Is it time to say goodbye to the American Certification Icon that we know as the MCSE? Yes, I believe so.
For a very long time people have known about the MCSA and the MCSE certifications. These certs were ingrained in our minds by endless television and radio commercials from various training companies throughout the country since the NT 4.0 product was out. The MCSE has almost become a household name and without a doubt the most popular certification in the Information Technology industry. Inarguably the most popular certification ever and arguably one of the most valuable.
Now, the winds of change are blowing in more places than just Washington DC. As the White House transitions to a new regime, so does the leading Microsoft Systems Administration certification. Microsoft decided to redesign and rename their leading certifications for networking and sys admin. The replacement is, the MCITP or Microsoft Certified IT Professional.
To clarify, the MCSE and MCSA exams wont be retired until late 2009 or early 2010. However, the training classes available will discontinue. This should come as no surprise because, as we all know, when Microsoft wants to enforce their will to change something, they sure have no problem doing so (cut off support, etc.).
So now comes the era of the MCITP and in the forefront of popularity is the MCITP – Server Administrator. I am hearing from many of my training contacts from various companies that the MCITP-SA is selling like wildfire already.
The MCITP-Server Administrator is set up completely different than the MCSA and MCSE. This class offers more of a focus on Server 2008 and goes much deeper into that. It also completely leaves off the client piece, which I think is a good idea given the rumors of the pending cancellation of Vista as their leading OS platform.
There is some early information about the MCITP – Server administrator at Microsoft’s website. You can also have a look at what Microsoft training schools are doing for the MCITP-SA.
So to sum it all up, look for this certification to catch on very quickly. It’s a shorter class and involves less exam time than the MCSA and the MCSE. Its a more attainable certification than MCSA and MCSE as well. This is definitely an improvement given the fact that on average, people were struggling to get through the seven MCSE 2003 exams. Struggling so much, in fact, that there was a major decline in the number of people who had achieved the cert which also caused a decline in the number of people trying to achieve the cert (ie taking classes). I don’t anticipate the MCITP – Server Administrator exams to be easy by any means, but, there are only three. So once you pass your first, you can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.