What You Need to Know about the New Windows 10 Exams
MCSA: Window 10 certification retires next month. If you're worried about validating your Windows knowledge via certification, don't worry. Two new Windows exams have rolled out — and if you pass both, you'll earn a new certification. As luck would have it, each one is covered in our Windows 10 training.
Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate is replacing MCSA: Windows 10. To earn this new role-based certification, you have to pass two exams: MD-100 and MD-101. Both exams focus extensively on Windows 10, validating the skills needed to deploy, manage, and maintain Windows.
Obviously, quite a bit has changed when it comes to Windows 10 certification. To make sense of it, we took a look at what learners should know about the new Windows 10 MD exams.
A New Era of Windows
By now, you probably heard Windows 10 will be the "last version" of Windows we're ever going to see. Microsoft has stood firm in their claim that there will be no Windows 11 or Windows 12, and so on.
Of course, this led us to immediately arrive at two conclusions. First, Microsoft will need to add new features and functionality to Windows 10 with the Windows Update process. So far, they have had two major updates per year: One in the spring and one in the fall.
Your exact version of Windows is now communicated via a version number. For example, if you are running Windows 10 Version 1809, your latest major update to Windows occurred around September 2018. This was the Fall Update to Windows 10 in that year.
The second major conclusion we arrived at was the fact that every couple of years, Microsoft will need to release new Windows 10 certification exams. After all, they are still adding, removing, and fixing features in Windows 10, even though the overall name of the client Operating System will remain "Windows 10."
The "Old" Windows 10 Exams and Certification
To get a better understanding of the new Windows MD exams, let's take a quick look at the MCSA: Windows 10certification exams: 70-697 and 70-698. Please keep in mind that the MCSA: Windows 10 certification is scheduled to retire April 30, 2019. However, the exams themselves have different retiring dates.
Exam 70-698 – Installing and Configuring Windows 10 (Retires March 31, 2019)
This exam consists of the following major topics:
Installing requirements and installation methods
Device and driver configuration
Enterprise environment installations
Configuration of networking, storage, and data access
Monitoring and management tools
Authorization and authentication
System and data recovery
Exam 70-697 – Configuring Windows Devices (Retires April 30, 2019)
This exam includes the following topics:
Authentication and authorization
System and file recovery
A quick glance at the MCSA: Windows 10 certification and its exams raises some eyebrows. Does it make sense for you to be certified in Windows 10? Or does it make more sense for your certification to validate that you can adequately support modern desktop operating systems?
If you examine the exam content between the two exams you will see many areas of overlap. For example, both exams focus heavily on remote management. Remote management is certainly a critical topic in this domain. But does it really need to be covered twice in two different exams?
The New Windows 10 Exams and Certification
Passing both the MD-100 and MD-101 exams earns you Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification. This role-based cert validates the knowledge and skills need to perform common desktop admin skills.
Microsoft clearly strived to map the new certification to common tasks and roles performed by Windows 10 admins. They also made a more concentrated effort to have each exam cover unique material.
Here's a look at the core topics covered on each of the new exams:
Exam MD-100: Windows 10
Deploying Windows 10
Manage devices and data
Exam MD-101: Managing Modern Desktops
Deployment with Windows 10 Autopilot
Upgrading to Windows 10
Group policies and profile management
Application deployment and updates
Mobile Application Management
Notice how these exams are much more precise and efficient in their scope than the 70-697 and 698 exams. For instance, Windows 10 in the Enterprise (including Active Directory) is not the major focus. This content is much more appropriate in the Server Certification category.
There is much less overlap in the two exams and a much greater focus on the topics that matter to us as Windows 10 support engineers or power users.
Get Ahead of the Training Curve
Because the MD exams are not far removed from beta, there aren't a lot of training resources available, yet. However, CBT Nuggets can help you get a jumpstart on the new Windows 10 exams.
Trainer Anthony Sequeira is creating training that provides the skills you need to leverage Windows 10 — as well as pass the new exams. Here's a list of our Windows 10 training that's live. Keep an eye out for more training this year.
You'll notice the latter two training courses map to specific skills covered on the MD-100 exams.
Anthony's Windows 10 training comes with virtual labs designed to help learners master Windows 10 admin skills in a hands-on environment. You'll be able to hone your skills without messing around in a live environment. Go from a Windows newbie to a support-level admin with increased confidence.
Microsoft still is king of the desktop OS, owning nearly 75 percent of the market share. Keeping your skills current and up-to-date with Windows 10 is a must if you work in desktop admin. One of the first steps is making sure you understand all the changes to Windows 10 certification and exams.
Good luck upgrading your Windows admin skills!