Looks like some changes are coming to the certification program, especially for SQL Server and Visual Studio. Read this article for all the details, but essentially they are planning three tiers:
- Tier 1: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist will require simply passing one to three exams based on a Microsoft technology. As products meet the end of the support lifecycle, its related exam will be retired.
- Tier 2: Microsoft Certified IT Professional or Professional Developer require a Technology Specialist certification, plus one to three more exams, based on the requirement for a particular path. This tier is tied to job role at an organization, such as Database Developer or Business Intelligence. Recertification will be required to maintain status at this level.
- Tier 3: Microsoft Certified Architect is a rigorous, board-level certification that requires recertification. Achieving Technology Specialist or IT Professional or Professional Developer certification not a prerequisite to attaining this level of certification.