will be retired in July 2023. The certification name will also change.So instead of being an enterprise administrator expert, you will now just be a Microsoft 365 Certified Administrator Expert. Also, you will only need one single exam, the MS-102, which will be available in beta starting in May 2023. You will still need an Associate Level prerequisite before you go pass the Expert Level Certification.Microsoft did not necessarily give us the full list, so I will give you what I think it will be a bit later in this video. But remember, you will still need an Associate Level Cert before you go take the Expert Level exam. Next up, we have again two more retirements the MS-220.So the troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange online and the MS-740 troubleshooting Microsoft Teams courses and related certifications will expire. Will get retired in July 2023. Now, this might be a surprise for a lot of you.Microsoft actually announced it to Training partners that those two exams and the related certifications will be retired again in July 2023. The exam page is not yet updated. However, the courseware retirement page is updated.Microsoft recommends focusing on the MS-203 and MS-700 exams instead. Now, you might ask yourself, oh, Vlad, if Microsoft only announced it to Learning Partners, but it’s not yet on the exam page, can you talk about it? Usually, I couldn’t. Usually, all those announcements are under a nondisclosure agreement.So even if I know about them, I cannot really talk about them until Microsoft makes the change on the public exam page. But for those two retirements, I asked specifically, microsoft gave me the go ahead to share this information for all of you. So I really wanted to put it in here and let you know that those two exams are going away.So this way, don’t get me wrong, if you find it valuable and you want to learn from those exams, please go and do them. But I just want you to know that those exams and certifications will be going away in July 2023, and I would expect the exam page to be updated very shortly. Okay? So with all those changes, what will the modern workplace portfolio look like now? So from twelve exams, we will go to six exams.One fundamental level exam. Four one fundamental level certification. Four associate level certifications, one expert level certification and no specialty level certifications.Again, if we dive a bit deeper into the details, we will still have the Ms 900, Microsoft 365 Certified Fundamentals Assert, so that will still stay there. But then a lot of what happens next will change. So first of all, we will have Exam MD-102 Endpoint Administrator, that if we pass this one exam, we will get the Endpoint Administrator Associate Certification, then the MS-203 and MS-700, no change there.So it’s our Exchange and Microsoft teams exams. Nothing changes there. We will then have exam MS-721 called Collaboration communications systems engineer.And if we pass that exam, we will become a Collaboration Communications Systems Engineer associate. So again, this certification is a bit of a modification from the expert one we had before. But instead of being an expert, it’s only an associate-level certification now and no prerequisite.So each one of those Associate exams, you don’t need the MS-900, it’s recommended, but you don’t need it. You can go directly pass those associate level exams and then we will have our expert level certification, which we will need exam MS-102, which would give us the Microsoft 365 Certified Administrator Expert. Now, you will notice I don’t have the MS-721 as a valid prerequisite because Microsoft did not yet confirm it.So I’m not sure if it will be a valid prerequisite or not, but so far Microsoft confirmed, but so far all the three previous certifications were a valid prerequisite. I expect them to keep being valid prerequisites, but it remains to be seen if the MS-721 will be a valid prereq before going for the Administrator expert certification. Okay, so this is what the portfolio will look like after July 2023.As you can see, we will still have all of the different core tools inside Microsoft 365. We will have teams, we will have Exchange. Unfortunately, no SharePoint.I still think we should have Exchange teams and SharePoint as a separate search, but no SharePoint online. Still in there. But again, take a look at it.This is what the Microsoft 365 certification portfolio will look like after July 2023. Okay? Now, what are some of my talks on this as we close out the video? Well, the number of exams doesn’t mean much alone, right? I’m sure a lot of you are looking at this a bit with a negative point of view because less exams means less opportunities to get certified. And I just want to put a bit of optimism that the number of exams alone doesn’t mean much.However, I feel, and this is all personal, right? Personal opinion as Vlad, not as an MVP or an MCT regional lead. Personal opinion. Microsoft has been giving less and less importance to training new It professionals on Microsoft 365.And that’s something that I’m personally really disappointed about, especially that except platform. I mean, Microsoft 365 brings a ton of money for Microsoft. It has a ton of usage.We’re talking about hundreds of millions of monthly active users. And yet we’re cutting down on all of the different training opportunities that people have to learn Microsoft 365. Because remember, Microsoft will not really create any Microsoft official courses unless they’re for a Microsoft certification.Now, there are multiple reasons why that might be. Does Microsoft consider that they have enough trained professionals that they don’t need to invest in training new ones? Because at the