New MCSE, a better way to get certified?

As a fresh-faced MCSA I'm eager to prove even more that I'm a ulti-geek and earn my MCSE, Microsofts top certification level. I yearn to show the world that "Hey guys, I know computers" on a grand scale. It might be narcissistic of me but I've never done good in school and I feel like I've always been looked down on by certain people so this is a way for me to prove my "worth", so to speak.

Microsoft did recently change how their MCSE work and in some ways it's better, after taking a long hard look at it and understanding what it does. It's easier to get the status of MCSE but you can do so much more with it now. Let's first take a look at how it used to work.

To get an MCSE, you had to have the prerequisite MCSA. So for the MCSE in Server infrastructure you needed to have an MCSA: Server 2012 or 2016. Makes sense but at the same time, that MCSA is a prerequisite for an MCSE in desktop infrastructure, private cloud, communications, messaging and SharePoint as well. To get any of these certifications you needed to pass to exams and every three years you had to get re-certified.

Microsoft stopped offering these MCSE and have now made them in to these four MCSE and one MCSD; Mobility, Cloud Platform & Infrastructure, Productivity, Data Management & Analytics and App Builder. When you have one of the prerequisite MCSA certifications (which works the same way as before, two or three exams), you can take one "elective" exam to earn the MCSE.

At first, this sounds weird. Only one exam after an MCSA to earn an MCSE? The point is that you earn the MCSE for that calendar year and you are able to re-earn it once per year, forever. Essentially, this is how it will work for me.

This year, I will take the exam 70-345: Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016. This will earn me the MCSE: Productivity 2017. However, next year I can take any of the other elective exams and get the MCSE: Productivity 2018 and start to build up my one MCSE with different topics. This can go on forever as Microsoft wants to add more elective exams every year.

This means that instead of re-certifying myself every three years, I'm building my MCSE up to become greater and greater. You can custom-build your certifications with the knowledge that you actually want to know and work with.

What do I think? After finally understanding how it works, I feel like this is a great way to get certified. Yes, it's going to be easier to get the MCSE-status and that would likely diminish it a little but overall it's a smarter way to handle the certification race.

Roberth Strand

Working in IT as a Windows Sysadmin working on security, Office 365, and a lot more. Lately, I've been having fun program and creating tools.. Also active with the Norwegian Humanist Association.


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