back to article Microsoft to hike certification exam prices

Microsoft has warned it is about to increase the cost of exams for its certifications, but can't offer any guidance on just how high the rise will be be or when details of the hike will emerge. Microsoft says “There will be a price adjustment on Microsoft certification exams in July 2016” and reckons that by posting news of …

  1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    £1 = $1, likely...

    Exchange Rate: exchange the '£' symbol in place of the '$' symbol. Done.

  2. RIBrsiq

    “There will be a price adjustment on Microsoft certification exams in July 2016”

    Maybe they'll drop the price...?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe they'll drop the price...?

      No, if they were value-priced you would RECEIVE money to take them.

      Let's add this up then.

      - Monthly charges in a fairly transparent attempt to hide true costs in OPEX rather than CAPEX and without the ever returning problem of offering something new to convince people to buy again.

      - Lots of questions about privacy. A lot of marketing, sure, but the reality seems to harshly conflict with the marketing.

      - Elevated implementation and maintenance costs as the people you need for it will cost more.

      - Less likely to have properly trained people onsite to keep it all safe, unless your training budget is decided by the person who takes it in the neck if it all goes wrong (which is rarely the case, so forget about training now).

      The future might be bright, but this way I don't see it feature many Microsoft banners.

      Which is maybe WHY the future is bright :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HIgh Prices...

    ... to support Legacy Operating Systems and their Crudware.

  4. Herby Silver badge

    And exactly what... the value of this "certification"? I suspect it doesn't amount to much, other than a tick box in the HR department.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: And exactly what...

      " I suspect it doesn't amount to much, other than a tick box in the HR department."

      all it can be is "proof of potential", and I think most who know better look at these 'certifications' with the obligatory skepticism. The certifications are highly overrated, like the "Ron Bailey School of Broadcasting" doesn't make you an electrical engineer (but you CAN pass the FCC test!).

      experience is proof of ability. certification and education are proof of POTENTIAL only. But like you pointed out, the HR 'screeners' will see the alphabet soup and that it matches their "list", and so robotically filter the resumes accordingly. THAT is its only possible value...

      ('what color is your parachute' would recommend bypassing HR anyway, so no need to follow the rules of mortals, if you can contact a hiring manager directly, because THEY are the ones who really recognize true skill and if you have it, they'll pick YOU over THEM)

      1. RIBrsiq

        Re: And exactly what...

        Think of it this way:

        Which's harder; getting a certificate or having the experience and knowledge that certificate is supposed to certify?

        Right. So if a candidate you don't know submits a CV to you and it doesn't even have the certificates that would cover the technologies they should be proficient in, what's the likelihood they'd do well...?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: And exactly what...

          Depends on how they submit it and what their background looks like.

          If someone submits a resume to me to be a virtual admin and they have 10 years of systems administration under their belt, a blog with some intelligent things, demonstrates they participate in user groups and a Twitter that's followed by half the vExperts, you know what...I'm probably going to hire that guy. Certification or no certification.

          Who the person is matters way more than the letters they throw at you.

        2. Chris Parsons

          Re: And exactly what...

          Well, I managed ok with my PhD in particle physics, and nobody ever asked me if I'd got any MS exams.

        3. BillDarblay

          Re: And exactly what...

          "Right. So if a candidate you don't know submits a CV to you and it doesn't even have the certificates that would cover the technologies they should be proficient in, what's the likelihood they'd do well...?"

          Speaking from a UK perspective, even if you have all the requisite certifications, if you are over the age of 50 then forget it.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: And exactly what...

      One of my old systems managers used to love certification and would have conned the boss into giving him a week in a dark cellar learning MS toilet cleaning if it got him away from actually managing the bloody stuff. He used to get about 6 weeks off training for certification every time a security update arrived. Lucky I was around to do his job when he was there too!

    3. Wiltshire

      Re: And exactly what...

      I agree, and Microsoft agrees as well. I've worked for them twice. Neither time was I asked if I had Microsoft certification. The second time, I was bold enough to ask why they didn't ask for that. "Oh, we can tell you've got the right experience, We only ask that of people without the experience".

