Dive into the World of Microsoft MCSE Certifications!

The Microsoft certifications technically validate the knowledge, skills, and capabilities that the IT professionals need to carry out as well as prepare them to use the latest technologies. The certificates of this well-known vendor are some of the most sought-after ones in the IT industry. If you are planning to earn the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certificate, this guide is designed to provide you with comprehensive details about this certification track, how to prepare for the exams, and also what career and salary potential will await you. First, let’s explore what the Microsoft MCSE path really means.

MCSE Certification Pathway: Introduction

MCSE is the apex of all Microsoft certifications. It validates the skills to design, implement, and administer business solutions. The MCSE exams also evaluate the candidates’ knowledge of different Microsoft Servers, such as Exchange Server, System Center, Windows, SharePoint, and SQL Server. The students pursuing this certification path can develop the specialization based on their MCSA level track. The new MCSE program includes a variety of domains. They include Core Infrastructure, Data Management & Analytics, Productivity, Business Applications. We will cover these credentials in more detail further in the post.

It is essential to mention that there are no recertification prerequisites for these expert-level certificates. However, the date of their attainment shows your dedication to keeping abreast of changes in the industry. The professionals can renew their credentials every year simply by passing one exam from the available elective ones. Passing a certification test demonstrates that you are invested in deepening and widening the scope of your knowledge and skills. But how to do that, you may ask? First of all, you need to choose a certificate you want to pursue in this MCSE quest. Let’s look at the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert credentials that you can earn.

MCSE Certification Pathway: How to Follow?

Those professionals who are pursuing the MCSE certification track should have at least three years of work experience using Microsoft products, specifically, Microsoft Azure, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2012. As we mentioned earlier, MCSA is a requirement for the MCSE credentials. This means you first have to pursue MCSA in any path to be able to earn the expert-level certificate. With any Microsoft MCSA certification, the candidates can take an additional exam to obtain their MCSE.

Now, let’s look at four main credentials of the Microsoft MCSE certification pathway.

  1. MCSE: Business Applications

The first thing you should know is that Microsoft announced the retirement date of this certification – December 31, 2019. To this date, the test takers have the opportunity to choose one from a list of eight exams: MB2-716, MB2-719, MB2-718, MB6-896, MB6-897, MB6-898, MB6-895. To be eligible for them, you need to obtain one of the MCSA certificates. Gaining this certification will prove your skills in Microsoft Dynamics 365 technologies. You need to update your credential once a year. You can become an Implementation Consultant, a Dynamics 365 Developer, a System Administrator, or a Technical Support Engineer.

  1. MCSE: Data Management & Analytics

The candidates pursuing this credential have eight exams to choose from. These include 70-464, 70-465, and 70-466, 70-762, 70-467, 70-767, 70-777, and 70-768. To pass one of them, you need to have knowledge of SQL administration, business intelligence data leveraging, and other SQL-related topics. You will be able to qualify for a position as a Database Designer, a Database Analyst, or a Business Intelligence Analyst.

  1. MCSE: Productivity Solutions Expert

There are four options for the exams to choose from under the list of electives for this expert-level certification. These include 70-333, 70-345, 70-339, and 70-334. This credential evaluates the skills in reducing data loss, improving data security, increasing flexibility and productivity, and more. After the successful completion of one of the tests, you can earn a job position in network and computer systems administration.

  1. MCSE: Core Infrastructure

To have a chance to earn this certification, you need to pass one of the following tests: 70-413, 70-414, 70-744, 70-745, 70-537. With this credential, you will be able to work with data center, virtualization, networking, storage, as well as systems and identity management. You can be a Computer Support Specialist, an Information Security Analyst, an Architect, or an Administrator.

There are also two MCSE certificates that have already been retired because they are out-of-date. The first one is MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure (December 31, 2018) and the second one is MCSE: Mobility (retired on April 30, 2019). Because of the fast-changing world with its evolvements in different spheres, including IT, most, if not all, the certification programs may also be retired in the future. But don’t worry, as all the badges you obtain stays relevant. You can find the details of other requirements for the renewal on the official Microsoft webpage.

MCSE Certification Pathway: Exam Overview

Each Microsoft certification test is made up of between 40 and 60 questions and the time allocated for the completion is two hours. There are different formats of questions that should be expected, for instance, multiple choice, case studies, fill-in-the-blank, and so on. The passing score is 700 out of 1000. The candidates should visit the certification page to read more about the exam content and the exam policies. Each test costs $165, and the students can register for it via Pearson VUE.

MCSE Certification Pathway: Career Prospects and Salary Potential

The professionals with this credential can take up job roles, such as an IT Manager, a Systems Administrator, a Senior Systems Engineer, and an IT Director. According to Payscale, the salary range for the specialists with the MCSE certificate is between $50,075 and $144,966. In addition to the certification type, years of experience and specific job titles contribute to the salary potential that a certificate holder can expect to earn in their job role.


No doubt, the Microsoft MCSE certification path brings a lot of opportunities for the certified professionals. And with all the credentials you may obtain, there are five times more of them. It is definitely worth pursuing. You just need to find your path, prepare with great deliberation, and pass the required exam with flying colors. Good luck to you!