CertificationMicrosoftMCSE

MCSE

Microsoft Certified System Engineer on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (MCSE 2003)

The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credential is the premier certification for professionals who analyze the business requirements and design and implement the infrastructure for business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows® 2003 platform and Microsoft server software. Implementation responsibilities include installing, configuring, and troubleshooting network systems. The MCSE 2003 credential is one of the most widely recognized technical certifications in the industry, a credential in high demand. By earning the premier MCSE credential, individuals are demonstrating that they have the skills necessary to lead organizations in the successful design, implementation, and administration of the most advanced Microsoft Windows platform and Microsoft server products.

The MCSE certification does not retire but newer versions of it are released every few years as Microsoft upgrades their core server technologies. There are no specific prerequisites for the MCSE, although Microsoft says: “candidates should also have at least one year of experience implementing and administering network operating systems and desktop operating systems.“ - Microsoft Web Site.

Job roles of those pursuing this certification typically include: systems engineers, systems analysts, network analysts, technical support engineers, and technical consultants.

MCSE 2003 Exams

The MCSE track on Windows Server 2003 requires that a candidate pass six core exams and one elective. That's a change from the Windows 2000 MCSE, which requires five core exams and two electives. The added core exam on the Windows Server 2003 track is a client operating system test, which goes along with four core networking tests and a core design test.

The four core networking exams are:

  • 70-290: Managing and maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
  • 70-291: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
  • 70-293: Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
  • 70-294: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure

The first two core exams are the same ones from the Windows Server 2003 MCSA track. The additions are the 70-293 exam, which deals with higher level enterprise networking, and the 70-294 exam, which covers the complicated task of setting up and managing an Active Directory domain.

For the client operating system exam, a candidate can choose between 70-270 (Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional) and 70-210 (Implementing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional) - the same choices from the MCSA track.

The core design exam requirement can be fulfilled with one of the two following exams:

  • 70-297: Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network
  • 70-298: Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network

The MSCE elective can currently be fulfilled by taking one of seven Microsoft exams. Click here for a list of the tests that can meet this requirement.

Upgrading from Windows 2000 certification

Microsoft has also provided an upgrade path from Windows 2000 certifications to Windows Server 2003 certifications. MCSAs who have certified on Windows 2000 simply need to take the following exam to upgrade their certification to Windows Server 2003:

  • 70-292: Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment for an MCSA Certified on Windows 2000

MCSEs certified on Windows 2000 will need to pass two exams to upgrade to the Windows Server 2003 track. The first is the 70-292 exam (the one for MCSAs) and the second is:

  • 70-296: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment for an MCSE Certified on Windows 2000
  • 70-290 - Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
  • 70-291 - Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure