Microsoft Professional Program is Retiring
If you have already earned a Microsoft Professional Program certificate, or are in the process of earning gone, then congratulations! Take that achievement with you, promote it, and use it to the benefit of your career. However, if you haven’t begun work on one of these certifications, then your time is limited. Microsoft has announced that the Microsoft Professional Program is being retired; with a scheduled end date of December 31, 2019. Also, new enrollments into the program will end on September 15, 2019.
Microsoft has announced that the Microsoft Professional Program is being retired; with a scheduled end date of December 31, 2019. Also, new enrollments into the program will end on September 15, 2019.
What was learned through the development and community feedback fro the Microsoft Professional Program is being continued through the Microsoft role-based certifications. Some of the benefits professionals are seeing through technical certifications such as these include the following:
- Certified new hires reach full productivity sooner and find more opportunities for advancement. 
- Certified employees earn 15 percent more than those without certification. 
- Employees with certifications are nearly 20 percent more productive. 
Microsoft has released a total 9 of “micro degree” / certification tracks over the 3 years of the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). Let’s take a brief look at each of these tracks.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will define the next generation of software solutions. Human-like capabilities such as understanding natural language, speech, vision, and making inferences from knowledge will extend software beyond the app.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Accelerate your career in one of the fastest-growing cloud technology fields: IoT. This program will teach you the device programming, data analytics, machine learning, and solution design skills you need for a successful career in IoT.
Cybersecurity threats are on the rise and now more than ever businesses need skilled team members to help prevent and mitigate breaches. This 10-course program will help you identify threats early on and minimize breach impacts.
Designing systems that capture, process, and analyze data is critical for companies in order to have a competitive advantage. This curriculum takes students from their first select statement to orchestrating big data workflows in the cloud.
Learn critical skills through data analysis like problem solving, communication, decision making, and more. The tools of analysis may change, but its underlying skills will remain valuable.
Entry Level Software Development
Nearly all tech that you engage with relies on software. The job outlook for software developers is growing year after year. Simply put, Software Developers are the people bringing the modern world to life.
The help desk is the front line of engagement for customers when problems arise. With the IT Support track you will learn a wide range of skills to diagnose, troubleshoot, and solve customer issues.
To support companies to be more agile, the lines between development and operations are becoming increasingly blurred. Through continuous integration and deployment, students will learn how to react to changing market conditions.
How long do you have to continue completing an MPP track?
Enrollment in a Microsoft Professional Program tack is available until September 15, 2019. The Microsoft Professional Program itself ends on December 31, 2019. If you have enrolled in an MPP track, you only have until December 31, 2019 to complete all the required courses to earn the MPP certification.
Here’s the important dates  to be aware of:
- Final Track Enrollment must be completed by September 15, 2019
- All Tracks (and their courses) must be completed by December 31, 2019
- Final Capstones will be made available for completion from November through December 31, 2019
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you save and/or print your MPP track certificates by December 31, 2019. This will ensure that you still have access to the certificates you’ve earned once the program is retired.
Can I upgrade my MPP course completion to a Microsoft Role-based Certification?
If you have already earned, or are going to complete a Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) track by December 31, 2019, then congratulations! As you look to continue your certification journey beyond the retirement of the MPP program, then you’ll want to look at the role-based Microsoft certifications.
The MPP tracks provide great foundations for the job roles each one is based on. The curriculum for the MPP tracks is different than the required skills and objectives for the role-based Microsoft certifications with similar names. Consequently, the MPP tracks will not fully prepare you to be able to pass role-based Microsoft Certification exams. However, you will already be well on your way to possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to pass those exams. As you look to upgrade and progress your certifications going forward, the role-based Microsoft Certifications are a great option for you.
If you have already earned a Microsoft Professional Program certification in Data Science, DevOps, Cybersecurity, or any of the other MPP tracks, then you can take that foundation with you to build on as you progress through your Microsoft certification journey.
Here are some examples and suggestions of Microsoft job role-based certifications to pursue after you’ve earned a Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) credential:
- Data Science
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate
- Artificial Intelligence
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- None currently available
- Big Data
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
- Data Analysis
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
- Entry Level Software Development
- IT Support
Does my achievement still have value if I completed an MPP track before it’s retired?
Absolutely, YES! The credentials earned through the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) still demonstrate the skills and knowledge hiring managers are looking for in the technology fields covered by the MPP tracks.
You earned an MPP certification credential, and you should certainly still promote that on your resume and anywhere else it benefits your career. Just because the MPP program is retiring doesn’t mean the MPP credentials are any less valuable.
Can I still get college credit for my Microsoft Professional Program achievement?
If you are still looking to earn college credit for an eligible MPP track, then you will need to submit your request for college credit by December 31, 2019.
For information on how to apply for college credit, please refer here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/certification-exam-policies.aspx#policies-7