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Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Certs on the Way Out

In mid-February, Microsoft announced a pending End-of-Life (EOL) timeline for its entry-level Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) credentials. Candidates for MTA certs can purchase exams until June 30, 2021.

Microsoft Learn is giving the hook to its Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams.I’m not sure how this snuck past me, but I just learned — now, in early March — that Microsoft is retiring its Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications. These have been the entry-point and fundamental credentials for Microsoft since 2010, when the company launched the program in partnership with Certiport, which also handles the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications.

 

The broad outlines are covered in a Microsoft Learn blog post, dated Feb. 16, by General Manager of Global Technical Learning Alex Payne. Titled “The future of Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certifications,” the post spells out “important dates and next steps” as follows (quoted verbatim):

 

MTA certification exam licenses can be purchased until June 30, 2021.

MTA certification exams will retire on June 30, 2022. Effective July 1, 2022, MTA exam deliveries by our exam delivery providers, Certiport and Pearson VUE, will cease.

If you’re working towards an MTA certification, then you will want to pass the required exam(s) before they retire on June 30, 2022.

 

If I understand this info correctly, then it means that exam vouchers will remain up for sale until the end of June, and that those vouchers can be exercised until one year later (end of June 2022). After that, those exams will no longer be offered and their associated Certifications will reach EOL.

 

If MTA Will Soon Be Over, Then What Takes Its Place?

 

Good question. According to the afore-linked blog post, the Microsoft Learn "fundamentals" training and certifications represent a new and more relevant slate of entry-level offerings. You can get a better sense of what those nine credentials are by perusing the following graphic:

 

Microsoft Learn is giving the hook to its Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams.

 

To spell it out a little further, here’s a list of what’s presently available in the Fundamentals branch of the ever-evolving Microsoft certification program:

 

● Azure AI Fundamentals (Exam AI-900)
● Azure Data Fundamentals (Exam DP-900)
● Azure Fundamentals (Exam AZ-900)
● Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (Exam MB-901)
● Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Customer Engagement Apps (Exam MB-910)
● Dynamics 365 Fundamentals Finance and Operations Apps (ERP) (Exam MB-920)
● Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals (Exam MS-900)
● Power Platform Fundamentals (Exam PL-900)
● Security, Compliance and Identity Fundamentals (Exam SC-900)

 

I see these "900" exams as largely Fundamentals focused, where 900 offerings represent lowest-level entry points. As numbers increment, the level of coverage and complexity goes up. It’s also interesting to observe that Azure and Dynamics represent the real anchors for this program, with three items under each platform.

 

Likewise, it’s interesting that Office and Windows rate only a single entry (Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals), with Power Platform and Security as co-equal singletons. This is a big, big shift away from the fertile soil that Microsoft's long-live certification originated from, and shows how far the company has come from its DOS/Windows OS and Office Suite roots.

 

Le roi est mort. Vive le roi!

 

Microsoft Learn is giving the hook to its Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams.To serve the most traditional audience for this kind of thing — namely high schools and community colleges — Microsoft offers its Learn for Educators program. This program makes instructional resources available to teachers “to help their students learn new technical skills for their certification journey.” Microsoft Learn also offers a variety of learning paths for students, too.

 

These self-study materials cover what Microsoft calls “foundational programming languages” that include HTML, JavaScript, PowerShell, Python, and more. They also serve this important entry-level audience, which ultimately feeds into the rest of the Microsoft certification and learning offerings.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ed TittelEd Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Business News Daily, and on Windows desktop OS topics for TechTarget and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at www.edtittel.com.