I received a congratulatory email from Microsoft MCP program today informing me that I was now an MCSE: Communication. Coincidentally, I had taken and passed 74-409 yesterday, but that was virtualization and system center exam which had nothing to do with Microsoft Lync!

Over matter of few hours, I noticed other fellow MCMs started asking on email and it became evident I wasn’t the only one getting this surprising email! What was happening? Was Microsoft giving away certification accidentally that we did not earn?

Fear not! Microsoft is not in business of giving away certificates without a candidate earning it. After explanation from Advanced Certification Program Manager it became clear what was going on.

Sometime in 2013, MSL announced that MCM/MCSM program is no more. Around the same time frame, MSL also announced that if you had existing higher level cert (MCM/MCSM including Charter designation if you attended beta program and had yet to complete down-level exams), you will be also granted down-level certification. The logic is simple, if someone became an MCM, they sure would be able to pass down level exams on the topic. And that is why the certifications started showing up as MSL followed-up on its promise.

If any one of those “mystery” certifications showed up on your transcript, look closely for what it would be down-level to, you certainly didn’t get it for free and are worthy of having one.

Now on personal level, I still believe, I haven’t “earned” this certification. I will certainly go ahead and take 70-336 and 70-337 exams because in my mind, that will truly make me worthy of that certification. How about you?

On the flip side, I am eagerly waiting for congratulatory email on my “Microsoft Certified Specialist: Server Virtualization with Hyper-V and System Center” certification which I did earn by passing 74-409! Smile