Current Upgrade Paths

With the exception of Obsolete Certifications, Microsoft generally offers upgrade paths which allow a person holding a previous generation certification to upgrade to the current generation paths by sitting upgrade exams. Typically this is a single normal exam, usually consisting of a mixture of questions from the composite exams making up the current certification path. Using this upgrade feature, professionals in the field can maintain their certification standards without having to start from scratch every few years. With the introduction of the Professional Series the MCTS, MCITP, or MCPD certifications will retire when Microsoft discontinues mainstream support for the related technology. Typically, mainstream support is discontinued 7 to 10 years after the initial product release. When support ends, the related certification will retire. Microsoft's initial communications about the Professional Series certifications, was announced that a "refresh" or re-certification of the MCITP and MCPD credentials would be required within three years. This policy has changed. To address the needs of the worldwide customer base, the updated policy is to retire a certification when mainstream support for the related technology retires. There is no action required if a Professional Series certification was earned before the policy change; the updated policy applies to the certification, which will be valid until mainstream support for the related technology retires.

Technology Specialist Series (MCTS) Upgrades

There are 5 upgrade paths that lead only to an MCTS certification. All prior certification paths lead to either an MCPD or MCITP certification, which will indirectly confer the relevant prerequisite MCTS certification on the successful candidate. However, there is no actual restriction enforced and a candidate holding any variant of the MCAD three MCAD to MCPD paths, and an MCSD can take any of the four MCP to MCAD paths.

Professional Developer (MCPD) Upgrades

The upgrade paths for the Professional Developer series require that candidates have a minimum existing Microsoft Certified Application Developer certification, although since this is a prerequisite for the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer series, this also qualifies. Generally candidates who specialised in Windows Forms development in the MCAD would upgrade to the MCPD: Windows Developer, Web developers would take the MCPD: Web Developer path, and MCSD holders would upgrade to the MCPD: Enterprise Applications Developer. However, there is no actual restriction enforced and a candidate holding any variant of the MCAD three MCAD to MCPD paths, and an MCSD can take any of the four MCSD to MCAD paths.

MCAD/MCSD to MCPD: Web Developer This certification requires that one pass the following examination:

* Exam 70-551: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD: Web Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework

MCAD/MCSD to MCPD: Windows Developer This certification requires that one pass the following examination:

* Exam 70-552: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD: Windows Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework

MCAD to MCPD: Enterprise Applications Developer This certification requires that one pass the following examinations:

* Exam 70-551: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD: Web Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework
* Exam 70-552: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD: Windows Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework


MCSD to MCPDe following examinations:

* Exam 70-553: UPGRADE: MCSD Microsoft .NET Skills to MCPD Enterprise Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework: Part 1
* Exam 70-554: UPGRADE: MCSD Microsoft .NET Skills to MCPD Enterprise Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework: Part 2

IT Professional (MCITP) Upgrades

MCDST to MCITP: Enterprise Support This certification requires that one pass the following examination:

* Exam 70-621: PRO: Upgrading Your MCDST Certification to MCITP Enterprise Support

MCDST to MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7 This certification requires that one pass the following examination:

* Exam 70-682: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician

MCDBA to MCITP: Database Administrator This certification requires that one pass the following examination:

* Prerequisite: MCTS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - Implementation and Maintenance
* Exam 70-417: UPGRADE: MCDBA Skills to MCITP Database Administrator by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005

MCSA and MCSE Transitions

MCSA and MCSE certifications will not be retired. Microsoft has introduced a transition path to allow MCSA/MCSE holders to obtain MCITP certification. Both certifications require a transitional exam. To upgrade a MCSA, the 70-648 exam is required as well as one additional exam for MCITP: Server Administrator and three additional exams for the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator. To upgrade a MCSE the 70-649 is required as well as one additional exam for MCITP: Server Administrator and two additional exams for the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.

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