Introduction

The MCSE has always been one of the most highly regarded certs in the IT Industry. It is also one of the longest ones as well.

Its first focus was on the concepts and implementation of various network infrastructure topologies. Although any IT professional with some experience in this area could appear for the exams related to this cert, it was geared primarily towards the network administrator job title.

After a long period of time, Microsoft decided to retire the MCSE. But the IT Industry continued to still highly value this cert and hold it in great esteem, so it was brought back to an active level status.

There two big changes made to the MCSE:

  1. It went through a name change. Rather than being called the “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer,” it is now called the “Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert”
  2. The intent of it has changed. Rather than focusing strictly on just networking, it now has multiple areas of specialization (or tracks) that reflect the current state of the IT industry

The four tracks are as follows:

  • Business Applications
  • Data Analytics
  • Mobile and Wireless Technologies
  • Cloud/Productivity

This article will review these tracks in more detail. It is important to keep in mind that two of these domains will be retiring in the near future, thus the MCSE candidate must plan accordingly. One, Cloud Infrastructure, will be retired in March 2019; therefore, this article chooses to focus on those which will be more relevant to the student.

MCSE: Business Applications

By achieving this particular cert, the IT professional has demonstrated they have in-depth knowledge as well as a high level of proficiency in Microsoft Dynamics. The exams in this track include the following:

  • Exam MB2-717: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales: This is intended for those candidates that deploy and support the online version of Microsoft Dynamics, such as sales managers, project managers, sales consultants and software architects. It is expected that the candidate will possess a strong knowledge of how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be used to convert leads into revenue-generating customers. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  • Exam MB2-718: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service: This is exam is intended for those candidates who work in the customer service realm of Microsoft Dynamics 365. This would include job titles such as customer service managers, service schedulers and even office managers. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  • Exam MB2-719: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing: This exam is geared towards those candidates who make heavy usage of Microsoft Dynamics for launching and executing intense marketing campaigns. This would include such job titles as marketing manager, project manager and independent marketing executive. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  • Exam MB6-895: Financial Management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations: This exam is geared towards those candidates who make heavy usage of Microsoft Dynamics for finance-based applications. In order to be prepared for this exam, the candidate must possess an intermediate skill level in both accounting and finance and understand how these two subject areas are used in the overall processes of a business or a corporation. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  • Exam MB6-896: Distribution and Trade in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations: The primary difference between this and the previous exam just described is that this is geared towards the candidate that uses the concepts of both accounting and finance for supply chain- and logistics-based applications in their job roles. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  • Exam MB6-897: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail: This exam is geared towards those candidates that make use of and support Microsoft Dynamics 365 in a retail-based environment. The candidate must possess an advanced knowledge of retail operations and processes, as well as Point of Sale (PoS) systems. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  • Exam MB6-898: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent: This exam is geared towards those candidates that utilize Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the Human Resources function of a business entity. This would include job titles such as human capital manager or human resources manager. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  • Exam MB2-877: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service: This exam is meant for those candidates that implement and support Microsoft Dynamics 365 for field service-related applications. This would include job titles such as field service manager or field service representative. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
    NOTE: Before a candidate can appear for any of the abovementioned exams, they must first possess the MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 or the MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations.

MCSE: Data Management & Analytics

By earning this specific cert, the IT professional will have demonstrated that they possess significant and deep knowledge about SQL Server. This includes the administration, deployment and creation of business intelligence applications that can be used as either a cloud-based or on-premises solution. The exams in this track include the following:

 

  1. Exam 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions: This exam is meant for those candidates who currently work with data solutions that make use of the Microsoft platform. A strong knowledge of implementing both on-premises and cloud-based solutions (specifically hybrid and public cloud) is required, and candidates must be able to determine the appropriate infrastructure for a particular SQL Server-driven application. They should also be very familiar with the functional, operational and deployment functionalities of SQL Server. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  2. Exam 70-475/Course 552241 and 552242: Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions: This exam is geared towards the candidate that is involved specifically in creating and implementing Big Data-based analytics applications making used of the Microsoft Azure Platform. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  3. Exam 70-464/Course 20464: Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases: This exam is targeted specifically towards the database developer and/or administrator that is involved in the following job functions:
    • The creation of database files
    • The creation of data types and tables
    • The implementation of indexes
    • The creation/implementation of views
    • The creation of stored procedures/functions
    • The management of transactions and locks
    • Providing assurances of data integrity
      More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  4. Exam 70-465/Course 20465: Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server: This exam is geared towards the database professional that is involved in creating the structure, storage and objects as they relate to the SQL Server platform. They also create the overall environment which the SQL Server database is run in. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  5. Exam 70-466/Course 20466: Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server: This exam is geared towards the IT professional that is involved specifically with creating business intelligence (BI) solutions and applications. They must have experience in the following:
    • The creation of multidimensional models
    • The designing of OLAP cubes
    • The creation of data dashboards
      More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  6. Exam 70-467/Course 20467: Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server: This exam has been specifically designed for BI software developers who are involved with creating and implementing an overall BI-based infrastructure. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  7. Exam 70-767/Course 20767: Implementing a Data Warehouse using SQL: This exam is targeted primarily towards the database developer who is involved with the extraction, transformation, load and data-cleansing functionalities for BI applications. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  8. Exam 70-773/Course 20773: Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R: This exam is geared towards the data scientist or software developer who analyzes and combs through datasets making use of R, and should be fluent in the following concepts:
    • Data structures
    • Control flow and scopes
    • Compiling source code used in creating R-based applications
      More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  9. Exam 70-774/Course 20774: Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning: This exam is for the data scientist and/or software developer that makes use of the Microsoft Azure platform to create BI tools that have more of a focus on using machine learning (ML). The candidates for this exam must have experience in the following:
    • Filtering and transforming data sets
    • Model estimation
    • Model evaluation
    • The creation of APIs for BI tools
      More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  10. Exam 70-775/Course 20775: Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight: This exam has been specifically designed for the data scientist/data architect/software developer that create and deploy the various workflows that make use of HDInsight. The candidate who takes this exam must have experience in the following:
    • Batch data processing
    • Real-time processing
    • Interactive processing
      More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
  11. Exam 70-777/Course 20777: Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions: This exam is targeted towards the software developer and/or data architect that make use of the Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB. The candidate must have experience in the following:
    • Partitioning
    • Replication
    • Resource governance
    • Creating Cosmos SQL-based APIs
      More detailed information about this exam can be found here.

