Certified or Certifiable?

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote this blog post on our annual trip to the mothership for implant upgrades technical training.  It is always a great time meeting with the rest of the world wide team and we had fun sharing ideas and experiences with Jeff Alexander (Australia), James O'Neill (UK) and Steve Lamb (UK) to name a few.  If you follow my Twitter you probably saw a few comments regarding the "commonwealth team" and that was us :)

Now asides from some technical training sessions and the odd party (thanks to the Unified Communications team and the Forefront and System Centre teams) I did manage to get some certification exams taken care of.  You are probably aware of the changes made to the Microsoft certifications last year (if not you might want to check this webcast) and may have had some questions.  For people just starting out their career or looking at certifications for the first time I think the changes were for the positive.  I find they allow for a more focused path while still offering some of the broader certifications, albeit with a different name.

For those of you like me who are already an MCSE on Windows 2003 things look a little more complicated but I am going to try and clear them up.  If you have your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 you have two upgrade choices, MCITP Server Administrator or MCITP Enterprise Administrator.  The official definitions are below and I'll leave it to you to decide what is best for your career and certification goals.

MCITP: Server Administrator - Server administrators are recognized among their peers and managers as leaders in the day-to-day operations management of Windows Server 2008.

If this is for you the upgrade path consists of two exams, 70-646:Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator and 70-649:TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist

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(Click on the images for the full roadmap PDF)

The other option is.....

MCITP: Enterprise Administrator - Enterprise administrators are recognized among their peers and managers as leaders in Windows infrastructure design. I would go on to add that you would also be a leader in the day to day operations and management as well :)

If this is the path you choose your upgrade will consist of three exams 70-649:TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist, 70-647:PRO: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator and a client exam, either 70-620 (Configuring Vista) or 70-624 (Deploying Vista and Office 2007)

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As you can see along the way you also obtain a whole bunch of other specialist certifications that you can expand on as well.  So what (and how) did I do?  Well I managed to write and pass three exams, 70-620, 70-646 and 70-649 effectively upgrading my certifications to MCITP: Server Administrator and leaving one left for MCITP: Enterprise Administrator (you can have both certifications).  I'll admit it felt pretty good to pass those exams.  I hadn't written an exam since 2003 and I knew the exams had changed so I wasn't sure what to expect.

So what is your certification plan?  Got any questions on the other certifications or the process if you are an MCSA?  Post a comment or use that every handy Email link at the top left of the page and drop me a line!

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  • Ahem... I have discovered a dirty little secret.    I know why Rick Claus always wear's his magic hat.

    *COUGH*

    The implants from Redmond never did seat quite right, so under the hat, he actually has plugs like Frankenstein.

    Pretty cool actually, but I thought I should share this not too well know secret....

    Shhhhhhhhhh.......