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MCSE or MCTS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I've been in the IT industry for around 2 years now this whole mcts/mcse thing has been driving me nuts. So here's a few questions.

    1) Is MS phasing out MCSE in favor of MCTS? It appears that they want to split up parts of the MCSE into bits of MCTS to focus on product specialty.

    2) Would it be worth it for me to do the MCSE at this point? I'm sure Server 2003 will be around for another few years, but given that it will take at least a year to pass all or some of the MCSE exams, MCTS may seem like a better choice for shelve life. 

    3) Now that MCSE is being split into multiple MCTS exams, does that mean there is no MCTS-equivalent of a MCSE that Microsoft has designated?

    4) How do you feel non-early adopter employers will look at the MCTS at this current time?

    I guess I'll need to ask for my employer's opinion on this too, because one of them is a MCSE. Thanks for any input.
    Monday, December 15, 2008 12:33 AM

Answers

  • What is driving you nuts about the MCTS and MCSE?

    The MCSE was part of Microsoft's old certification track. And the MCTS is part of their next generation certification track. It is really that simple.

    Here is an excerpt of something I am writing:


    Until recently, Microsoft certifications had no real distinguishing factors to highlight your specialties. Normally if you passed one exam, you could achieve your Microsoft Certified Professional certification. The problem with this was it gave no clue as to what technology or skill set you were certified on. Microsoft attempted to fix this by introducing the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator), MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) plus specialty. Even with this slight change, there still left no discernable evidence as to what your skill set included.

    The Technology Series exams are designed for individuals who implement, manage, troubleshoot and debug specific Microsoft products and technology. If you have expertise in
    SQL Server 2008 and perform database administrator tasks such as installing, configuring, and maintaining, then the MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance 70-432 exam would be an excellent choice. Presently there are over 30 specialist exams available. The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist is not only a stand-alone certification, but it is also the foundation for the Professional Series as well.

    The Professional Series is intended to closely match a person's job duties and skill sets. For example, if your job duties include administering a Microsoft Exchange server then the MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator would be the certification for you. The same is said if you are database developer or administrator, server administrator, or enterprise support technician. Each one of these listed job titles has a Professional Series certification that closely matches your job duties.

    There is no equivalent MCTS or MCITP to the MCSE. The MCSE was a very broad certification at best. The new generation zeros in on your specialties and allow you a more "al la carte" approach - allowing you to choose the certifications that match your specialties and proficiency versus choosing something that you have never used (ISA, SQL, etc) just to satisfy an elective.

    Given that you have 2 years experience in the IT field, do you feel it would take you a year to successfully negotiate the MCSE 2003 exams? In what are of the IT field do you have proficiency - that is, knowledge and experience?

    Regardless of which certifications you choose, they should not be determined by "shelve life". If that certification matches your proficiency, then that is the certification for you.

    Hope that helps.



    Michael D. Alligood,
    MCITP: Enterprise Support, MCTS: Vista Configuration,
    MCSA, MCDST, MCP, A+, Network+

    The I.T. Classroom Blog
    Start. Research. Plan. Perform. Finish. Test. Evaluate.
    Monday, December 15, 2008 1:31 AM

All replies

  • I'm in a similar position and i chose to do MCSA instead of MCSE. Once i have MCSA ill do the upgrade exams so that i can achieve MCITP - Enterprise Admin.
    This could be something for you to consider also.
    Monday, December 15, 2008 1:22 AM
  • What is driving you nuts about the MCTS and MCSE?

    The MCSE was part of Microsoft's old certification track. And the MCTS is part of their next generation certification track. It is really that simple.

    Here is an excerpt of something I am writing:


    Until recently, Microsoft certifications had no real distinguishing factors to highlight your specialties. Normally if you passed one exam, you could achieve your Microsoft Certified Professional certification. The problem with this was it gave no clue as to what technology or skill set you were certified on. Microsoft attempted to fix this by introducing the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator), MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) plus specialty. Even with this slight change, there still left no discernable evidence as to what your skill set included.

    The Technology Series exams are designed for individuals who implement, manage, troubleshoot and debug specific Microsoft products and technology. If you have expertise in
    SQL Server 2008 and perform database administrator tasks such as installing, configuring, and maintaining, then the MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance 70-432 exam would be an excellent choice. Presently there are over 30 specialist exams available. The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist is not only a stand-alone certification, but it is also the foundation for the Professional Series as well.

