News

New MCP Titles Highlight Exchange Expertise

Microsoft adds two new specialist titles to its MCSA/MCSE tracks, follows up with some details on two new Exchange 2003-based exams.

Microsoft this morning announced new specialist titles, MCSA: Messaging and MCSE: Messaging, for the systems administrator and systems engineer certifications. The titles are aimed at certification candidates who seek a title that denotes skills in planning and administering a messaging system based on Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003, the company's newest messaging software system that will be officially released mid-October.

Both Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003 versions of the MCSA: Messaging specialist titles require four exams:

MCSA: Messaging on
Windows 2000
Core: Client (1 required)
  • 70-210, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows 2000 Professional

    or


  • 70-270, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows XP Professional
Core: Networking Systems
(2 required)
  • 70-215, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows 2000 Server

  • 70–218, Managing a Windows 2000 Network Environment
Messaging Specialization
(1 required)
  • 70-224, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server

    or

  • 70-284, Implementing and Managing Exchange Server 2003
MCSA: Messaging on
Windows 2003
Core: Client (1 required)
  • 70-210, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows 2000 Professional

    or


  • 70-270, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows XP Professional
Core: Networking Systems
(2 required)
  • 70-290, Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment

  • 70-291, Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a
    Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
Messaging Specialization
(1 required)
  • 70-284, Implementing and Managing Exchange Server 2003

    or

  • 70-285, Designing a Exchange Server 2003 Organization

Both versions of the MCSE: Messaging specialist titles requires six exams, but the Windows 2000 version lists two pairs of exams that can be used to fulfill the messaging specialization component:

MCSE: Messaging on
Windows 2000
Core: Client (1 required)
  • 70-210, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows 2000 Professional

    or

  • 70-270, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows XP Professional
Core: Networking Systems
(3 required)
  • 70-215, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows 2000 Server

  • 70–216, Implementing and Administering a Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure

  • 70–217, Managing a Windows 2000 Network Environment
Core: Design (1 required)
  • 70-219, Designing a Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure

    or

  • 70-220, Designing Security for a Windows 2000 Network

    or

  • 70-221, Designing a Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure

    or

  • 70-226, Designing a Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure

    or

  • 70-297, Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure

    or

  • 70-298, Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network
Messaging Specialization
(2 required)
  • 70-224, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Exchange 2000 Server
    and
  • 70-225, Designing and Deploying a Messaging Infrastructure with Exchange 2000 Server

    or

  • 70-284, Implementing and Managing Exchange Server 2003
    and
  • 70-285, Designing a Exchange Server 2003 Organization
MCSE: Messaging on
Windows 2003
Core: Client (1 required)
  • 70-210, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows 2000 Professional

    or

  • 70-270, Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows XP Professional
Core: Networking Systems
(4 required)
  • 70-290, Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment

  • 70-291, Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a
    Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

  • 70-293, Planning and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

  • 70-294, Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure
Core: Design (1 required)
  • 70-297, Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure

    or

  • 70-298, Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network
Messaging Specialization
(2 required)
  • 70-284, Implementing and Managing Exchange Server 2003

  • 70-285, Designing a Exchange Server 2003 Organization

With those new titles come two new Exchange 2003 exams: 70-284, Implementing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, and 70-285, Designing a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Organization. Exam 70-284 isn't new; Microsoft added the title to the MCSA on Windows 2003 requirements page sans detail back in July (see "First Exchange Server 2003 Exam Announced" in the News archive or click here to read more). Both exams fulfill what Microsoft calls "prescribed" paths for the new titles, but are also electives on the general MCSA/MCSE tracks.

According to an updated FAQ (click here) on the specializations, Microsoft will officially recognize current titleholders who have already fulfilled the requirements for the messaging specialist titles, but the company was unable to provide comment in time for this writing.

The messaging specializations make up the second batch of titles that Microsoft has created specifically for its core sysadmin/systems engineer audience. In June, Microsoft announced the first of its specialist titles for Windows 2000, MCSA: Security and MCSE: Security (see "Certifying Your Security Expertise" in News or click here). In conjunction with the announcement of the Exchange specialist titles, Microsoft also has released details on Windows 2003 versions of the security specialist titles (click here to read it).

