If you're an IT professional with an interest in Microsoft products, a computer whiz thinking about a change of career, or simply someone looking to boost their resume, becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer might be for you!
In the simplest terms, the MCSE is a qualification that lets employers know that you have been trained in Microsoft network systems by none other than Microsoft themselves. Who better to show you the ins and outs of the Microsoft world than their own developers. For many companies, hiring an expert isn't easy there are plenty out there that claim to have the expertise required for the network administration roles often offered to MCSE holders, but how does an employer know who to trust? This is where the MCSE comes in! A trusted certification, licensed by a global company with an excellent reputation goes a long way to convincing employers you've got what it takes for the job.
This certification is not suitable for anyone, as candidates are required to have 1-2 years of practical experience using and maintaining servers, including installing, configuring, designing and troubleshooting networks and servers, though not necessarily using Microsoft products. The most successful after gaining the qualification are those who also have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or a related field, so whilst not a requirement, it is useful to bear in mind.
What you study will depend on your own choice of specialization, including not only your basic choice of course, but also the two elective modules you will sit exams for (there are over 30 options for this please contact your chosen technical or community college, or visit Microsoft's website for more details). Microsoft offers two MCSE qualifications at this time: one for Windows Server 2000, and one for Windows Server 2003. Both include a training course, which can last either several weeks or several months, dependent on the candidate's proficiency and available time for study, and both conclude with 7 exams which students must pass in order to gain certification.
The two courses are relatively similar, however they are geared towards individuals with slightly different professional aims. Whilst the Windows Server 2000 course is more suited to software engineers, or those with experience that are looking to become software engineers, who are or would like to be working in medium to large companies, the Windows Server 2003 course focuses on the student's ability to analyze business requirements and how to design and implement infrastructures for the networks and servers the company needs. There are also some differences in the exams you will take on each course, though both require students to pass 7 exams, with either one or two elective exams of the student's choice. Here are the differences in the exams.
As you can see from this information, whilst the MCSE course for Windows Server 2003 requires more networking and systems-specific exams, the Windows Server 2000 course gives students more options to specialize according to their personal interests and professional needs, resulting in a rigorous but flexible course of study. For those more interested in specialization, there are also other, more narrowly-focused MCSEs available, including:
Software engineers design, fix and edit software for a wide variety of applications, from online banking to the apps on your cell phone. As a software engineer with an MCSE, your role would be focused on the maintenance of the networks and servers your company uses, through the following methods: