The MCSE Certification (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) is one of the most popular certifications on the Microsoft certification track. It is intended for IT professionals who are experts in designing and implementing business solutions using the Microsoft Windows Platform and Microsoft Windows Server Systems. There are no specific prerequisites for the MCSE certification, but Microsoft recommends that you should have at least one year of experience in administering and implementing network and desktop operating systems in a network environment.
MCSE Certification Tracks
To be certified as an MCSE, you can opt for the two certification tracks offered by Microsoft. These are:
The MCSE 2000 certification validates your skills required for designing and implementing business infrastructures based on Windows 2000 platform. You should have experience in working in computing environments of medium to large business organizations. To get this certification, you have to pass five mandatory core exams and two elective exams. Learn more about MCSE 2000 requirements, exams and preparation resources.
MCSE 2000 Specializations
There are also specialized certifications on the MCSE 2000 certification track, which you can take, if you want to achieve specialization in Windows Messaging or Security. The specializations are as follows:
The MCSE 2003 certification is appropriate for you, if you want to validate your knowledge and skills in designing and implementing the infrastructure for business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Get detailed information on MCSE 2003 certification path, exams, requirements, job roles and how to prepare for the exams.
MCSE 2003 Specializations
The MCSE 2003 specialization certifications are:
MCSE certification Upgrades
An MCSE certified professional has to upgrade his credentials in order to be able to validate his skills on the latest technologies, as Microsoft introduces new Windows products. The certifications do not retire, but you have to take upgrade exams to achieve the new certifications. The upgrade paths are as follows:
- MCSE 2000 to MCSE 2003 Upgrade: Just take two upgrade exams to upgrade your skills to Windows Server 2003.
- MCSA to MCSE 2003 Upgrade: If you are an MCSA certified professional, you can take two Networking Systems exams and an upgrade exam to become an MCSE.
- MCSE NT to MCSE 2003 Upgrade: Take the six core exams and upgrade to MCSE 2003.
MCSE 2000 or MCSE 2003?
You can choose either the MCSE 2000 or MCSE 2003 track, based upon your requirements and skills. You may choose MCSE 2000 if you want to:
- design and implement business solutions based on Windows 2000 Platform in medium to large organizations.
- be proficient in Windows Server 2000 and Professional operating systems.
The MCSE 2003 certification is appropriate for you, if you:
- are already certified as an MCSA or MCSE on Windows Server 2000 and want to upgrade your skills to Windows Server 2oo3.
- want to design and implement Microsoft Windows Server solutions and architectures on Windows 2003 Server.
- have one year experience in implementing and administering desktop and network operating systems in the computing environments of medium to large organizations.
Whether you have decided to take the MCSE 2000 or MCSE 2003 certification, you should have some specific skills that are required to pass these certification exams. If you want to be an MCSE, you should have knowledge in topics that include:
- Managing and maintaining Windows Server 2003/Windows 2000
- Planning, implementing, managing and maintaining Network Infrastructures
- Planning, implementing and maintaining Active Directory Infrastructures
- Installing, configuring and administering Microsoft Windows client Operating Systems
- Designing Active Directory and Network Infrastructures
- Troubleshooting users, computers, etc
- Designing and implementing Security for the Network
MCSE Certification Exams
You have to pass a total of Seven exams to get your MCSE certification. There are six mandatory exams (four Networking Systems exams, one Client Operating Systems exam and one Design exam) and an elective exam. The exams test your knowledge on technologies and products such as Windows XP Professional (70-270), Exchange Server 2003 (70-284), Windows Server 2003 Environment (70-290), Windows 2003 Network Infrastructure (70-291) and Windows 2003 Active Directory Design (70-297), etc.