NOTE: Before a candidate can appear for any of the abovementioned exams, they must first possess the MCSA: Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 or the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration; Database Development; BI Development; Machine Learning; BI Reporting or Data Engineering with Azure.

MCSE: Mobility

By obtaining this cert, the IT professional will have demonstrated their knowledge of deploying Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in the workplace. The exams in this track include the following:

    1. Exam 70-695/Course 20695: Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications: This exam is geared towards the candidate that makes used of the System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager in order to deploy Windows-based mobile and wireless devices. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
    2. Exam 70-703: Administering Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Cloud Services Integration: This exam is targeted towards the IT professional that deploy Windows mobile and wireless devices across at the enterprise level. They must possess the following skillset:
      • The System Center Configuration Manager
      • Microsoft Intune
      • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
      • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
      • Windows PowerShell
        More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.

NOTES:

  1. Before a candidate can appear for any of the abovementioned exams, they must first possess the MCSA: Windows 10
  2. This cert is scheduled to be retired on March 31st, 2019

MCSE: Cloud/Productivity

This cert is intended primarily for the IT professional to demonstrate that they possess the needed skills to migrate their organization’s IT Infrastructure into a cloud-based environment and implement safeguards to mitigate any risks of data leakage. The exams in this track include the following:

    1. Exam 70-345/Course 20345-1 and 20345-2: Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016: This exam is geared towards the candidate who manages and administers Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 in an enterprise type of environment. A typical job title here is senior-level network administrator. The candidate must have experience integrating Exchange Server with both Skype for Business and Office 365. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
    2. Exam 70-339/Course 20339-1 or 20339-2: Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016: This exam is targeted towards the candidate who installs, configures, deploys and further manages SharePoint 2016 in an enterprise or cloud-based environment. The following skills are required of the candidate:
      • Business continuity management
      • Backup/restoration
      • Use in identification and authentication technologies
      • PowerShell
        More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
    3. Exam 70-333/Course 40409: Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015: The typical candidate for this exam is the telecom engineer. They must have the following experience:
      • Deploying and maintaining unified communications
      • Using Skype for Business technologies
      • The deployment of Skype for Business Server and Skype for Business Online solutions
      • Deploying and maintain the various audio/video and Web conference software packages
      • Configure and troubleshoot Skype for Business using the Microsoft Support Tools
      • Usage of Active Directory Domain Services
      • The ability to integrate Skype for Business with Exchange Server 2016 and Office 365
        More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
    4. Exam 70-331/Course 20331: Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013: This exam is geared towards the candidate who deploys and maintains the SharePoint Server. They must have experience in the following:
      • Windows Server 2008 R2 (or later versions)
      • Internet Information Services (IIS)
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (or later versions)
      • Active Directory
        More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.
    5. Exam 70-341/Course 20341: Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013: This exam is intended for the IT professional who deploys and maintains Microsoft Exchange Server in a messaging-based environment. The job title here is that of a senior-level network administrator. More detailed information about this exam can be seen here.

 

 

NOTE: Before a candidate can appear for any of the abovementioned exams, they must first possess the MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows Server 2012 or the MCSA: Windows Server 2016.

Conclusions

Overall, this article has examined the exams that an aspiring IT professional must take if they wish to earn any of the abovementioned certs. As was reviewed in a previous article, one must keep careful tabs as to when a particular Microsoft cert is scheduled to be retired. This typically occurs when the product that is associated with that cert is also set to retire as well.

For the most up to date information about the MCSE and their exams, keep continuing to visit the Microsoft website.

 

Sources

  1. MCSE Certifications, Microsoft
  2. MCSE Certification, Boson
  3. Certification Update – MCSD/MCSE Recertification Exams, Microsoft
  4. Microsoft Certification Overview, ONLC

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Section Guide

Ravi
Das (writer/revisions editor)

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Section Guide

Ravi
Das (writer/revisions editor)

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