One man who stands alone
Dec 17, 2001
Pinehurst NC
I have zero experience in the computer field but and have only been learning alot about it recently but I think I've found my calling. I've heard a career as a MCSE is one of the best in the industry. What would everyone recommend as a proper path to achieving MCSE certification. Should I get a degree in Computer Science first? Or go straight for the certification? Or perhaps another better option.

hmm, I don't know about the US, but over here it'd be pretty pointless to get MCSE after you have a CS-Degree, since that one is way higher regarded.

Furthermore, I don't think a MCSE alone would get you far, since there are tons of people with mcse out there. I went with the more generic cs-degree and forgot about the mcse. Haven't regretted it so far. :goodjob:
MCSE is generic Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

I am not sure about the details. I know that MCDBA is a more advanced certification than MCSE.

You can get an MCSE exams in many different areas, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft C#. It is not a generic industry qualification. An MCSE exam on SQL Server covers such things as the minimum requirements to run that software - sorry, but... DUH!

I think (but am not sure) that you can also get an MCSE in general MS-related consultant work such as the use of BackOffice. My assumption is that this teaches you about all the different Microsoft software packages, effectively making you a sales agent for Microsoft. Microsoft have been known to actually give a contract to newly certified MCSE consultants, so then they can go away and say "I used to work for Microsoft". The knowledge appears to be in the use of Microsoft software.

To me, as an employer: A specific MCSE is worth about as much as two years experience.

In my estimation (based on the opinions of peers) that you would need a reasonable level of competency before attending an MCSE course, to have a hope of could passing the exam. The way I see it, their courses are like revision, and their certificates are evidence of about two years experience.

If you look at my library, you will see stacks of O'Reilly books such as Perl Cookbook, Programming C#, and so forth. In my estimation, having read these books is more valuable than holding a certificate - but holding the certificate is evidence that they have been read.

I do not think you will learn much from throwing your own money at an MCSE course, and you risk not passing. However, I do think that if you already have some knowledge then holding a certificate will increase your chances of gaining employment.

A bachelor degree in Computer Science will cover such things as the practical use of SQL, C#, as well as theory which has little real-world world value but sounds impressive and will empower you to blind people with science. This is probably more valuable than knowing the minimum requirements of SQL Server ;)

That is just my opinion, and I am not a big influential player. I operate a tiny firm in London for which some MCSE exams would represent a relevant consideration.
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