Certification Changes Brewing at Microsoft Learning

I had a great conversation by phone with Keith Boyd at Microsoft on Wednesday. Not only is Keith the Director of Business Project Management at Microsoft Learning, he is also the guy who's spearheading the company's Microsoft Professional Program, or MPP.


We had already talked earlier this year in January, and I contacted him to ask when the proposed additions to the MPP would be coming online. If you visit the MPP home page, you'll see them listed under the headings of Big Data and Front End Web Development, depicted like this:


Ed T 5 26 2017 Figure 1


As you can see, the two new program tracks are labeled as "Coming Soon." "How soon is soon?" is the inevitable next question. I got the answer from Mr. Boyd in something of a scoop: These new tracks will go live next week on Thursday, June 1.


Interested readers will want to tune in to check out details on program offerings in those tracks then, to be sure.


Mr. Boyd also told me that Microsoft is having great success, and generating great interest from both employers and tech professionals alike, with the recasting of its education and skills development offerings under the rubric of "Learning Paths." So far, the MPP beta track in Data Science is proving a stellar exemplar in this vein:


When we talked in January, 200-odd individuals had earned the "degree" to recognize successful completion of all program requirements. That is, they'd taken all the courses, submitted a capstone project, and paid the fees necessary to get official credit for all program elements.


Right now, at the end of May (four months later) that tally is over 1,000, with "tens of thousands of participants" (according to Boyd) actively pursuing this particular MPP offering right now. I can only guess that the upcoming release of the two new tracks will cause all these numbers to explode.


But wait! There's more. Mr. Boyd also informed me that three additional MPP tracks are currently in development and will go into beta sometime between two months from now (July 2017) and Microsoft's fiscal Q2 (calendar Q4, or before the end of 2017). He identified these tracks as follows:


? Cloud Administration (Release date TBD; probably July 2017)
? DevOps (Ditto the above)
? Back End Web Development (Complements the afore-depicted Front End track, release date TBD; probably sometime in the last three months of 2017)


I can't wait to learn more about the three new beta tracks, as well as digging into the two "coming soon" items that will go public next week. Count on me to keep you informed about all of that stuff, especially as the details get further spelled out.


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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 www.edtittel.com, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.