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Microsoft Systems Engineering Certification Options

The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer credential has been retired. IT professionals who would like to demonstrate their knowledge of Windows servers can now pursue Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification.

Essential Information

The MCSE credential is available in eight specialty areas, including server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud, business intelligence, data platform, SharePoint, messaging, and communication. Training programs that prepare students to take all five MCSE certification exams require applicants to have entry-level Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) credentials or professional experience working with desktop operating systems and relational databases. Other programs may require prospective students to have already earned the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MSCA) credential, which is awarded after the successful completion of the first three exams required for MCSE certification. Individuals who are interested in preparing for the certification exams might consider enrolling in MCSE certificate programs or courses offered by community colleges and universities.


Certificate Programs to be a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

Courses in an MCSE training program depend on a student's specialty area. Many programs cover the installation and administration of Microsoft servers. The remaining instruction might discuss methods for:

  • Implementing data models
  • Designing business intelligence solutions
  • Monitoring a private cloud
  • Designing server infrastructure
  • Implementing desktop architecture

Popular Career Options

IT professionals with MCSE certification might face better job prospects, according to Microsoft. Positions available to successful MCSE candidates who meet minimum education requirements, such as an associate's or bachelor's degree, include:

  • Computer support specialist
  • Information security analyst
  • Network and computer systems administrator

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected average to faster-than-average job growth for each of these professions during the 2014-2024 decade. Network and computer systems administrators, for example, could see an 8% employment increase over this 10-year period. Computer support specialists and information security analysts could experience a job growth of 12% and 18%, respectively.

As of May 2015, network and computer systems administrators earned a median annual salary of $77,810, while computer support specialists earned a median of $51,470 per year and information security analysts earned a median annual wage of $90,120, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education

MCSE certifications are valid for three years. After this point, individuals must pass a recertification exam to renew their credentials.

While the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer designation is no longer available, there are still multiple certification options offered by the company. Students who want to earn one of them can complete a preparation program before taking the exams.


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