What is the Certification Replacement for the Microsoft MCSE?

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)

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.

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