Our best educated guess on number of Windows 2000 MCSEs is...

Current Count

Our best educated guess on number of Windows 2000 MCSEs is...

I get a lot of e-mail from readers asking when we'll publish the number of people who hold Windows 2000 certification. The fact is, Microsoft isn't willing to share those particular numbers yet. But before you send me e-mail and head for discussion forums to complain about this shroud of secrecy, I'd like to remind you that Microsoft certainly isn't the only company that has chosen to keep its sum of certified professionals under wraps—at least for a while. In fact, Microsoft is one of the few programs that has ever offered a regular count on its various titles (you'll find them monthly in our News pages).

Just because Microsoft won't divulge, that doesn't mean we haven't spent time trying to figure out the numbers ourselves. This month I'd like to share my current Win2K MCSE estimates. I have no idea how close they are to reality. We may not know that until next year, when all the Windows NT 4.0 titleholders fall off the tally, and we're left with just those people who hold Win2K-related credentials of some kind.

For the last few months, the rate at which new MCSEs are popping up has been about 5,000 a month. It's probable that some of those are people wrapping up electives to obtain their MCSEs under Windows NT 4.0. In fact, let's say it's 50-50. That leaves us half for the Win2K MCSE title, which means around 5,000 people have achieved a title under Win2K during April and May.

Prior to that, I'm guessing, Win2K-related MCSEs were coming out at a trickle. The initial set of core and design tests wasn't available until July 2000, and there's always a ramp-up period for a new title. Many of the initial test-takers work for the most visible Microsoft partner companies or as trainers—as they have business reasons to prove their technical expertise quickly. For example, one of the largest of the large, Compaq—whose engineers are profiled this month in our cover story—has stated it has just more than 3,000 SEs certified on Win2K. That could be interpreted to mean at the MCP level, not MCSEs. I give the run rate at 500. That may be too many, but it's easy to calculate.

If you accept my 500-a-month estimate that means about 4,500 people worldwide achieved the premium title in that first nine-month wave.

Add my first-wave and second-wave numbers and you get 9,500. If you figure roughly half of those are in the U.S., a standard guess, we're left with 4,000 to 5,000 people in this country who currently hold an MCSE in Win2K.

What's interesting about all this is how few people conceivably have taken up the Win2K gauntlet.

What do you think of my estimate? High, low or right on? And are you one of the vaunted 5,000 with the new title? Just how tough was it? Tell me at dian.schaffhauser@mcpmag.com.

About the Author

Dian L. Schaffhauser is a freelance writer based in Northern California.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Nov 27, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous


Thu, Feb 7, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Who cares?

Fri, Oct 5, 2001 Ash Wainwright US

I failed the 240, but passed the individual exams pretty easily. I think the figure is a little low, a lot of people are put off because of the mysticism that these exams are so hard.
One the main reasons for the few upgrades from NT MCSE has been the existence of the 240. I personally put it off for a long time, because there was a lot to learn for one exam. If it hadn't existed, I'm pretty sure I would have completed the whole process a lot sooner. For those who are upgrading it's a bit of a catch22, it's hard to justify to yourself not to do the 240 (because it's free), but it's far easier to procrastinate especially when the pass figures are so low.
I think Microsoft scored an own goal with this one.

Fri, Sep 28, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

5000 US, sounds a little low but it's definitely not 150,000.

Sun, Aug 19, 2001 Jason Finch Brisbane, Australia

RE: Carl Webster.
Solution Providers I think only need 2 MCPs, not MCSE on staff. Therefore after 12/31 most MCSE will drop back to being an MCP if they have electives that haven't expired.

I remember calling a testing centre when doing a recent test, and the gentleman commented on how I'd passed the 240 upgrade, I asked what the percentage was, he was guessing (educated) 1 in 10 who sat it passed.

Fri, Aug 17, 2001 a w2000mcse before Octobe Anonymous

Since the announcement of a midlevel (system administrator) cert by microsoft.... one would think that there would be alot less win2000 mcse's before the end of the year and into the next year. One thought: since many certified people may not sign up for this data base, it could be alot higher, but probably by not a huge amount.

Thu, Aug 16, 2001 Carl Webster Searcy, AR

Microsoft is dead wrong about dropping the NT4 MCSEs. When their Solution Provider count drops after 12/31 it will hurt their bottom line.

Thu, Aug 9, 2001 Thomas Shinder Anonymous

I read somewhere recently that Microsoft said there are over 150,000 Win2k MCSEs. I find this figure somewhat hard to believe, and are more likely to believe that Dian's figures reflect reality.

Sat, Aug 4, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

My guess is there will will be somewhere between 40,000 - 80,000 MCSE's on Jan. 1 2002.

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