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  1. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #1

    Default The MCSE is Dead, Long Live the MCITP

    By dead, I do not mean that the exams have been retired by MS, although some of the more popular electives (like Exchange 2003) are being retired soon. I mean dead as in if you don’t have it by now, don’t bother.

    But XP/2003 are still widely used

    Yes, and there are plenty of people who can support it. If you have any experience at all, you can support it as well, so let your resume demonstrate that. Companies will be moving to 7/2008 and will need people that understand the new OS. If you already have skills and experience with 7/2008, the company won’t have to train you after they hire you and that will make you stand out against the other applicants.

    The last couple of large, national Win7 migrations I have scoped required some sub-contractors to fill in some staffing gaps. We can find very few contractors with general Win7 skills, and none with specific deployment skills. Meanwhile we have people with XP skills and certs lined up around the block looking for work.

    Recent Gartner research predicts that most organizations will migrate to Win7 in 2011 and 2012, but that demand for skilled people will outstrip supply. If you want to guarantee work for the next couple of years, look at the 680, 681, and 686 exams.

    Company X is still on XP/2003 and has no plans to upgrade

    Do you really want to work for a company that will not invest in its infrastructure? What happens when the Exchange server is at capacity or the SAN needs upgraded? If they won’t invest in the pieces that run their business, what makes you think they will invest in their people? Company X will try to run on the old platforms until third-party vendors pull support or an auditor busts them for running unsupported software, and then have to upgrade in a panic. You’re better off working for a company that invests in itself and can plan for its own future.

    MCSE still has brand recognition over MCITP

    Yes, but not as much as before. The last couple of company recruiters that called me only listed MCITP in the requirements. MS Partner requirements only include the latest MCITPs and MCTS certifications.

    I can upgrade my MCSx to MCITP: X

    True, but that’s an expensive upgrade. Assuming you took 680 as either your MCSE client or elective, you would need to take 2 more tests to upgrade to the MCITP: EA, for a total of 9 exams at $125 each to get both the MCSE and MCITP: EA. You could earn the MCITP: EA from scratch with only 5 exams. Is it worth $500 in exam fees, plus training material, plus study time to get both? That time and money would be better spent by broadening your skillset with a CCNA or by specializing in another MS technology like Exchange/SQL/Virtualization.

    But I want to be an MCSE because the title means something to me

    Then get busy. If you want the title to validate your years of experience with the products and you just need a few weeks to get into exam shape, then go for it. Then you too can always call yourself an MCSE just like the 200,000 NT4 MCSEs that never upgraded their certs but kept their titles.

    A year ago my opinion was different, but XP is 9 years old and server 2003 will be 8 soon. If you are just starting your career, skip the MCSx and move on to the MCITP.

    Live in the now.
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  3. I "HEART" M$ Mojo_666's Avatar
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    #2
    I agree and I am current, I am so cool.
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  4. I piss awesomeness.
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    #3
    I'd initially considered going for the MCSE and then had the same line of thought. It's a shame for all of those MCSE training materials that I've accumulated to go to waste but at the same time, you've got to stay current, and thus...
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  5. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore View Post
    Live in the now.
    +rep

    Win 8 and Server 2012 are right around the corner!
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Very well put, and you've countered all of the common arguments in favor of MCSE.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore View Post

    MCSE still has brand recognition over MCITP

    Yes, but not as much as before. The last couple of company recruiters that called me only listed MCITP in the requirements. MS Partner requirements only include the latest MCITPs and MCTS certifications.
    This is really what it comes down to for most, isn't it? They want HR at prospective employers to notice their resume. All you offer is scant anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Even then, it seems your point is simply that the MCSE is not as dominant as it once was. That's not very convincing.
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  8. I "HEART" M$ Mojo_666's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ITHokie View Post
    This is really what it comes down to for most, isn't it? They want HR at prospective employers to notice their resume. All you offer is scant anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Even then, it seems your point is simply that the MCSE is not as dominant as it once was. That's not very convincing.
    It is true though, the last 4 months has seen a noticable increase in jobs asking for 2008 skills and MCITP, how do I know this? because I am a contractor who looks at the IT job boards evyerday. I got my last 2 contracts based on 2008 skills alone, the contract before that was 2003 but the one before that was 2003/2008. My last conract was pure 2008R2 my next is 2008/2008R2 migration while supporting 2003.

    Things are finally moving.
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  9. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #8
    Rather than merely write "I agree" (and I do...very much), let me throw something else in there:

    Assuming you are fortunate enough to learn 2008 but also have to prove that you can support a 2003 machine or two, you can very easily do so. It is my hope that you, as an admin, are not solely reliant on "Server Manager" to get you around your box. Anything you can do on 2008 can be done with 2003. Yes, you don't have Powershell in 2003, but aside from that and Server Manager, the differences are pretty minimal. (IPv6 support notwithstanding)

    Claymoore's post is spot on and I had to give him rep for that.

