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.


  • introimage

    Microsoft Reverses Even More on Windows Recall

    Recall, a new Windows 11 feature designed to "retrace users' steps," won't be seeing the light of day anytime soon.

  • Image of a futuristic maze

    The 2024 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    Everything Microsoft partners and IT pros need to know about major Microsoft product milestones this year.

  • Microsoft To Wind Down Copilot Pro's 'GPT Builder' Feature

    Subscribers of Microsoft's Copilot Pro solution will lose access to a key perk starting next month.

  • Windows Server 2025 GPU Improvements Promise Major AI Support

    Currently in public preview, Windows Server 2025 is shaping up to be a major beneficiary of Microsoft's wide-ranging collaboration with chip giant Nvidia.