Windows Server 2008 Exam Guidance

mcts mcitp

Visiting Trika’s blog (again) I saw that she posted the following very interesting information on the Windows Server 2008 Certification paths.

So many questions, understandably, about what you should do next, with Windows Server 2008 certifications on the horizon. Lots of “I have 2000, and want to get 2008 certified, what do I do?” or “I’m an MCSA wearing a cape, what exam is right for me?”

Here is a little chart–bereft of bells, whistles, or officialliness*–that I’ve been using toward my own dark purposes. I figured I’d post it here for you to gnaw while we are finalizing Windows Server 2008 certification paths and announcements. This won’t be particularly helpful if you don’t have any clue** what is coming for Server 2008, to start with. Please download slides or watch this recording for our preview. and see the little legend at the bottom. In our December 5 Live Meeting, Rob and Jim (who know all the things) will be available to answer any specific questions about 2008, too.

For someone starting from scratch:

We recommend you plan for certifications on the technology you are using today or will be working on in the near future. There is nothing wrong with starting a 2003 certification track today—skills on 2003 will be in demand for a long time to come in different locations around the world.

  • If you want to earn your MCITP: EA in the future, you can start on that now with exams 620 or 624.
  • If you want to earn BOTH WS2003 and 2008 certs, start with 620, which will apply to both

For an MCSA 2000:

It is the same number of exams to go direct to 2008 certifications as it is to do so via MCSA 2003. Although 292 is known for being a very challenging exam, this route lets you take advantage of the upgrade path (only available until March), earns a valuable 2003 cert NOW, and lets you get started on your path right away (rather than waiting for months for the 2008 exams).

For an MCSE 2000:

It is basically the same. To earn your MCTIP: SA, you can take 3 exams and earn MCSA 2003 along the way (292, 648, 646) or go direct to 2008 in the same number of exams (640, 642, 646). To earn your MCITP: EA, you could go the upgrade route (292, 296, 649, 620, 647) for five exams, the direct route (5 exams, but no WS2003 cert), or go via MCSA 2003 (292, then 648, 643, 620, 647). With this final plan, you do not earn your MCSE 2003, but you do hold a 2003 cert (MCSA) and get to the 2008 certs without taking both difficult upgrade exams.

For MCSA and MCSE 2003:

Your paths to 2008 professional-series certs are shorter due to your upgrade or transition exam options. For MCSA 2003, you save one exam in each professional-series WS2008 path. MCSE 2003 save one exam on the MCITP: SA path and two on the MCITP: EA path. The transition exams from 2003 to 2008 test you ONLY ON THE TECHNICAL DELTA (do not cover job-role skills). They are intended to be challenging, but we anticipate for the target candidates, these will test all the necessary skills without making it more difficult to pass than a standard exam.

292 = 2000–>2003 upgrade

296 = 2000–>2003 upgrade

648 = 2003–>2008 upgrade (earns equivalent of 640 and 642)

649 = 2003–>2008 upgrade (earns equivalent of 640, 642, and 643)

640 = MCTS: WS2008 Active Directory

642 = MCTS: WS2008 Network Infrastructure

643 = MCTS: WS2008 Applications Infrastructure

620 = MCTS: Vista Configuration

624 = MCTS: BDD

MCITP: SA = Server Administrator on WS2008

MCITP: NA = Network Administrator on WS2008

*This table was low-rent to start with, and after 15 minutes of experimental Pasting Special activities it is worse, and smaller, and I’m fed up.

**Even if you do have a clue, this might not be particularly helpful. What would be helpful?

I didn’t create the table, Trika did, so don’t come to me if you think it’s low quality.