To look at the detailed requirements guide on Microsoft's MCP site, click on the following links:

To read the exam objectives guide for 70-284, click here; a 70-285 guide was unavailable as of this announcement.

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Sep 30, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

As far as I am concerned and consistently seen proven is that those with certs are more qualified for the job than those who have the Bach of Computer Science. I hear you brag that you have the degrees but you only took a semester of this, and a semester of that and then you think you are far more educated and qualified than those having the "specialized" certs. I have both and quite frankly, I will take a guy with the "specialized" certs over the guy with the Bach any week, month and year.

Mon, Sep 8, 2003 The BergerMan California

While I disagree with the earlier “anonymous” post comparing certifications with toilet paper, if I took his (or her) analogy to its logical conclusion, I would still say that there are some jobs I would rather not begin without the necessary paper.

Mon, Sep 8, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Erm .... and exactly how does this Cert make M$ more money?

As someone who did the two Exchange exams as his electives it's not cost a penny more. In fact .... in real terms it costs M$ to send me my new welcome pack [Yuck].

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 Steve Ipswich

Certs are what you make of them, yes there are plenty of paper MCSE's out there, but if you are like me and many others, and have tried to learn the product inside out you will have the confidence to to do the task better and quicker than most.
I am taking my MCSE because I would like to earn more and progress into higher skilled positions and a certification gives me a far greater chance of doing this than no certification.
I do realise that there is a danger of gettings sucked into Microsoft's never ending list of certifications, the way i work is, this get what you have to get to do the job and earn the money you want.

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 Jesse St. Louis

I noticed that nothing was said for people who upgraded from the MCSE 2000 to the MCSE 2003 track by taking the upgrade exams. I hope Micro$oft wont leave these people (including me) out!

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Certs are what you make of them. If you do not feel they are important, then do not pursue them. You should not go down on people who want to better themselves by pursing something new and challenging. If the exams are taken by utilizing training and studying and not braindumps, then you better yourself. If you are down on the certs maybe you to scared to bone up and take one and see if you actually have the knowledge to pass. The same holds true for other certifications like the CPA exam. There are many accountants in the world but there are more non-CPAs than CPAs. That is truly because people can not apply the knowledge they supposedly have. Also, there are no braindumps to breeze through. You have to know your stuff. The certs are what you make of them. Take the easy way and they don't mean crap. Apply yourself and your knowledge and you get something out of it. Stop whining if you don't like it. Grow up. Either cowboy up or find another profession like janitorial services, no certs required.

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I don't agree with trying to build credibility for idiot certs by comparing it to credentials of an MD. Certs are what they are, toilet paper.

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Those you feel that you don't need a certification shouldn't be whining then when you don't get a job. Let's put it in perspective - from the employer's point of view: Would you hire a heart surgeon with no formal education? I know some people are going to get frantic and blast this, and I expect that. If you're in a position where an employer requires you to have the cert, then I guess you'll value it then when they're saying "Sorry, we aren't interested". Maybe its not just the lack of certification that steers them away from you!!! ;)

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 JB PHX

I think it's a great addition! Funny, I just had this conversation with someone a few weeks ago: 'They should have an Exchange specialty certification.' Unless you are a consultant doing continual network installations and upgrades, there are no 'pure' MCSE job titles. You are going to run head-on into messaging in whatever aspect of the I.T. industry you're in anyway. So why not know Exchange?

The 'Mo Money' whiners are all brain dumping burger flippers anyway. Go listen to 'Stairway to Heaven' and figure out what LZ was trying to say. I for one have gotten a lot from my certification efforts, knowledge, skills, confidence and respect.