    The Professional Series is intended to closely match a person's job duties and skill sets. For example, if your job duties include administering a Microsoft Exchange server then the MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator would be the certification for you. The same is said if you are database developer or administrator, server administrator, or enterprise support technician. Each one of these listed job titles has a Professional Series certification that closely matches your job duties.

    There is no equivalent MCTS or MCITP to the MCSE. The MCSE was a very broad certification at best. The new generation zeros in on your specialties and allow you a more "al la carte" approach - allowing you to choose the certifications that match your specialties and proficiency versus choosing something that you have never used (ISA, SQL, etc) just to satisfy an elective.

    Given that you have 2 years experience in the IT field, do you feel it would take you a year to successfully negotiate the MCSE 2003 exams? In what are of the IT field do you have proficiency - that is, knowledge and experience?

    Regardless of which certifications you choose, they should not be determined by "shelve life". If that certification matches your proficiency, then that is the certification for you.

    Hope that helps.



    Michael D. Alligood,
    MCITP: Enterprise Support, MCTS: Vista Configuration,
    MCSA, MCDST, MCP, A+, Network+

    The I.T. Classroom Blog
    Start. Research. Plan. Perform. Finish. Test. Evaluate.
    Monday, December 15, 2008 1:31 AM
  • Thanks for the replies, guys, it helped a lot!

    I really have no specialty at the moment, but I get exposure to mainly 2k3 with a bit of networking, administering, maintaining, AD, etc. So, it's kinda like the MCSE where there's a bit of everything. I'm trying to change jobs and they are all requesting MCSE cert., so that's why I was concerning myself whether the MCSE or the new MCTS would serve me better.

    I think I might go do the MCTS as it will help me focus on a certain item rather than the MCSE where everything is clumped together.

    Thanks for the input!
    Monday, December 15, 2008 8:26 AM
  • If a Windows Server 2003 environment is what you have been exposed to for the past 2 years, then that would seem the logical place to start. Currently, Microsoft has made no announcements of discontinuing the MCSE 2003 exams. Normally when this announcement is made, they give you a year to take the exams you need to complete your MCSE 2003.

    Depending on what all you have been exposed to, you may want to browse the Microsoft Learning site and focus on the individual exam detail known as "skills measured". Here, you can see exactly what Microsoft will ask of you to know before sitting the exam. You can determine if you have the proficiency in those areas.

    If you are wanting to first get certified in the 2003 technology, I recommend you take a look at the MCSA certification. This certification is designed for network administrators. It doesn't contain designing. It is directly aimed toward those administering and troubleshooting servers in a Windows Server 2003 domain environment.

    Let me know if I can be of more assistance.
    Michael D. Alligood,
    MCITP: Enterprise Support, MCTS: Vista Configuration,
    MCSA, MCDST, MCP, A+, Network+

    The I.T. Classroom Blog
    Start. Research. Plan. Perform. Finish. Test. Evaluate.
    Monday, December 15, 2008 5:57 PM
  • Hi,
    MCSE is about to RETIRE please donot go for that now. MCTS is the next generation of Certifications, Consider those.

    You may want to see the exams that are going to retire

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/status/examstoretire.mspx

    and for MCTS please visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/default.mspx

    Thanks,
    Adil
    • Proposed as answer by Adil Mughal Wednesday, January 7, 2009 6:16 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Michael D. Alligood Wednesday, January 7, 2009 6:25 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Adil Mughal Thursday, January 8, 2009 2:45 PM
    Wednesday, January 7, 2009 6:16 PM
  • Adil, your information is somewhat inaccurate. Microsoft hasn't annouced a retirement for the MCSE 2003 exams as of yet. Exams and certifications shouldn't be considered just because they are "new". If a person has proficiency in a Windows Server 2003 domain environment and meet or exceed the skills measured for an MCSE 2003, then that is the certification for them. Likewise with any specific technology that may fall under the MCTS or MCITP programs.
    Michael D. Alligood,
    MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician, Consumer Support Technician
    MCTS: Windows Vista - Configuration,
    MCSA, MCDST, MCP, A+, Network+

    The I.T. Classroom Blog
    Start. Research. Plan. Perform. Finish. Test. Evaluate.
    Wednesday, January 7, 2009 6:28 PM