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The Accidental MCSE

Are you an NT 4.0 MCSE who has passed most, but not all, of the seven required exams for your Windows 2000 MCSE? If so, you may have achieved your Win2K certification without even knowing it.

Microsoft recently made a change to its Win2K MCSE requirements, allowing older NT 4.0 exams to count as electives. That means if you’ve passed the core four and your design elective, you can use up to two of your older electives toward your Win2K MCSE. The exams that count are in the chart below.

The decision to include the older exams as electives was based on their relevance to Win2K technologies, according to Dan Truax, manager for Microsoft’s certification strategy group. “We try to keep electives that are still applicable to the right products,” Traux said. For instance, your knowledge of TCP/IP in NT is still useful for Win2K, so the TCP/IP exam can be used as an elective.

None of the tests included in the chart are core exams. “What won’t count is the core. We want to keep core integrity,” Truax said.

The decision to include some older electives valid for the Win2K MCSE track was made at the same time Microsoft decided to version its certifications and not decertify NT 4.0 CSEs. It also signals a further change in how Redmond views the importance of exams that deal with technology that’s no longer cutting edge but still has value in a majority of businesses.

Exam Number Title
70-013 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft SNA Server 3.0
70-018 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.2
70-026 System Administration for Microsoft SQL Server 6.5
70-027 Implementing a Database Design on Microsoft SQL Server 6.5
70-059 Internetworking with Microsoft TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
70-076 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 5
70-087 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0
70-078 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Proxy Server 1.0
70-079 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Internet

The page that lists the Win2K MCSE requirements can be found at www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcp/mcse/requirements.asp. Truax said that Microsoft will also be posting information on the inclusion of the older electives on its certification FAQ page at www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcpexams/faq/default.asp.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Mar 15, 2004 Marcus NY

At least the old certs still count for something; albeit not much. Guess it goes on the resume as "experience."

Wed, Jan 7, 2004 raj Bahrain

hi it was nice

Tue, Jun 4, 2002 vaibhav india

please send mcsd braindumps

Thu, Jan 17, 2002 Tim Omaha

I took the 240 because it didn't cost anything. Great price. But I found, going through my NT 4 exams also that by doing them individually, I learned a lot of little things that I would have glossed over otherwise. I agree with everyone that said that you should stay up with things, Win2K,.NET... As far as the guys and/or gals that complain about having to upgrade, and more or less not wanting to. Who made you do this. To listen to you put the 'M$' everywhere and bitch about Microsoft, you still work with it. Who's choice was that? It was yours. Neither Bill Gates or Microsoft is putting a gun to your heads to even use their software. You could be learning UNIX, Novell, Cisco or whatever, but you choose to do this. I made the choice to get my NT4 MCSE and my W2K MCSE because I knew that the rewards might outweigh the liabilities. So either quit complaining or choose another track or OS or field. You're here because you want to be. Ain't Capitalism great!!!!

Tue, Jan 15, 2002 Hasnuddin Hamdan Malaysia

Hi, Bill. I don't quite agree with Microsoft's decision regarding NT 4 MCSEs. I mean, Microsoft has retired the NT 4 track, yet the certification is still current. Definitely sounds like a half-hearted decision. Microsoft might as well restore the NT4 track so that other new MCSE wannabees can have a choice on whether to take NT4 or Win2K/XP track. Besides, in Malaysia, Win2K/XP technology is more suitable for large money-making enterprises like Shell, British American Tobacco, EXXON-Mobil, etc. Not all MCSEs work at such places. Besides, some of us, including my boss, are always suspicious of "new Microsoft technologies".
It is interesting to note that most of my NT 4 MCSE colleagues did not even bother to upgrade to Win2K track prior to Microsoft's announcement, as if they knew of the decision to maintain NT4 MCSEs. Those who do upgrade "kind of had to" do so, such as those working in Microsoft Malaysia and their authorized partners, and of course, those poor MCTs.
By the way, since the new MCSA certification is a subset of the skills required to become MCSE, why can't Microsoft automatically recognize all Win2K/XP MCSEs as MCSAs as well? I don't understand the logic of asking existing Win2K/XP MCSEs to pass another paper (70-218) to achieve a "lower-grade" certification, unless the syllabus is totally different.
Lastly, I would like to say that I was "gainfully" employed due to my experience and qualification as a Novell Master CNE and Lotus Principal CLP on Domino R5 System Admin. No disrespect meant to the MCSE certification, though, since I'm also a recent Win2K MCSE.

