The MCSA stands for Microsoft Certified Systems Adminstrator, Microsoft's newest certification. In order to obtain this, one must pass three core exams. and one elective exam that "provide a valid and reliable mesaure of technical proficiency and expertise in administering and supporting Windows 2000-based systems, including Windows .NET Server."

An MCSA should have six to twelve months of experience adminstering, implementing, and managing an existing network.

Exams required to achieve this:
70-210 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Profesional
70-215 Installing, COnfiguring and Administering Microsoft 2000 Server
70-218 Managing a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Environment
The elective exams that can be taken, only one of the below is required.
70-028 Administering Microsoft SQL Server 7.0
70-081 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 2.0
70-086 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0
70-088 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0
70-216 Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windowss 2000 Network Infrastructure
70-224 Installing, Configuring, and Adminstering Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server
70-227 Instaling, Configuring, and Adminstering Microsfot Internet Security and Acceleration Server
70-228 Configuring, Installing, and Adminstering Microsoft SQL Server 2000
70-244 Supporting and Maintaing a Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Network
CompTIA A+
CompTIA Network +

Information for this node was taken from small>

I just finished my MCSA, and I'd like to add a bit to the information provided by Nero.

The requirements he gives are for the Windows 2000 MCSA, which is no longer being offered. The current version of the MCSA is based on Windows Server 2003. The minimum requirement is four tests, two of which are mandatory, and the other two are electives.

The mandatory tests are:

70-290 Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment

  • This test is on the basics of configuring and installing Windows 2003, such as knowing the different versions of Windows Server 2003 (Web, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter) and what features they have.
  • This test is very similar to Microsoft's other introductory OS tests, such as 70-270 (Windows XP), 70-620 (Vista), or 70-210 (Windows 2000), one of which is required as an elective.

70-291 Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

  • This test covers a few of the many network issues you can have while running Windows. Basically it is an overview of DHCP, DNS, and TCP/IP that you would learn in a first-year networking course, along with Microsoft specific stuff, such as Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS), Windows Synchronized Update Server (WSUS), and how to configure DNS on Windows 2003.

The MCSA candidate can then pass their choice of test for two elective sessions. The first session is a basic operating system test, with three choices:

70-620 TS: Windows Vista, Configuring

70-270 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows XP Professional

70-210 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional

These tests are usually the first one any prospective MCSA will take first. Passing 70-270 (or any other 70-2xx test) will grant the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certification, while passing 70-620 (or any other 2008+ test) will grant the MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) certification.

The final elective has many choices, including two choices which are certifications themselves from another vendor.

Any of the following tests can be used for the final elective (unless counted previously):

Exam 70-086 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0

Exam 70-089 Designing, Implementing, and Managing a Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Infrastructure

Exam 70-227 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, Enterprise Edition

Exam 70-228 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition

Exam 70-235 TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions Using Microsoft BizTalk Server

Exam 70-236 TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Configuring

Exam 70-262 TS: Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 – Implementing, Managing, and Troubleshooting

Exam 70-284 Implementing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

Exam 70-299 Implementing and Administering Security in a Windows Server 2003 Network

Exam 70-350 Implementing Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004

Exam 70-351 TS: Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006, Configuring

Exam 70-400 TS: Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Configuring

Exam 70-401 TS: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Configuring

Exam 70-431 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance

Exam 70-445 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence – Implementation and Maintenance

Exam 70-500 TS: Microsoft Windows Mobile Designing, Implementing, and Managing

Exam 70-557 TS: Microsoft Forefront Client and Server, Configuration

Exam 70-620 TS: Windows Vista, Configuring

Exam 70-624 TS: Deploying and Maintaining Windows Vista Client and 2007 Microsoft Office System Desktops

Exam 70-630 TS: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring

Exam 70-631 TS: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Configuring

Exam 70-638 TS: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Configuring

In addition, a certification candidate could choose to pass BOTH the CompTIA Network+ and A+ certifications, OR pass the CompTIA Security+ certification in lieu of a test above.

Things change quickly in IT, however, and the MCSA/MCSE 2003 track is soon to be retired as well. The new certification track is named MCITP (Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional) and involves a completely different sequence of tests. Those who already hold a MCSA or MCSE can upgrade to MCITP by taking only 2-4 tests, depending on wether the candidate earned an MCSA or an MCSE, and if the goal is to recieve an MCITP:Server Administrator or MCITP:Enterprise Administrator.

All Microsoft exams are administered by Sylvan Prometric and cost $125.00 each.

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