Qualifications for MCSE Certification

Sep 16, 2019

An MCSE certification is generally a design and solutions-oriented credential. Continue reading for an overview of the qualifications for certification, as well as job growth and salary info for a few career options for certified professionals.

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Earning your Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification can be a great credential to add to your resume as it portrays your expertise in Microsoft systems to potential employers. In order to qualify for the MCSE, a person typically needs 2 years in their desired MCSE option.

Essential Information

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification shows prospective employers and clients that individuals can design, administer, and implement infrastructures using Microsoft Windows server platforms. The MCSE credential has replaced the previous Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification, though students with the old MSCE can retain the credential as a legacy certification. However, it is recommended that professionals update their certification to demonstrate proficiency with new technologies.

Education Optional classroom-based training available throughout the U.S.*
Experience At least 2 years*
Skills Necessary Data center management; identity management; systems management; virtualization; storage; networking*
Specializations Server infrastructure; desktop infrastructure; private cloud; data platform; business intelligence; messaging; communication; SharePoint*
Other Requirements 5 required exams*
Median Salary (2019)* $69,000 - $107,000 for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE)*
Job Outlook (2018-2028)** 5% growth for Network and Computer Systems Administrators; 11% growth for Computer and Information Systems Managers

Source: *(c)Microsoft Corporation, *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

MCSE Certification Qualifications

Individuals interested in earning the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification have eight options: server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud, data platform, business intelligence, messaging, communication, and SharePoint. Each option consists of five computerized exams relating to the certification technology. Microsoft recommends that individuals interested in enrolling in an MCSE certification program have at least one or two years of experience in the selected certification area. Every three years, professionals will need to pass a recertification exam to maintain their credentials.

Microsoft offers a variety of certification exams that are aimed at different types of technology specialists. A few different certification programs that are currently available include:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
  • MC Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
  • MC Solutions Developer (MCSD)

Career Options

Some job opportunities for technology specialists with MCSE certification include systems engineer, technical support engineer, systems analyst, network administrator, network engineer, network systems analyst or consultant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the education level required of systems engineers is higher than the average level required for most technology jobs.

According to, individuals who have earned the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert designation are also employed as information technology managers, systems administrators and information technology directors. The lowest earning individuals in the list were systems administrators, who earned a median annual salary of $69,000 as of September 2019, while the highest earners, information technology directors, earned a median annual salary of $107,000 at the same time.

According to the BLS, network and computer systems administrators are expected to see an 5% employment growth from 2018 to 2028. Computer and information systems managers are expected to experience a 11% employment growth from 2018 to 2028.

You'll need a lot of experience with Microsoft systems as well as an intricate knowledge of various aspects of the Microsoft system in order to earn your MCSE certification. However, if you are able to pass your MCSE certification exam, there are many different career paths that will open to you.

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