Total newbie here. I am going for MCSA, however, the MCSE

madboymadboy Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey guys...

i've noticed you have combined the MCSA/MCSE in one forum. I am a newbie to this, so i thought i'd ask some questions. By the way, this forum is great!

Question 1. Is this because the three exams that need to be taken for MCSA are also needed within the MCSE?

I am going for MCSA first, because i have the Net+ and A+, and only want to stay as a network admin (which i've recently been promoted to), and well, who knows.

Question 2. I am assuming the MCSE is better looking on a resume (amongst teaching you how to be an engineer of networks??)
Just wondering what the major differences are.

Question 3. Now that i have access to Windows 2003 server, I might take one of the server exams first in the MCSA series (as opposed to installing Windows XP Pro topics). Of the two Windows 2003 Server topics, which one makes more sense to take first?? I am assuming 70-290, and then 70-291, and then i intend to take 70-270. Would you recommend this?

Question 4. From your experience, what's the best book to purchase for studying for MS exams??

Sorry for the bombardment. Much Love!


  • eurotrasheurotrash Member Posts: 817
    1. does it matter why the forums are merged?
    2. differences: mcse / mcsa.
    3. i'd take the 291 after both 270 and 290.
    4. i personally like Syngress, though i haven't tried the others like Sybex and MS press.
    witty comment
  • IT_AdminIT_Admin Member Posts: 158
    Q2: the biggest difference between MCSA / MCSE is that mcse is more recognized by employers. for some reason "not sure why" but mcsa never really took off. it is still popular but no where near the mcse cert.

    Q3: I would have to agree i would take 70-270, 70-290, 70-291. Although I didnt do it that way, I jumped all over the place, but i wish i did them in order. it makes more sense to follow them in order.

    Q4: I personally use the bundle of 4 core self study books from microsoft. I have found them to excellent, very in-depth. I have noticed however there is somewhat of a endless debate of which book is best to use to study. Either sybex or microsoft self study books are great you cant go wrong with either of them.
    Next victim: 70-351

    On my way to MCSE 2K3: Security
  • madboymadboy Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ahh thanks for the quick responses.

    By the way, I wasn't trying to give attitude about the forums being merged, i was just wondering if the exams that were part of MCSA were a subset of the MCSE exams... but i've looked up the MCSE/MCSA comparison and got an answer. Thanks.

    Anyway, i am off to the bookstore. I'll look up Microsoft books, because it seems like a good bet.

    I'll also probably do the exams in order, if that makes more sense.

    Thanks for the advice!

  • skully93skully93 Member Posts: 323 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm not 100% sure why you need the MCSE as opposed to the MCSA, unless you are indeed administering a large enterprise network with various sites, domains, locations, etc.

    However, it is much more recognized, and the concepts arent' bad (if diffucult) to learn, so I'm going to get there myself.
    I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.

    -- James Thurber
  • huzzxhuzzx Member Posts: 60 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Is it possible to go for MCSE after obtaining MCSA? Just completing 3 extra courses can MCSA be "upgraded" to MCSE? Since MCSE seems like an extension of MCSA with a few added courses.
  • Kevin.SmithKevin.Smith Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Pretty much, while on the road to obtain MSCE you get the MCSA along the way. I don't see why you wouldn't take 3 more tests if you already took 4. These are the exams I took in this order. 270, 290, 291, 350 (ISA 2004), 293, 294, 297. You can take different electives though to lead to the MCSE + Secuity or Messaging. Which I should have done, I was following an outline for a 6 month class, that cost me alot of money. Don't give up on it though. I've seen it happen too many times. Study your butt off and take the tests while they still offer the free re-take.
    WIP: A+ Essentials
  • keatronkeatron Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Having been down these tracks definitely helps in understanding the differences.

    MCSA: You are learning to administer a network (which is usually engineered and designed by others). You learn to do maintenance from basic to advanced. With 2003 specifically, you are introduced to more web rich functions and utilities (such as SUS), and scripting tools. From NT all the way up to 2003 the administration roll has taken a logically evolutionary trending towards automation.

    MCSE: You are actually gaining the basic knowledge required to actually design and implement networks (hence the design exam requirements). These design exams will involve somewhat real world scenarios in which you will be required to take things such as mission statements, business goals, and technical goals, decipher what they mean, then design an infrastructure to support these demands and requirements.

    This is about as precise as I can get without writing a novel and/or violating Microsoft's non-disclosure agreement. Good luck and stay focused on which ever route you choose.

    To answer your question about books I would direct you to browse this forum and search for study material discussions for these exams. From my experience, the big blue Microsoft Press books are very good for content, however they are not extremely entertaining reads.

  • FouveFouve Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    It's possible to get the MCSA while obtaining the MCSE by just choosing the appropriate tests. I am on my way to obtain the MCDBA, MCSE, MCSA, and MCP by taking 8 tests. 270,290,291,294,293,228,229,297 is my game plan. I hope this helps you somewhat. I planned it all out using Microsoft's Website.
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