Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)Certification

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Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) is a middle-level certification that authenticates an individual’s capacity to develop innovative solutions across various technologies. The certification is offered in the following specialization:

  • Server Infrastructure
  • Desktop Infrastructure
  • Private Cloud
  • Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • Data Platform
  • Business Intelligence
  • Messaging
  • Communication
  • SharePoint

The process of getting the certification largely depends on the preferred concentration of the enrollee. The exam is a 5-step process and it integrates different question formats such as drag-and-drop, simulation problems, and multiple-choice questions. Irrespective of the specialization, the cost of the examination is $150. Over the past twelve months, there have been over 4,700 entry level jobs posted with this credential being part of the criteria for application. Most common title of jobs that are opened to people with the Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) certification includes:

  • System Engineer
  • System Administrator
  • Field Systems Technician

The MCSE is classically defined as the go-to credential for IT professionals specializing in Microsoft server technologies. There are a variety of exams within the title of MCSE that test knowledge with various Microsoft Servers, including Windows, SQL Server, Exchange Server, Sharepoint, and System Center (SCCM). MCSE cert-holders are able to demonstrate skills in designing, implementing and administering business solutions.

How to Become an MCSE

While the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer designation is still accepted as a legacy certification, IT professionals earning the new MCSE credential will become Microsoft Certified Solutions Experts.

What is the difference between MCSA and MCSE?

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and MCSE certifications are two of the most well-known and trusted cert levels from Microsoft. MCSA is generally defined as an associate or entry-level certification, while the MCSE is an expert-level certification. MCSA certification is a prerequisite to sitting for MCSE exams.

MCSA certifications usually focus on servers, operating systems, and web applications, while MCSE covers business intelligence, private cloud computing, server infrastructure, and data platform skills and knowledge.

What is the difference between CCNA and MCSE?

One question many IT professionals ask as they progress in their certification journey is whether they should work toward their MCSE certification or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. Both of these certifications are highly regarded by IT pros but each path has specific knowledge sets that should be considered.

MCSE is expert-level and validates your ability to work with Microsoft technologies. Microsoft offers MCSE certifications in data management, virtualization, productivity, cloud technologies, and networking.  A closer analog to MCSE in the Cisco certification hierarchy would be the CCNP certification.

Either certification can be useful for engineer or administrator roles, as you’re going to be working with a variety of technologies. The CCNA provides a solid networking foundation. The MCSE, on the other hand, is very specific to Microsoft.

Test Score and time frame:

The following exam details are applicable for each exam in the MCSE certification pool.

  • Time allotted for exam: 2 hours (120 minutes) per exam
  • Number of questions: 40-60* per exam
  • Passing score: 700** per exam

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