The Office 365 exams are being retired and replaced with Microsoft 365, learn more about these changes and what IT Pros should do next. There is a set of resources at the end of the article.



Role-based training and certification


During Microsoft Ignite 2018, new training and certification for Microsoft 365 were announced.  This includes new role-based training and certification that is set to effectively replace the traditional MCSE and MCSA certifications.

This is to better match job roles, the tasks that these roles perform in their day-to-day job and the skills these require, as well as how they are evaluated.

To determine key job roles in the industry, we began with market research, which helped us to define and refine the overall list of roles and skills. Then we consulted with industry subject matter experts who are working in the field—both inside and outside of Microsoft—and aligned our new training options and certification experiences with the defined roles and skills.”



Office 365 Exams Retired 


Specifically, the following Office 365 exams are being retired on March 31, 2019:
  • 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
  • 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services
This also means the MCSA: Office 365 certification is being retired at the same time.  For anyone interested in still completing this certification, they have until the end of March 2019 to pass both exams. There is currently no indication of this deadline being extended.

Microsoft 365 Certification


There are two Microsoft 365 replacement exams, which were available in beta December 2018.
  • MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services
  • MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security
Here are the new certification roles for Microsoft 365 announced at Microsoft Ignite 2018  
  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert
  • Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft 365 Certified Fundamentals
Also, since then there have been further announcements with these new roles:
  • Teamwork Administrator Associate
  • Messaging Administrator Associate
  • Security Administrator 
 There will be more roles announced in due course as well as the corresponding exams.




How to become a Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert


To become a Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert, it requires taking two exams  MS-100 and MS-101 as well as one of the new workload certifications listed below, so three exams in total:
  • Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
  • Teamwork Administrator Associate
  • Messaging Administrator Associate
  • Security Administrator 
 For those with the MCSE: Productivity certification, they meet the workload requirement already and just need to pass both MS-100 and MS-101 exams.




Is there an Office 365 upgrade or transition exam?


While the two new exams replace the old Office 365 70-346/70-347 exams because of the differences there will be no upgrade path to the new Microsoft 365 roles.  Anyone for example with a MCSA: Office 365 will need to take both MS-100 and MS-101 to obtain the new Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator role.

"Note that no transition exam is associated with this certification because the new role-based Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert certification is an expert-level certification. Previously, the related content was part of an associate-level certification."

The new exams will cover some of the existing Office 365 content as well as the additional components including Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security and how these integrate across Microsoft 365.

Microsoft 365 Training 


There are new training courses available that covers the contents of the Microsoft 365 MS-100 and MS-101 exams:



These can be booked accordingly with local training providers. 

Recommendations


For anyone that has taken either the Office 365 70-346 or 70-347 exam and wants to obtain the corresponding MCSA, it could still be worthwhile completing this.  It’s a good qualification and some of the content will carry over to Microsoft 365. The deadline for taking either exam is by 31 March 2019.

For someone just starting out with Office 365 certification, it might be worth waiting for news on additional roles and any related announcements. Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals (Exam MS-900) would be a good first step for anyone wanting to learn more about Microsoft 365.

What’s very clear is how Microsoft is positioning Microsoft 365, it’s much more than marketing, as it might seem to some.  Microsoft 365 is the future of cloud-driven productivity and security, that will be increasingly common not only in enterprises but for small business as well as academic organizations.   

MS-100 and MS-101 can be taken in any order but for those that have implemented Office 365 already, probably taking MS-100 first makes the most sense.  Look out for news on the availability of these exams.

Microsoft 365 is an opportunity for IT Pros to standout in the job market and get a head start, leading this technology, which is set to shake up job roles. In the resources section below there are getting started resources, as well as exam prep presentations for both the MS-100 and MS-101 exams.

Summary


Here is a recap of the changes discussed in the article
  • 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements exam retired March 31, 2019
  • 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services exam retired March 31, 2019
  • MS-100: Microsoft 365 Identity and Services and MS-101: Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security replacement exams in beta
  • No upgrade or transition exam
  • New certification roles - Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert as well as Modern Desktop Administrator Associate plus an option of Microsoft 365 Certified Fundamentals with more roles to come
  • Start learning Microsoft 365!

Resources