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Update: A Number of Microsoft Exams and Certifications Are Retiring in 2016

[mks_dropcap style=”square” size=”52″ bg_color=”#ff3b3e” txt_color=”#ffffff”]E[/mks_dropcap] very IT certification available in market including those of Microsoft frequently get affected by changes in technology. To stay current, the curriculum of exams are updated or entirely removed. Such changes are taking place in Microsoft certification world as a number of exams are scheduled to retire in 2016.

Microsoft has announced that number of certifications and related exams will retire in different stages of 2016. Microsoft is providing at least 6 months notice prior to retirement to give exam takers an opportunity to finish earning their certification. If you are planning to get certified in any exam which is marked for retirement, you should have a look at the updates and plan your certification path accordingly.

As per recent update by Microsoft, a few exams and certifications are seeing changes in their retirement schedule. These updates/changes are as below:

  • Windows Client exams, 687 and 688, retirement dates have been extended to July 31, 2016. The associated MCSA will retire on January 31, 2016 as will the upgrade exams, 689 and 692. As previously announced, the MCSA: Windows 7 certification retires on November 30, 2015, but the associated exams will remain in market and earn a Specialist credential. To earn a Specialist credential on Windows 10, take 70-697!
  • The Lync exam retirement dates were extended to March 30, 2016. Exams on Skype will replace these exams and will be in beta soon.
  • Microsoft Dynamics exams on CRM 2011 will retire on January 31, 2016.
  • The SharePoint 2010 developer and ITPro exams will retire on July 31, 2016.
  • The SQL Server 2008 upgrade exams will retire on January 31, 2016, while the remaining SQL 2008 exams will retire on July 31, 2016.
  • The remaining Visual Studio and .NET Framework 4 exams will retire on July 31, 2016.
  • Several MTA exams are retiring on July 31, 2016 as is 673.
A few exams which are scheduled for retirement are as below:

Exams Retiring on January 31, 2016

  • 70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8 (See updates above)
  • 70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8 (See updates above)
  • 70-415: Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure
  • 70-416: Implementing Desktop Application Environments

Exams Retiring on March 30, 2016

  • 74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment
  • 74-338: Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer
  • 70-336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 70-337: Enterprise Voice & Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013

Exams Retiring on July 31, 2016

  • 70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1 (See updates above)
  • 70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1 (See updates above)
  • 98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals
  • 98-367: Security Fundamentals

In addition to exams mentioned above, there are other exams being retired as well. A list of all exams scheduled to retire is available here.

What happens to my certifications once they retire?
Any certifications you earn are still valid and your transcript will reflect them even after they retire.

I was planning to get certified in Windows 8.1. What now?
If you haven’t passed any of two Windows 8.1 exams i.e 70-698 or 70-688, you should move ahead and get your self ready for Windows 10 exam 70-697. Windows 10 certification will carry more weight over 8.1 certifications.

If you have passed one of these two exams, you can continue for the remaining one and get certified in Windows 8.1. After that you can pass exam 70-697 and get certified in Windows 10. The same remains recommended for certifications in other technologies (such as Windows Server) as well.

Make your planning in accordance with retirement dates as noted above. Make sure you get enough time for any retake if required (before the exam/certification expire).

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