MCSA Certification : Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate
This page predominantly deals with Networking & Systems based MCSA's. For information on database-related MCSA's please visit Database Certification.
Also, visit MCSA vs MCSE for background information on Microsoft's history of previous MCSA/MCSE certifications and the retired MCITP qualifications.
Essentially, network & server certification via an MCSA course is the ideal training route if you're looking to become a network/server administrator or get into a senior support role. This can be very interesting work - ideal for the person who likes dealing with people and can embrace a lot of different and varied working scenarios. You'll find yourself dealing with the day to day issues of corporate networks, which often involves user support as well as systems administration, and problem solving will be a key part of everyday life.
There are 7 new MCSA groups now - with 5 related to networking or systems support & 2 relating to database technologies. Each MCSA has 2-3 required exams that constitute the overall certification. The 5 networking/systems related groups are:
MCSA: Windows Server 2012
410 : Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
411 : Administering Windows Server 2012
412 : Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
MCSA: Windows Server 2008
640 : Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
642 : Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
646 : Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator
MCSA: Windows 8
687 : Configuring Windows 8.1
688 : Supporting Windows 8.1
MCSA: Windows 7
680 : Windows 7, Configuring
685 : Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
MCSA: Office 365
346 : Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
347 : Enabling Office 365 Services
NOTE: All the new MCSE certifications are designed to build on a base MCSA, meaning that progression from MCSA to MCSE is very streamlined. Some of the MCSA’s provide the basis for several MCSE specialisations. While there is an MCSA based around Server 2008, the MCSE progression path ONLY utilises the MCSA Server 2012, so if you intend to progress your MCSA through to an MCSE, you'll need to stick to the Server 2012 certification.
Remember To Consider Your Pre-Qualification Route
Adding CompTIA qualifications will not only ease your learning curve and help prepare you for the subject material, but will prove to employers that you have acquired a solid foundation in hardware, operating systems, networking technology and support processes. The CompTIA A+ and Network+ are tried and tested, established accreditations which act as a superb starting point for the MCSA. Anyone with no experience or previous qualifications should seriously consider beginning with these qualifications. (CompTIA Security+ is also recommended for today's security-intensive network issues.)
Fundamentally, MCSA certified professionals must be able to demonstrate their ability to install, configure & manage professional Microsoft installations and infrastructure. Roles typically are to be found running a small-medium sized corporate network. Companies are increasingly required to employ IT professionals with commercial certifications to comply with insurance regulations and commercial best practices, strengthening the validity of both MCSA and MCSE in the marketplace.
Really informative & very positive... They cut out all the nonsense and just gave it to me in plain terms: This is what you're going to get - and this is where you'll end up. That's all I wanted really.
David : UK
My advisor told me absolutely everything I needed to know. If I needed to know the specifics of a certain subject, he told me everything about that. He was friendly and really helpful.
Leroy : UK
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Lee : UK
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