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Would you label MCSA as just a fancy version of MCP?

Can you please comment on the value of MCSA certification, compared to MCSE on win2000? Would you label MCSA just a fancy version of MCP? Also, if I pass the 70-240 exam prior to Dec 31, does that mean I can continue pursuing the other exams for a MCSE certification (on Win2000) after Dec.31, 2001 and still be able to count the 70-240 towards the MCSE credits?

Thanks in advance for your reply. I've really enjoyed reading your articles - you are very knowledgable and your style is great!

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Let me begin my reply by thanking you for your kind words about my articles. I am always glad to hear that my musings are helpful, rather than otherwise. As for your questions:

1. Comment on MCSA certification vs. MCSE on Microsoft Windows 2000
I see the MCSA as an intermediate stepping-stone for certified Microsoft professionals, midway between MCP and MCSE. For many professionals who concentrate on day-to-day operations and administration, the MCSA may be all the certification they need. The MCSE now distinguishes itself by including more electives (for a broader view of the MS product universe) and the design requirement (for a better understanding of how IT fits into business planning and processes) while the MCSA is more of a nuts-and-bolts credential.

2. Would I label MCSA as just a fancy version of the MCP?
No, because it requires passing 4 exams, and obtaining an MCP only requires passing one. By virtue of the requirements for the MCSA, I think it does a good job of testing people for basic administration and network management skills.

3. Implications of passing 70-240 on or before 12/31/2001?
It is absolutely correct to assume that by passing that exam you will be able to pursue MCSA and MCSE in the following year. In fact, because 70-240 takes care of 70-210, 70-215, and 70-216 on the MCSA track, you need take and pass only 70-218 to qualify as an MCSA once you've passed 70-240. That said, make sure you order your voucher and get a test seat for that exam ASAP: Microsoft will not honor voucher requests after November 1, 2001, and seats in Prometric and VUE test centers are expected to become scarce as the year draws to a close and more people try to squeeze in under the wire. Don't delay!

This was first published in October 2001

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