Enduring Value of the MCSE 2003

powerfoolpowerfool CISSP, MCSEMember Posts: 1,637 ■■■■■■■■□□
For those that are decided on whether to complete the MCSA/MCSE 2003 or to skip it and move to MCITP SA/EA for 2008, there has been a lot of debate and opinion about that. Let me give a little opinion based on my experience.

I certified as an MCSE on Windows 2000 back in 2002. I had some ambitious plans to also do MCDBA, but never got around to it. When the 2003 exams came out, I thought I would eventually get around to upgrading, but I didn't do it. Earlier this year, I changed jobs and I was going to skip the MCSE 2003 and do MCITP SA/EA. Very shortly after taking that job (which was actually lower overall compensation that my previous job, but was a larger shop, so better experience), I was offered an opportunity that I could not pass. This environment is huge... and they have just finished moving to Windows Server 2003 from Windows 2000. They do have plans to move to Windows Server 2008, but it will take a couple of years for that to be completed. As they place a lot of value in certifications, they require individuals to be certified as MCSE 2003 if they want to work on projects or support for Active Directory, Exchange, etc. So, I was somewhat compelled to complete the MCSE 2003.

Keep in mind, prior to this, I could legitimately claim myself as an MCSE, so I already had that on my resume. Many people that are making this decision are not presently an MCSE. The title of MCSE still has more value for job searches than MCITP. Further, also realize that if you decide to MCSE 2003, you are not passing on MCITP, so are putting yourself in a good position to more easily have BOTH certifications. Over your career, you with show your dedication by having a longer certification history. While it will not technically be longer by doing MCSE 2003 now, it will be perceived as a longer history since the product is more mature.

Lastly, I just noticed that the MCM/MCA certifications for Exchange 2010 require you to be an MCSE 2003 and an MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange 2010.

Also, if you start the path today, you can do the Windows 7 exam as your client exam which means for MCSE 2003 and MCITP:EA you need only nine exams, which is only two exams over the MCSE 2003.

Lastly, Microsoft has no security related certification or specialization in the MCITP series. So, you can do MCSE:Security for 2003 and have that as something to differentiate yourself for the future. As security becomes a more important skillset it will be more prudent.

Best wishes in your certification endeavors.
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Comments

  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I agree with you completely. MCSE will be around for awhile, even after the tests retire (which still have no end currently in sight.)

    Security+ test is tomorrow, and then I expect to get back on the MCSE train. Then I'll be working on MCSE:S since I'll have sec+ that just adds the 70-299 to get that. I've heard that the security+ alone usually holds more weight than the extra S on MCSE, but every little bit counts. (It especially counts when the MCSE retires and there are a finite number of people who already have it.)
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • Mojo_666Mojo_666 Member Posts: 438
    I also agree, and have both MCSE/MCITP and the specialisations for the very reasons you mention.
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    powerfool wrote: »
    ...Over your career, you with show your dedication by having a longer certification history. While it will not technically be longer by doing MCSE 2003 now, it will be perceived as a longer history since the product is more mature.

    Lastly, I just noticed that the MCM/MCA certifications for Exchange 2010 require you to be an MCSE 2003 and an MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange 2010.

    Also, if you start the path today, you can do the Windows 7 exam as your client exam which means for MCSE 2003 and MCITP:EA you need only nine exams, which is only two exams over the MCSE 2003.

    Lastly, Microsoft has no security related certification or specialization in the MCITP series. So, you can do MCSE:Security for 2003 and have that as something to differentiate yourself for the future. As security becomes a more important skillset it will be more prudent.

    Best wishes in your certification endeavors.

    I agree with you and I wanted to expand on a few of these points.

    IMO, having both an MCSE and an MCITP implies more experience. Perhaps in a couple of years when the MCSE is no longer available it will be easier to understand. If two candidates have mostly identical resumes but one has both an MCSE and an MCITP, it will look like he has been doing work at a higher level for a longer period.

    MS requires that you either have a 2003 MCSE OR you pass the 70-640 2008 AD exam. No surprise that they want AD quals for Exchange.

    Win7 can be used as the MCSE elective and XP as the client, and now you are ready for MCITP:EA and the upcoming XP-to-7 migrations. Another way to put it is you can upgrade your 2003 MCSE, but not downgrade your 2008 MCITP.

    You're right, so far MS is missing the boat on a 2008 security cert. They recently made the MCSA:Security renewable every 3 years to meet new government employee requirements but MS didn't say anything about 2008. Now that Forefront is a suite and not just one product like its predecessor, I would expect an upcoming security specialization exam.
  • TechnitoTechnito Member Posts: 152
    I agree with everything everyone said so far. I had planned on doing MCITP: SA/EA once my MCSE is done, but I think I'm just going to do the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 (649) and MCTS: Windows 7 (680) and call my Microsoft certs as done for the time being. I think for someone who to has an MCSE on 2003 and a MCTS on both Server 2008 and Win 7, they would be greatly valued.
    Knowledge is being an Architect, no matter what field.....
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