Mon, Jan 14, 2002 Bill gates Redmond

Come on folks- My certs are the premium certification. Without Ms- none of you guys would be gainfully employed.

Bill Gates- Chairman Microsoft.

Sun, Jan 13, 2002 Anonymous texas

Now I know where the guy that came up with "New Coke" went after he lost that job.

Sat, Jan 12, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

when microsoft flip flopped mcse nt it blew my mind I was unable to make the right choice without the truth

Fri, Jan 11, 2002 John Anonymous

In line with MS penchant for redefining certs, adding new ones and generally confusing people, I expect them to cash in on the fact that that they have now produced two different levels of W2K MCSEs = real and accidental. So they will distinguish between them with MCSE-R and MCSE-A. Once in place, they can give out an Accidental Achiever's Award card which will make the marketing dept happy - because they know these useless and cheap bits of plastic make customers happy. Remember when somebody says they are W2K MCSE, to ask "Are you real, or accidental?"

Fri, Jan 11, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Contrary to what some might think, Microsoft had no option but to keep the NT 4 people. With there new policy of a "Premium" certification to be MCT, if they had decertified all the NT4, the instructor ranks would have been wiped out. At our location we have 10 trainers, but only 2 had upgraded before they rescended the decertification. While everyone else was working on upgrading, 6 would not have been done by the end of the year and would now not be able to teach. Since MS receives a large amount of income from it's training partners, the loss of revenue would have been astounding. The reversal of the decisions was about nothing but money for Microsoft.

Thu, Jan 10, 2002 Anonymous USA

I must admit I was greatly relieved when MS didn't kill my NT4 MCSE this year, & Thrilled that all I need to take now is the core exams. I Didn't pass 240 But I don't think I missed it by much (My only gripe is that I dont even know what section I missed). What I get sooooo sick of is all these Winers bashing MS policy. Yes MS SUCKS, but my paycheck has DOUBLED in 5 years THANKS to them (My MCSE 4.0 GOT ME AN ADDITIONAL $17k up front). If you don't like the way Billy Bob Gates does things, write your own F'n OS & Certification for it & if its worth persuing, I'll take those tests too. In reality it's not JUST the Cert it's what you can do in the REAL World combined with it. So Quit bitchin & Get a life.

Thu, Jan 10, 2002 Jo MN

The higher paying jobs are in consulting. Most consulting firms require certifications to keep their MS Partner status. My company requires all employees to have their MCSE or MCSD within 90 days from hire.

Thu, Jan 10, 2002 alan malaysia

I don't think is fair to criticize the MSFT this way. For the 70-240, I suggest some here has better try it out first before actually making comments on it. As for getting jobs, I would like to point out that I landed myself a good job and a higher paying salary compared to the same level engineers, All these thanks to my MCSE NT 4 and 2k. Who doesn't have luck looking for a job here?

