Building a New Certification

Microsoft officially kicked off its new Microsoft Certified Architect Program during the annual TechEd Conference in Boston in June. The elite new designation uses a peer-review process "to certify individuals who can successfully produce an architecture that solves business problems by employing Microsoft products."

Following are some facts and figures about the MCA Program:

Certification level: Advanced

Areas of certification: Solutions/Software Architect, Infrastructure Architect or Messaging Architect

Target audience: Practicing solutions and infrastructure architects with strong track records in successful, large-scale IT architectural projects

Available certifications: Maximum of 3,000 worldwide over the next five to seven years

Certifications issued to date: 66

Certification prerequisites: None

Experience prerequisite: At least 10 years of applicable experience

Cost: Application, $200 (nonrefundable); admission to program, $10,000

Process: Detailed written application and supporting materials; intensive two-hour interview with four-person review board

Competencies measured: Leadership, Communications, Organizational dynamics, Technology depth, Technology breadth, Strategy, Tactical/process

Estimated prep time: 80 to 120 hours over three to six months

For more detail, go to

About the Author

Anne Stuart, the former executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner, is a business technology freelance writer based in Boston, Mass.


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