How to Become a Microsoft Certified Engineer

A Microsoft Certified Engineer, or MCSE has comprehensive knowledge of Windows Server 2000 or Windows Server 2003 including design, implementation, support and security. In addition to the server software, the MCSE also has in-depth knowledge of, and certifications in, the latest Microsoft operating systems. The MCSE certification improves your marketability with current and future employers, especially with companies that have not upgraded to Windows Server 2008.


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    Get at least one year's experience in all aspects of networking including installing, configuring, designing and troubleshooting.
    • Enroll in a computer networking program at a technical school or community college. A training program can give you additional information on how to become a Microsoft Certified Engineer.
    • If you already have some networking knowledge and experience, obtain an entry-level position in a company's IT or networking department.
    • If you are unable to get an entry-level job, design and configure your own fully functional Windows Server 2003 network with at least two client machines. Perform regular installations, upgrades, maintenance and troubleshooting on your network.
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    Review training materials for and take the four required exams on networking systems.
    • The four network exams are: "Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment," "Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure," "Planning and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure," and "Planning, Implementing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure."
    • You can take these exams in any order.
    • For the best results, train and study and pass one exam before you continue to the next.
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    Review and train for at least one of the client operating systems exams.
    • Microsoft suggests "TS: Windows 7, Configuring" � the most current operating system as of this writing.
    • Your other options are: "TS: Configuring Windows Vista Client," or "Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional."
    • You only need to pass one exam, but the more operating systems you know, the greater your marketability.
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    Review and train for at least one of the design exams.
    • Your options are: "Designing a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure" and "Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network."
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    Review and train for at least one of the elective exams.
    • You can use one of the design or client operating systems exams as your elective as long as you have not applied them toward your client or design certifications.
    • Your other options include: "TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Configuring," "Designing, Deploying, and Managing a Network Solution for a Small- and Medium-Sized Business," "Implementing and Administering Security in a Windows Server 2003 Network," "TS: Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Configuring," "TS: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Configuring," and "TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance"
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    Review and train for one of the specializations to further increase your marketability.
    • Specializations include: " MCSE Security on Windows Server 2003, " and "MCSE Security on Windows Server 2000."
    • You must pass at least two exams on security from Microsoft or a third-party provider such as, "Implementing and Administering Security in a Windows Server 2003 Network" or "CompTIA Security +."


  • Go to to get the latest information on the MCSE and other certifications as well as training and career options.
  • To obtain certification beyond Windows Server 2003, consider the following certifications: Microsoft Certified System Administrator, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, or Microsoft Certified IT Professional.
  • Go to to register for each exam.


  • The MCSE is an older certification and Microsoft has retired some of the exams. If you passed the exam prior to its retirement, you can apply it toward your MCSE. If you have not passed the exam, you will need to find an alternative exam. If the retired exam is one of the core server exams, and you did not pass it prior to its retirement, you will not be able to purse that MCSE.

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