This past year has certainly been an extraordinary one, and we’ve seen the impact of technology as it transforms to meet increasing productivity and collaboration needs around the world. In just the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we observed two years’ worth of digital transformation take place. And the momentum continues to help organizations and businesses optimize. In fact, in the past year, Microsoft Azure grew by more than 1,000 new capabilities, allowing us to innovate with the latest advancements in key areas including AI, machine learning, and virtualization. The rapid pace of technology change has truly shifted the landscape of in-demand skills for a digital world.
At Microsoft, we’ve been building a portfolio of role-based training and certifications designed to help tech professionals stay current and be future-ready. The retirement of product-focused certifications has allowed us to continue investing in our role-based learning offerings. And today, we’re excited to announce a couple of upcoming updates to our certification program to help our customers and partners keep pace with technology.
First, we’re providing our certified professionals a method to renew their Microsoft Certifications, initially earned by passing rigorous exam(s). In March 2021, you’ll be able to renew your role-based and specialty certifications by passing a free renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn. Rather than having to retake scheduled exam(s), the renewal assessment can be completed online on your own time, and anytime within six months before your certification expires. After you pass the renewal assessment, your certification is extended by one additional year from the current expiration date; this can be done annually. To help you prepare, you’ll also have the option to access a free collection of curated learning modules for each renewal assessment.
Second, we’re updating the validity for role-based and specialty certifications to one year from the date you earned it. Starting in June 2021, this change will take effect for newly earned certifications. The shift to a one-year certification validity aligns to how quickly cloud technology changes; renewing certifications on an annual basis validates skills and ability to perform in job roles are relevant in the market.
This new frictionless approach is intended to enable you to focus on keeping current with technology, while also reducing the stress, complexity, and cost of keeping your certification active. Embracing a growth mindset and the need for continuous learning can help you open career opportunities, successfully perform in job roles, and continue to support your organization’s digital and cloud transformation. With a Microsoft Certification—globally recognized and industry-endorsed evidence of mastered real-world skills—you also demonstrate your proficiency in keeping pace with technology.
We’re happy to share these upcoming changes that enable you to stay current with necessary skills and to seamlessly weave in your certification renewal. For additional details on how to renew role-based and specialty certifications, including answers to frequently asked questions, check out the Renew your Microsoft Certification page. We thank you for sharing your learning journey with us, and we look forward to keeping you up to date on technology’s groundbreaking ability to continue transforming our world.