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March 24, 2023
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Windows remains a dominant OS and is the preferred OS for enterprise organizations. Windows 10 holds nearly 40% of the global desktop OS market share. Why is Microsoft ending its MCSA: Windows 10 certification this month? It is still useful to learn Windows 10.
You can partially blame the cloud for this change in technology and IT. Microsoft’s decision was rooted in the need to bridge the gap between the IT knowledge required to obtain certifications and the skills required to succeed on the job.
Soon, Windows 10 will be rolled in to a new role-based certification which covers the skills that desktop admins need to succeed. Let’s look at the reasons Microsoft is retiring MCSA: Windows 10 and what it means to you.
Shifting from Product to Skill
Are IT professionals really prepared for real-world situations by obtaining certifications? While IT professionals recognize that there is a gap, the real problem is the size of the gap. Microsoft’s response is to the technology-centric certification gap by creating role-based certifications.
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Start trainingIn an effort bridge the gap between product/job, Microsoft created role-based certifications to better prepare IT professionals to succeed on the job. Microsoft certs were used to validate that IT professionals knew how to use Microsoft products in the past. Role-based certifications are however linked to skills. Not just product knowledge. Cisco has been doing this since years with their certification program. Cisco does not have a certification called “Cisco IOS Essentials” nor “Cisco DNA Expert”. They validate skills based upon role. This is where Microsoft is headed.
Let’s face it, Microsoft’s desire for cloud skills is evident in the shift to role-based certifications. Microsoft has placed a lot of emphasis on Azure, its cloud platform, in recent years. This is also evident in their certifications.
In December, Microsoft’s MCSA was replaced by the first wave of role-based certifications: Azure certifications. Both sides win by providing IT professionals with the skills needed to use Azure. Organizations require consistency across their development environments, operating models, technology stacks, and technology stacks. Azure can provide this as long as the professionals who manage it know what they are doing. Importantly, the “stuff required to operate a Cloud environment goes beyond product knowledge. It requires a whole skill set. That’s why role-based certifications are so useful. This was something we knew from the beginning. It’s also how certs are now structured.
Learn more about the new AZ series certs here.
The “New Windows” Cert
MCSA: Windows 10 will be replaced by the Microsoft 365 Certified Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification. This cert, true to its name validates desktop admin skills such as deploying and maintaining Windows and managing data.
You might be wondering about the “Microsoft 365 Certified” bit. It reflects Microsoft 365 subscriptions that include access to Office 365 Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft 365 and Windows 10.
Microsoft has therefore integrated Windows 10 knowledge skills into its Office 365 certification. As we mentioned above, the new cert places a strong emphasis on Windows. Windows’s popularity in the enterprise means that it isn’t going away anytime soon.
Role-based certifications are better at assessing an IT professional’s ability to perform certain job roles and tasks. Employers should quickly see the value of these certifications. Employers view talent as a competitive advantage, according to a Deloitte survey in 2018. Companies want to capitalize on IT talent.