microsoft announcement

Microsoft Announcement: New Updates on Certifications for 2021

Have you heard about the latest Microsoft Announcement made on December 15th, 2020 with new updates on certifications? Microsoft announced the free renewal of Microsoft certifications to stay ahead with the most in-demand skills and the modified validity of Microsoft certifications to catch up on the latest technology innovations. Let’s have a take on the Microsoft announcement to get full details!

The year 2020 definitely had a huge surprise for everyone in this world. Microsoft has recently announced some new updates regarding certification renewals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tech giant has been constantly focused on meeting the accelerated digital transformation needs of enterprises all over the world.

The impact of the pandemic created a massive spike in demand for digital transformation, and the trend continues as it supports businesses and organizations with optimization. In recent years, Microsoft Azure acquired over 1000 new features. The primary areas of innovation for Microsoft Azure in their latest advancements include virtualization, AI, and machine learning. So, Microsoft has been truly prepared for the radical shift in the modern technological landscape. 

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Latest Microsoft Announcements and Updates

Microsoft has developed an assortment of role-based certifications and training that can help candidates in coping up with the changing equations of in-demand skills in a digital world. Microsoft certifications have been helping many tech professionals in updating their skills and prepare for future careers.

Recently, Microsoft retired its product-focused certifications and invested heavily in role-based training resources. On December 15, 2020, Microsoft brought forward some exciting updates in their certification program. The new updates were aimed at helping customers and partners cope with technology. Let us take a look at the new updates in Microsoft’s announcement for its certification program. 

Free Renewal of Microsoft Certifications

The first update in the Microsoft announcement refers to a method for certified professionals for the renewal of Microsoft certifications. While candidates had to pass rigorous exams earlier for renewing their existing certifications, the new update promises something simpler. As of early February 2021, candidates can renew their role-based and specialty certifications by qualifying for a free renewal assessment on the Microsoft Learn platform.

In comparison to the need for retaking scheduled exams, the renewal assessment provides the assurance of better convenience. For example, candidates could complete the assessment without any restrictions of time. Furthermore, Microsoft has allowed candidates to take the renewal assessment at any time within six months of the certification expiry date.

Successful candidates in the renewal assessment will get an extension of an additional year for their certification from the existing expiry date. Candidates could take the renewal assessment annually and access the free collection of customized learning modules for all renewal assessments. 

New Validity of Role-Based and Specialty Certifications

The second important update in the Microsoft announcement directly points to the change in validity for specialty and role-based certifications. Now, Microsoft role-based and specialty certifications will be valid for one year from the date of earning the certification. From June 2021, the new update in certification validity will be applicable for recently earned certifications.

The basic notion of shifting to the one-year validity for certifications revolves around the exceptionally swift pace of technology changes. The renewal of certifications on an annual basis would provide the assurance for skills and abilities required to perform in relevant job roles for the existing market. 

According to Microsoft, the new updates in their certification program is aimed at achieving a frictionless approach. The new approach basically intends to help students and professionals stay updated with the latest technology. At the same time, the new approach also focuses on reducing the stress, cost, and complexity of maintaining certification. Candidates could be able to develop a mindset for growth and the need for continuous learning with the new approach.

As a result, certified professionals could perform successfully in job roles, access better career opportunities, and serve as a crucial contributor in the cloud and digital transformation of an enterprise. Microsoft Certification is itself industry-standard evidence regarding real-world skills mastered through the certification and also enjoys global recognition. With the new approach, Microsoft Certification holders could also prove their skills for adapting to new technology. 

So, What Should You Do for Renewal? 

Microsoft also expressed its pleasure in sharing the new updates for helping professionals stay updated with the required skills. At the same time, the new updates can also simplify the certification renewal process considerably. Microsoft has also revealed additional details about the certification renewal schedule and methods for certification renewal.

The emphasis on the renewal of certification clearly points to the need for maintaining Microsoft certification with a mindset for continuous learning. At the same time, professionals don’t have to invest any costs or go through the trouble of rigorous exams for renewing their certifications. All the candidate would need is –

  • Should have a valid role-based or specialty Microsoft certification, expiring within almost 6 months.
  • Should pass the associated renewal assessment with their certification on Microsoft Learn before the expiry of the certification. 

On meeting the above requirements, candidates could then follow the steps mentioned below for renewing their certification.

  • Access the ‘Certification Dashboard’ for identifying the certifications available for renewal.
  • Verify that the certification profile is connected to the candidate’s Docs profile on Microsoft Learn. Connection of the candidate’s certification profile is important for taking the renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn. It is aimed at providing a better-personalized experience. 
  • After verification of eligibility for renewal, candidates would receive an email notification that would subsequently direct them to the renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn.
  • Successful candidates in the renewal assessment could get an extension of one year for their certification from the existing expiry date.

Microsoft also provided answers to many common questions that might confuse students and professionals after the Microsoft announcement of new updates. For example, the new certification renewal policy would not be applicable for fundamental-level certifications. Furthermore, the updates in the certification exam would automatically reflect on the updates in the renewal assessment. Similarly, the renewal assessments for certification exams will be available in the same language. 

Read the full Microsoft Announcement here!

Will This Change Help?

Therefore, the latest Microsoft announcement for 2021 has brought a meaningful change in its certification renewal requirements and validity conditions. As already evident, the changes are focused on coping with the faster pace of changes in cloud technology. On the other hand, the shorter validity period and free renewal process could serve as a formidable boost to the aspirations of students and professionals.

We are basically looking at the prospects for establishing the interest of students and professionals in continuous learning. So, once a candidate is certified, they would not just sit back and relax! Now, certified candidates will also look out constantly for changes in the technology landscape to keep their skills and knowledge updated.       

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

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