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MCSA Gets New Exam

As reported in last month’s issue, Microsoft has announced a new certification that fits snugly between the MCP and MCSE credentials.

According to the latest word from Microsoft, the new Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, or MCSA, will consist of four exams: two existing ones, a new test, and an elective that can be fulfilled with non-Microsoft exams. The two existing exams are 70-210, Windows 2000 Professional, and 70-215, Win2K Server. The third is 70-218, Managing a Win2K Network Environment. The fourth is an elective culled from administrator-related exams on Microsoft’s standard list or a combination of two tests from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA); either A+ and Network+, or A+ and Server+.

“For a lot of people, MCSA is the job they do every day of their lives,” said Robert Stewart, Microsoft’s general manager for training and certification, in explaining the rationale behind the new certification. The new credential was expected to be available early in 2002.

Stewart added that the new certification was something the IT community asked for. “Talking to customers about the MCSA credential, it was obvious that there’s a broad base of customers out there interested” in something focused on a narrower set of duties than the MCSE.

About the Author

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

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Reader Comments:

Fri, Mar 18, 2005 Debopriyo Bhattacharjee Dehradun

i want to give an examination of mcsa within this week so plzz tell which paper should i give of last paper to get my certification.

Fri, Jan 11, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

"aboout" huh. Who's the Canadian

Thu, Jan 10, 2002 Kevin Norfolk

Why are some people complaining aboout the MCSA cert so bad. . If you dont want the cert dont take the test. Im sure all the paper mcse's are upset aboout this because its just more braindumps that they have to MEMORIZE. People that are really working and truly STUDYING the material appreciate the MCSA cert because it gives you extra motivation to continue to complete your MCSE. Part of the reason is that after 1 test you are an MCP, buty it takes 5-6 more before you get another certification.

Thu, Jan 10, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Why are some people complaining so bad about the MCSA cert, if you went to take the test you must have realized that it would benefit you in someway. If you dont want the cert dont take the test. Im sure all the paper mcse's are upset aboout this because its just more braindumps that they have to MEMORIZE. People that are really working and truly STUDYING the material appreciate the MCSA cert because it gives you extra motivation to continue to complete your MCSE. Part of the reason is that after 1 test you are an MCP, buty it takes 5-6 more before you get another certification.

Wed, Dec 19, 2001 Jeff Preou

I started MCSE with no prior knowledge of domain-based netowrks or Windows 2000. I have done the Professional and Server exams and currently studying for 70-216. I figure for the sake of one extra exam I may as well take the MCSA on the way to my MCSE : at least I have a bona-fide certification then...

Sun, Dec 9, 2001 Rodrigo New York

In the first place, this certification should have been there just like Novell. An Administrator of a Network is far different from a Network Engineer in terms of responsibilities and knowledge and skill (as it should be). An Engineer's responsibility go far more than just administering networks but also should encompass design, planning and programming. Novell gives you your CNA and CNE certificate if your are a CNE - but you have to ask for it.

In reality, the core courses emcompasses most of the basic skills and knowledge of an Administrator and Technician - but not an Engineer in the strictest sense of the word.

Sat, Dec 8, 2001 Ryan New Zealand

I've done W2kpro + server, A+ and Net+ -> one question how will MS know when I have met all the requirements if I am using the Comptia exams? Are they linking databases with comptia? will I have to fax them proof? email me if you now, cheers

Sat, Dec 8, 2001 Henry CLeveland

The MCSA track is the perfect apology from Microsoft for retiring the NT 4.0 track. I took several of the MCSE approved courses but didn't get a chance to take any of the tests before Microsoft announced its retirement of the NT 4.0 track. So I statred studying for CCNA, and looked into A+. As soon as I saw the MCSA announcement, I took and passed the A+ and Network + exams. My previous experience in the industry along with my studying didn't go waste after all. So now I am on my way to becoming an MCSA (I am now studying for 70-210), possibly an MSCE one day, and I have earned two widely recognized certifications on the way.

Sat, Dec 8, 2001 Mario Tracy, California

Well-said Don!

I'm currently pursuing the MCSA certification. I have the A+, MCP on Win2k and plan to complete the Network+ exam in late January. February and March will consist of preparation for 70-215 and 70-218. I too, will complete the MCSE track, but while employed in the IT industry. Hey, they'll most likely pay the exams and more. So, in response to Mike's discouraging comment, do complete the MCSA, and then go on to another Microsoft certification, such as the MCSE or what ever will benefit you and/or your employer. I do however agree some of what Mike said. "Things are always changing learning is a must." He's right. After you've completed your Microsoft certifications, go on to Sun Solaris/Unix, Novell, Cisco, and about a dozen others if you can. Microsoft’s MCSA is perfect for me, and possibly many others. I'm not going to design a network of any kind; I’m simply going to support them.

Fri, Dec 7, 2001 Don Barrie, Ontario

Microsoft finally got the exam path right. Learn the basics through A+ and N+, and then move onto an MCSA track.
In my opinion, 95% of new hires will earn their paycheques in the first 3 - 5 years utilizing this skill level.
Complete your MCSE track while gainfully employed in the IT industry.
As an early achiever on the MCSE Win2k track I realized at the end of my goal, "I will not likely gain employment that would require these skill sets."
Use the extra time saved to be with family and friends!

Fri, Dec 7, 2001 tyler florida

I have just finnished the 210 and i agree with my friend from zurich

Fri, Dec 7, 2001 booster zurich

think about a person who started the mcse 2000 track wihtout an exam bevor, after tacking 6 exams he is stil just a MCP, so the step over the MCSA is motivating to reach the target: MCSE...

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 Distantbean Anonymous

MCSA is naturally a nice complement for your job. Many people with years of experience in the admin role don't get qualifications but are for more knowledgeable than paper MCSE's. Many paper MCSE's are pushed through purely to give their companies street credit! Some SE's are paper at admin but excelent at installs, config and support.

Tue, Dec 4, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Mike, whats better a 'paper' mcse or a 'real world' mcsa. The Sys admin cert is my job, the mcse cert is not necessary for an organization with 75 users.

Sun, Dec 2, 2001 Mike CA

This is just a cert for those who dont want to finish the mcse. If you dont like to test to get your mcse, your in the wrong business. Things are alway changing learing is a must. Finish the MCSE!!!!

Fri, Nov 30, 2001 Tarron D. Booker Houston, Texas

If I am A+ and Network certified does that make me an MCP.

Fri, Nov 30, 2001 W2K MCSE Anonymous

The 'new' 218 exam is nothing but a compilation of some of the most basic subjects of the 210, 215, 216 & 217 exams. It brings nothing new, except more revenue to M$

Thu, Nov 29, 2001 james lewis dallas, tx

If I am A+ and Network certified does that make me an MCP.

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