    I am pretty much going to go back to my own MCITP:EA studies so that I can hopefully be an EA before the summer....(otherwise, after the summer but before the fall).
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  10. Junior Member NathanielTurner's Avatar
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    #9
    I had posted earlier about the debate I am having about the mcse. this posts gives more fuel to the fire. I at least want the mcsa. So glad I didnt buy all the other ms press books
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    #10
    This made me rethink my ideas on sitting for the MCDST. I might just jump straight for 685

    Thanks for posting
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    The MCSE (windows xp/2003) is not dead yet, but it is starting its slow, agonizing, slow death. I know I typed slow twice. As Windows 7/2008 demand is starting to rise quickly and Windows xp/2003 demand will be starting to drop soon if it hasn't started already. MS keeps two versions of on OS. Even though everyone is writing off Vista, MS is using it and 7 as a reason to start mothballing XP.

    there is still some value in getting the MCSE, but if it can't be completed in the next 6 months, it may be a waste of time and money. Either think about stopping at the MCSA or just start with the MCITPs.

    I have already adjusted my plans. At one time I wanted the MCSE:S and MCSE:M. I have decided to skip the MCSE:S, just take the one Exchange Exam to earn the MCSA:M, and move onto the MCITP:EA and some more Citrix stuff..
    Andy

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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo_666 View Post
    It is true though, the last 4 months has seen a noticable increase in jobs asking for 2008 skills and MCITP, how do I know this? because I am a contractor who looks at the IT job boards evyerday. I got my last 2 contracts based on 2008 skills alone, the contract before that was 2003 but the one before that was 2003/2008. My last conract was pure 2008R2 my next is 2008/2008R2 migration while supporting 2003.

    Things are finally moving.
    We're talking about two different things here - 2008 skills and 2008 certifications. As a consultant, I get to see many different environments. I probably see more 2008 than 2003 (total servers). I think 2008 skills are necessary these days.

    But I can tell you that our clients don't care about MCITP EAs. They want MCSEs. I've noticed a similar pattern in my last job hunt. There is a good awareness of 2008 certifications, but I don't think they carry the same clout yet and I didn't find it to be all that close.

    If making oneself marketable is the main goal, than I think a blanket statement that the MCSE is dead might not be the right approach.
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    #13
    I agree completely. You put it a lot better than I could have though. I can't believe that people are still just starting out on the MCSE track.
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  15. PMP-Wannabe! erpadmin's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ITHokie View Post
    But I can tell you that our clients don't care about MCITP EAs. They want MCSEs.
    That is only out of ignorance. When your clients' MS partners start informing them that MCITP:EAs are MCSEs, but just with a different name (because some countries like the UK and their properties, like Canada, have specific requirements in order to call oneself an "engineer") they will be more informed of the updated 2008 certification and less ignorant of that fact.


    Lets see how this turns out throughout the 2011 year...it will not surprise me in the least to see more demand for 2008 and W7 skills (and possibly certs) and less of 2003 and XP.
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  16. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #15
    Windows Server 2012 is right around the corner. Unofficial information points to mid to late 2012, which means expect OS betas for Win 8/Server 2012 to begin in mid 2011. MS Learning has stated that when the next version of the Server OS is released, the MCSE core will retire.

    This means that the MCSE exams have no more than a max of 2 years of life left. If you guys are taking your time, the time is over. Get your butts in gear and knock those tests out.

    If it were me, I would not give myself more than a year to get it done.
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  17. overworked and underpaid
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore View Post
    MCSE still has brand recognition over MCITP

    Yes, but not as much as before. The last couple of company recruiters that called me only listed MCITP in the requirements. MS Partner requirements only include the latest MCITPs and MCTS certifications.
    It only took the recruiting industry almost 3 years to catch up.
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  18. I "HEART" M$ Mojo_666's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by valen View Post
    It only took the recruiting industry almost 3 years to catch up.
    Yes but again I stress that Claymore is right and it is great that people like him post (because I wouldn't bother tbh) the tide has turned, only just maybe and yes it did take 3 years, and maybe it is even MCSE 49% and MCITP at 51% but listen real good, that tide has turned.
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  19. Senior Member xenodamus's Avatar
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    #18
    Meh...I want it anyway

    I realize that I fall into the last 2 categories, though. I've spent the last 5 years working with Server 2003 on a Jr. Admin level, and I'd just like to be able to show some history on my resume via the title. I should have done it a long time ago. But I made the mistake of spending the last 5 years in job roles that offered no advancement or incentive to pursue certifications. I look at what I'm doing as playing catchup. My *new* company is footing the bill, so that's not a concern either.

