What is the difference between MCSA and MCSE?
- 21st April 2016
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Technology
MCSA which stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate and MCSE which stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert are two of the most well-known and trusted Microsoft certifications in the field of IT. The main difference between the MCSA and MCSE is that the MCSA is an associate or entry level certification and the MCSE is the Expert level certification. The MCSA certification, which is a prerequisite to studying the MCSE, focuses on servers, operating systems and web applications while the MCSE teaches business intelligence, private cloud computing, server infrastructure and data platform skills and knowledge.
MCSA vs MCSE for career advancement
Due to their popularity and trustworthiness, the number of MCSA and MCSE exams taken by those that aspire towards a career in IT and seasoned IT professionals has drastically increased and continues to do so.
There can be no question that, gaining either of these certifications will drastically enhance your CV, especially if you have not yet gained an IT certification and, hence, your career prospects and reliability will grow accordingly. The fact that either certification can be gained through undertaking the online Microsoft training courses makes it so much easier to become officially certified.
Which certification can I do?
But there is a lingering question as to what the difference is between these two qualifications. Must the MCSA be studied first, followed by the MCSE, or is it possible to just study the MCSE course? What will your career prospects be when you have concluded your studies? Below we will examine the differences between the two and shed some light on these issues.
The MCSA and MCSE Microsoft certifications
The MCSA certification is ideal for those that only have a small amount or no experience in IT. It is seen as the perfect place to start when entering the IT arena and lays a solid foundation from which to build a career.
The MCSA courses that are available to be studied:
MCSA: Windows Server 2012
– focuses on servers, databases and networking within the Windows 2012 operating system.
MCSA: Windows Server 2008
– deals with server infrastructure and the managing of the Windows 2008 operating system.
MCSA: Windows 10
– teaches the configuration and management of the Windows 10 operating system.
MCSA: Windows 8
– focuses on the management of the Windows 8 operating system.
MCSA: SQL Server 2012
– teaches the management of SQL (Structured Query Language) server services, databases and database security.
MCSA: Office 365
– deals with the transitioning and managing of cloud-hosted business applications to the cloud.
MCSA: Linux on Azure
– teaches the design of cloud-based Linux solutions and Linux system administration.
The MCSE is intended for experienced IT professionals and those that hold the MCSE certification are considered to possess the skills and knowledge necessary to fill complex roles that pertain to Microsoft technologies.
The MCSE courses that are available to be studied:
MCSE: Server Infrastructure
– teaches a thorough understanding of identity, network and systems management.
MCSE: Private Cloud
– deals with the management of private cloud computing technology.
MSCE: Enterprise Devices and App
– deals with the management of devices in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) enterprise.
MCSE: Data Platform
– teaches the creation of enterprise-sized data solutions, including cloud-based solutions.
MCSE: Business Intelligence
– creating and utilising SQL server business intelligence.
– deals with the security and management of data.
– teaches the development of trustworthy communications solutions.
– deals with the safe and efficient transferring of data.
It is easy to see from the above information that the MCSE is certainly a level above the MCSA certification as far as seniority is concerned. The clue lies in the name: MCSA is an associate level certification, while MCSE will see you certified as an expert.
MCSA is a prerequisite for MCSE
The MCSA courses lay the foundation on which the MCSE courses build further skills and MCSE provides the knowledge that will see you regarded as a sought-after IT professional. Therefore, to ensure that the knowledge that you build up is thorough and complete, the MCSA certification is a prerequisite to gaining the MCSE level certification.
Difference in MCSA and MCSE Jobs
To give a clearer understanding of how different the two levels of certification are, have a look at the positions that you will be qualified to apply for upon completion of your MCSA and MCSE certificates respectively:
|Database Developer||Information Security Analyst|
|Computer Support Specialist||Systems Programmer|
|Support Specialist||Network Manager|
|Technical Support Engineer||Enterprise Manager|
|Desktop Support Analyst||Database Designer|
|Computer Network Specialist||Reporting Engineer|
|Systems Engineer||Server Administrator|
|IT Support Analyst||Database Analyst|
|Linux System Administrator||Business Intelligence Engineer|
|IT Cloud Solutions Consultant||Network Administrator|
The positions that are on offer after gaining your MCSE require a higher level of knowledge as you will be working with larger and more complex IT solutions. This may seem daunting at first, but the MCSA level courses will ready you to gain the knowledge on offer from the MCSE courses.
Following your IT career
Once you have decided which direction you wish to follow within the field of IT, all that is needed is dedication and a willingness to learn in order to become a certified professional. Something that will take you a long way towards a long and fulfilling IT career.