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Certification retirement – the value of retired certifications


Retired certificate
Does retired certificates and exams have value?

As an experienced instructor in the IT and software development field, a topic I often get questions about is the retirement of certifications.

Every time certifications and exams are set to retire, a wave of uncertainty, even panic, seem to strike among certification owners and students studying towards certification.

Today I am going to try and address a few of these retirement questions out of a perspective of an instructor and developer who has come a long way with certification, +- 20 years. I guess I can call myself a certification specialist by now, especially on the Microsoft platform.

Certification Retirement Questions

The questions I am addressing, are the following:

1. My certification/exam retired. Does this mean it is now worthless?

2. Do my retired certifications/exams still show on my portfolio?

3. I am studying towards an exam that is set to retire. Should I still take the exam?


So let’s dive in and get those questions answered!

My certification/exam retired. Does this mean it is now worthless?

No, definitely not!

Retired exams and certifications are still valid and valuable!

I started my Tech certification journey in 2001, +-20 years ago and I can honestly say all the certifications and exams I did still adds value to my portfolio today.

Here are a few reasons:

  1. All the certifications and exams you did always reflect on your transcript, even after retirement

  2. Your hard-earned certificates and badges are also still available for sharing to employers and interested parties.

  3. Your certification history validates your knowledge and skills from the very beginning of your certification journey to the current point in time.

  4. Your reputation improves and your marketability is increased, with each exam you pass.

  5. Your earning power increases as the list of exams and certifications on your transcript grows.

  6. Companies are looking for quick learners who are willing to adapt to, and skill themselves in new technologies. Your transcript reflects your ability to learn and master new technologies

  7. Each certification or exam validates your knowledge and skill in a speciality area within a broader field like software development.

  8. Your retired certification may just prove a scarce skill which is in demand with companies running legacy systems. These skills may also be required, coupled with your recent certifications, for the upgrading of legacy systems.

  9. Some certifications and exams stay timelessly credible and valuable, for instance in languages and technologies which continue to grow and be in demand, for instance C#, C++, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Software development, SQL and data, among many others.

  • Exams and certifications retire all the time – don’t stress about it. The exams you passed and certifications you achieved are still as valuable as ever on your portfolio!

Do my retired certifications/exams still show on my portfolio?

Yes, definitely!

All the exams you passed and certifications you earned are currently credited and recognized on your portfolio, so you can share it with employers and customers and anyone you wish to.

Your portfolio (on Microsoft) consist of the following items:

  • Your official Learning transcript

  • Your certificates

  • Your badges

  • Your Score reports

Your Official Learning Transcript

To prove that retired certifications and exams are extremely valuable to you, I have included these images of my own current Microsoft Certification transcript:



When you look at the transcript, it is divided into the following sections:

· Active certifications

· Exams

· Certification history

All the exams and certifications you took still reflect on your transcript, even after retirement!

When an employer looks at this transcript, they will recognize that the candidate is knowledgeable and skilled in a variety of specialization areas, frameworks, languages, tools and technologies, including:

  • System architecture

  • Database design and development and SQL queries, starting with SQL 2000, 2008 and up to the latest versions of SQL

  • C++, C#, VB.Net, SQL, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, ASP. Net, ASP.Net MVC, Cloud and Azure, BizTalk server

  • Visual Studio and the .Net Framework – from the oldest to the latest versions

  • Data access in .Net

  • Software Development fundamentals

  • MCSA and MCSD in Web development

  • Developing Windows applications, web applications, distributed and enterprise applications, ASP.Net MVC applications, Microsoft Azure services and apps and Web services

Your certificates

Your certificates are always available to you in your portfolio, also for retired certifications. Here are some sample certificates:

Your badges

Your badges for retired certifications and exams are always available for you to showcase and share. You can connect your certification portfolio to your social media accounts, especially LinkedIn, which will automatically update on your LinkedIn portfolio as you earn new badges:



Your Score reports

You can still view your score reports for the exams you took through providers:


  • Exams and certifications retire all the time – don’t stress about it. All your exams, badges and certificates still show on your portfolio!

I am studying towards an exam that is set to retire. Should I still take the exam?

Yes, absolutely!

If it is part of your certification plan and if you want to prove your knowledge and skill in that particular area or for that particular language, skill or technology – you should definitely still take your exam as planned! It will become part of your certification portfolio and will always be part of your portfolio, no matter if it retired or not.

It may even be more of a reason to go ahead and take an exam that is set to retire. Your certification or exam may prove your specialist skill in an area/tech/language which is still going strong and is still going to be around for a long time in the software development field but without further certification opportunities, for example with the C# Programming specialist exam (70-483), Programming in HTML5, CSS3 & JavaScript (70-480), Developing ASP.Net MVC applications (70-486) and Querying Data with Transact SQL (761).

  • Exams and certifications retire all the time – Don't let retirement stop you from taking an exam or from achieving a certification that is part of your learning plan!


For beginners: The MTA range of exams

Recently, Microsoft announced the retirement of the MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Fundamental exam range in June 2022. My advice would be to jump in and take the exams while they are still available.

For a Beginner Software Development student, the C# MTA 98-361 Software Development Fundamentals exam can prove your knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

· Core C# Programming

· Object oriented programming

· General Software Development

· Web application development

· Desktop application development

· Databases

Here is a very successful and valuable free pdf guide I created to get you started with this certification:

MTA 98-361 C# Software Development Fundamentals: HOW TO APPROACH AND PASS THE EXAM STEP-BY-STEP: FREE guide

You will receive the following on completion of the certification:

Badge, Certificate and the exam and certification will show on your transcript.

Keep on studying and certifying!

No exam you write and no certification you earn will ever be worthless.

Certification has many benefits and advantages. Here are a few:

Some of the key benefits of certification include:

  • Validation of knowledge

  • Increased marketability

  • Increased earning power

  • Enhanced academic performance

  • Improved reputation

  • Enhanced credibility

  • Increased confidence

  • Respect from peers

Certification provides significant advantages to professionals and job candidates

  • IT professionals with certifications have an average salary of $111,334, 7% more than non-certified professionals.2

  • IT professionals who gained new skills and/or certifications last year received an average raise of $12,000-$13,000.3

  • 91% of hiring managers report certification is an important criterion for hiring.4

  • Certification makes job candidates stand out in a crowded job market.5

  • Certification makes a better case for that big raise or promotion.5

  • Third-party validation of skills is far more powerful than self-promotion of knowledge.6

  • Microsoft Certification gives individuals and organizations a professional advantage by providing globally recognized, industry-endorsed evidence of skills mastery, demonstrating technical abilities and willingness to embrace new technologies.

Certification can lead to additional benefits, including:

  • The ability to land a job

  • Proof of skills

  • Help you stand out from other job applicants

  • Increase earning potential

  • Having the right skills not only makes you a subject matter expert, but it could also give you a boost of confidence, a salary bump, and increase your job satisfaction.

The Tech journey

Tech journey

As technology advances, exams and certifications will retire and new exams and certifications will become available. Instead of stressing or panicking about it, view it as an exciting, continuous journey.

My advice is to keep learning, keep up with technology in your field of study, keep taking exams and keep certifying.

Just enjoy this rewarding journey!

It is the journey that matters in the end – Ernest Hemingway

References and further reads:

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