Salary and Career Info for Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

Sep 22, 2019

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is an optional certification for IT professionals. Get some quick facts about the experience and exam requirements necessary to qualify for MCSE certification, and explore potential career options for individuals with this credential.

Having a certificate as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert is helpful for a number of IT related careers, such as an IT manager or system administrator. Individuals can stay up-to-date with all of the latest Microsoft technologies with this certification.

Essential Information

IT professionals who would like to update or earn initial credentials can now pursue the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) designation. This voluntary certification is for individuals who want to improve their employment prospects or demonstrate their familiarity with Microsoft software to potential employers. Requirements include passing scores on 4-5 written exams. While the old Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer designation is still recognized by Microsoft as a legacy certification, the technology covered by this credential is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Education Optional self-paced and instructor-led training is available*
Prerequisites Experience working with Microsoft servers, operating systems and applications*
Required Exams Certification candidates must pass 4-5 exams*
Specializations Desktop infrastructure, server infrastructure, private cloud, enterprise devices and apps, data platform, messaging, business intelligence, communication, SharePoint*
Career Options IT manager, computer support specialist, network and computer systems administrator, computer systems analyst, business intelligence and reporting engineer*

Source: *Microsoft Corporation

MCSE Career Info

IT professionals with MCSE certification have demonstrated their ability to install and configure the Microsoft servers and databases used to manage an organization's computer infrastructures.

According to Microsoft, individuals who have the IT experience required to pass MCSE certification exams are qualified for a variety of career options, ranging from computer systems analysts responsible for designing computer systems that meet an organization's IT needs to computer support specialists who work to maintain an organization's computer networks or help end users troubleshoot problems with hardware and software.

Successful MCSE candidates might also pursue careers in the areas of network and computer systems administration. In addition to installing network hardware or configuring an organization's computer systems, these administrators work to maintain system security and efficiency, whether by assessing network performance or implementing system upgrades.


While exact salary figures for Microsoft Certified Solutions Experts aren't available, does provide earnings info for IT professionals who hold current or legacy MSCE credentials. In some cases, these professionals reported earning more than their counterparts who have not earned MCSE certification.

For example, the salary for most systems administrators with MCSE certification averaged around $69,000 as of September 2019. Systems administrators in general earned between $49,000 and $104,000 during this same year.

Additionally, most information technology managers with MCSE credentials earned an average of $91,000 annually. IT managers without this credential earned salaries ranging from $53,000 to $132,000, according to September 2019 data.

The BLS projected the job outlook for network and computer systems administrators to be 5% - from 2018 to 2028, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Certification Requirements

IT professionals attempting to earn MCSE certification will need experience installing and configuring Windows operating systems and servers, such as Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012/14. They might also need work experience with desktop applications and software programs, like Office 365.

After gaining sufficient experience working with this software, MCSE candidates will need to pass four to five exams, depending on their specialty area. To study for these exams, current or aspiring IT professionals can enroll instructor-led courses available through one of Microsoft's learning partners. They can also complete the self-paced training materials available through the Microsoft website.

MCSEs are trained on the current Microsoft technology utilized in the majority of companies and organizations. Holding the MCSE certification can also improve earning potential.

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