The MCSE certification is invaluable for those in the software field, but what goes into obtaining it? Read on to learn more about how long it takes to get MCSE certification.
If you’re on the hunt for a job in the tech sector, you’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to get some sort of Microsoft Certification.
A Microsoft Certification is official proof that you possess the most current skills and knowledge in a certain pathway of the software field, like Business Applications, Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, or Data Management and Analytics.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, also known as MCSE, is the most advanced level of Microsoft Certification.
If you’re serious about becoming a software engineer, it’s a great idea to get MCSE certified.
What Kinds of People Should Earn an MCSE Certification?
If you’re planning on working in the technology field at all, you definitely should consider obtaining some sort of Microsoft Certification.
If you’re planning on becoming an administrator, developer, or consultant, you definitely should obtain an MCSE certification. It will lend you a competitive edge in the job marketplace and give your employer the distinction of retaining an MCSE-certified professional, affording you job security.
What’s the First Step?
Before you even start to think about earning an MCSE certification, you need to choose a pathway. Each pathway caters to a different software specialty, like app building or data management and analytics.
Do some research into each pathway and determine which one you’re most interested in. Once you’ve picked a pathway, you can take a look at the prerequisites and exams necessary to earn your MCSE certification.
The specific steps to earning an MCSE certification vary based on the pathway you choose. The first step is generally to earn an MTA, which is the most basic Microsoft Certification for most pathways.
You may be able to bypass this step if you already have equivalent prior knowledge. No matter which pathway you choose, you’re guaranteed to need to earn an MCSA, which is a mid-tier Microsoft Certification.
In order to do that, you’re going to need to take two or three required exams. Lastly, you’ll need to take a recertification exam once every three years to keep your certification up to date.
How Long Will It Take to Get MCSE?
The amount of time it takes to earn an MCSE certification can vary quite a bit based on your prior education and experience.
In general, Microsoft suggests that you obtain at least two years of experience working with software before you start taking MCSE exams. Plus, no matter which MCSE pathway you’re interested in, you need to have an MCSA credential in order to take the final MCSE exams.
If you already have two years of working experience and an MCSA credential, it won’t take you very long to study for and pass the final MCSE exam.
If you haven’t yet earned an MCSA credential, the process of earning an MCSE will take much longer.
Generally, earning an MCSA involves taking at least two exams, each of which will require extensive study. Depending on your amount of prior knowledge, this can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.
If you’ve earned a four-year degree in computer science or IT, you’ll have an easier time studying for and passing the MCSA exams.
How Do I Prepare?
There are several courses and bootcamps that you can take to prepare for the MCSA and MCSE exams. Regardless of your personal schedule or preferred learning style, there’s a study option available out there that’s perfect for you.
You can opt to attend classroom courses in person, learn remotely in a virtual classroom, take courses independently at your own pace, or even attend a private group training boot camp.
The duration of these courses and boot camps vary. Generally, you can expect an MCSA or MCSE boot camp to last between six and fourteen days.
An MCSA or MCSE live classroom course can take between three and seven days, or you can take an MOC online course on your own time.
Depending on the number of exams you need to take to finally earn your MCSE, you can expect to spend anywhere between a week and several months taking prep courses.
What Are the Exams Like?
Again, the necessary exams for an MCSE certification vary based on which pathway you’ve chosen. Proctored exams are available online through Microsoft’s website. The types of questions can vary from multiple choice to short answer to case studies. Each exam will have about fifty questions, and should take under four hours to complete.
Once you complete an exam, you should be able to receive your score within minutes. If you didn’t pass on the first try, you can take the exam again within twenty-four hours. If you still haven’t passed after that initial retake, you’ll need to wait fourteen days before you try again.
If you’re looking to gain a competitive edge in the software or technology fields, consider earning an MCSE.
The requirements for these certifications can be a little confusing and the process can be quite lengthy, but this article should give you the basic information you need to get started!