Microsoft Certification

Get hired, demonstrate clear business impact, and advance your skills. Microsoft offers a wide range of online certification programs designed to take your career to the next level.

Browse certification categories

Mobility

Mobility

The Mobility competency is designed for those looking to stand out as the expert in powerful, secure mobility management solutions for large businesses.

Key technologies

Microsoft Intune

Azure Active Directory

Azure Rights Management

System Center Configuration Manager

Windows System Center

Cloud: Platform and infrastructure

Cloud: Platform and infrastructure

The Cloud Platform competency is designed for those looking capitalize on the growing demand for infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS) solutions built on Microsoft Azure.

Key technologies

Windows Server Virtualization

Microsoft Azure

Productivity

Productivity

The Cloud Productivity competency is for those looking to deploy Microsoft Office cloud and hybrid solutions to enterprise customers. Differentiate yourself with this competency as a proven cloud solution expert.

Key technologies

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office

Exchange

Skype for Business

SharePoint

Data: Management and Analytics

Data: Management and Analytics

The Data Analytics competency recognizes those who demonstrate expertise in specific aspects of Microsoft BI solutions to deliver, deploy, and support BI projects.

Key technologies

SQL Server

App Builder

App Builder

The App Builder competency provides resources to enable faster delivery and continuous improvement in the software delivery organization.

Key technologies

C#

Mobile Apps

Visual Studio

.NET

Framework 4.5

HTML5

SQLite

CSS3

Javascript

ASP.NET

MVC

Select a certification level

MOS: Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

The lifetime benefit of Microsoft Office Specialist

Demonstrate that you have the skills needed to get the most out of Office by earning a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification in a specific Office program.

If you are pursuing the higher level MCSA Office 365 or MCSE Productivity certifications, becoming a certified Microsoft Office Specialist is a great entry point.

MTA: Microsoft Technology Associate

The fundamentals of IT

Microsoft Technology Associate is a certification intended for aspiring technologists, and people seeking knowledge of fundamental technology concepts. MTA certification addresses a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts, assesses and validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical credibility.

Ideal Candidate

New to technical certification or need to obtain fundamental knowledge of technology.

Required Skills

No prerequisite.

What's Involved

Complete and pass a series of exams from one of these MTA paths.

Continuing Education

Earn an MCSA or MCSD by taking and passing related elective exams.

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MCSA: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

Core skills for IT professionals and developers

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate is intended for people who seek entry-level jobs in an information technology environment. MCSA is a prerequisite for more advanced Microsoft certifications.

Ideal Candidate

New to technical certification or need to obtain core skills in new technology.

Required Skills

Introductory knowledge of technology through existing skills or a Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) certification.

What's Involved

Complete and pass a series of exams from one of these MCSA paths.

Continuing Education

Earn an MCSE by taking and passing a related elective exam.

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MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

The globally recognized standard for IT Professionals

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert is a certification intended for IT professionals seeking to demonstrate their ability to build innovative solutions across multiple technologies, both on-premises and in the cloud.

Ideal Candidate

IT professionals with an MCSA certification, seeking to expand their technical expertise.

Required Skills

Knowledge of technology through an MCSA certification

What's Involved

Complete and pass a series of exams from one of these MCSE paths.

Continuing Education

Explore additional certifications to further expand your technical expertise.

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Select a certification technology

MTA: IT Infrastructure

Mobility

This certification is for individuals considering a career in desktop or server infrastructure or private cloud computing. MTA certification addresses a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts, assesses and validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical credibility.

What is involved

Earning an MTA: IT Infrastructure certification can help you build a career in desktop or server infrastructure or private cloud computing.

STEP 1 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam.
Be sure to explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 2 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MTA:
IT Infrastructure.

MCSA: Windows 10

Mobility

Prove you have the expertise to configure, manage, and maintain a Windows 10 enterprise system.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: Windows 10 certification qualifies you for a position as a computer support specialist.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams. Be sure to
explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
Windows 10 certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSE: Mobility

Mobility

This certification validates that you have the skills needed to manage devices in today’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) enterprise.

What is involved

Earning an MCSE: Mobility certification qualifies you for a career path which can range from traditional desktop support technician to enterprise management of BYOD devices and apps.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Earn your Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows 10 certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSE Mobility certification.

Select a certification technology

MCSA: Windows Server 2012

Cloud platform and infrastructure

Prove your mastery of the primary set of Windows Server 2012 skills required to reduce IT costs and deliver more business value.

What's involved

Earning an MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification qualifies you for a position as a network of computer systems administrator or as a computer network specialist, and it is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 3 required exams. Be sure to explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: Windows Server 2016

Cloud platform and infrastructure

Prove your mastery of the primary set of Windows Server 2016 skills required to reduce IT costs and deliver more business value.

What's involved

Earning an MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification qualifies you for a position as a network or computer systems administrator or as a computer network specialist, and it is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 3 required exams. Be sure to explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA: Windows Server 2016.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: Windows Server 2008

Cloud platform and infrastructure

This certification validates that you have the skills needed to work with Active Directory in a real-world business context.

