“Where’s the bathroom?!”
Um… okay… what’s the SECOND question they ask (to themselves)?
“Oh! When is my certification going to expire?”
Exactly. Well, the good news is that you will ALWAYS be certified and maintain the certification you have achieved. But of course… while my MCSE on Windows NT 3.51 was really cool at the time, today it doesn’t carry much weight. Expiration isn’t the same thing as relevance.
So, at least for the MCSE-level certifications, we usually had to either take the whole series of tests again, or take the upgrade tests (if available). And since MCSE-level certs revolve around what the current version of the Windows Server is, we really have to watch the certification options when new versions of the server are released.
Well… guess what’s coming?
“A new server product!”
Right. So like many of you, I’m looking to upgrade my MCSE from 2003 to the new 2008 version when it arrives.
Fortunately, to upgrade from an MCSE on 2003 to the new MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) on 2008 we’re only going to have to take one test: Exam 70-649.
And if you’re an MCSA, the story is very similar. For you it’s Exam 70-648.
“Only one test? What’s the catch?”
I only know what I’ve read on the “Transitioning Your MCSE Skills to Windows Server 2008” page at Microsoft Learning… (or this one for MCSA transitions), but it looks like there will be a lot of information to cover. I guarantee you – this is not going to be a test taken after a long night of cramming. The site recommends at least three classroom courses, and lists three Microsoft Press Books that won’t be released until April of next year.
“So if I want to start now, where do I begin?”
How about FREE e-Learning! I also see on that page that “for a limited time” you can take any of (or all of) 4 e-learning clinics in a collection of online learning around Windows Server 2008.
Click here for the free e-learning – Collection 5934: Introducing Microsoft Server Codename “Longhorn” (Beta 3).
So, armed with Virtual PC 2007 or Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, and with the evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008 (in the form of the most recent pre-release – currently “Longhorn Beta 3”), you could work through these online courses while playing with your own configurations on virtual machines. That’ll give you a good, FREE head start on preparing for the exam.
“But how much will that cost?”
Have you not been paying attention? The virtualization tools, the eval software, and the e-learning (for a limited time) are all free.
“But what about the test? How much will that cost?”
Well, I just learned today in the MCP Flash e-mail that you can register for a 40% discount voucher on the exam price for either the upgrade from MCSA or MCSE. So if you’re planning on doing this, it looks like a good time to take advantage of it. Click here to register for the voucher.
The e-mail also contained this link to a recorded webcast around the Windows Server 2008 Certification Path, so you can view that to get a good picture of where certifications are headed in the next “wave”.
“Seriously.. Where’s the bathroom?”
<sigh> Down the hall.. first door on the right.
So what are your plans? Will you upgrade?