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Tom Florida

Wow, seems like people do alot more complaining than any thing, I feel that the change still represents a good knowladge base of info. The tests that they are incorporating in have a very relitive place in the 2000 certification path.
The Design tests even have questions based on these concepts and the core tests and 240 are loaded with ip questions. You probley met many mcse4's that could not subnet - that will not be allowed any more. --- From a field consulting point of view I think they did the right thing.
--- Your Never Over Certified ---

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Peter NY

WK2k is a premier certification. we have a bunch of lazy paper MCSE's who can't convince any employer to hire them. Tighten your belts losers and go get certiied. Those fake Mcse twats are the one we need to weed out. Those making more than they deserve should also be weeded out.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Jo MN

To get back to the original topic that comments were supposed to posted for... I don't that I was cheated by not having to take an additional elective. I was glad to not have to take another test. I believe that this article is wrong is saying that Proxy 1.0 is a valid elective. It should read Proxy 2, not 1.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

didn't someone say something about ignorance...or was that arrogance. The JF should shut up and Scott you have posted enough.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 JF USA

I know that there are several resources that include flash cards. I don't need these kinds of study guides to be an expert on a topic. Flash cards are for people who want to memorize topics so that they can pass tests. These books are nothing compared to good ol' fashion experience. Who cares about real names and email addresses. This is not a forum for penpals where I would like to have someone email me. I get enough junk mail.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Scott Spiess Roseville, CA

JF you are a funny guy. I guess you have never visited Transender.com, Cybex or Exam Cram to see that they sell/give away electronic flash cards. There is also someone named Todd Lammle, you know the best selling Cisco exam/study guide seller. Todd not only includes his flash card PDA software with his CCNA book, he has at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book a summarization of all commands for you to make flash cards. This is at least the case for his book on the CCNA. Simply put, I use flash cards because they work for me, nothing more. I guess the egg is on your face for showing such ignorance both in not reading about the subject matter that you are suppose to be an expert on and on talking about someone who you have never met nor have any idea about. It looks like you have a double order of egg on your face now. Also, lets try and include real names and email addresses for future postings. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and toss grenades at people, it’s another thing to actually put your name and reputation on the line. As people who have read my posts, I always include my full name and email address.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 JF USA

Trey, I know lots of MCSEs that make well over $65k. Myself included make much more than that. Most in-house corporate IT people might not make as much, but working for consulting companies, you can make much more. I know several that make more than $100k.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Trey Florida

Are any MCSE's making the kind of money that they keep listing here? they say an mcp is making 65k- who the hell hired these guys and are these stats true?

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Jws USA

John- Whoever told you that lied big time.
A+ is okay, but won't do any good. Whats the use of having hardware knowledge and can't deploy any OS - then what good are you!

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 John Doe

I say we all jump on the A+ bandwagon? Having a A+ certification far outweighs a MCSE cert. :-)

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Well that sure beats my gummy bears and beer.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 SumGuy StandingBehindYou

There's a relaly healthy way to make cookies. You take canned pumpkin and make it with the Dunkin Hines Spice Cake mix. It's really good and it's healthy, too!

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 JF USA

Scott...Flash cards? You obviously have no real world experience, or you would not have to use flash cards. If you feel that M$ has devalued your certification, why did you waste all that time? I don't think I have ever read one of those books cover to cover. Flash cards...hehe

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

For those of you that complain about the MCSE Cert having no value...DON'T waste YOUR time or money. Quit whining.

Wed, Jan 9, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I think Scott needs to take a look at what electives are required for the Win2k cert. Allowing NT4 MCSEs to carryover their TCP/IP is not a slap in the face. What difference does it make that you did not have to take an additional elective? There are several other elective exams that have no relationship to Win2k.

Tue, Jan 8, 2002 batman Anonymous

I'd rather take my bet on unix!

Tue, Jan 8, 2002 KWS USA

Microsoft- pls review your management. While you pot bellied and bimbos sit there at Redmond and decide our fate, pls rem you are not amking any decisons to help the common folks. You have confused and devalued your Certifications. Gates, fire these ppl and get some Cisco/Sun/Novell guys to decide our fate. Your certs get a one star and a thumbs down.

Tue, Jan 8, 2002 Tim Florida

Eric you are the typical example of a paper MCSE all wrapped up in the letters behind someone’s name. Why should I loose the certification I worked for just because I didn't meet the deadline that the all mighty Microsoft has set forth! I'll upgrade when it is convenient for me

Tue, Jan 8, 2002 Matthes Germany

THEY STOLE MY TITLE!

