MCSE Certification Guide

What MCSE means?

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification course designed for computer professionals/engineers who want to excel in the domains of IT design, solutions and security. An MCSE certification raises the employability quotient of an IT professional by equipping them with the ability to design the infrastructure as well as install, configure, administer and troubleshoot. The certification also demonstrates the ability of the professional to migrate the solutions as well as systems to future needs/ services of a business.

Who grants the MCSE certification?

As the name clearly suggests, this certification is granted by Microsoft. A Microsoft Certification validates the professional’s expertise in use of Microsoft technology.  The MCSE certification is the most popular of a set of certifications that come under the Microsoft Certified Professional(MCP) which has been formulated to build upon an individual’s capabilities to successfully integrate  various Microsoft products practically and holistically in the business environment.

What is the objective of MCSE?

The main objective of an MCSE certification is to enable high end technical qualifications and expertise in candidates. The candidates learn skills required to
  • Build innovative cloud solutions;

  • Run an efficient and modern data centre;

  • Design, implement & troubleshoot an entire infrastructure or its elements;

  • Manage the data, systems & its identities ;

  • Activities related to Networking.
What is the eligibility criterion to appear for MCSE certification?

To appear in the MCSE exam, candidates must have an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) certification.

How long is the course?

Depending upon the chosen modules, the course length can vary from 2 months to 6 months.  

Structure of the MCSE certification course :

You can have MCSE in all the mentioned categories.  Each category has their own key technologies which are listed below:
Mobility -  Microsoft Intune, Azure Active Directory, Azure Rights Management, System Center Configuration Manager, Windows System Center

Cloud Platform and Infrastructure - Windows Server Virtualization and Microsoft Azure

Productivity - Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Office Exchange, Skype for Business & SharePoint

Data Management and Analytics -  SQL server

Business Applications -  Microsoft Dynamics 365, SQL Server

What is MCSE recertification- why is it required?

The Microsoft certification remain valuable and valid for as long as companies are using the technologies that are covered under the certification. Over a period of time, certifications retire and become legacy. Microsoft has updated their recertification policy which requires all IT professionals to renew their MCSE certifications to stay up-to-date as new technology updates are released from time to time. Periodically, when newer technologies and their exams are introduced by Microsoft, IT professionals also need to upgrade their skills and knowledge by taking these exams.

How much do you need to score to clear the exam?

An MCSE certification exam has been designed to judge both ability as well as skills of a candidate in technologies. You need to score 70% to clear the Microsoft exam. Getting an overall balance percentage is essential. If one gets a high percentage in one skill set and a low percentage in another skill set, it could lead to a FAIL. So, overall preparation is important. Also, practical knowledge instead of just rote learning will get the desired results.

How much does the course cost?

To get an MCSE certification, one needs to clear seven exams. Appearing for each exam costs approximately Rs. 8000. The additional expenses include study material and study guides which the candidates need to pay for.

A candidate may choose to study on their own with help from Microsoft Training Centres or can join a reputed institute and get help in preparing for the exams in a structured manner.

It is worthwhile to mention, however, that the long term monetary benefits of getting this certification far outweigh the costs incurred.

Time duration of the exam

An MCSE exam has to be completed in 150 minutes. However, for candidates whose native language is not English but have chosen to take the exam in English, a longer duration may be granted.

Venue of exams

In most countries, there are Pearson VUE centres, where candidates can take these exams. If the candidates have decided to join a reputed training institute, it may have its own infrastructure and its own centres to help the candidates in registering and appearing for the various modules of the certification.

How can an MCSE Certification be utilised?

Having fulfilled the eligibility criteria, an MCSE certification ups the employability of the candidate by validating their technical and professional skills. They are eligible for jobs as computer support specialist and information security analyst. The certification equips the professional with multiple skills related to the designing, implementing and administering of technology infrastructure using Microsoft server platforms.

An MCSE Certified professional can choose job roles from among the below mentioned fields:
  • Network/Systems Engineer

  • Software Developer

  • Information Systems Administrator

  • Technical Consultant

  • Technical Architect

  • Technical Lead

  • Network Operations Analyst

  • System Analyst, and

  • Support Engineer 
Future of candidates appearing for MCSE certification exams

Most organisations including all the reputed brands in the world use Microsoft products and seek MCSE certified individuals. The skills and knowledge acquired from this course can be applied to the varied IT systems within an organisation and hence the professional can choose his area of interest within the organisation.  Higher salaries are drawn by professionals with a better skill set and this is just one of the perks of clearing the exam. If the candidate’s certification is backed by a Bachelors degree in Computer Sciences, there’s no limit to the growth that an MCSE certified professional can witness.

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