Mini Case Study for Windows Server Certification: Jason

OK, one last thing. I just got this question from Jason. “Hello, My name is Jason. I recently saw your presentation involving Windows Server 2008, and I would like your advice on the MCSA track. I plan on getting my MCSA certification; however, I’m not sure if I should focus on the 2003 version or wait to take the exam on the 2008 version. What do you think would be the best route (currently preparing for the MCTS exam involving Windows Vista)?”

Dear Jason, You are probably not the only person wondering about that. Recommend you think about what technology you want to focus on, and not think about shortest exam paths – in this case it won’t be too different.

1. If you will keep working in 2003 for a while to come, yet, then MCSA 2003 is a good move. You can complete your MCSA 2003 track, then, whenever it makes sense, take advantage of the transition exam 70-648 to start your 2008 path. By doing MCSA 2003 then 648, you’ll be 1 exam from MCITP: Server Admin or 3 exams away from MCITP: Enterprise Admin on 2008, with stepping stones along the way: MCSA 2003, MCTS: Active Directory, MCTS: Network Infrastructure, possibly MCTS: Vista and MCTS: Application Platform… Lots of companies will continue to look for skills on Windows Server 2003 for a long time to come, yet…

2. If you think you or your organization will be early adopters of 2008, and you won’t be working in 2003, then waiting for the 2008 certs might be a better move. The drawback here is that these won’t be available for a while, yet. The MCTS exams (three exams, each of which earn one certification) will be available 30 days after WS2008 release to manufacturing (RTM) and the MCITP exams (two exams) will be available 60 days after RTM. So you are looking at sometime early in calendar year 2008 to get started. If you haven’t already, watch the Windows Server 2008 Live Meeting recording from June 2007 you can find on this page… we dont’ have info posted yet about the new certs but all the details about the upcoming certificatinos and exam paths are in the recording. Also, check out the specials on the WS2008 learning portal if you decide to go this route…

3. Starting with exam 70-620 (Configuring Windows Vista) is an excellent idea (way to go!), in either case, because, as you probably know, it is a core client or general elective option for your MCSA 2003 and a client elective for your MCITP: Enterprise Administrator 2008, so it will apply no matter which path you choose. And, it earns a certification by itself (MCTS: Vista) that will show up on your transcript right out tha gate. Actually, 70-624 (which earns MCTS: Business Desktop Deployment) is a general elective for your MCSA 2003 and an option for MCITP: Enterprise Admin, too.. so another good option to get started. 620 and 624 are both available now.

Other readers, any other suggestions or comments to add? I think you guys are, like, smart, or whatever.

Jason, good luck. Let us know what you decide.

Comments (4)

  1. Lukas Beeler says:

    I would suggest anyone who’s starting with MS certifications right now to take 70-620. It’s by _far_ the easiest Microsoft exam i’ve done so far.

    As such, it can serve as an excellent introduction into the electronic exams world (at least in Switzerland, there are no Multiple Choice exams in schools), and it also gives instant gratification if you pass your first exam on the first try.

  2. John O. Edwards says:

    Here is my take on it.

    The 70-620/624 and the 70-290/291 is a good route to go in my opinion.  It will pay off now and later.  The MCSA 2003 will pay off now if you are using this technology or trying to get into the IT job field and it will payoff later at future job interviews by shows a history with Microsoft technologies.

    When looking at resumes to fill a position Documented!!!! experience gets the interview.


    Jon Doe – 10 years experience in IT

    Certifications MCSE NT4

    Jane Doe – 10 years experience in IT

    Certifications MCSE NT4, MCSA 2003/2000

    Jane Doe is getting the call for the interview because she can prove that she has been keeping up with the technology.

    The 620/624 will also payoff with the MCTS/MCIPT on 2008 in the future.

    And why not do the MCSA, you need something to do until the tests for 2008 go live.

    Anyway, just my thoughts.

    BTW Trika – I took the 71-649 beta. I like the direction this test is going it seems to relate to things that happen in the “Real World”.


  3. Jason says:


    Thanks for the suggestions.  Sorry for the late response, been busy with the classes for the fall semester.  Along with my studies I’m preparing for the 70-620 Microsoft Vista exam.

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