Microsoft Network Engineer Certification Programs

Review the certification options that Microsoft offers for computer network engineers. Check the eligibility requirements for certification, and learn about the examination process. Get info on prep courses that could help you study for the exam, including online course options. Find out about the job outlook for network engineers and the benefits of certification. Schools offering Network & Communications Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Network Engineer Certifications Does Microsoft Offer?

Microsoft offers different certifications, based on your area of knowledge and skill. The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification is aimed at professionals using the Windows Server 2003 operating system, as well as earlier operating systems. This certification is appropriate for you if your expertise lies with developing and installing infrastructure solutions within the Windows Server 2003.

The Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification should be used if you're using newer Microsoft systems, such as the Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 or Exchange Server 2010. The certification exams for the MCSE and MCITP involve taking and passing several examinations. For instance, to meet the requirements for the MCSE certification, you must pass seven exams, which include one on design, one on client operating systems, four on networking systems and one in an elective area.

MCITP certification involves more certification examinations because it covers many technologies, such as Microsoft Office, developer tools and applications, Windows Server and Windows client, among others.

How Can College Programs Help Me Earn Microsoft Certification?

If you're trying to prepare for Microsoft certification examinations, you may find it beneficial to enroll in a Microsoft certificate programs, which are offered at different schools. The programs provide you with curricula that deal with what's covered in the Microsoft exams. Programs offer hands-on training with computers and computer networks, and they're taught by faculty who hold the certifications themselves.

The certificate programs won't provide you with certification, but they will prepare you for the certification exams. Although this may vary by program, some of the courses you may take include:

  • Networking concepts
  • Various operating systems
  • Windows Server 2008 administration and networking infrastructure
  • Windows 2000 support
  • Internet security
  • Implementing and maintaining servers

Can I Earn My Certification Online?

If attending the training programs on campus will not fit into your schedule, some schools offer them through distance learning. All you need to participate in the distance learning classes is a computer with Internet access and an e-mail address.

The courses for the program may be delivered via CD, printed materials and Blackboard, a Web-based course management system. You'll also have the advantage of Web-based lab time. Once you've completed your online training programs, you'll be ready to take your Microsoft certifications. These, however, can't be taken online and must be taken at a Prometric site. There are many Prometric sites in the country, so you can schedule your exams at the one nearest to your location.

How Will Certification Help My Career?

The MCSE certification is often sought by information technology (IT) professionals who frequently work with Windows 2000 Server and with Windows Server 2003. The demand for individuals with this credential may decline, however, as more and more companies update their servers. The MCITP certification is beneficial if you work with more up-to-date Windows Servers, and you'd like a career as a server systems administrator, senior network engineer, database administrator, information systems manager or Microsoft certified systems engineer.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network and computer systems administrations should expect an employment growth of up to 23% from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). Computer networks play a pivotal role in business, and as more technologies become available to businesses, they'll thrive to stay current, increasing the demand for qualified systems administrators. The BLS also stated that professionals with security knowledge and skills will be in demand as the need for information security continues to grow.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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