end of the day, let’s be honest here, for Microsoft, certifications are a marketing tool. They are a motivator for people to learn a platform, so then they can go to Microsoft clients and deploy it.A client doesn’t want to work with a tube. A client would not want to work with a solution if there’s not enough skilled people out there to help them manage it. So certifications is a way for Microsoft to show clients that, hey, we have 250,000, let’s say, Teams administrators that are certified in the world.So if you choose Teams, you will have the technical people you need to properly implement it. So does Microsoft now say that, hey, you know what, we have enough admins in the world that we don’t need to invest in training new ones. Or maybe we have such a big ownership of the market share that people will find a way to learn Microsoft 365 without us having to motivate them with certifications.Those are, again, just some of my talks. And to back this up a bit, we can take a look at the Power platform. They have around 20 million monthly active users, yet they have more courses and certifications than Microsoft 365 as a whole. And only Teams has over ten times the active users of the Power platform. So as you can see, maybe Microsoft is more motivated to get people trained on the Power platform and get those numbers up, whereas Microsoft 365 has where Microsoft 365 already has so much market share and so many trained It professionals.Again, one of my talks that hurts me a bit is that people that were SharePoint professionals before, people that were SharePoint professionals before, such as myself, that are evolving their skills to the cloud, are the ones that are the hardest hit, because SharePoint Online professionals. Because in the past, in the SharePoint on Prem days, we had SharePoint 2013 certifications, SharePoint 2016 certifications, SharePoint 2019 certifications, and then we even had an MS-300 Teamwork Administrator Certification, which covered SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Yammer Stream, and all of that. But Microsoft and Worldwide Learning decided that there is no future for Certified SharePoint and OneDrive for Business admins.There is no training for them, and there is no certification for them even. And again, the Teamwork Admin got retired in August 2020, which was really, it really hurt me because so many people were trying to learn from SharePoint on Prem to SharePoint Online. But Microsoft canceled not only the certification but also the training for It.And now the MS-600, Microsoft 365 developer, which was a great training and certification to get SharePoint devs that were creating firm solutions before to upgrade their skills to the cloud. And on purpose. I have the old name of the certification here, Microsoft 365 Developer, which later got changed to Teams Developer.So really, I’m super disappointed to see those opportunities go away for old Sherpin professionals. And currently with the new and currently with the new certification portfolio, there is going to be nothing if you’re a SharePoint Online and OneDrive for business admin or even a SharePoint dev. And I really hope this will change in the future, but we’ll see where worldwide learning goes if we take a brief look at the Microsoft Certification portfolio again right now.After those changes, Microsoft 365 will be the portfolio with the fewest number of certifications we will have. Not even half of Azure, not even half of Dynamics, a bit less than Power Platform, and around the same number and around the same number as Security, Compliance and Identity. But Microsoft 365, despite being one of the most used products, will have the least training and certification opportunities for It professionals.Okay, so this has been a bit sad. I’m not sure if you can feel it from only a video, but it does hurt me a bit because I know how much training and certification can guide and help somebody’s career. So whenever certifications get retired, especially ones that I think shouldn’t, it does hurt me a bit.But there is some more positive news coming for Modern Workplace. There will be some new content, a new role coming soon in the Modern Workplace portfolio, but I will make a dedicated video for that. So make sure you follow the channel, and make sure you like and subscribe.This way, you’ll get notified as soon as that video goes live. But I wanted to get this video on exam retirements out before. So none of you are studying for exams that are about to disappear and get retired on this, I just wanted to say really quick, thank you.If you made it so far in this video, I really hope you enjoyed and you found it valuable. And please do let me know in the comments. What do you think about those changes that Microsoft is doing to the Modern Workplace portfolio? Do you agree with them? Do you not agree with them? Do you wish Microsoft had some more exams in there? If yes, let me know which ones in the comments.And again, if you found this interesting and you want to get notified when more videos like this will be dropped on the channel, make sure you subscribe to the channel. This way, you’ll be the first to know of any training and exam changes that Microsoft will announce. Thank you again for getting to this video’s end; I hope you found it informative.Need help studying for the surviving exams? Take a look at my Microsoft 365 study guides. Uncategorized Previous PostCan ChatGPT Pass the Microsoft SC-900 Practice Test?Next Post15+ FREE Microsoft Certification Practice Tests 0 CommentsLeave a Reply Cancel ReplyCommentName *E-mail * Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for the newsletter! 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