IT industry certifications are ending. It’s just how things work. The certifications that are aligned to the technology we use will also change as it evolves. Microsoft certifications are no exception. March 2017 will see the latest round in Microsoft’s certification exam retirements. What does this mean for you and the certifications you have? What does this mean for you if you are looking for work right now?
First, relax. The IT industry is well aware that technology and certifications change rapidly, which can lead to retirements. So don’t panic. We have some tips to help you make the most of your Microsoft certifications while you work on your IT career.
5. Keep informed
You know that Microsoft certifies you to receive a lot of communication from them. You can monitor the communication to find out when your certification(s), if any, may be retiring. Microsoft typically retires certification exams after a three year cycle. If you have held your certification(s), for at least three years, you should be looking for announcements or emails from Microsoft to inform you about upcoming retirements.
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Get started with training4. Do your homework.
Do your research if you have a certification about to be retired. Your certification doesn’t have to be obsolete just because Microsoft no longer offers that exam or set of exams. It’s a good thing that many organizations still use Windows Server 2008 and other older technologies. Your certifications are still valuable, even though Microsoft no longer supports them.
If you are a job seeker, do some research into the companies where you want to work. This will help you discover what technologies they use. You’ll be more convincing as a candidate if you can walk in and tell them about the products they use.
3. Learn how to talk about your retired certifications.
Practice makes perfect. Practice makes perfect. Ask a friend, colleague, or someone who is familiar with the IT industry to sit down with your and help you to discuss what you need to say in order to frame your experience. Practice your pitch until it is perfect!
2. Anticipate the question.
You should be proactive about addressing any retired certifications. Do not wait for your interviewer to ask about “outdated” certifications. Instead, address the question directly by addressing how you are able to use a wide range of technologies to better serve your organization’s needs and those of your end users. (See what we did? We just gave you a great start to your talking points!
It might be worth pointing out that Microsoft certifications are never expired. At least not until the system is changed again. Let them know that you are eager to take your MCSE or MCSD elective.
1. Show your passion for learning.
You can master technologies. Your certification(s) has proven this. Make sure that your interviewers know this and then focus on your passion for learning. Discuss the next steps in your learning plan to show your passion for learning. Demonstrate your willingness to learn and take the next steps. Tell your employers what you are most excited about and how you can help them. Next, connect your next step with the needs of the company you are interviewing.
Retired certifications can be a huge asset in your job search. You will be successful even if you have retired certifications if you are prepared to properly frame them.
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