What's involved

Earning an MCSA: Windows Server 2008 certification qualifies you for such jobs as software developer and quality engineer.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 3 required exams. Be sure to explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA: Windows Server 2008 certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: Linux on Azure

Cloud platform and infrastructure

This certification demonstrates your ability to design, architect, implement, and maintain complex cloud-enabled Linux® solutions that leverage Microsoft Azure open source capabilities. It also validates your Linux system administration skills to show that you are fluent in today’s cloud-native world.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: Linux on Azure is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
Linux on Azure certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: Cloud Platform

Cloud platform and infrastructure

This certification demonstrates your expertise in Microsoft cloud-related technologies to reduce IT costs and deliver more value for the modern business.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: Cloud Platform provides the foundation for a position as a cloud administrator or architect and is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
Cloud Platform certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MTA: IT Infrastructure

Cloud platform and infrastructure

This certification is for individuals considering a career in desktop or server infrastructure or private cloud computing. MTA certification addresses a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts, assesses and validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical credibility.

What is involved

Earning an MTA: IT Infrastructure certification can help you build a career in desktop or server infrastructure or private cloud computing.

STEP 1 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 2 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MTA
IT Infrastructure.

MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

Cloud platform and infrastructure

This certification validates that you have the skills needed to run a highly efficient and modern data center, with expertise in cloud technologies, identity management, systems management, virtualization, storage, and networking.

What is involved

Earning an MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification qualifies you for such jobs as cloud administrator, cloud architect, computer support specialist, and information security analyst.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Earn an MCSA certification in one of the following: Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012, Cloud Platform, or Linux on Azure.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSE
Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification.

Select a certification technology

MCSE: Productivity

Productivity

This certification validates that you have the skills needed to move your company to the cloud, increase user productivity and flexibility, reduce data loss, and improve data security for your organization.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification qualifies you for a position as a network or computer systems administrator or as a computer network specialist, and it is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Earn one of the following MCSA certifications:
MCSA: Office 365
MCSA: Windows Server 2012

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam.
Be sure to explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSE:
Productivity certification.

MTA: IT Infrastructure

Cloud platform and infrastructure

This certification is for individuals considering a career in desktop or server infrastructure or private cloud computing. MTA certification addresses a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts, assesses and validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical credibility.

What is involved

Earning an MTA: IT Infrastructure certification can help you build a career in desktop or server infrastructure or private cloud computing.

STEP 1 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 2 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MTA
IT Infrastructure.

MCSA: Office 365

Productivity

This certification demonstrates your skills in transitioning to and administering cloud-hosted business applications with Microsoft Office 365.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: Office 365 certification qualifies you for a position as a software as a service (SaaS) administrator or cloud applications administrator focused on managing Office 365 business productivity products like Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams. Be sure to
explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
Office 365 certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

Select a certification technology

MCSA: SQL 2016 Business Intelligence Development

Data management and analytics

This certification validates your extract, transform, and load (ETL) and data warehouse skills, along with those for implementing BI solutions using multidimensional and tabular data models and online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: SQL 2016 Business Intelligence Development certification qualifies you for a position as a BI developer.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through
knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams.
Be sure to explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
SQL 2016 Business Intelligence Development certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014

Data management and analytics

This certification demonstrates your skills and breakthrough insights in developing and maintaining the next wave of mission-critical environments.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: SQL Server certification qualifies you for a position as a software as a database developer or database analyst.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 3 required exams. Be sure to
explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
SQL Server certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration

Data management and analytics

This certification demonstrates your skills with database installation, maintenance, configuration, and provisioning tasks.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certification qualifies you for a position as a database administrator or infrastructure specialist.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
SQL Database Administration server certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development

Data management and analytics

This certification demonstrates your skills as a database professional, for both on-premises and cloud-based databases.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification qualifies you for a position as a database developer.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
SQL Database Development server certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MTA: Database

App builder

This certification is for those intending to build a career in data platform administration or business intelligence. MTA certification addresses a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts, assesses and validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical credibility.

What is involved

Earning an MTA: Database certification can help you build a career in data platform administration or business intelligence.

STEP 1 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 2 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MTA
Database certification.

Select a certification technology

MCSA: Universal Windows Platform

App Builder

This certification demonstrates your expertise at implementing Universal Windows Platform apps that offer a compelling user experience across a wide range of Windows devices.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: Universal Windows Platform certification qualifies you for such jobs as software developer and quality engineer.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing
knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams.
Be sure to explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
Universal Windows Platform certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSE by passing 1 related exam.

MCSA: Web Applications

App builder

Demonstrate your expertise at implementing modern web apps.

What is involved

Earning an MCSA: Web Applications certification qualifies you for a position as a web developer or web administrator

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Possess introductory IT skills through existing knowledge or optional MTA Certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 2 required exams. Be sure to
explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSA
Web Applications certification.

STEP 4 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn an MCSD by passing 1 related exam.

MTA: Developer

Data management and analytics

This certification is for those intending to build a career as a software developer. This track helps prepare you for hands-on product training and MCSD certification. Start with MTA Software Development Fundamentals and then select the additional topics in this track to help you meet your career development goals. MTA certification addresses a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts, assesses and validates your core technical knowledge, and enhances your technical credibility.

