Upgrading Your MCSE Certification on Windows Server 2003

HTML clipboardYou have your MCSE on Windows Server 2003, and you want to upgrade to Windows Server 2008. The first thing to remember is that this is a series of new certifications and, while there is an upgrade path, you are not earning an MCSA or MCSE on Windows Server 2008. Rather, you will earn a MCTS or MCITP on Windows Server 2008. Also remember that the era of the MCSA/MCSE certifications has ended – it is now MCTS and MCITP (and others beyond the scope intended here), and they have an entirely different focus.

The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) is concerned with and focused on a deep understanding and use of a specific Microsoft product. The MCITP, on the other hand, represents a broader view of a series of products or integrated products, and it is concerned with planning and developing of the network architecture and design. The important thing to remember is that the MCTS is not a prerequisite for the MCITP,
per se. In other words, you earn the MCTS de facto by simply passing the required tests for MCITP. You will earn the MCTS on several products if your goal is to earn the MCITP Server Administrator or Enterprise

Administrator on Windows Server 2008.

There are two MCITP tracks available for Windows Server 2008, the MCITP: Server Administrator or the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator (doesn’t mean you can’t get both; they are two separate certifications with different requirements and target audiences). Regardless of which track you wish to pursue, you will need to take the 70-649 TS: Upgrading your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist exam. Passing this exam will earn you the: MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuration (equivalent to the 70-640 exam), the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration (equivalent to the 70-642 exam), and the MCTS: Window Server 2008
Application Infrastructure Configuration (equivalent to the 70-643 exam). One thing to keep in mind is that if you take and pass the 70-649 test, you also earn the same MCTS certification that you would have earned by just taking the 70-648 exam.

Now that you have the 70-649 exam, you can decide which of the MCITP tracks you wish to pursue. If you want to earn the MCITP: Server Administrator, then you will need to pass the 70-646 Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator exam. If, on the other hand, you are interested in the MCITP: Enterprise Administrator, you still need to take the 70-649 TS: Upgrading your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist, but in addition, you will also need to take two other tests (for a total of 3 tests).

You can take either the 70-620: TS Microsoft Windows Vista, Configuring OR70-624 TS: Deploying and Maintaining Windows Vista Client and 2007 Microsoft Office System Desktop (your choice here, but one of the two is required). The last test you need to take is the 70-647: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator. Once you have taken all three – congratulations, you are now a MCITP: Enterprise Administrator. The value of certifications cannot be over-emphasized. A certification clearly demonstrates that an individual has met certain requirements and has a specific level of knowledge and skills. There have been significant changes to the Microsoft Certification programs in response to new technologies, and pressure from companies and individuals. Introducing a differentiation of the ubiquitous MCP Certification (take a test, any test, and you are an MCP) and the MCTS (product-specific) provides a qualitative approach to certification and applicability to job roles. The new MCITP certification relates more closely to the real job roles of IT professionals as it can cover multiple disciplines. Understanding the upgrade path from Windows Server 2003 to 2008 can be daunting. There are several exams that can be used for different certifications and just understanding the difference
between the MCTS and the MCITP can be challenging, but very rewarding in the end.

Conclusion
There must be value and worth in earning a Microsoft certification if the program has lasted over 16 years and granted over 2 million certifications. Our old friend the MCSE is soon to phased out. Those who hold this cherished certification should be proud of their achievements, and those who are on the path to earn the new MCITP will continue the Microsoft Certification tradition established in 1992. While the new certifications have different names and professional focus, they will still command respect within the IT community. Their relevancy is assured by tying the MCTS to a particular product and demanding a deep knowledge of this product. The MCITP assures that anyone possessing this certification has a breadth of knowledge on various products and is concerned with the network architecture and design. These are exciting times in the Microsoft Certification world.

Learn More
Learn more about how you can improve productivity, enhance efficiency, and sharpen your competitive edge.
Check out the following Testkingdom courses:
Microsoft 2003 MCSA Self Study
Microsoft 2003 MCSE Self Study 
MCITP: Database Administrator Self Study 
MCITP: Enterprise Administrator Upgrade Self Study
MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician Self Study
MCITP: Server Administrator Self Study
MCITP: Server and Enterprise Administrator Combo Self Study
Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Self Study
MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Configuration Self Study

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