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Difference Between MCSE and MCSA

mcse_bookMCSE vs MCSA

MCSE and MCSA are two certifications that are given to professionals who prove themselves to be competent in handling Microsoft systems. MCSE stands for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and MCSA stands for Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator. The difference lies in the roles of a system engineer and a system administrator. A systems engineer is trained in designing and building a new network from the ground up and get it running based on the client’s specifications while systems administrator is trained to maintain an already set-up system.

Microsoft is the biggest single entity that provides software for servers that run a wide variety of services, from internal company servers to public web servers. But putting up and maintaining these servers are already out of the hands of Microsoft, it is up to the company to hire competent professionals to carry out this job. Microsoft now provides certifications to people who manage to pass their tests. This makes it easier for employers to figure out whether the applicant is competent in working with their servers.

Just by the definition of the eventual jobs of each, we can easily deduce that MCSE is harder to get compared to MCSA. Whereas you would only need to take and pass 4 exams to be an MCSA, you would need to take and pass 7 exams to get the MCSE title. The difficulty comes with a reward in the end, as being a systems engineer commands a higher paycheck than a systems administrator. The difference in complexity does not denote that MCSA is simply a part of the MCSE curriculum. They cover different jobs and the people at Microsoft has designed these certifications to reflect the resulting job. Being an MCSE does not immediately mean that you are an MCSA, and being an MCSA does not mean that the number of exams needed would be reduced. In order to have both certifications, you would need to take a total of 11 examinations.

1. MCSE trains you to be a systems engineer while MCSA trains you to be a systems administrator
2. MCSE is meant for people who will plan, design, and implement new networks while MCSA is for the people who will be maintaining these networks once they are up and running
3. MCSA is easier to get than MCSE
4. Jobs related to MCSE have bigger salaries compared to MCSA
5. MCSA is not a subset of MCSE

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  1. I like the Difference between MCSA & MCSE, because its very understandable.
    thank you

  2. It´s understable! Very good article. Thank you!

  3. As of March of 2015 the meaning and intent of MCSE and MCSA have changed. You may want to update this article.
    Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) – “MCSA Certification validates core skills and is required to achieve MCSE Certification.”

    Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) – “MCSE Certification proves you have the skills to design and implement IT solutions,
    both in the cloud and on-site.”

  4. Its realy awsm defination to undrstnd to any one easily… nt evn a differnc is gvn here as well as its mak a clear concept about MCSE &MCSA Both cirtification course… i like it

  5. Hi I been working as a System Support for 4 years already, I would like to upgrate to my IT Skills, so which exam sould i take MSCE and MCSA ?
    and how many exam i have to take to get a MCSE and MCSA certificate.

    Thnak you very very much

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