Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

What is Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certification

Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) is a certification program that evaluates and recognizes the ability for IT professionals to design and build viable technology solutions. It is considered to be the gold standard for IT professionals and internationally recognized as a standard measure by which mastery in your field of expertise can be assessed.

The ability to create and design technology solutions differes by the type of certificated however it may consist of integrating many technology products or multiple versions of the same technology successfully. Prior to the Microsoft Certified Solution Expert, the certification popularly used was the Microsoft Certified System Engineer certification which only focused aspects of one specific job role and did not apply to all IT professionals.

The Microsoft Certified Solution Expert certifications feature 8 different areas where IT professionals can get certified in which are MCSE: SharePoint, MCSE: Server Infrastructure, MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSE: Data Platform, MCSE: Business Intelligence, MCSE: Messaging and MCSE: Communication. IT Professionals who get MCSE Certified are required to get re-certified every 3 years as a way of proving their continued expertise in their given area of expertise.

Why get Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certified?

Many IT professionals who are MCSE certified find that it is easier to get new jobs because their credentials are verifiable and the MCSE certification is a measure of proven success. Studies of hiring companies also reflect this as being truth since more companies prefer certified professionals as opposed to their seemingly less qualified counterparts.

According to the CompTIA, “Employer Perceptions of IT Training and Certification” study done in January 2011, 86% of recruiters indicated that IT certifications were a high or medium priority when they conduct their candidate evaluation process. The same survey also showed that 8 out of every 10 verify IT certifications among all job applicants.

A more recent study from April 2012, the “Microsoft Certification Program Satisfaction Study” showed that 90% of job recruiters take IT certification into consideration as part of their hiring criteria. This shows that without a doubt, IT professionals can only benefit from getting suffered. As or which certification to get, that depends on you field of expertise and your career goals but we can tell you briefly about each of the 8 programs.

IT professionals who take the effort to gain certification in their field of expertise are reported to receive an average of 9% salary increase soon after getting certified and 29% more over the long term as compared to colleagues who are not certified. (CompTIA, Employer Perceptions of IT Training and Certification, Jan 2011)

Types of Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certifications

  • MCSE: Server Infrastructure

The MCSE: Server Infrastructure certification is structured around data centers and is a validation that IT professionals have the skills and know how needed to run a data center. It focuses on the ability to manage a modern data center efficiently and at a high standard.

IT professionals need to possess expertise in systems management, identity management, virtualization, data storage and data center networking. The MCSE: Server Infrastructure is not for the faint of heart because the kind of jobs that an IT professional who is certified in it include information security analysts and computer networking specialists.

IT professionals who have other related certifications such as the MCSA: Windows Server 2008, MCITP: Virtualization on Windows Server 2008 R2 or the MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010, can upgrade their certifications to the MCSE: Server Infrastructure. All the former certifications only focused on specific job roles and upgrading them to the MCSE: Server Infrastructure will allow for being certified for multiple roles and having an more well-rounded mastery of IT skills.

  • MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure

The MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification is similar to the MCSE: Server Infrastructure however it is focused on the deployment and management of desktops. Mobile devices that provide users to access from anywhere yet still enabling security and compliance to be maintained are also included in the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification.

IT professionals are required to show their ability to efficiently manage deployment of devices and prove their mastery of skills related to desktop virtualization, application virtualization and remote desktop services. With a MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certifications, you are able to qualify for jobs such as data applications manager or desktop and device support specialist.

Similar to the MCSE: Server Infrastructure certification, MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure allows IT professionals who hold certifications in certain specialties to upgrade to the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification. The certifications that are able to upgrade to the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification include MCITP: Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008 and MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010.

  • MCSE: Private Cloud

The MCSE: Private Cloud certification is concerned about all topics that revolve around cloud computing technologies. It measures the ability of IT professional to successfully implement and manage in specific Microsoft private cloud computing technologies.

Candidates are required to use System Center and Windows Server to build their Microsoft private cloud solution which optimizes the delivery of IT services. Key goals are to achieve flexibility and automation needed for most IT infrastructure that currently exists or may be developed in the future.

Candidates who pass the MCSE: Private Cloud certification can look forward to working in job roles such as systems programmer,server administrator or network manager.

Additionally, professionals who already hold certifications in related fields such as the MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010 or MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008, are able to upgrade their certification to MCSE: Private Cloud certification.

  • MCSE: Data Platform

The MCSE: Data Platform certification is designed for database professionals who want to get a competitive edge in their careers. The certification focuses on the ability of IT professionals to prove a wider variety of skill sets related to building and administrating data solutions on an enterprise scale.

This includes the implementation of data solutions that are both physically on-premises and in hosted in cloud environments. Jobs that related the most to the MCSE: Data Platform are those in database management such as database designer or database analyst.

There are only two certifications through which IT professionals can upgrade to the MCSE: Data Plat form certification from; the MCITP: Database Developer 2008 and the MCITP: Database Administrator 2008.

  • MCSE: Business Intelligence

The MCSE: Business Intelligence certification is the best solution for IT professionals whose expertise in analytics, business intelligence reporting and big data. It focuses on the skills and capabilities needed design, integrate, build or deploy efficient solutions that provide better quality and quantity data to across the organizations.

Additionally, the MCSE: Business Intelligence certification has a component of business intelligence engineering as well as reporting analysis that professionals have to show mastery in.

With this certification, IT professionals are equipped for job roles such as that of a Business Intelligence and reporting engineer. Only candidates that already have MCITP: Business Intelligence 2008 certification can upgrade to the MCSE: Business Intelligence certification

  • MCSE: Messaging

The MCSE: Messaging certification validates and measures the skills of IT professionals to successfully manage the migration of their companies to a cloud environment. It is focused around the concepts of increasing the flexibility and productivity of work processes for users as well as being able to reduce data loss.

Candidates also have to prove the ability to improve or come up with data security solutions that can be implemented in their organizations. To a lesser extent, the MCSE: Messaging is similar to the MCSE: Server Infrastructure.

As such, IT professionals who hold the same certifications as those required to upgrade to the MCSE: Server Infrastructure, can also use them to upgrade to the MCSE: Messaging. With the MCSE: Messaging certification, IT professionals can anticipate job roles such as network administrator or computer systems administrator.

  • MCSE: Communication

The MCSE: Communication certification is all about the creation and deployment of consistent communication systems. The whole idea is to be able to connect your business or organization within the organization and to the whole world.

The MCSE: Communication certification is specifically for IT professionals who work in or hope to work in network administration or computer systems administration. It proves that the IT professional is able to translate business requirements accurately into relevant technical architecture.

It also verifies their capabilities for Instant Messaging and Persistent Chat. Several certifications that can upgrade to the MCSE: Communication include the MCSA: Windows Server 2008, MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010, MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010 and the MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2.

In conclusion

Prior to the creation of the various Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certifications, the process of certifying IT professionals was sectioned off by job description as opposed to the field of expertise.

The current structure of all the Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) modules for certification allows IT professionals to have certification in broader set of skills that make them qualified for more job roles as opposed to just one. The Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certification exams are challenging and rigorous.

Because of the rapidly change IT environment the Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE) certification is valid for only 3 years at which point holders have to renew.