SharePoint 2010 Certification and SharePoint 2007 Certification

Once upon a time, I use to blog about Certifications for .NET. I felt my first post for this year should have a theme of ‘moving forward’, so decided to write about the future of SharePoint certification.

I’m a big proponent of the Microsoft Certification program and think that anyone in the IT industry working with Microsoft technologies should have a certification for their field.  I’ve actually even contributed some content to certain exams, and look forward to helping with more in the future.

Do I think a certification means that you know what you are doing?  Nope… I’ve met people that have certifications, and didn’t know diddly-squat when it came to ‘real-world’ work.  To the contrary, I’ve also met people that do not have certifications, but know a specific technology inside and out.

Still, I think it’s beneficial to anyone’s career and something that I’m an advocate of.  Why is it beneficial though? The Microsoft Learning website puts it best:

Build your expertise and advance your career. By earning a Microsoft Certification, you gain advanced, market-relevant skills that employers recognize and respect as well as opportunities to connect with a global community of other certified professionals. Additionally, certification provides you with access to exclusive Microsoft resources and benefits, such as the MCP member Web site, career-building tools, and training. Explore the benefits of certification—and start your journey to attaining your ideal career.

To date, I’ve been pretty disappointed in the lack of certifications available for SharePoint 2007.  Let’s look at what we currently have.

Existing SharePoint 2007 Certifications

MCTS – Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist

IT Pro
Exam 70-630: TS: Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring

Exam 70-631: TS: Configuring Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Exam 70-541: TS: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 - Application Development

Exam 70-542 : TS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Application Development

So the inherent problem in my opinion now becomes apparent… MCTS is the lowest level of Microsoft Certification, and the next available certification is the Master program.

MCM – Microsoft Certified Master

IT Pro / Dev
Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

The Master program is an advanced certification, and costs a good bit of money as well. It’s worth it for sure, I will not argue against this.  It’s a true practical test of your ability, and comes with 3 weeks of classroom courses led by some of the industry’s best.

But for a certification ‘path’, it has not existed for SharePoint.  There is the lower certification and the advanced certification – nothing in the middle.

Future SharePoint 2010 Certifications
(Disclaimer: this information is not confirmed or posted anywhere that I have seen. Its based upon printed marketing material, and the 2010 certification release of other server platforms.)

With the release of SharePoint 2010 this year, there will also be a release of new certifications.  The best part however, is that there will be the release of additional certifications that will fill the gap of that middle-ground.

MCTS – Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist

SharePoint Server 2010
Exam 70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring

Developer, SharePoint Server 2010
Exam 70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development

MCITP – Microsoft Certified IT Professional

SharePoint Server 2010
Exam 70-668: PRO: SharePoint 2010, Administrator

MCPD– Microsoft Certified Professional Developer

Developer, SharePoint Server 2010
Exam 70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications

MCM – Microsoft Certified Master

IT Pro / Dev
Microsoft Certified Master: SharePoint Server 2010

Although I’m not graphically showing a road map here, as you may be able to interpret these are in order of a career path, so MCTS would come before MCITP / MCPD and those would come before MCM.  There are also plans for a MCA (Microsoft Certified Architect) that have not been released.  Essentially that’s the cream of the crop.

Now that I think about it, the Microsoft Certification path follows almost a Higher Education academic degree system, and probably not by mistake.

MCTS = Associate’s Degree

MCITP/MCPD = Bachelor’s Degree

MCM = Master’s Degree

MCA = Doctoral Degree

I’m pretty pumped about the new certs coming out.  I have been studying for MCITP – Enterprise Administrator, and look forward to studying for MCITP – SharePoint Server 2010.  If you don’t have any certifications associated with your name, it will be a great year to get started.  :)

Additional Information