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Introduction to the Windows 2003 MCSE Certification Track


Microsoft has released the new requirements for the Windows 2003 certification tracks and I will outline some of the changes, upgrade options, and other relevant information. I will also offer some advice for those of you that are trying to decide which track to start on during this transition period.

The new MCSE track has several changes. There are still 7 exams required, however, only 1 of those is an elective. The Networking component has 4 required exams, all of which will be new. They are as follows:
  • Exam 70-290: Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
  • Exam 70-291: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
  • Exam 70-293: Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
  • Exam 70-294: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure
The client component consists of Windows XP Professional (70-270).

The Design component consists of 1 exam and you will have a choice between 2 exams:
  • Exam 70-297: Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure
  • Exam 70-298: Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
You can take both of these exams and use 1 of them to satisfy your elective requirement which is discussed next.

Finally, there is 1 elective exam as previously mentioned. A list of elective exams is located on Microsoft's web site.

Upgrading:
In order to upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003, a candidate must pass 2 upgrade exams as follows:
  • Exam 70-292: Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment for an MCSA Certified on Windows 2000
  • Exam 70-296: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment for an MCSE Certified on Windows 2000
One thing that is very interesting to note about this, is that the first exam is for Windows 2000 MCSA candidates, however, it is a required upgrade exam for the MCSE. The good news is that all Windows 2000 MCSEs that pass the above upgrade exams will achieve their MCSA in addition to the MCSE.

Those of you that have have started the Windows 2000 certification track, should probably continue on that route and finish it up and upgrade later on. While we don't yet know how much time will be alloted until the current track retires, there should be plenty of time left to complete it. If you have been planning to get started on the road to your MCSE, you have a tough choice ahead of you. As of the date this article is published, there is still time to start and finish the Windows 2000 MCSE requirements if you are diligent about it. On the other hand, you could opt to take exam 70-270 or 70-210 in order to satisfy the client component of the 2003 track and take care of the elective now. If you chose this route, when the new exams are released in the 2nd half of this year, you will only have 5 exams left.

Check into our next newsletter where I will break down the changes for the MCSA certification. In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of this, we can try to help you out in our forums.





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