Friday, January 30, 2009

The MCSE Is Dead – It’s Official!

In June 2007, I posted that MSL was planning on ditching the MCSE. It was not a popular post – within a few hours of it going up, I was asked by MS to take it down. Well, now Bill Chapman has confirmed: The MCSE IS DEAD.

This was disappointing a couple of years ago, and is disappointing now. Microsoft has taken a hugely popular and well understand brand and replaced it with, well what? Replacing a credential with “Engineer” in the title with “Administrator”??? How is that an improvement?. Does MSL really expect anyone to get excited about “upgrading” an Engineer credential with an Administrator credential?

I was one of the first MCSEs in the world, and am still quite proud of that credential. I’m not sure if I could ever get 1% as excited about being an Enterprise Administrator. It just sounds a step down and backwards. As a result, I’m just not chasing the new credentials any where near as fast as I used to. I know I am not alone.

I think Bill and the rest of MSL has made a huge mistake with killing off the MCSE. The fact that he’s heard the question (“Where is the MCSE 2008”) on a daily basis indicates the market is not anywhere near enough clued up on MSLs rebranding (and like “New Coke” don’t accept it). Despite several years of trying, the MCSE is sill a better known credential than Enterprise Administrator.

I spent some time in the autumn of 2007 trying to convince MSL that they needed to invest in evangelising the new credentials, otherwise, in a year or two’s time, the new credentials would be still unknown. Two years on, MSL still hears ‘the question’ on a daily basis (or at least Bill does).

MSL made a mistake – it’s time to correct that mistake and bring back the MCSE. Learning from one’s mistakes is hard to do, but Coke did it! MSL should take a hint and do the right thing.

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Unknown said...

In some ways, Thomas, I agree. I do think it is a mistake to completely disgard the MCSE. However, there is the issue about some jurisdictions in the world not allow a person to be an "engineer" without a government (not vendor) certificate stating so.

Still, it is sad so very few people, especially those who don't deal with Microsoft on a daily basis, don't realize that there is no MCSE for Windows Server 2008. I am an MCT, and my students tell me horror stories, like their resumes being thrown out by HR people because "...they didn't have there MCSE in Server 2008".

I tell them to just declare themselves on paper as MCSE's in Windows Server 2008 if they have the MCITP for Enterprise Administrator. If HR type will even understand, you can explain to them later how that is the equivalent anyways.

Unknown said...

I think the issue is that "engineer" has legal complications. Engineering guilds get upset when anyone uses the word without their blessing.

Unknown said...

I think its a good idea believe it or not.

MCSE had so many was a sign of expertise but in what? I think 5-8 years ago it was fine, but there are so many new technologies that people need expertise in, that just saying you're an MCSE wasn't enough anymore. If someone wanted to specialize in a specific platform or technology I think having the certification be more verbose is helpful.

As for HR people not understanding it, that is a problem. But there is always a time where people need to get adjusted to new things...certification credentials not excluded.


Mikey said...

First, I am an actual "Engineer" based on my degree. Second, I am a MCSE.

That said, MCSE is a marketing joke (sorry folks) -- and I'd be glad to see market recognition go away.

I cannot belive the clueless HR folks and even some hiring managers who think MCSE is or should be a job requirement. I've interviewed "paper" MCSE candidates (e.g. good test takers) right out of boot camp that don't even know how to properly manager a real world server. And taking up a design project that they have been told they are "ready for" based on paying for and obtaining a MCSE -- well, totally beyond them.

Of course, these paper MCSE's expected to receive top pay as a junior employee. Marketing nonsense they bought in to.

MCSE Dead? Fantastic! Maybe we can get back to looking for people with experience instead of looking for people with letters.

Unknown said...

thanks for sharing nice post & blog.. keep it up..

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