Which MCSE Should I Get?

By | October 18, 2013

cloud computing, microsoft certified solutions expert, mcse, it certification examsThe global push into cloud computing, that is sweeping across the IT industry these days, is seen and felt everywhere. Continuing their strategic push into cloud computing and integrated solutions, Microsoft has introduced a new line of certifications earlier this year: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

The news could cause some confusion with another Microsoft’s certification of the same acronym: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. In fact, it had been one of Microsoft’s most popular certifications for quite a while, and has been recently retired.

So, is the new one its exact replacement? Not really, as the old and new MCSEs aren’t to be confused. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly has changed.

The new Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certification focuses on the ability to design and build technology solutions, which may include integrating multiple technology products and span multiple versions of a single technology, whether on-premises or in the cloud. The 8 certifications available in its framework have all been designed with this goal in mind. The previous Microsoft Certified System Engineer certifications focused on a much more specific job role.

Created as the flagship of the new certification framework, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert offers a set of interdisciplinary certifications, united by the company’s focus on cloud computing, business intelligence and advanced database administration.

There are 8 certifications available now, all of them consist of 5 steps, and therefore, require 5 exams. For all programs, recertification is required every 3 years (and we get the feeling that these MCSEs will be around for quite a while, so you may want to keep this information in mind).

With many candidates now asking ‘Which MCSE should I get??’ you certainly know that you are the only one who can answer this question for yourself, depending on the interests, skills and career goals you have. Yet, let’s take a look at the new MCSEs to get a better picture. Here they are.

MCSE: Server Infrastructure

Your next career step: computer support specialist and information security analyst.

This certification validates that you have the skills needed to run a highly efficient and modern data center, with expertise in identity management, systems management, virtualization, storage, and networking.

MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure

Your next career step: desktop and device support, and data and applications manager.

This MCSE will prove your skills in deploying and managing desktops and devices that provide access from anywhere, while maintaining security and compliance. It also validates your skills in desktop virtualization, remote desktop services, and application virtualization.

MCSE: Private Cloud

Your next career step: server administrator, systems programmer, network manager.

This certification validates your expertise in managing and implementing Microsoft private cloud computing technologies. With Windows Server and System Center, you will build your Microsoft private cloud solution to optimize IT service delivery and gain the automation and flexibility you need for your IT infrastructure, now and in the future.

MCSE: Data Platform

Your next career step: database analyst, database designer.

MCSE Data Platform certification puts you in a position to demonstrate your broad skill sets in building and administrating enterprise-scale data solutions both on-premises and in cloud environments.

MCSE: Business Intelligence

Your next career step: BI & reporting engineer.

With this one, you will prove your skills and the knowledge of techniques needed to design, build, and deploy solutions that deliver more data to more people across the organization.

MCSE: Messaging

Your next career step: network and computer systems administration.

Your MCSE: Messaging will demonstrate that you can move your company to the cloud, increase user productivity and flexibility, reduce data loss, and improve data security for your organization.

MCSE: Communication

Your next career step: network and computer systems administration.

This MCSE validates expertise in creating a consistent communications experience for your organization and connecting your colleagues to people around the world.

MCSE: SharePoint

Your next career step: systems or network analyst.

MCSE SharePoint ensures you get recognition for your expertise in helping a company organize, sync, collaborate, and share information across the organization.

Even if you are undecided as to which MCSE is right for you, you can still start working on your exams. As you have probably heard, they are tough and do take time for preparation. Yet, the good news is that 6 out of 8 MCSEs share the same 3 exams. So, unless you are considering MCSE: Data Platform or Business Intelligence, you can start studying for exams 70-410, 70-411 and 70-412. These 3 focus on the server infrastructure and Windows Server 2012, the knowledge of which is a must for a number of jobs.

Explore the MCSE section of the Microsoft website to make up your mind. Last but not least, Microsoft has a sweet offer for those of us who aren’t that lucky with the Certification exam the first time around. Until the end of May 2014, you get a free second chance to succeed on your exams. Looks like there’s no better time than now to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert. Visit this page for details.

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