Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Certifications and Certificates

Though the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer credential is retired, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications are available to information technology (IT) professionals who'd like to demonstrate their skills through tests.

Essential Information

IT professionals who would like to earn the current Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification can become Microsoft Certified Solutions Experts. The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer credential has been retired. These programs usually require 2 or 3 semesters to complete. Courses cover topics such as configuring the latest Windows server and building a desktop infrastructure.

Colleges and universities frequently offer MCSE training as part of continuing education certificate programs. Some schools also offer this coursework as part of information technology or networking certificate programs that award academic credit to students who complete a curriculum. Both program types are generally geared towards IT professionals with work experience in the field. A background in IT, whether through academic training or professional experience, is typically necessary for success in an MCSE certificate program. In fact, Microsoft recommends up to two years of experience working with its hardware and software before attempting to take certification exams.

While some schools use the terms 'certificate' and 'certification' interchangeably, prospective students should be aware that college and university MCSE programs often award continuing education or academic certificates to students who complete the relevant prep or career training courses. They do not confer MCSE certification; these professional credentials are available from Microsoft and are awarded to candidates who pass a series of exams.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Certificate

Generally, each course is named for one of the MCSE certification exams; names will be a clue as to whether or not a school's program is up-to-date. Course titles include:

  • Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 databases
  • Installing and configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Implementing a desktop infrastructure
  • Configuring advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
  • Implementing data models and reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Popular Careers

Some of the varied careers open to those with certification as an MCSE include:

  • Information security analyst
  • Computer and network systems administrator
  • Database designer
  • Network analyst
  • Data and applications manager

Employment Outlook

Predicted job growth for these careers vary. For instance, network and computer systems administrators are expected to see a 8% (or about as fast as average) job growth over the 2014-2024 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, job growth for information security analysts is predicted to rise 18% (or much faster than average) over that same period.

Continuing Education

Computer technologies change almost daily, so specialists need continuing education to keep up with recent advancements. Additional certifications from vendors such as Microsoft are common ways to do this.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert courses cover systems configuration, infrastructure and implementation, among other related things.

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