There are new MCSE on Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync on their 2013 platforms now, all of which the pre-requisite certification is MCSA on Windows Server 2012, so you just need to add 2 more exams each to earn your respective MCSE on Messaging (Exchange 2013), MCSE on Sharepoint 2013, MCSE Communication (Lync 2013) http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcse.aspx.

For MCSE Messaging on the Exchange 2013 platform, please go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-exchange-server.aspx

For MCSE Sharepoint on its 2013 platform, visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sharepoint-server.aspx

For MCSE Communication (Lync 2013), it’s here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-lync-server.aspx

MCSA 2012 is undoubtedly the integral part of all these awesome MCSE tracks. (Note that it’s called Microsoft Certified Solution Expert now, as to System Engineer last time, because IT comes in a form of solution today )

Question: Why Microsoft certifications are so valuable to an individual? Because it certifies your hands-on experience on a particular Microsoft product i.e. Windows Server, System Center, Sharepoint, Exchange, MSSQL, Lync, etc. On the other hand, if you are from a developer background, MCPD (Microsoft Certified professional Developer) is good for you. We have MCPD on Visual Studio 2010, 2008, Silverlight 4, Windows Phone and Sharepoint 2010. Details are here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcpd.aspx#tab2

So when you are certified on a product, your technical depth on that product is undoubted and undisputed. It is extremely a wise idea to get certified on a product if you have been working on it for 2 years and above. Assuming that there are 2 candidates competing for the same job interview, one has 4 years of working experience on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, one equally has 4 years of hands-on experience on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 but he has been certified on this server product by Microsoft, as a MCITP (Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional) on Windows Server 2008 R2. Who will have an edge over here? It is definitely the certified candidate, correct?

Microsoft has a certification called MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) which certifies one’s credibility on his technical presentation skill. So, if you have a premier product certification (let say MCITP or MCSE) PLUS + a MCT, then you are at least an impressive individual because you are a certified Solution Expert on a product PLUS a certified trainer credential by Microsoft as a technical presenter / trainer.

This being the reason, my urge to all IT Pros if you want a good career, awesome promising future, go for certifications. And the IT industry world now is evolving around Clouds (We have Public, Private (on-premises) and Hybrid Cloud) which require Virtualization, which sits on a server operating system to run. This posts a very interesting hence important question: What one single certification covers all these platform from bottom up? i.e. Server Operating to Virtualization then towards the ultimate Clouds in the worldwide IT trend today? Well, the answer is the awesome Microsoft’s MCSE Private Cloud certification (available now at worldwide Prometric test centers)! So if you are a Microsoft enthusiast like me, you can proceed to complete your MCSE Server and MCSE Desktop Infrastructure certifications as well. This will certainly a value-add to your CV / resume.

So for MCSE Server Infrastructure on Windows Server 2012, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcse-server-infrastructure.aspx

For MCSE Desktop Infrastructure on the 2012 platform, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcse-desktop-infrastructure.aspx

For DBAs, no worries, Microsoft has certification on database too, on its profound database product, namely Microsoft SQL Server. It has MCITP on SQL 2008 platform covering SQL database administration, database development and BI (Business Intelligence). Details are here at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcitp.aspx#tab2. For SQL 2012 platform, Microsoft has just introduced the MCSE SQL 2012 certification not long ago, details at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server.aspx

Take note that the MCSE SQL 2012 also comes in a couple of extremely professional specializations, namely MCSE SQL 2012 in Data Platform and Business Intelligence. Either way, the pre-requisite is a MCSA on SQL 2012. The good news is, there are various upgrade paths for individuals who have existing SQL certifications on 2008 platform. Please go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server-mcsa.aspx for details

For MCSE Data Platform on SQL 2012, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server-data-platform.aspx.

For MCSE Business Intelligence on SQL 2012, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server-business-intelligence.aspx

For other Microsoft SQL certifications on the 2008 platform, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server-all.aspx#tab2

Last but not least, once you are certified on these exceptionally excellent certifications by Microsoft, if you intend to impress your interviewers / managers / superiors for higher and better career ladder, go for your MCT certifications! Many people believe that MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) is for instructors / trainers who work in the training industry. Well, they are true, but it is also definitely a good idea to prove that you are a good presenter by earning your MCT title.

This is because researches have always shown that most IT Pros who get promoted, who are working at the senior executive levels like managers, supervisors and directors, are all good presenters! Agree? So it is not untrue that you would have nothing to lose to go for your MCT after earning your premier Microsoft certifications. For requirements on MCT, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mct.aspx#tab3. You can enjoy myriads of benefits being a MCT. To apply, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mct.aspx#tab5.

I will share with more on Microsoft certifications on the developers track on my next blog.

Well, the same piece of genuine advice here as always, try out a product before attempting for its exam, for more real hands-on knowledge and experience, so as to derive the best value out of these myriad of quality Microsoft certifications!

For Windows Server 2012 Eval, please go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx

For System Center 2012 Eval, please go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh505660.aspx

For System Center 2012 SP1 Eval, please go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34607

To learn all range of Microsoft products on self-guided pace, visit www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com