Is MCSE still worth the time?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Certification' started by Pete Russell, May 7, 2007.

  1. Pete Russell

    Pete Russell Guest

    I have been wondering what route is going to suite me best! I have been
    working with computers for the last 8 years and am very knowledgable in
    desktop support as well as some server 2003 Administration. I know the
    basics of AD, DC, DHCP, DNS on windows server 2003.

    What I like most is solving problems in those networking areas and giving
    hands on end-user support. I would not mind being stuck in the server room
    either. I have been looking at taking the MCSE Windows Sever 2003 but just
    saw that some of the tests are set to be discontinued. Is the MCSE 2003
    still a good cert to get? or should I just wait till the server 2007 and
    vista come around and start there. I know that server 2007 is going to be
    awesome and alot of businesses will probably end up switching to 2007.

    Any feedback would be appreciated on the best road to start on.
    Pete Russell, May 7, 2007
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  2. Pete Russell

    Guest Guest

    From my reading of your post, if I understand you correctly, there are a
    couple things I would like to address here. First you note exams to be
    discontinued. Actually what is being discontinued is NOT the 2003 track but
    the 2000 track. At this point in time, with the near-to-mid-future longhorn
    release, there is no viable reason to continue the 2000 track when the
    products themselves are going by the wayside. Based on my understanding of
    Microsoft Learning policy, they make these kind of discontinuation
    announcements one year before they actually discontinue the exams.

    That being said, you ask then about the 2003 track. Right now my personal
    advice is that if you have not started your 2003 MCSA or MCSE, wait.
    Download the longhorn beta. Begin to work with longhorn; put yourself AHEAD
    of the curve on this one. The upgrade path from the 2003 credentials to the
    longhorn credentials is probably not going to be quite as smooth as past
    upgrades I wouldnt think because of the two-tier certification architecture
    that Microsoft now uses combined with how different longhorn is in how the
    server components are structured and administrated.

    Accordingly, I would note that exams for vista are already out there, in
    particular 70-620 is one that I see a lot of colleagues attempting. Start
    working on that, if you would like to work on your desktop credentials and
    wait for the information to come out on longhorn.

    Finally, make sure that you make it to one of the following webmeeting
    Guest, May 8, 2007
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  3. Pete Russell

    John R Guest

    As the prior poster said, none of the 2003 track exams are going anywhere
    any time soon. That being said, IMHO, there are plenty of reasons to go
    ahead and start the 2003 track if, and I stress the if, you see yourself in
    that arena in the near future.

    Many companies are still converting over from NT domains, let alone 2000.
    2003 will be around for many years to come. By proving yourself on 2003,
    you add value to your personal worth to those companies. Yes, there are
    those companies that will or maybe already have converted to longhorn just
    because it is there, but they are the exceptions. Most companies will be
    upgrading soon to 2003 and will remain there at least until longhorn SP2 or

    Additionally, certifications for longhorn are probably at least a year to a
    year and a half out. That's a long time to wait. The prior poster makes a
    good point that upgrading to longhorn certs may not be as smooth as from
    2000 to 2003. However, that still has yet to be announced. We really don't
    know. Plus, smooth or not, the upgrade will still be shorter than the full
    testing path.

    Showing a path of continued growth never hurts either. Five years down the
    line, do you think you would benefit from showing certifications on the last
    two operating systems, or just the current one?

    And finally, it depends mostly on you. Do you think you could achieve it?
    Only you know the answer to that one. If you think you could accomplish it
    in say two years, that would put in good shape for upgrading to longhorn as
    that is when a lot of companies will start thinking about upgrading. It
    might help you out significantly. Certifications are about proving your
    existing skills. Look at the audience that Microsoft recommends for the
    MCSE credential. If you fit the audience, then you have a step up on it

    Good luck in whatever you decide.

    John R, May 8, 2007
  4. Pete Russell

    Guest Guest

    Longhorn certs have been announced to beta at TechEd this year. Thus they
    are definitely not "a year and a half out".

    Given that timeframe, it really comes down to the driver behind your
    certification. If its something that you need in the next 6 months, evaluate
    how much that will be harmed by waiting for longhorn. If you cannot wait, go
    for it.

    I just really have the trouble telling someone with zero tests completed on
    the current track to pull the trigger on an entire testing path when we know
    for a fact that next-gen is right around the corner and the information in
    the community (including direct information from trika on her blog) is
    pointing towards a shift in the way that the certification is structured and

    If you had two tests done, I would say hit your next milestone, get the
    MCSA. But I really dont think thats the case here based on the original post.

    But I also would like to note that john brings up a great point. If you
    cannot get in the position to certify based on your *EXPERIENCE* with
    longhorn in the timeframe that you are looking at, then work with the 2003
    path, where your experience is/will-be in the near-future.

    In the end its really going to be about what you can achieve and your skills
    can substantiate. For someone who has access to Longhorn Beta 3 and can
    spend the next 6 months building capability around the platform, it doesnt
    make sense to complete the entire 2003 path right now and then the extra
    exams to upgrade. If you cant put that time in, or are in an organization
    that is change-resistive and will not need longhorn skills in time for you to
    see your certification investment pay off, then the 2003 track is more
    palettable as a mid-term strategy.
    Guest, May 8, 2007
  5. Pete Russell

    John R Guest

    There again, in my original post, I stressed the 'if'. If the guy was
    there. Like you indicated, we don't know his skill level currently. Some
    people have tackled the entire MCSE track in only a few months. Not me, but
    there are some out there :) If longhorn certs beta at tech ed, then they
    will still be 6 months out from there at least, so maybe a year and a half
    was a little bit of a stretch, but maybe not, we'll see. I just can't see
    advising anyone not to go after something just because next gen is looming
    somewhere in space. That is something that the candidate themselves have to
    choose, and it is our job to point out why they might or might not want to.

    Just one other note. Microsoft put together exam 621 to allow MCDST to
    upgrade to both MCTS (Vista) and MCITP (Ent Support Tech). So, although
    there is in fact a two tier system coming (which is a given at this point),
    they made the transition pretty smooth for those willing to take the test.
    We really don't know if it will be two tests, three tests, eight tests...
    All we can really guess at is that it will be less than the full path. I
    would speculate, but you know the comparisons of opinions to body parts,

    Have a great day, nice discussion.

    John R, May 9, 2007
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