The Microsoft MCSE 2003 certification is a very strong cert without a doubt. Being in the training industry I speak to many IT pros on a daily basis and I have noticed how many of them seriously underestimate the difficulty of the MCSE 2003 exams. Especially those who have taken exams on Server 2000 and even more so with those who have taken NT4.0 tests.
People in IT often have larger egos than professionals in almost any other industry. The MCSE 2003 track of exams virtually grabs a lot of these egos directly by the throat and smacks them across the face really hard, without warning. Microsoft throws every last trick and twist they can into the MCSE 2003 exams and they have also made the exams more application based (so you need to know how to perform and not just answer a question). I also get the priviledge of seeing certification exam testing daily and I get to see the aftermath of these people who underestimate then fail the exams. Its often quite amusing but usually involves a lot of anger, blame, surprise, sadness and hatred all mixed together. In fact sometimes people go through stages of each immediately following a test failure – so funny…
Microsoft of course made these exams very difficult on purpose because they wanted to limit the number of MCSE (non-deserving) achievers and reduce the ability to cheat so that the value of carrying the certification would rise, and it did.
If you would like to compare the number of people in the world who currently posses the MCSE 2003 cert versus the older platform MCSE’s click here. These numbers speak for themselves.
Remember, if your going for the MCSE, be ready to actually have to earn it.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
Windows Server 2003 – 127,610
Windows 2000 – 290,359
Windows NT 4.0 – 395,798