msce productivity question

Update: On January 31, 2021 Microsoft retired Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Solutions Developer (MCSD) certifications. In their place are Microsoft’s Role-based certifications.


There is hardly a more prestigious certification in the computer networking world than the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Certification. The MCSE conveys to employers that an IT professional has the necessary skills to help increase user productivity, flexibility, and efficiency. It also validates that the cert holder has the knowledge to take their organization to the cloud and manage their valuable technology assets. Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the MCSE certification.

How do I get the MCSE productivity certification?

The path to becoming an MCSE begins with obtaining an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Associate) certification. After earning an MCSA in one of many different technology concentrations, only one more elective subject is needed to procure the coveted MCSE. The MCSA covers such topics as Microsoft Server, O365, Web Applications, and SQL Server Development. Once the MCSA is in hand, another elective exam needs to be passed on topics such as SharePoint Administration, Exchange Administration, or Skype for Business Administration, just to name a few.

What are the current MCSE certifications?

Currently, there are five different types of MCSE certification that cover different technology arenas. Obtaining one of these MCSE certifications proves that the student is an expert in the technologies covered by that functional umbrella.

  1. MCSE: Business Applications
  2. MCSE: Core Infrastructure
  3. MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
  4. MCSE: Mobility
  5. MCSE: Productivity

How much does an MCSE certification cost?

Most of the MCSE certifications require between 3 and 5 exams. These exams typically cost around $99 with a good coupon that can usually be found quite easily. So, it usually costs around $500 just for the exam fees. However, the exams are exceedingly difficult to pass without extensive study. Studying for exams can be done individually with on-demand online study materials, but probably the best way to pass the exam the first time is to take an actual class. Classes usually run between five hundred to a thousand dollars. However, it takes a while to study for and then pass the exams, so the expense is generally spread out over a one to two-year period.

What is the best MCSE certification?

Core Infrastructure is most likely the most valuable MCSE Certification. Organizations always need professionals that can keep their systems running, and now cloud-based technologies are more critical than ever. Server technologies also usually move slower than other segments of the technology world so that this certification will be valid for longer than those concentrated in other functional areas.

How much does an MCSE make?

IT professionals holding an MCSE cert currently make between $47,000 to $145,000 per year. Some examples are a typical network and computer system administrator, which also involves application software, makes around $82,000 per year. A network engineer makes approximately $68,000 per year. These salaries fluctuate on a case by case basis due to many influencing factors. These are just some examples of current MCSE salaries, according to

What are the types of Microsoft certifications? Current certifications include:

  • MOS – Microsoft Office Specialist
  • MTA – Microsoft Technology Associate
  • MCSA – Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate
  • MCSE – Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
  • MCSD – Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer

All the Microsoft certifications are highly valuable, and the IT professionals holding them almost always command higher salaries and are afforded more employment opportunities than their peers. The best way to pass any of the Microsoft certification exams is to attend professional training classes. The best way to participate in professional training classes is by enrolling with a certified training organization such as ONLC. Why not contact ONLC today to find out how to get started on your path to becoming an MCSE?

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