If you are trying to decide whether to take an MCSE course or to take the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator path, this article will help you consider both.  Specifically we will discuss the benefits of MCSE, the benefits of MCITP, and what the future holds for each.   After reading this article you will have enough information to decide which course, MCSE or the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator is more appropriate for you and best aligns with your career goals.


The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) is certainly a great certification to have on your resume. The MCSE deals with Server 2003 network administration & design.  It demonstrates to your employers that you are qualified to implement infrastructure for Windows Server 2003 for their business solutions. The MCSE is one of the earliest certifications offered by Microsoft that still commands respect in the industry. The MCSE certification demands a certain level of experience and involves seven examinations.

The MCSE exams are currently valid, but at some point Microsoft will decide to pull these exams. Once the exams are pulled the qualification is still valid until Microsoft decides to retire it.  Microsoft has a policy of a minimum of 10 years support cycle.  This support cycle is 5 years mainstream and 5 years extended.  So that indicates that Server 2003 is at the end of its extended period, so is may not be an ideal choice to study if you are looking for a qualification that will be relevant in the years to come.

MCITP Enterprise Administrator

The MCITP, Microsoft Certified IT Professional, is a prestigious designation meant for professionals in database, enterprise and server administration. This newer certification offered by Microsoft assesses an individual's capability in meeting the demands of today’s common job roles in the IT industry. MCITP Enterprise Administrator (MCITP: EA) deals with windows server 2008 networks. Exam structure is slightly different and its focus is more job oriented.  It basically is the new incarnation of the MCSE.

Our recommendation is to only study the MCSE if you have already started it or want to gain knowledge specifically for server 2003 networks. MCSE was in the past one of the most common routes of study. The people who are on this study track can safely continue their certification processes but when it comes to the new generation, it is recommended that they follow the MCITP certification.


Advice Summary

  • If you work on Server 2003 and want the easiest way to get certified then the MCSE is a good choice.  You could use our online fast tracking features to greatly reduce your study time.
  • If you have already started the MCSE then you should carry on and complete it.  You can simply take some additional exams at a later date to upgrade your MCSE to MCITP: EA.
  • If you plan to work with Server 2008 and want to have a qualification that will stay relevant for the longest period of time then choose the MCITP path.
  • Generally speaking if you haven’t already started the MCSE it’s a good idea to study MCITP: Enterprise Administrator.


How to Get MCSE or MCITP Training

Both the MCSE and MCITP: Enterprise Administrator come in our technical Microsoft package (includes 70+ courses in total).  Follow this link for more information.