"Anonymous" from "Anonymous"'s posting from 1/1/02 (page 01) is absolutely right!
Exactly the same has happened to me: IIS 3.0 retired, I was unwilling to take the IIS 4.0 exam with the announced end of the MCSE+I title in view.
And then MS says "All MCSE+I's remain certified", but they don't give us the chance to take the IIS 4 exam to remain certified.
So, effectively for me, and for many others, they stole us our MCSE+I title. Now I'm just an MCSE according to they guidelines. That's not fair at all!!!
Now I steadily warn my students about MS's practises (today you are certified, tomorrow you might be not).

Matthes, Germany
(MCSE NT4, MCSE W2k, MCT)

Mon, Jan 7, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Bah, almost all the people complaining only are doing so because suddenly they're not going to be the "only" MCSEs after 4's retirement was pulled back. 4.0 is gonna be in businesses for a bit longer so it's still relevant. And 2K using some electives from the 4.0 track is fine too. TCP/IP is totally relevant to 2K, but letting Proxy 1.0 count as an elective is a little weak...

Mon, Jan 7, 2002 Larry Stockton AZ

We all complain about the intestinal fortitude of MS, but all of us have to make our own decisions. Some of us got pissed, and some got busy when MS made their changes to our career paths. My choice will be knowledgable, MS has done nothing but found another way to take our money. They have made a joke of the MCSE track, I will continue to do as those before me have done learn the skills to present to employers so that no one doubts that they are getting the real thing. When you read this don't doubt that a good percentage of the CIO and Dept Directors/Managers know that they have just been had as well. You go with the dominate force in the market it does not mean you have to take every option they sell.

Mon, Jan 7, 2002 Morgan Hansen NORWAY

Hi all:)

I would just like to point out that...
Im lovin it!! Lovin it!! Lovin it!!!

And Scott...haha :) Why you have to be such a *!@# huh? Listen, if you feel (how old are you anyway?), you need to have MS motivating you e v e r y single step of the way...Then...daaa??
Hey! No ones tapping my back e v e r y s i n g l e day getting there, but you know what? I do. Cause my motivation is: Well for starters, like ive said..Im lovin it! Learning something new, keepi`n up with tech bringi`n joy to the world...well....

It puts a smile on my face:)

Copy ru ya all!
M.

Mon, Jan 7, 2002 Zulfiqar Pakistan

I was preparing for my last exam (SQL 7.0) and paid for it but one of my friend told me that your tcp/ip not yet been expired.So i m mcse 2000 now.But its not the way to declare such things all of a sudden.

Mon, Jan 7, 2002 bob california

We talk about the value of the cert to us all day long. The true value is to whoever hires us to do the job. When I interview candidates for an admin job I check their cert status and see what tests they took. If they don't have the design tests on the W2K MCSE then they have a distinct disadvantage over candidates that do. Bottom line: make yourself as valuable as possible to an employer by taking the full range of tests. An accidental MCSE just doesn't cut it in the real world.

Mon, Jan 7, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Andy.....that is not funny at all. It shows very poor class.

Mon, Jan 7, 2002 Andy Bufffalo, NY

seems to me all the people who are bitching are also the same people who are creating more security holes and allowing web sites to get hacked more frequently that Nicole Brown and Ron. Maybe you don't know as much as you think? HMM.

Sun, Jan 6, 2002 Jim UK

Being certified will not get you a job. It may get you an interview but any half decent company who is hiring will take about 2 minutes to suss out someone who has little else to back up their qualifications. What certification does do is show a committment. After reading all these whining letters from people who are fortunate enough to have exceedingly good memories and are able to cruise through the exams, they forget those of us who have been spending the last 2 years self studying through NT4 and now Win2k, who don't have terrific memories but want their certifications because they want to understand what is required for their job now and in the future. If someone has the desire and the committment to pursue any certification and the time and money it entails, they get my vote over someone who can't be bothered to better themselves or improve their career prospects. The decision by Microsoft to include the NT4 electives in the Win2k certification was the right one. Why? Simple - they are still relevant and it will be a long time in the future before they are not.

