Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Microsoft extends retirement of key certifications by seven months to January 2021

Citing the impact of COVID-19, Microsoft has granted an extension on its previously announced end date for MCSD, MCSE, MCSA certifications.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft's decision to make June 30, 2020, the retirement date for some of its biggest certifications didn't sit well with a number of those in the certified professional community. On March 26, some of those unhappy with the original retirement date got their wish: An extension.

Microsoft is now extending the previously announced retirement date for its Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Certified Solutions Architect (MCSA) certifications by seven months -- until January 31, 2020. The company is citing the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus as the reason for the certification extension.

As it notes in the blog post about the extension, Microsoft also is working with Pearson VUE, its exam delivery partner to provide online proctoring, rescheduling and the waiving of cancellation fees because of disruptions to the testing process as a result of the virus.

As announced previously, Microsoft is retiring three of its more popular professional certification categories as part of a move toward "role-based training."   Microsoft is advising those already in the midst of working toward these certifications to work toward passing required exams before their retirement date as those certifications no longer will be awarded after the new date of January 31, 2021. Individuals who passed a qualifying exam prior to its retirement will still be able to count it toward a partner competency requirement for 12 months after the exam has retired, officials said previously

Those who already have MCSA, MCSD or MCSE certifications will be able to reference them for up to two years after the deadline; after that point, they will be marked as "inactive."