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MCSE Certification

Find out what an MCSE certification qualifies one to do.

MCSE certification is given to those who have passed Microsoft certification exams. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
MCSE certification is given to those who have passed Microsoft certification exams.

A Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, or one who has obtained MCSE certification, has passed Microsoft certification exams. This person is qualified to design, implement, install, configure and troubleshoot network systems using Microsoft software and technologies. In order to become certified, candidates must pass a series of exams. Certification ensures that an IT professional can work with the most recent operating systems, products and platforms.

Obtaining MCSE Certification

As specified by Microsoft, a candidate must pass seven exams to earn MCSE certification on Windows Server 2003. These include six core exams and an elective exam. As Microsoft implements new server systems, other certification exams may be required. An MCSE can maintain certification and prove proficiency in the new system by taking these additional tests. The exams are administered at testing centers, and candidates can prepare for them by taking courses at training centers.

In addition to successfully passing these exams, a candidate should have at least one year's experience working with both client and network operating systems, including the administration and implementation of these systems.

Benefits of MCSE Certification

When individuals obtain MCSE certification, they can become members of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community. Members can take advantage of many benefits, including:

  • An official certificate, transcript and the use of the Microsoft logos
  • Access to discounts on services and products from a select group of companies
  • Invitation to conferences and training sessions
  • Access to product and technical information
  • Inclusion in the MCP membership directory
  • Access to Microsoft Certified Professional magazine
  • Positions Requiring MCSE Certification

The IT field is expected to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for network and computer systems administrators are likely to increase by 27 percent between 2006 and 2016. Likewise, Redmond Magazine reports that salaries for IT professionals are on the rise. MCSE training and certification may help IT professionals gain important expertise in this field.

MCSE certification may be appropriate for IT professionals with job titles including network or systems engineers, systems or network analysts or technical consultants. People in these positions may be members of a computing team environment that is responsible for monitoring, administering and maintaining a system network in a medium to large institution.

These positions can offer good salaries. A 2008 salary survey report from PayScale shows the median salaries for IT professional with MCSE certification by job title. For example, a senior systems engineer's median salary may be approximately $80,162, while a senior network engineer's median salary may be $79,861.

MCSE Certification Resources

MCSE certification may require an investment in both time and money. In addition, there are flexible training options such as attending classes in person, studying online or taking intensive training courses. Therefore, finding the right information and resources on MCSE certification is important. The following organizations offer MCSE certification resources:

  • Microsoft provides authoritative and comprehensive MCSE certification information
  • MC MCSE offers free certification resources such as practice exams, study guides and training materials
  • Transcender offers additional prep exams and practice exam software so MCSE candidates can hone their test-taking abilities
  • Computer Coach offers some online MCSE courses
  • Training Camp provides intensive one- and two-week training sessions.
  • Computer Training Schools provides navigation tools to find schools that offer this training program in the United States.

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