    I partially agree, though. If I didn't have experience with 2k3 and a plan to work through these exams quickly, I wouldn't bother.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
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    #19
    While I agree with you to a point just doing a quick keyword search on the job boards show 5x the amount of jobs looking for MCSE over MCITP.
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    #20
    The MCSE isn't dead, but it is dying. The MCSE is alot better than having no MS cert. Although I do agree if your going to get a cert, go with the new.
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Repo Man View Post
    While I agree with you to a point just doing a quick keyword search on the job boards show 5x the amount of jobs looking for MCSE over MCITP.
    This is what I'm seeing as well.
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  23. You are already dead jmritenour's Avatar
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    #22
    Search on indeed.com within a 50 mile radius of my address yields 108 resultes for MCSE, and only 18 for MCITP - and ALL of those job postings list MCITP or MCSE as a requirement. That alone is reason to pursue the title if you don't have it already.

    The fact is, HR departments are generally clueless. They'll list a ton of certifications as a requirement for a job that really has no bearing on the job, and don't recognize the difference in degrees between certifications. How many times have you got a chuckle out of seeing CCNA or CCIE as a requirement, as if they're interchangeable?

    The point being, as long as job listings ask for MCSE, then MCSE still has some value. If you're totally new to the IT field, then it's probably not worth going after. But if you've got years of experience, then it makes sense to go after it, just for the sake of having it, then upgrading to MCITP, which is what I'm planning to do next year.
    "Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible; suddenly, you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
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  24. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by xenodamus View Post
    Meh...I want it anyway

    I realize that I fall into the last 2 categories, though. I've spent the last 5 years working with Server 2003 on a Jr. Admin level, and I'd just like to be able to show some history on my resume via the title. I should have done it a long time ago. But I made the mistake of spending the last 5 years in job roles that offered no advancement or incentive to pursue certifications. I look at what I'm doing as playing catchup. My *new* company is footing the bill, so that's not a concern either.

    I partially agree, though. If I didn't have experience with 2k3 and a plan to work through these exams quickly, I wouldn't bother.
    I believe this is the only valid reason for continuing to pursue the MCSE. If you have the experience you should be able to knock it out quickly, but you need to get to work. My guess is MS will retire the exams in March 2012 (I feel MS should be retiring them this year).

    When I updated my MCSE a few years ago, one of my many reasons was that I would regret not updating my certs to refelect my current experience. I blasted through it in a couple of months and learned that it is easier to keep up than to catch up, so I have worked to stay current since.

    MS Learning used to post a list of the number of people who held different MS certifications. It's been a couple of years since that was taken down, but I remember something like 350,000 people held NT4 MCSEs and only 150,000 held 2003 MCSEs. That means there are 200,000 people out there who probably bootcamped and braindumped their way through 6 exams and then haven't taken a test in 12 years. They still hold an MCSE title though, so they can apply for the same MCSE jobs you can. They can't compete for the MCITP jobs however, so even if the number of MCITP postings is smaller, the candidate pool is proportionally much smaller and that tilts the odds into your favor.
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  25. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by jmritenour View Post
    Search on indeed.com within a 50 mile radius of my address yields 108 resultes for MCSE, and only 18 for MCITP - and ALL of those job postings list MCITP or MCSE as a requirement. That alone is reason to pursue the title if you don't have it already.

    The fact is, HR departments are generally clueless. They'll list a ton of certifications as a requirement for a job that really has no bearing on the job, and don't recognize the difference in degrees between certifications. How many times have you got a chuckle out of seeing CCNA or CCIE as a requirement, as if they're interchangeable?

    The point being, as long as job listings ask for MCSE, then MCSE still has some value. If you're totally new to the IT field, then it's probably not worth going after. But if you've got years of experience, then it makes sense to go after it, just for the sake of having it, then upgrading to MCITP, which is what I'm planning to do next year.
    My favorite is when HR asks for 5 years experience with a product that has only been out for 3 years.

    With an MCSA and Sec+ you are at most 3 exams away from an MCSE so you should go for it. Finishing the MCSE and then upgrading would be the same number of exams - maybe one more if you need to take 680 - as if you started out on the MCITP: EA from scratch. Considering both cost and effort, completing the MCSE makes sense for you.

    I'm going to throw some complete, devil's advocate type guesses out here now. You say there are 100 MCSE jobs and only 20 MCITP jobs in a 50 mile radius. I say there are 200 people with MCSEs and only 30 MCITP holders in the same radius. Having just an MCITP gives you a better shot at landing an interview or a job, because even though the job pool is smaller, the candidate pool is smaller still.

    Skipping the MCSE+MCITP: EA upgrade and going for the MCITP: EA from scratch saves $500 in exam fees alone. Take that money, plus the training material money and time, and apply it towards a CCNA or a some Microsoft specializations. $500 covers 4 exams, so you could take the 685, 686, 662, and 663 and have 3 more MCITPs on your resume - Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7, and Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010. I think those combined credentials would get you a job or promotion faster than an MCSE/MCITP: EA combo. I'm not saying the MCSE no longer holds any value, I'm saying the MCSE holds less value than some of the other options at this point.
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    #25
    Reading Claymoore's post makes me glad I finished up my MCSE last year and am jumping on the MCITP track now.
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