Sat, Jan 5, 2002 Charles Stockton

Wow Intersting need to keep this in mind as i journey to my MCSE

Sat, Jan 5, 2002 Scott Spiess Roseville, Ca

The answer to the worthiness of the MCSE whether it is for NT 4.0 or 2K is simple. You make the tests real. An example of this would be the NT 4.0 test for IIS4. The IIS 4.0 test actually made you do common administration task. These test simulations where realistic actions for working with web servers and setting web security. This test also had questions on error messages that you would have to interpret in the real world. Simulations are the way to go and it also helps the tester to know the subject matter better. This action would also make the people who provide testing materials, to develop a realistic interface that simulates a working environment. This would save everyone a lot of time because not everyone has a few spare servers around to practice RIS deployment or working with GPO’s. I have always considered certification as a starting point, not an ending point. Experience is where your true knowledge comes from. Simulation tests will help us all because we will learn through repetition and example. I was very disappointed when I learned that none of the 2K exams were simulation based. I was disappointed because early plans by Microsoft were to have simulation based exams. Novell has had simulation testing for longer than I can remember. This is what "Putting Value in the Certification" was supposed to be all about. Microsoft also was making claims about how much tougher the exams were going to be. I have to admit that they were a little tougher, but that was because of the odd way the questions were worded. In the design test where you were suppose to play connect the devices, I thought Microsoft’s way was very prone to easy mistakes. I do not consider a simple connect the devices question as a true simulation question. I still do not believe that the bar has been raised and currently Microsoft is making excuses to get their numbers to look better. Microsoft should not cave into people who are having difficulty getting their MCSE. Its something you earn and it should not given. With the un-retirement of the NT 4.0 electives, the MCSE was given to many people, including me. I do not think anyone in the Microsoft marketing department knows anything about “earning” anything. Stealing and lying are more like it. Microsoft’s marketing department is only interested in making them look good, whether there is meaningful proof to back up their ideas or not. Truth hurts and I think Microsoft should fess up to the idea that they botched the job and that a new certification after they just bent over all the 2K MCSE is just another panic display of damage control. Microsoft lets try and plan these things and stick with it to the end, whether or not your marketing department agrees or not.

Sat, Jan 5, 2002 lee SD

No solution is ever perfect and there are exceptions to everything. I worked in the Lab Medical field for several years. There are all kinds of ways to get certified/licensed. Generally speaking, (from places I've worked) the 4 yr folks had an advantage. But that wasn't always the case. I've worked w/ some OTJ people who could walk circles around the rest of us. But certification has it's advantages -- it's a type of credential to be assesed w/ other criteria. I would like to see a two step certification process -- take so many exams, verify work experience, and take another exam -- anyway, something along that area.
BTW, I'm sure there are folks who could be doctors w/o a license, but the masses would stroke out if they had someone practicing w/o a license.
Those are my thoughts for what they're worth :-)

Fri, Jan 4, 2002 Jon Vietnam

I too am very very disappointed by all the messing around from Microsoft. I think I *might* have upgraded my MCSE to Win2K yesterday but I'm not sure ...and I don't really care to be honest.

The M$ site is enjoining us to get MCSA certified when the exam is not available. We're asked to use new logos when they're not available ...hell if I managed my projects like this I'd get fired.

And the infamous 240 exam! When is a deadline actually a deadline. People are *still* taking that exam - they're taking it into the second week of January ...perhaps into the rest of the year???

So I'm confused but I'm not bothered about that ...I'm angry about M$ #$%@ing around with our certs.

Fri, Jan 4, 2002 eniola oyegoke nigeria

i dont see any reason why the MCSA track should be introduced , what is going to be the work of the mcse holders, microsoft should watch its tracks on just bringing out exams, if they need more money they should look elsewhere.

