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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