If you’ve ever consulted an expert in the field of Microsoft systems, you’ve likely dealt with either an MCSA or MCSE certificate holder. Once standing for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, MSCE now stands for Microsoft Certified Systems/Solutions Expert, and is any person who has passed the exams necessary to show a depth of understanding in the following areas:
Windows NT operating system
Microsoft’s BackOffice server products
Networking with Microsoft products
Related desktop systems
Similarly, an MCSA – Microsoft Certified Systems/Solutions Associate – is a person with training in these areas that have yet to reach the level of MCSE. MCSE certification offers greater earning potential, as these professionals are employable by any number of information technology companies or as independent consultants to those without IT departments. Read on for more information about this valuable certification, and how to get your hands on it!
How Can I Prepare for the MCSE Certification Exam?
There are several ways to study and prepare for the MCSE exam. Some examples of avenues through which students secure their training include:
Taking courses through a certified instructional location
Certified courses offered to high school or college students
Self-study through the official Microsoft website
Certified training materials, available through a variety of channels
Regardless of how you obtain your training, a thorough study is necessary to understand the content you will be tested on to receive your certification.
Several independent websites exist primarily to help students prepare for this and other IT certifications. Some of the most popular include:
These sites offer either detailed information about the exam, study materials, links to helpful information or other relevant content. Students can use these as a supplement to the official Microsoft site, or as a primary source for study.
Depending on where you work or attend classes, your employer or educational institution may offer access to classes pertaining to MCSE training. These may be offered at a reduced rate for current technology students or IT professionals, or be covered by a grant. Be sure to inquire with your supervisor about your potential access to these in-person or online courses, as they can be valuable in preparing for the MCSE exam.
What are the Benefits of Obtaining Certification?
More than simply another certificate to decorate your office wall space, the MCSE offers several major advantages to students looking to improve their educational and employment outlook. Some of the biggest deciding factors for many include:
In some cases, passing the MCSE can earn you credit toward a college degree. This is usually true of a degree in information technology, though other degree programs may offer similar advantages. Consult with a college or university advisor or representative to see what options you might have in applying your certification to your degree.
The field of information technology changes quickly, and those who work within it must be able to adapt and add to their skillset as necessary. Taking the training necessary to receiving your MCSE certification will keep those skills sharp and keep you in the loop of what systems are being used by your potential clients. Whether you’re obtaining your first certification or updating one whose format has now been retired, securing your certification will show potential employers that you’re up to date on Microsoft systems and yield better employment results.
Many IT directors or employers today use MCSE certification as a deciding factor in the hiring process. This is to say that those with this credential can enjoy more employment opportunities than those without, as well as demand higher rates of pay. Many of today’s top web development companies employ professionals who have their MCSA or MCSE certification, offering ample job selection for those looking for work in the industry.
Where Can I Find Out More About MCSA and MCSE?
Given that MCSA and MCSE are both associated with Microsoft products, the best source of detailed information is the Microsoft official website. The company offers a web page specifically designed to provide information to prospective systems professionals. Additionally, Microsoft offers downloadable practice tests and more information upon request. You also have the option of choosing a training program offered by institutes, carrying the requisite authorization to help prepare for such certifications.
If you’re interested in a MCSE certification, go straight to the source and gather the tools and information you’ll need to prepare. It may take some time to be ready for the exam, but the certification can offer substantial returns on that investment for those willing to put in the work. Consider it a stepping stone toward your future in information technology; Microsoft systems certifications are excellent for building upon one another. Start your journey toward better jobs and higher pay with MCSE today!