2 definitions by IT Guy

Stands for "Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer". This certification is used to certify high level proficiency with Microsoft Server platforms.

Everyone agrees that this certification is not as valuable as it once was, but it can still be a great indicator of IT talent.

Some criticisms are noted often, some are valid, others are not. If one has years of experience in IT, and honestly knows and learns all aspects of what it takes to pass the examination, it is a great credential, however, there are plenty of "slam" courses or boot camps that teach you to MEMORIZE the content, and the answers the test wants, for the sole purpose of getting the piece of paper. This is what is referred to as a "Paper MCSE", as they are certified "on paper", but do now actually know the content.

Therefore someone with an MCSE can be a great talent, a true computer engineer (as true as one can be), or someone who shouldn't even be Tier 1 phone support reading from a book.

For example, the MCSE on Windows Server 2003 requires 7 difficult tests. While it is possible to do slam courses to memorize content, and not understand it, passing the exam requires some skill, it is almost impossible to guess through it, it requires at least a 70% score on each examination.

You can tell if someone is a paper MCSE, or if they have studied their ass off, working hard for the credential.

While someone who is an MCSE is LIKELY to know some or alot about other platforms (such as Linux, or Sun), people seem to forget that this is a MICROSOFT SPECIFIC certification.

While there is a TON of Industry Standard hardware questions in the tests (such as networking, TCP/IP, standards for other hardware, such as motherboards, hard drive etc), it is a MICROSOFT SYSTEMS certification, not a Linux cert, not a Sun cert. This is a certification that indicates a very high level of expertise on the Windows Server platform and environment. That is like blaming someone who has not used Windows (pretty much impossible, though) for not knowing how to get to the Device Manager to load drivers, if they have used Linux only, and have several Linux certs.
This one MCSE I hired was a true genius, deserving of being called a network infrastructure engineer, I hired this other guy who apparently went to a boot-camp, and he did not even know how to manually set TCP/IP and DNS settings!
by IT Guy October 19, 2007