MCSM - Messaging or Directory Services

jcadarshjcadarsh Banned Posts: 32 ■□□□□□□□□□

I have in all around 5 years of experience with Windows and Linux.

I have the MCSA - Windows 2012.
MCSE - Messaging and the MCSE Server Infrastructure.

I was wondering how the MCSM would change my career. Also if the exams are being conducted in other countries other than the US.

I am also doing my RHCA , have another two papers left on that.


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    ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    MCSM (formerly MCM) is highly exclusive and very difficult, like the CCIE. Unlike the CCIE, though, there aren't a ton of jobs out there that require MCSM or compensate in line with its difficulty. The vast majority of positions for MCSMs out there will take an MCSE or top-level MCITP.

    However, there are definitely positions in enterprise consulting firms that will seek out MCMs/MCSMs and will certainly pay them quite well. If you can find such positions, I would say it's guaranteed $120K or more, and the right positions can exceed $200K. Dell, HP, and Microsoft itself have a lot of MCMs and MCSMs.

    This is the US. I don't know if there's as large of a market outside the US. I don't know if anyone here can even answer that. My suspicion is that you won't find the effort worth it outside the US. As it is, the mastery-level MS certs are not the well-known, even in the US, and there is essentially no job an experienced AD or Exchange engineer cannot get without MCSM. The only member of these forums who is going after this cert works for Microsoft and didn't even have his MCSE prior to getting the job. MS hired him on Exchange experience alone, and he's only going for it because of his job.

    Long story short, I'm not so sure it's the type of cert that's reasonable to pursue independently as a credential to improve your resume. It seems getting a job as an Exchange or AD/Windows consultant and then getting MCSM is the more likely path.
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    jcadarshjcadarsh Banned Posts: 32 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you very much for your time and opinion.

    Appreciate your explanation. Guess I will wait for the job then I shall follow the certification only if my company pays for it !
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    ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    The MCITP: EMA 2010 is still a requirement, so you would need to pass those exams first.

    Prerequisite experience:
    • Five or more years of hands-on experience with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003: installing, configuring, and troubleshooting
    • Three or more years of hands-on experience with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007: installing, configuring, and troubleshooting
    • One or more years of hands-on experience with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010: installing, configuring, and troubleshooting
    • Thorough understanding of Microsoft Exchange Server design and architecture
    • Thorough understanding of Active Directory, Domain Name System (DNS), and other core network services related to Exchange Server
    • Ability to speak, understand, and write fluent English
    It's going to be difficult to get 5 years of Exchange 2003 experience if you don't already have it. I do expect the requirements to change once the 2013 MCSM track is developed, but there will still be an experience requirement. You used to have to apply and be accepted to attend a Master rotation in Redmond. That 3 week training requirement was a big roadblock that is no longer required.

    I would not want to attend the lab qual exam without the training, but I may have to try the exam as a way to prove I am ready for the training. Another challenge is justifying the cost of the training to my employer. The majority of my Exchange projects (Planning, Pilots, and Health Checks) do not require an MCSM. The only partner benefit I have found is that 2 MCSMs count as 4 MCITPs for the Messaging gold competency. Since we already have that competency, we don't see any real benefit. There would be a personal benefit in that I could demand a higher salary, but that's not a benefit to my employer.

    Things always change, though. MS may make the training more affordable for partners. MS may add more benefits or another partner level that requires having MCSMs on staff. We may start pursuing projects in the spaces (government, large enterprise) that require of prefer MCSM on staff. We may grow our messaging practice enough that we require an MCSM as a technical force multiplier on several simultaneous projects.
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