Fri, Sep 5, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

You have the wrong description for 70-290.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 The BergerMan California

I find that I have the certification already, although I did not know that it existed. I feel that the combination of exams is a valuable use of your talents and time. An MCSE with a focus in basic connectivity is not as valuable today as it once was. Both hardware and software are becoming more powerful and easily configured. It is requiring less skill to simply move data about a network. Unfortunately a large number of people foolishly believe that having a title, any title at all (i.e.: MD, PhD, MBA, Rev, Rabbi, etc.) "entitles" them to employment. I believe they may have played the game "LIFE" one too many times as a child and confused it's rules with reality. To be gainfully employed you must provide a real or perceived value equal to or greater than your cost to your employer. To this end it is frequently necessary to distinguish yourself from "the pack". If you get a title, chose the road less traveled. I am simply amazed that people could possibly be upset by Microsoft’s decision to add this title. If you don’t care about certification, do get certified. If you are not interested it this new title, don’t get it. Any form of Microsoft certification is entirely theirs to define. Get a life. Really… I mean it. There are far more important things going on in the world. As for the anonymous engineer with 12 years experience and a collection of certifications earned at a rate of 2 per month, I suspect neither your degree nor your recent collection of titles will get you your next employment. Work on your perceived value. I do in-fact specialize in a technology and not a product. X.500 Extensible Multi-Master Directory Databases with Replication and Synchronization as dictated by the ITU is the technology at the root of Lotus Notes, Exchange, Groupwise, NDS (E-Directory), and Active Directory as well as a whole host of LDAP queryable systems. Traditional enough for you?

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Why do Microsoft want to make more money by putting more and more Exam Title out.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

can the MCSA 2000 be done with an Exchange 2000 MCP??

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Messaging is the killer app right now. People need to understand the product, and the underlying structure as well. I doubt that many of the other major applications admins need to worry about so many different components of network infrastructure, all at the same time. DNS, Firewalls, Routers, DHCP, etc as well as security features, OS, ad nausium. I don't like having to take so many different tests to get the cert, but if that's what the boss wants, that's what he gets. Reminds me of scheduling out college classes.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Good for HR. Waste of time for IT. You don not need a cert to do the job but need it to get one.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

It's not the certifications, it's how you use them. And you can't use what you don't have.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

The debate rages on. Fact of the matter is there is no other way to measure a person's abilities. Techs don't have degree programs in school (computer science is for programmers). So we have to have some measure of our abilities. Believe me, I've worked with my share or "certified" people with no talent and "non-certified" people with lots of talent. But it goes both ways. Welcome to reality.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

SNARF

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

How can one "specialize" in technology? Oh, that's right, you "specialize" in products, not technology. Maybe it's because I'm a traditional engineer by both education and experience, but technology changes too much IMHO to "specialize." And certifications, especially Microsoft's, don't mean you know anything either.
The only reason I have my MCSE (among 2 dozen other certs, all gained in less than 12 months, costing me $4,500 in exam fees along, 0 training) is because people like you put blind faith in them. This is really sad. I have an engineering degree and 12 years experience and even though every technical lead wanted me (even by professional referral), the HR departments used to drop me from consideration because I didn't have those certs a year ago.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Obviously most of the people posting comments aren't happy with MS's decision on specialization. However, I believe this to be a great move and I will enjoy obtaining the credentials. To all of those who like to complain - Find another line of work. Y'all are whiners, and I would like to see more positive reactions. As for the alphabet soup titles, I have mixed feelings; you can only do so much, and you should appoint yourself the best title and certs that fit your role. Grabbing certs just to collect more titles doesn't earn you any more respect than a few, select titles that are in alignment with your actual job duty!

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Yet another letter to add. Gonna need a new business card. Hate taking exams but my job requires it. MCSE, MCSA, MCT, CCNA, CCNP, CCSI, CCA, MTS, ...

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I am glad you have bought into the dream. Go for all the certs. At least your breath will be fresh.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

whatever, I know plenty of places around my city, and it is a fairly low-tech city, that have several employees in their IT department just for Exchange administration... This is great for places like that... In all actuality, they required them to be MCSEs and have the Exchange Electives done, so those guys are already MCSE Messaging Specialists.

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Headline should read:

New MCP Titles Highlight Exchange Braindump


Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

yet another b.s. ms cert that won't do a damn thing other than enrich Microsoft...

Thu, Sep 4, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I suspected that MS would do this sometime after they introduced the Security specialization. Ya, I know someone will shout Mo Munnee into this list, but think about it for a few minutes. Exchange admins in real-world jobs at large companies really are a specialized situation. Another thing to consider is the certification for SQL Server specialists (MCDBA). The MCDBA has been around since SQL Server 7 and it reflects another truly unique work role job position in a large company.

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