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MCSE vs MCSA Certification

written by: Anystar•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 10/30/2009

Obtaining a MCSE or MCSA certification is a great way to achieve success in the work place. Earning both of these certifications can lead to promotions and better pay. The article will explore the differences in the two certifications and the requirements for each.

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    Introduction

    The MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) certification focuses on managing and troubleshooting system environments. Those who pursue this certification will not focus on the details of building an infrastructure. The MCSA certification is the right certification choice for those who wish to pursue careers in management.

    The MCSE(Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certification focuses more on implanting the skills learned. In order to become certified as a MCSE, the certifier is required to take a series of seven exams. The costs of these exams are usually $125.00 per test.

    The MCSA certification requires a student to pass a series of four exams. Someone who has already obtained their MCSA can take three additional exams and become MCSE certified. The MCSA certification option is a good choice for someone who wants to obtain the easier certification first and then work at their own pace to obtain their MCSE certification. Candidates who pursue a MCSE certification are required to have a deeper knowledge of Microsoft’s products and the exams are very detailed. The exams cover topics related to managing Microsoft networks, administrating and troubleshooting applications, such as Exchange, DNS and WINS.

    A student who passes the MCSA exam will prove that they are able to administer and troubleshoot a Microsoft Window network environment. Those who pursue a MCSA will qualify for jobs as server administrators, support and implementation engineers. The MSCA certification is for those who want to be technical systems administrators and have the responsibility of managing a corporate network. Those with good people skills and are able to use their analytical skills to effect resolution in a corporate environment will benefit from this certification.

    If a candidate unfortunately fails an exam for both certifications, they are allowed to retake it and try to successfully pass it. A 14-day waiting period will be imposed in order to retake both certification exams. It the exams are passed, a candidate cannot retake the exam for the purposes of receiving a higher score. The Microsoft Learning Web site provides free information regarding taking each exam.