What is involved

Earning an MTA: Developer certification can help you build a career as a software developer.

STEP 1 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam. Be sure to explore the
exam prep resources.

STEP 2 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MTA
Developer certification.

MCSD: App Builder

App Builder

This certification validates that you have the skills needed to build modern mobile and/or web applications and services.

What is involved

Earning an MCSD: App Builder certification qualifies you for a position as an application developer.

STEP 1 - SKILLS

Earn either your MCSA: Web Applications certification or your MCSA: Universal Windows Platform certification.

STEP 2 - EXAMS

Pass 1 required exam. Be sure to
explore the exam prep resources.

STEP 3 - CERTIFICATION

Earn your MCSD
App Builder certification.

Frequently asked questions

For more specific questions addressing the certification exam policies, please visit the Exam policies and FAQ page .

Q. What is the difference between the new MCSE and MCSD specialities, introduced in September 2016, and the existing ones?

A. The new MCSE and MCSD certifications (MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSE: Mobility, MCSE: Data Management and Analytics, MCSE: Productivity, and MCSD: AppBuilder) are aligned to Centers of Excellence, used by the Microsoft Partner Network to identify technical competencies that are widely recognizable by both Microsoft partners and customers. These credentials do not have a recertification requirement. Instead, the achievement date signifies how you keep up with changes to the technology. Every year, you have the opportunity to re-earn the certification by passing an exam from the list of electives, demonstrating your investment in broadening or deepening your skills in a given Center of Excellence. Each time you earn the certification, a new certification entry is added to your transcript. This process replaces the existing recertification requirement of taking a specific recertification exam every two years(MCSD)or every three years(MCSE)to prevent your certification from going inactive.

Q. What happens to the MCSE and MCSD certifications that I earned prior to September 2016?

A. All MCSE and MCSD certifications released prior to September 2016 will be retired on March 31, 2017. All active MCSE and MCSD certifications remain active on your transcript until retirement of the corresponding technologies, at which point the certifications are moved to the Legacy section of your transcript.

Q. Is there an upgrade path for me if I have previously earned an MCSE or MCSD certification?

A. To recognize your efforts in keeping your existing MCSE certification up-to-date, all individuals with active MCSE and MCSD certifications from the following list will earn the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certification for 2016, without the need to take additional exams:

  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Private Cloud
  • MCSE: Data Platform
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • MCSE: SharePoint
  • MCSE: Communication
  • MCSE: Messaging
  • MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: Web Applications
  • MCSD: SharePoint Applications

Q. Is there an upgrade path for me if I was working toward an existing MCSE or MCSD certification but have not yet earned it?

A. All individuals who have passed a qualifying elective exam since January 1, 2016, will be granted the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certification for 2016 without the need to take additional exams, if they have met all exam requirements.

Q. What is the recertification requirement for all MCSE and MCSD certifications released prior to September 2016?

A. For all MCSE and MCSD certifications released prior to September 2016, MCSE candidates are required to recertify every three years, and MCSD candidates recertify every two years. Recertification requires passing a recertification exam specific to your specialty. Recertification exams cover material from the exams taken to originally earn the credential, with particular emphasis on the most recent product and process changes. MCSA certifications do not require recertification.

Q. How long is a Microsoft Certification valid?

A. Microsoft Certifications are valuable in the market and remain valuable as long as companies are using the technologies covered in the certification. Over time, certifications retire and eventually transition to a Legacy status. Legacy Microsoft Certifications appear on your transcript, designated as such. For the most current certification status, refer to the Retired certifications page .

Q. Are there upgrade paths available for Microsoft Certifications?

A. Depending on the certification you have achieved, most certifications have an upgrade path available. For more information, check the “How to upgrade” section on the appropriate certification page.

Q. How do I find out about new certification releases?

A. To find out about new certification releases, refer to the newly released certification exams on the certifications exams page .

Q. Which certification should I start with?

A. For those new to technology, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is the recommended starting point for our certifications. Although not required, MTA certifications provide a solid foundation for those preparing for the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certifications. Those who have been working with the technology should start with the MCSA or MCSD certification, which are prerequisites for any further certifications. The MCSA certification validates that job seekers have a minimum set of skills to hit the ground running.

Q. Which exams qualify for the new MCSD and MCSE certifications introduced in September 2016?

A. Find out which exams qualify for the new MCSD and MCSE certifications introduced in September 2016, on this Microsoft technical certifications chart.

Q. What do I gain from passing a Microsoft Certification exam?

A. When you pass your first Microsoft Certification exam, you become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community, with access to all of the benefits provided through the Microsoft Certification Program and the MCP member site. You can share your transcript with others to prove that you passed that exam and to show your progress towards a specific certification. In some cases, such as when you pass an MTA or Specialist exam, that single exam also earns you the associated certification.

Q. Why don't all of the certification titles include version numbers?

A. Certifications that require recertification are not versioned because they may cover multiple technologies.

Q. Will getting certified help with my matriculation?

A. Students can now get college credit by earning a Microsoft Certification. The American Council on Education (ACE) has recommended college credit for several Microsoft Certifications.

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