Given the rapidly changing IT industry, one might expect certification exams to expire every few months. Luckily, this is not the case. IT Certification exams do expire, but not as frequently as one might expect. More often than completely retiring an exam, certification vendors offer updates to existing certifications to keep pace with changing technology.

What is the frequency of exam expiration?

As mentioned above, the decision to retire and/or replace an exam rests soley with the certification vendor. In general, the validity of a certification once granted, is typically valid .Frequency of exam expiration can be predicted. It depends on technology as well as vendor of that exam. Lets take a example of Microsoft, windows vista came in market after windows XP. But the demand of XP still high than vista, so XP was not retired at that time though it was old. This time windows 7 has come. It is better than XP, so Microsoft will decide to expire XP in near future.

What is the impact on my investment in certification exams?

There is no impact on investment of individual, if certain exams expire because when a exam expire, a upgrade exam of that is available. So users or students can take that upgrade exam, and make them upgrade according to the technology. Certifications are never wasted .If someone does not want to take upgrade paper, he or she can also get job because lot of organization does not change their setup. For example, this time oca dba 11g is most updated and demanding exam but in many organization still people are working on OCA DBA 10 g and 9i. So still there is demand for old technology. This proves that certification exams are forever, so the investment in certification is always profitable.

Why do exams expire or retire?

The decision to retire an exam rests with soley with the certification vendor. The factors are typically based on:

Demand for the certification

The more a certification is in demand, the more likely it is to stay valid. The less popular it is, the more likely it is to be retired in a couple of years.


If there is a major change in the underlying technology being tested, a certification vendor typically upgrades their exams.

Is exam expiration is good or not for employees

As we know, when there occur advancement in technology, new certification exams or upgrade of previous are available. If employees of a particular company, take these new or upgrade certification, they will keep pace with technology. They can do their work in better way. Efficiency and effectiveness of the employees are enhanched.

Notable exceptions

Microsoft and CompTIA are vendors that typically do not announce exam expiration dates in advance. As long as an exam is in demand by the market, the exam is not retired. Once the demand diminishes, the retirement date for the exam is announced fairly quickly.

One thought on “Do certification exams expire?

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