MCSE is one of the most prominent and most sought after Microsoft credential for IT professionals working in the field of hardware and infrastructure. It is one of the oldest certifications in the industry offering expertise level in different areas of specialization.

For a newbie in the field of IT, it can be very confusing to understand the nomenclature, path to follow and area of specializations to choose from. In fact, if we throw some light on the history of MCSE, we can understand the source of confusion. Initially it was launched by the name of Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), later on this specialization got changes to Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and post 2014 again to the original name but this time it is called Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

Let us discuss the current offerings and areas of specialization it covers. MCSE is a mix of courses and certifications clubbed together as per the area of study. As of today, Microsoft has divided its certification portfolio into five technology streams namely:-

  • MCSE: Business Applications ( Focused on Dynamics 365)
  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure ( Focused on Server and Cloud)
  • MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (Focused on SQL, BI and Data Science and Analytics)
  • MCSE: Mobility ( Focused on Client OS and Devices)
  • MCSE: Productivity ( Focused on Server, O365, Skype for Business, SharePoint)

Microsoft Replacing MCSD, MCSA & MCSE Certifications - Check Role Based Certifications

After the expiration of MCSE, MCSA, and MCSD on 31st January 2021, Microsoft has replaced these certifications with new role-based credentials. This retirement of product-based certification comes as a much-coveted relief. This is because Microsoft's role-based certificates verify the competence of a technical professional to learn in the first 3-5 or 5-7 years on the job; this experience is equivalent to beginner, intermediate, and expert categories.

Microsoft to replace MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE with role-based certifications and check new role based certifications

Download recommended certification path


Recommended Path to Microsoft Role-based Certification Options

MCSE: Core Infrastructure
Start your Azure journey with any of the following: 
  • Azure Administrator Associate
  • Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Azure Security Engineer Associate
MCSE: Productivity
Start your Microsoft 365 journey with one of the following: 
  • Teams Administrator Associate
  • Messaging Administrator Associate
  • Security Administrator Associate
Then take: 
  • Enterprise Administrator Expert
MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
Start your Azure Data & AI journey with any of the following: 
  • Azure Database Administrator Associate (coming soon) 
  • Data Analyst Associate (coming soon) 
  • Azure data Engineer Associate
  • Azure AI Engineer Associate
  • Azure DAta Scientist Associate
MCSD: App Builder
Start your Azure Developer journey with the following: 
  • Azure Developer Associate
MCSE: Business Applications
Start your Dynamics 365 journey with any of the following: 
  • Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Assocate
  • Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Field Service Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate

When you take your first Microsoft course and pass your first certification exam, you become a Microsoft Certified Professional i.e. MCP. This is your first step towards MCSE.

You take one or two more courses depending on your interest and job need, you attain Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA). MCSA is a sort of half way of the MCSE certification journey. You can achieve MCSA with various combination of certification courses. Currently, Microsoft offer MCSA in 17 technology streams. You can understand the scope and variety from the number of combinations you can opt-in for MCSA. We will cover the MCSA options in detail in another article.

Additional Read  - Complete Guide to MCSA Certification

MCSA is your first step towards the area of specialization, once you have achieved the MCSA, you need to select one elective specialization and pass the certification course to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). Although the MCSE titles are five in number but the option to choose the elective course will be ample as per your interest and job role. The Diagram below gives a detailed overview of the options to pursue and achieve the MCSE certification.

To maintain the MCSE Status you need to meet the recertification requirements every 3 years.

  • MCSE: Business Applications
  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
  • MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
  • MCSE: Mobility
  • MCSE: Productivity

As of now in 2021, moving forward from 1 February 2021, users will need to go with new role based certifications as given above. You can start your learning with Koenig Solutions and Boost your career growth.

 Enquire Now 

Armin Vans
Devpriyam is a Microsoft Certified Trainer with rich experience in Database Administration, System Administration, Oracle Applications, Troubleshooting, and Backup & Recovery concepts. I deliver training on various Database Systems Management tools.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
You have entered an incorrect email address!
Please enter your email address here


Submitted Successfully...