Fri, Jan 4, 2002 eniola oyegoke nigeria

i dont see any reason why the MCSA track should be introduced , what is going to be the work of the mcse holders, microsoft should watch its tracks on just bringing out exams, if they need more money they should look elsewhere.

Fri, Jan 4, 2002 mark ontario

trans - i totally agree! all the IT guys i work with that have even 3-4 years experience BREEZE through Windows 2000 in a work setting. so what it they're not certified, they can do what needs to be done.

Fri, Jan 4, 2002 mark ontario

overall, the cert is pretty worthless. microsoft tells you how extremely valuable it is in the job market for commanding premium salaries, yet i know no less than SIX W2K MCSE's who have been applying everywhere, even for lamer jobs and can't get a single interview! employers want demonstrated project/work skill and LOTS of experience, not a cert. let's face it! i finally did get a job, but it was because a personal friend is in charge of hiring for our IT dept. as far as microsoft telling all of you that they were retiring NT4, yes THAT IS A RIP OFF TO ALL OF US!! you make professional, financial, career based plans, then, on the WHIM of the Redmond group, you have to play by a half baked set of rules...

my new plans involve getting as much work experience as possible, getting cisco (i already have A+) and then down the road, i MAY keep up with MCP, but not MCSE, it is a complete waste of time!

Thu, Jan 3, 2002 Trans USA

I deliberately ignored 70-240. I am done with ms certs. who the hell wnats to be confused like Ms have done. I am on my way to other power house certs/ Unix will do me a great deal than MS w2k. Most hardball IT guys will easily work their way through W2k without being certified and be able to implemnet deploy etc. 2002 resolution- new Certifications No ms.

Thu, Jan 3, 2002 Ray Maryland

Indeed we all desparage Ms. but regardless of what we say- Ms OS is the dominant OS out there. The best thing Ms can do is stabilize their Os's and avoid conflicting their own technology. Wk2 is what they have. buikd it and lets have less work trying to confuse everybody. Jobs in MS Certs are still available.

Thu, Jan 3, 2002 Scott Spiess Roseville, Ca

Michiel thanks for the question. I skipped the 240 exam because of the length of the exam and the number of questions. I did not believe that I would have been successful in taking this exam. I did the individual tests because I could more concentrate on a smaller amount of data. Although most of the tests had a little of all the tests in them, I loosely studied for the core four at the same time as I was studying for the individual tests. I did this because I have a certain way of preparing myself for exams. My process is as follows. I always read cover to cover the official curriculum whether its Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix or Novell. While I am reading the official curriculum I am reading just for global concepts, nothing more. At this point I install the product if possible on my test servers at home. I then purchase a 3rd party book like an Exam Cram or something from Sybex. I read these books very closely and highlight important information. I then make flashcards (yes its old fashion, but it works very well) of the highlighted areas. The final step is to purchase testing software like Transender or BeachFront Quizzer. When I get questions wrong on the practice test, I make further flashcards until I am finishing the practice tests with a very high pass rate. I spend more time with the flashcards than I do the testing software. The flashcards do not have the answers directly to the questions, but the information behind the test questions. I find that I am able to sort out test questions better if I know the fine details of the language used in a testing situation. For the 240 exam, the stack of flashcards would be in the range of 800-1000. The number of flashcards at that point is just too many to keep in my hands or in my head. Not taking the 240 exam was just a personal choice for and I have a habit of deciding on a plan and sticking with it.

Thu, Jan 3, 2002 Lars Ft Lauderdale

I don't care what I am certified in as long it pays my bills. Heck, MCSE, CCA, CCNA or whatever, I don't care. So, now you're Microsoft certified and thought you had to take another exam, but you don't have to. Be glad and stop bitching and start focussing on something new, you "wanna-be Yedis".

Thu, Jan 3, 2002 tariq aziz pakistan

thats great

Thu, Jan 3, 2002 Michiel Netherlands

Scott,
Why did you skip the update exam?

