Windows is Certifiable

Last month’s launch of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 has left many IT professionals wondering what certification for this latest platform would entail, and questioning whether certification upgrades are worthwhile.

Fortunately, for Microsoft certified systems administrators (MCSAs) and Microsoft certified systems engineers (MCSEs) that are already certified in Windows Server (WS) 2000, re-certification will only involvea few exams, depending on the certification pathway, the company said.

According to Microsoft Corp., the MCSA path differs from that of the MCSE in a couple of ways. First, it is geared toward professionals who implement, manage and troubleshoot existing network and system environments based on the Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft WS 2003 operating system. MCSAs typically do not deploy new networks and systems as part of their job function, while this is a job requirement of MSCEs. Also, MCSAs are not expected to have design skills.

However, both will be required to complete exam 70-292: Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment, to gain WS 2003 certification. Additionally, MCSEs will have to complete exam 70-296: Planning, Implementing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment.

Candidates who have had no previous certification will have to spend anywhere from four to 12 months to complete one of the WS 2003 pathways.

Deborah Raymond, training and certification manager for Microsoft Canada in Mississauga, Ont., said certification gives recent graduates the leg up they need “to separate themselves from their counterparts.”

This is a distinction that David Bruun, director of sales and recruiting for Hire Top Talent, Inc. in Kanata, Ont., said will make the difference between being a viable employee, or being “dead in the water.

“For anybody whose background before hasn’t been IT, they’ve got to start their certification, otherwise they’re not going to get the experience,” Bruun said.

He added that at Hire Top Talent