Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification is for information technology (IT) professionals who design and implement network and computer infrastructure based on Microsoft's server platforms. Online training options designed to prepare students for MCSE certification exams are relatively uncommon. However, students who are interested in building their computer skills can pursue a broader undergraduate certificate or associate's degree in a field such as information technology or computer networking. These programs may be offered fully online or in hybrid formats. In some cases, individual courses offered in these programs are also available to IT professionals who would like to earn continuing education credit.
Associate's with MCSE Certification Coursework
Associate's degree programs that include MCSE certification coursework teach students how to install, configure and administer Windows operating systems, servers and network technologies. Students generally begin by learning IT basics during the first two semesters and study Microsoft technologies in their final year.
The following is a list of MCSE courses available in online associate's degree programs.
Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
This class provides students with an introduction to Windows Server 2012. After studying administrative tools and interfaces, students examine installation options. They also learn how to create user accounts, manage storage space, identify security threats and configure firewalls and security settings.
Administering Windows Server 2012
Students in this course learn how to implement group policy infrastructure, configure desktop computer settings and deploy software. They can also study methods for monitoring network access protection, encrypting files and monitoring server performance.
Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
This course familiarizes students with the Windows Server 2012 features designed to configure file services, improve server storage and manage access to shared files. Students also learn how to configure security certificates and design disaster recovery solutions.
Individual courses can take anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks to complete. In some cases, curriculum is available entirely online, though there are programs that require students to complete some core or introductory courses on campus.
Online course delivery methods vary from college to college, but many make content available via message boards, e-mail, live video streaming and distance learning management systems, such as Blackboard. Students may also need to download required software and complete lab assignments, either at home or at their school's computer lab.
Students who complete MCSE training through an online associate's degree program and pass certification exams in such specialty areas as server infrastructure or desktop infrastructure can pursue employment as computer support specialists, information security analysts, data managers or applications managers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an employment growth of 12% for computer support specialists from 2014 to 2024.
Even though there are no online certificate programs that focus specifically on MCSE training, there are both undergraduate certificate and associate's degree programs in information technology that include courses that cover Microsoft software.