Microsoft Learning Issues New Roadmap for IT Certifications

A new year, a new Microsoft Certification roadmap. Behold (a small piece thereof):

Microsoft Roadmap 2016

When you think about it, the pending retirement of the MCSA: Windows 8 credential, along with its replacement by MCSA: Windows 10, one distinctive feature is about to vanish from the Microsoft certification landscape at the same time that another one appears. Thus, it should come as no big surprise to anybody that Microsoft has issued a new (Technical) Certification Roadmap in PDF Format, which lays out a current snapshot of that landscape. I've provided a snippet from that document (which is too big to reproduce in readable fashion here, hence just a piece rather than the whole thing) because:


1) It shows the revisions to the Windows (desktop) branch in the Microsoft Certified program that drops the Windows 8 MCSA and adds the Windows 10 MCSA to replace it, and

2) It shows the various visual symbols that readers can use to decode the roadmap and the various signposts and stopping points along the way.


As such roadmaps go, this one is quite readable and intelligible (especially when compared to some roadmaps from years gone by), especially because of the visual vocabulary it provides for the symbols it uses. Here's a full-size snapshot of the key that explains the symbols that you see in the foregoing screencap:

Microsoft Roadmap 2016 Key

This visual vocabulary makes it easy to see what's what on this latest roadmap, and I have to applaud Microsoft for putting in the effort to build something that's easy to follow (as a roadmap should be). Thus, looking at the Windows (Desktop) path at the top of the preceding screencap, you can see that three exams (70-687, -688, and -697) get you to the MCSA: Windows 10.


Of those three exams 70-697 also confers a Specialist certification in and of itself. From there, exams 70-695 and 70-696 lead to the MCSA: Enterprise Devices and Apps. The MCSA is clearly marked with an encircled star, while the MCSE is likewise emblazoned with an encircled starburst. Easy-peasey.


Overall, the new roadmap lays out six paths to Microsoft certification, labeled as Windows (Desktop), Windows Server, Office 365 (which branches into three MCSE paths for Communication, Messaging, and SharePoint), SQL Server, Microsoft Azure (no MCSA or MCSE just yet, though they may still be coming), plus a plethora of development paths (six in all, each culminating in an MCSD of some kind).


Grab yourself a copy of the roadmap to revel in those details. And kudos to Microsoft for finally providing a crystal-clear and entirely useful roadmap for all of its technical certifications!


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About the Author

Ed 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 Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.