Wed, Jan 2, 2002 Ira Philadelphia

I'm still wondering how Win2K is barley 2 years old, and really hasen't even gotten it's foot in the door yet, and here we are with XP and .NET!!!!!! How long before Win 2K's OS's are considered obsolete and all the work new MCSE's did in obtaining that Cert, need to spend more money to upgrade their product knowlege!Will Microsoft ever curb it's greed for exam money long enough to let one of these OS's take hold, and give people a chance to incorperate them into their business's? Will any business undertake a system upgrade, only to be told 1 year later that, that system is yesterdays news? Hmmmm.-- Microsoft continues to add more and more meaningless options to their OS's that will NEVER be utilized, in order to justify putting out a NEW product, and bleed us dry of more exam money. To Microsoft: Please put the brakes on with the new OS bull bleep, and give your loyal MCSE's a chance to settle in and earn a living,instead of scaring companys away from meaningless change overs!

Wed, Jan 2, 2002 Sean Pittsburgh

I think Microsoft should have had the two tracks to begin with. The MCSE in NT and the MCSE in W2K, I also think the 4.0 Electives should not count toward the 2K cert. I have my NT 4.0 cert(IIS, TCP/IP, and Proxy) then I went to earn my Win2K cert, and took 70-221, 70-222, 70-223, 70-244, and 70-240. I talk to co-workes who now say they only have to take 70-240 and one other exam to be Win2K certified. I really think this discredits the value of the Win2K cert. I think dropping the NT 4.0 MCSE cold was a bad idea, and am glad they decided not too, but to make it easy for people to become Win2K certified to me is just a shame. I think the initial plan would have been fine, but instead of retiring the NT 4.0 electives keep them for their life span, but just don't let them count toward Win2K certs.

Wed, Jan 2, 2002 David Melbourne, Aus

Given the complexity of the requirements for the various certifications (or is it just complexity of the way M$ documents them); together with the continual arrival of new exams and retirement of old ones; and now repeated policy changes from M$; I think there'd be considerable value in a service which would prompt a candidate who was just one exam away from a certification.

Eg in my case it would say:
(1) if you pass 218 you'll be an MCSA;
(2) if you pass any one of you'll be an MCSE on w2K.
Then all I have to do is decide which I want to do first.

Whether the prompt should be presented when one views one's transcript, or be sent by email (on an opt-in basis), I leave for further discussion.

Wed, Jan 2, 2002 Rob Chicago

Doesn't do me a whole a good right now anyway. I just passed my last test to become Win2k certified but I do not get my certificate or an updated transcript until APRIL. I guess I'll just need to give prospective employers my word that I'm Win2k certified. Unbelieveable laziness on the part of Microsoft on this one. I mean, not getting the certificate in the mail is one thing but being so lazy as to not even update my transcript on the MCP website is ridiculous.

Wed, Jan 2, 2002 eric paris

oh crap , NT4 MCSE should have to upgrade , just like the ones that crammed their w2k in the first days of the os's , anyway the worthy ones have already upgraded , the ones complaining now are the ones who should loose their cert , simply because if you dont whant to evolve in this field you should'nt be in this field . (period!)

Tue, Jan 1, 2002 Steve San Francisco, CA

I can't agree more with the opinion that Microsoft backed off the promise to raise the bar for Win 2K certification. I bought into their earlier hype and got their "Earlier Achiever Gold Card". Big deal! I vote for a new premier certification that requires a set of the design exams to achieve. I started on my Cisco and Oracle certifications because I've given up on Microsoft maintaining the integrity of the MCSE path.

Tue, Jan 1, 2002 Richard London, UK

I could not have expressed my own concerns more eloquently than Scott Spies. Spot on.

Mon, Dec 31, 2001 Tripleshot Utah

Nice they cowtow to NT4 MCSE's but for us who listened and trusted them at the beginning of 2001 are now distrusting them for having backed off their commitment to "Add value to the certification". Notice an NT4 MCSE has an "easy" path to W2K MCSE, but a W2K MCSE has NO PATH to NT4 MCSE.

