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Step 5: MCSE - Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

If you are following the steps, you now have four certifications -- two from CompTIA and two from Microsoft. You may find yourself writing your name as "John Doe - MCSA, Network+, A+". After earning an MCSA, people will usually drop the MCP out of their list of credentials being that it is impossible to hold an MCSA without an MCP. Still, you should feel proud. Now you need to make a decision. Do you have the fortitude to push on towards your MCSE certification? You will have a lot of work ahead of you to make that next step, so be sure you are ready. There is nothing worse than getting half way in and realizing you don't have it in you to continue.

The MCSE is Microsofts premier certification. It proves that you can design, install, and manage networks based on Microsoft operating system technology. When the economy is up, it will get you into a good position with many companies. When the economy is down, it will get you in the door for an interview when many other resumes will be passed over.

If following the steps here, you have four tests ahead of you to move up from MCSA to MCSE. First up you need to finish the last two exams from the core four step you bought way back in your MCP days. This will cover the network infrastructure installation and administration and Active Directory installation and administration exams.

A word of warning. The network infrastructure installation and administration exam (70-216) is known as the worst Microsoft exam. Even if you feel that you know the material, you will still find yourself struggling. This author's version of the exam had 72 questions with three and a half hours given to take the exam. By the end of that time, my brain felt like it had been through a blender. When it comes to this beast, study and then study some more.

After finishing the core four you will need one design exam and one more elective exam.

For a design exam, there are four choices available. The Active Directory design exam is probably the best one to go for being that it will help you with the newest technology which is part of Windows 2000. For this exam, you will want the study guide and possibly the exam notes. If you decide that Active Directory isn't for you, then you may wish to consider the network security design study guide with it's optional exam notes or the network infrastructure design study guide with it's optional exam notes. Any of them will work.

With the core four, a design exam, and the network managment exam (which acts as an elective) out of the way all you have left is one more elective for MCSE. My recommendation here is to go with the SQL Server 2000 exam. SQL Server is one of the key services commonly found on Windows networks (second to maybe Exchange Server), and it will also help you towards one more Microsoft certification in the next step. For this exam you will want the study guide. Also, if new to SQL Server, you may also want to get the virtual trainer.

Congratulations! Once you complete this step, you will have received one of the premier certifications in the computer industry. Even if you stop here, you have a good chance at getting a well paying job. However, if you are ambitious, you can continue to go forward to make yourself really stand out in the industry.

For more information and self study materials, take a look at the Self Study Certs MCSE certification page.

Study Material Costs
[cover] [cover]
MCSE: Windows 2000 Directory Services Design Study Guide
MCSE: SQL Server 2000 Administration Study Guide
Item Amount
MCSE: Windows 2000 Directory Services Design Study Guide42
MCSE: SQL Server 2000 Administration: Study Guide35
Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure Exam125
Windows 2000 Active Directory Exam125
Windows 2000 Active Directory Design Exam125
SQL Server 2000 Administration Exam125
 
Total:$577
Step 1-4 Cost1076
 
Step 1-5 Total:$1653
Supplements Tests
[cover] [cover]
MCSE: Windows 2000 Directory Services Design Exam Notes
MCSE: SQL Server 2000 Administration Virtual Trainer
Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure (70-216)
Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure (70-217)
Designing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure (70-219)
Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (70-228)
Alternatives Resources
[cover] [cover] [cover] [cover]
MCSE: Windows 2000 Network Security Design Study Guide
MCSE: Windows 2000 Network Security Design Exam Notes
MCSE: Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure Design Study Guide
MCSE: Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure Design Exam Notes
[cover] [cover] [cover] [cover]
MCSE Training Kit: Designing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure
MCSE Training Kit: Designing Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Security
MCSE Training Kit: Designing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure
MCSE Training Kit: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 System Administration
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You may continue on to step 6 (MCDBA), go back to step 4 (MCSA), or return to the overview.



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Copyright ©2002-2003, Delbert Matlock.

All company and product names may be trademarks of their respective companies. The material presented here is not endorsed by CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon, Sybex, or any other referenced company.