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.
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
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
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
and possibly the
If you decide that Active Directory isn't for you, then you may wish to consider the network security design
with it's optional
or the network infrastructure design
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
Also, if new to SQL Server, you may also want to get the
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
to step 6 (MCDBA),
to step 4 (MCSA), or
to the overview.