A Guide to MCSA Certification
Nowadays, a qualified developer or IT professional must possess a wide range of skills in various technologies and products. One of the most important skills that a individual can demonstrate is expertise in Microsoft Products. Given the wide range and use of Microsoft products, it is critical that professionals display the relevant aptitude and necessary skills sets. However, it may be difficult to show that the individual is formally qualified in Microsoft-related issues, given the broad range of products.
One of the most common methods to show qualification is to obtain formal certification and training. There are a number of sources where an individual can engage in training; however, the most commonly recognized are the certification paths offered by Microsoft themselves. Microsoft offers a number of certifications, each different according to level, specialization and upgrade paths. One of the most common certification tests available through Microsoft is the Microsoft Certified Systems Administration (MCSA) Certification.
What is MCSA Certification?
The MSCA Certification tests the individual’s ability to handle systems administration related to the Windows Server 2003, as well as older operating systems. This certification will show that the individual is qualified to administer network and system environments. However, it is important to note that the basic examination will only grant certification in older technologies. In order to gain certification in newer technologies and servers, including the Windows Server 2008, the student will have to progress through advanced tracks, such as the Microsoft Certified IT Professional certification.
In order to achieve MCSA Certification, the individual must undergo four examinations, covering a range of necessary topics. Two exams will focus on networking systems, and another will test the student on client operating systems. In addition, the student is also required to take an elective exam, which is available in a wide variety of topics. Examples of elective exams include Implementing and Administering Security in a Windows Server 2003 Network, and Configuring Windows Vista Client. After passing the necessary examinations, the individual will then qualify for MCSA Certification.
MCSA Certification and Specializations
Within the overarching theme of MCSA Certifications, there are a number of specialized tracks that allow the individual to focus their expertise. While these paths are not necessarily more “advanced”, they give the student the ability to focus and hone their specific skills. These paths are generally differentiated according to the topic of elective exam taken. The following are examples of the most common paths that students can follow:
MCSA Messaging on Windows Server 2003:
This track allows the individual to focus on how to implement, manage and maintain an exchange server and handle MCSA messaging.
MCSA Security on Windows Server 2003:
In order to engage this path, the student is required to take two exams that are specifically focused on security implementation and management.
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server:
There are several paths that focus specifically on the Windows 2000 server. However, many of these exams have recently been retired. Before choosing a track, make sure that the examinations are still available.