Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The MCSE Returns

Just about everyone in the technology field knows about the MCSE or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, once one of the most respected certifications in the industry that lost its luster to brain dumps and rampant cheating. I earned my first MCSE back in the 90's, before they made it a little easier but near the end of it's era of respectability. The certificate is still displayed on my office wall.

The MCSE's decline was realized and replaced with a new certification system, the MCTS, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and the MCITP, Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional. These certifications are an improvement on the old MCSE/MCP certs. I hold several MCTS and three MCITP certifications.

Enter the new MCSE, the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, part of the new Certification Version 3, CertV3 effort. This new certification system will be based on a core set of technologies with expert specializations in areas like Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint. These new MCSE exams are supposed to measure real 300 level knowledge and should be more challenging which should hopefully yield better qualified "experts". Only time will tell if cheating and brain dumps will dilute the value of this "expert" certification, or if the term MCSE, with its damaged reputation, will still be considered cheap.

One thing is for sure, the MCM, Microsoft Certified Master, will still be the certification that differentiates the experts from the masters.