Microsoft offers a number of certification levels depending on specific areas of proficiency and nature of job. Some of the certifications pertaining to the field of networking are: Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MCSA) Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) Each certification level has certain exams associated with it.
Introduction to Microsoft Certifications
Certifications are a necessity these days, to tell the good from the bad at the start itself. However, the test does not stop there; it only means you have a chance at the job and not the job itself. Microsoft has gone to great lengths to ensure a certified engineer is tested academically on all aspects of an enterprise network, if he claims to be a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Microsoft offers a number of certification levels depending on specific areas of proficiency and nature of job. Some of the certifications pertaining to the field of networking are: Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MCSA) Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) Each certification level has certain exams associated with it. You can decide the appropriate level of the certification exam based on your experience, skills, and interests.
Why Microsoft Certification?
Consider a bunch of prospective employees who knew the technology well, and you possessed the certification too along with the required experience, it is your guess as well as mine as to who will land up with the job. Yes, Microsoft certification is a basis for streamlining recruitment process. A pass that could help you gain an entry to the organization, well at least the interview if not the job itself!
For whom are these certifications meant?
If your line of job falls within the provided list, then the exam/certification is for you: System administrator Network engineers Systems engineers Training – Network MIS Enterprise administrator Web administrators
What comprises MCSE 2003 Certification track?
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) candidates on the Microsoft Win-dows Server 2003 track are required to pass following 6 core exams and 1 elective exam: Core Exams: Networking (4 Exams Required) 70-290: Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment. 70-291: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure. 70-293: Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infra-structure. 70-294: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure. Core Exam: Client Operating System (1 Exam Required) 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows® XP Professional. 70-210: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional. Core Exam: Design (1 Exam Required) 70-297: Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure (Note: May be used as Design requirement or elective, but not both). 70-298: Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network (Note: May be used as Design requirement or elective, but not both).
Beginning with the release of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003–related exams, Microsoft provides numerical scores on exams. The new scale requires a minimum passing score of 700 on all exams. The maximum score on the exams will vary de-pending on the complexity of the skills being measured. You can check out these de-tails on Microsoft web site to update yourself for any changes.
About the exams itself
There are seven exams in all to pass and can be tedious with the varying question patterns, scenarios etc. Unless you have poured in hours of preparation and turned in every page of every book possible you would not get a passing score in all the seven exams at one go. Knowing something about the Exam Model will help you. Most of the questions in the exam are multiple choices. The questions require the “best” answer from several close responses. Some questions may present an implementation scenario, requirements, and a proposed solution and then ask if the solution meets all of the requirements or combinations of the primary and secondary requirements. Microsoft has introduced some testing innovations for the certification exams like Hot Area, Active Screen, Drag-and-Drop, Case Study-based Test Demo, Exams with Simulations. NOTE: Exams 70-297 and 70-298 may each count once as either core design exam or elective exam.
Resources The best way to success is hands-on, hands-on and more hands-on. But then again, you would not lose if you tried a Sybex series preparation book, or MSDN site itself for the knowledge base, case study and so on. Read as many white papers as you can on all Microsoft technologies; it is the best way to understand a technology from the basics. Lastly do not appear for the exam before trying your hands on a good exam simulator, especially if your money and time are precious to you. Be Warned! Studying or cramming will no longer do. These exams now carry simulation-based questions. If you were till now being questioned on the concept of Disk administrator utility, you may now be asked to actually use it in the exam. There-fore, your only choice is not only be aware of all the administrative and maintenance toll in Windows 2003 but also be good at it!
Professionals benefiting from Microsoft Certifications
The Microsoft Certifications cater to the following audience: Network administrators Network engineers Systems engineers Security analysts Mail server administrators Operating system administrators Web server administrators Manager of information systems