  5. Nezumi

    As a holder of various MS certs, I'm inclined to agree...

    I've held one flavour of MS certification or another since NT4. Whilst they have opened doors for me, I fully agree that all they do is show potential. They show that I'm capable of understanding the theory behind certain MS technologies at a higher level.

    I would suggest that practical experience and ability is more important, but these exams may be of use to the aspiring IT professional looking to get a few feet on the ladder.

    I'm just about to finish my 2012 MCSE for 2K12 R2. I now need to make a strategic decision as to where my self-study and personal labs time goes. It's increasingly looking like I'm going to have to re-skill in the longer term. An exam price-hike might just be the final nudge I need to jump ship in terms of personal learning.

    Guess which technologies I'm looking at...

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Re: As a holder of various MS certs, I'm inclined to agree...

      Much the same, MCSE 2003->MCSA 2008->MCSA 2012 and looking at System Center exams.

      As much as MS are taking the piss a bit (Went from £88 to £99 not that long ago, and changed from Prometric who didn't charge VAT to Pearson VUE who do), the fact that VMware "require" you to sit their course before certifying you even if you pass the exam is ridiculous. Haven't seen the VCP course for less than £1400 anywhere.

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Re: As a holder of various MS certs, I'm inclined to agree...

        +1 on VMware. Had to become VCP certified for work by a certain date. No problem - 15 years of experience with various VMware products saw me through. Then, with a week and a half to go they tell me I have to also complete *their* course at £1400 to prove that I know the stuff that they'd just tested me on.

        One hour. That's hire long it took to skip through the online modules quickly and then score >95% on the test at the end of *that*. Do you think that maybe I know my stuff?

        Daylight robbery. And now I have 6 months to requalify or I lose my cert and have to do the course again. Dicks.

  6. shaunhw

    They ought to get their own people to take them, maybe we wouldn't have so many stupid bugs in Windows 10 then.

    Followed by the people responsible for the wretched UEFI bug ridden firmware, with most of the new computers breaking the standard, and maybe the trades descriptions act as well.

    Somehow right now it seems to me to be a bit like a quack awarding medical qualifications, given the unforgivable problems people have had with Windows and Office over the years and the fact that they take ages to fix them, if they ever do.

    My windows 10 SP 4 for example - the onscreen keyboard not appearing at logon requiring a reset, the disappearing Windows Store apps now thankfully resolved after months of denials and buck passing.

  7. steamnut

    No substitute for experience.

    What we need are apprenticeships. After 40 years in the industry I can honestly say that paper qualifications are worthless unless backed up by real world experience.

    Too often I have seen candidates with CV's littered with certificates, degrees and copious use of buzzwords. But ask them to create a MySQL table with an auto incrementing field or write a shell script to copy files over 60 days old to a backup folder and that are usually stumped.

    When I was starting out the industry was so new that the value of your CV was who you had worked for; in my case NCR and IBM. Other, usually smaller, companies knew the amount of quality training you received from those employers and that, coupled with your job title and how many years in those posts told them all they needed to know about you.

    Today, the youngsters get a degree from what what was a Polytechnic and they sit some on-line multiple choice exams. They then think they are ready for the real world - no they are not.

    If you look at the code that Microsoft "sells us" you can clearly see that even they have few coders of quality with the amount of redundant code that is still present. And no one can write well optimised code any more; they rely on cheaper memory and faster processors to cover up for poor code.

    That can charge what they like for the exams as, for me, a good interview will tell you if the person is any good or not.

  8. jake Silver badge

    Ah, yes. MS certs.

    Guaranteed trip to the shredder.

    I hire folks who know how shit works, not folks who can pass a cert course.

  9. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    The trouble is they're endless

    Novell NetWare 2 certified, yep, tick. Please upgrade to Netware 3, OK, tick. Now NetWare 4, phew more exams, tick. Oh, people don't want NetWare any more it's NT4 now. OK, even more exams, MCSE. Ta-daa Windows 2000 is so cool with AD! Please can you...

    No I couldn't and that was the end of that.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some employers use certification to shaft you when it comes to anual reviews and pay increases. If you don't chase the exams, you don't get a payrise. end of.

    AC because.

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