The definitive guide to SharePoint 2013 certifications

[Update: This article was updated on 4th of February, 2013 to reflect the latest changes to the SharePoint 2013 certification program]

SharePoint Server 2013 Preview RTM bits have been out and available for testing and kicking tires for a few months now. While there’s a lot to learn with regards to all the new and great stuff we’re seeing within the product, there’s also going to be a lot of ramping up for developers and IT Pros if they want to achieve any of the certifications Microsoft will offer for SharePoint 2013.

So what’s available for SharePoint 2010?

First, a brief reminder on what’s available for SharePoint 2010 today.

For developers, there are two certification exams:

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Application Development (70-573) is the first major developer certification for SharePoint 2010. I always say it’s fairly tough and requires developers to have true hands-on experience with the platform. The preparation material is available for classroom-based trainings, and is typically delivered as a 3 to 5 day course.

The second developer exam is Microsoft PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications (70-576). This is more of a high-level approach, and concentrates less on hands-on “Let’s just code that in Visual Studio” and more on the design and architecture aspects of the overall solution. It’s definitely one of my favorite exams, and the accompanying course material is also high on my list of “must reads”.

After passing these two exams (the 70-573 and 70-576) you get to call yourself a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD): SharePoint Developer 2010.

For IT Pros, there are two certification exams:

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Configuring (70-667) is the first major IT Pro certification for SharePoint 2010. It’s a huge collection of IT Pro things one has to understand, ranging from installing and setting up SharePoint to configuring the more complex features within a farm. There’s a classroom-based course material available, of course (the B-version of the 10174-material got a slight facelift, mostly because of Office 365 and SP1).

After completing the MCTS-exam, IT Pros can then continue with Microsoft PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator (70-668). This is aligned with the MCPD-exam for developer in the sense that it’s less hands-on, and more theory, best practices and do’s and don’ts. Here’s the course material topics. When you pass the two IT Pro exams (70-667 and 70-668) you get to call yourself a Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP): SharePoint Server 2010.

Each preparation training course of these four exams can be completed by self-studying, learning on the job and/or attending a classroom-based training.

What about SharePoint 2013? What’s available and what’s not?

So the story with SharePoint 2013-based certifications follows the same a slightly different rajectory we had with SharePoint 2010.

As of today, we have a total of 4 training courses available. These are:

FIrst Look Clinic: What’s new for IT Professionals in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 – it’s a 3 hour clinic, rather than a traditional training. I’d argue this is almost a full day training, since it took more than 3 hours just to skim through. Since it’s a very early look at SharePoint 2013 there’s not certification alignment for this clinic.

The second one is First Look Clinic: What’s new for Developers in SharePoint 2013 and it’s also a 3 hour clinic. More like a day, although there’s no labs available within the course material.

The third one is SharePoint 2013: IT Pro Ignite training. It’s a 3 to 5 day classroom-based training, including hands-on labs. It’s not widely available but does give you a deeper look and knowledge into what’s possible with SharePoint 2013 for IT Pros. As you might have guessed, the fourth course that is available is SharePoint 2013: Developer Ignite training. Also 3-5 days, lots of labs.

Finally, the Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 course was released for public use. A book is coming out in April from MS Press – see details here.

The first exam for anyone wanting to be fluent with developing solutions for SharePoint 2013 is Programming HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 (70-480). This exam was released August 20th, 2012. The accompanying preparation material is available (see here). This is a mandatory certification exam for the upcoming MCSD: SharePoint certification.

The second exam we already have details on, is for IT Pros: Core Solutions for SharePoint Server 2013 (70-331). Availability for this exam was scheduled for February 5th, 2013 and as of February 2nd, the certification exam was available from Prometric.

The third exam is also for IT Pros called Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013. It’s also available since February 2nd, 2013. Together with 70-331 and 70-332 you are two steps closer to being an MCSE: SharePoint.

The last requirement for MCSE: SharePoint (for IT Pros) is MCSA: Windows Server 2012. You can either complete this requirement with a single upgrade exam (70-417) or do all three certification exams: 70-410, 70-411 and 70-412.

The upgrade eligibility is for those who already hold a valid MCSA, or MCITP certification, such as MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010.

Anything else?

We are still missing the two SharePoint 2013 developer exams – more info on those when they become available.

You bet! Plenty to read, you should start from here, here and here.

Happy studying! Smile

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