But oh,they placate us by creating a new premier? cert MCSA. Gee,that sure makes me feel good about getting meaningful employment. Some junior MCSE will take 4 tests and suck up the Network Admin job I prepared for by believing Microsofts BS in the first place.

Msoft, you have a PR problem with the people that make you money. Its us in IT that convince the CEO to upgrade or buy your product. You sure don't make that job any easier.
Grrrrrrrr!

Mon, Dec 31, 2001 Brad Las vegas

Scott Spiess quit your crying about microsoft and go get yourself a job.

Mon, Dec 31, 2001 John London, UK

Isn’t TCP/IP part of the network infrastructure admin exam for Win2k? This would mean that a sub section of a core exam is counted as an elective as well. I find that I must agree with Scott, this is a poor showing from Microsoft. They said they were raising the bar on the Win2k MCSE then when they find that the take up wasn’t as high as they thought they start watering down the requirements. How can people have any faith in what Microsoft say if they keep changing their mind, this will only add confusion to an already messy situation.

Sun, Dec 30, 2001 Bjorn Nottingham

Eran, I think you need to start basing some of your misguided opinions on fact. The w2k examinations are a far cry from the NT4 certs. How can you say that it is much easier to go and do 4 exams at once than it is to sit one? Have you even bothered to take a look at the pass rate of the 70-240 exam?
From what you've written, you sound like just another ignorant Microsoft basher that has nothing better to do than be miserable.

Sun, Dec 30, 2001 eran israel

well i would like to add that all this certification is a great stupid thing. microdofts tests are a joke. every one how knows his way in the server world knows that a certification from microsoft does not meen anything. there is no value for this cert. the fact that antone can wake one mornning and go throw some braindums and pass the tests is well known fact. the msce cet i got for win nt 4.0 isnt worth the paper it printed on. it does not help me to get a job at all. the 70-240 test is a joke. it is simply taking 4 exams and taking it one after one in the same day. taking all 4 exams one in a time is muce easier. microsoft is doing everything to make fun of people how chose to take its cert. i think we should stop taking any microsoft exams as they are worth nothing and microsft is interested only in our money. i think that the bigest mistake i made was to start with microsoft at all.

Sat, Dec 29, 2001 Scott Spiess Roseville, Ca

I am one of those "Surprise MCSE's.” I skipped the 240 exam and went for the individual tests. I was surprised 4 weeks after I started taking the 2K exams, I got my 2K MCSE cert in the mail. I was studying for my last elective at the time. I think all of this sucks and it smacks the motivated people in the face. I listened to Microsoft when they said that they were going to retire the NT 4.0 track. Like all organized people, I made plans to get my MCSE 2K before the deadline. What did I get for my efforts, a flip-flop decision by Microsoft and became a very disappointed 2K MCSE. Besides getting my MCSE before I actually earned it, I took and passed my last so-called elective, Exchange 2000. The decision to take the exam was simple. I had not earned the MCSE 2K cert until I finished with my EX 2K exam. Microsoft did not motivate me to keep studying any of their products after the EX 2K. I have earned my Cisco CCNA and am working on Novell and advanced Citrix now (yes Novell, believe it or not). Dan Truax, I hope you are reading this. Microsoft brags about only hiring the “Best and the Brightest.” Microsoft’s actions do not suggest this. In my opinion, Microsoft’s actions, smack of piss poor planning and a lack of intestinal fortitude. Please try and have a backbone next time you are in a situation like this and stop listening to your dam marketing department. Because of all of this, I have looked elsewhere (non-microsoft) for my career goals and certifications. Mr. Truax, you should remember these comments. I suggest you read this open letter in your next strategy meeting. Lets start doing what we say we are going to do from the start. I think if you do this, you will find it’s a whole lot less work and people are a lot happier about your products.

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