none
Question on MCSA win7/2008r2 and win8/2012r2 plus some about MCSE (new one)

    Question

  • Hello!

    I've been working in a small company with Windows domains since server 2003 and XP workstations for many years, then Server 2008 and win7 workstations. I have CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications from past, but somehow I never thought I needed MS certifications... well, I realized I need them to get a better paid job at this point ;)

    I started learning towards MCSA in win7 (already passed 70-680) and win server 2008 R2 before they retire them. reason? I think that many companies might stay with those for a while, so it might be still handy to have MCSA in those. Do you think it is a correct assumption or I should rather go towards earning newer certifications instead of wasting time on things that old? Am I correct or not so much? The voucher set on MCSA Server 2012 is very tempting, so maybe I will skip 2008R2 all together ...

    1.

    Now, I figured that once a person holds MCSA in Windows 7 (2 exams: 70-680 & 70-685) and Windows Server 2008 R2 (3 exams: 70-640 & 70-642 & 70-646) then it takes only 1 extra exam per above categories (desktop & server) to upgrade them to MCSA Windows 8.1 and 2012 R2, respectively 70-689 (instead of taking 70-687 and 70-688) and 70-417 (instead of taking 70-410, 70-411, 70-412). Is that right, and will that stand true after June 2014 as well?

    2.

    Also, is there something like an MCSA complete title, meaning one would need to hold MCSA in all available sub-categories? or it's just MCSA per the given category (Windows 7 Desktop, Windows Server 2012, etc.) and they are all good this way, no need to pass everything out there? :)

    3.

    My last portion of question is regarding MCSE, because it is very tempting to me and I am actually still undecided if I want to go MCSA or MCSE way ... Am I correct in seeing that once a person obtained MCSA in desktop or server category then it takes only 2 extra exams to upgrade it to MCSE certification in respective categories? what if I upgraded my MCSA exams from Windows 7 to Windows 8 with one exam, do they count as Windows 7 or Windows 8 (same goes for Server 2008 to 2012 upgrade exam)?

    E.g. one holds MCSA Server 2008 R2 (exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-646), then upgrades to MCSA Server 2012 with a single upgrade exam 70-417, so the person now holds MCSA 2012 .... but if one decides to do MCSE later in Server Infrastructure (extra exams: 70-413, 70-414, 70-417), do they actually earn it this way?

    I really like working with servers and enjoy backoffice role (not a typical social person I am ...) and this year I need to make certain decisions that may affect my future life :)

    Thanks for answers and help, it's all a bit confusing to me (and expensive!), don't want to take a wrong turn right at start.



    • Edited by fenixus Monday, January 13, 2014 7:40 AM
    Monday, January 13, 2014 5:51 AM

Answers

  • Hi, fenixus.

    I will try to answer your questions as directly as possible.

    Based on what you specified, it sounds like you are trying to follow two certification paths simultaneously. This obviously requires more work (more tests!) but is certainly doable.

    You want to:

    • Earn your MCSA: Windows 7 and MCSA:Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Upgrade both MCSAs to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Upgrade both MCSAs to MCSE for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

    0. (Questions before #1.) Yes - companies are still working with Windows 7/2008. Many are still just upgrading their users to Windows 7 and servers to Windows 2008, which is still being used today. If you have certifications in both older and newer versions of the OSs, you transcript will show that you have more experience with Windows. However, this also means more tests must be passed. None of these required exams are slated for retirement yet. 

    You can always see the list of exams that have been or will be retired and their retirement dates here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/retired-certification-exams.aspx

    1. Yes - this is correct. Just one upgrade exams is needed for each MCSA to upgrade them to Windows 8.1/2012 R2. Neither is exam is slated for retirement, which is also good news for you. You have to really want both certifications to pass the older and newer exam titles. These exams will exist after this date and you will be able to upgrade them after that date (unless I missed something) - for now.

    2. No - there is no "all inclusive" MCSA certification title. But you can earn multiple versions of MCSA, as you are suggesting.

    3. You should think of the MCSA certification title as a "stepping stone" to the premium MCSE certification title. MCSA certifications are a lesser title than the MCSE title. The MCSE title is the most respected IT Infrastructure certification title you can earn, as far as Microsoft certifications go. By the way, MCSA certification titles do not require recertification where as MCSE titles do require you to recertify every three (3) years. If you earn two MCSEs, you would need to recertify both of them after three years or else their statuses become "Inactive" on your transcript.

    To answer the question 3. specifically and your other posted question - YES! Once you earned the MCSA in Windows 8 or Windows 2012, whether it was by passing the exams regularly or via the single MCSA upgrade exam, you have the MCSA title and can easily upgrade your MCSA to MCSE with just the two (2) extra exams.

    However, only specific MCSA titles can upgrade to certain MCSE titles. For example, the MCSA: Server 2012 can upgrade to MCSE: Server Infrastructure but this same MCSA cannot upgrade to MCSE: Business Intelligence with two exams. You would have to pass the other three SQL Server exams as well.

    As the following MCSE description shows, once you have earned MCSA: Server Infrastructure, you can just take exams 4. and 5. http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-server-infrastructure-certification.aspx

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson




    Monday, January 13, 2014 1:27 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Actually, regarding 3 in above post, I found a better path:

    Windows 7 70-680 & 70-686 give both MCSA in Windows 7 and also MCITP in Enterprise Desktop Administrator Windows 7.

    Then one can upgrade MCITP Win7 to Windows Server 2012 with a single exam 70-417 which results in MCSA in Windows Server 2012.

    The question is if I then passed extra exams 70-413, 70-414 (and 70-417 already passed), would I actually earn MCSE in Server Infrastructure (Windows 2012)? or I would still need to pass MCSA Server 2012 exams (pre-requisite for MCSE SI) even though I had such certification in hand.

    That is just 5 exams and 2 MCSA certifications and 1 MCSE certification, does it stand true? I need to know this :) have only 2 weeks left to earn MCITP Ent Desktop Admin in Win7 ... (70-686)...




    • Edited by fenixus Monday, January 13, 2014 7:41 AM
    Monday, January 13, 2014 6:29 AM
  • Hi, fenixus.

    I will try to answer your questions as directly as possible.

    Based on what you specified, it sounds like you are trying to follow two certification paths simultaneously. This obviously requires more work (more tests!) but is certainly doable.

    You want to:

    • Earn your MCSA: Windows 7 and MCSA:Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Upgrade both MCSAs to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Upgrade both MCSAs to MCSE for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

    0. (Questions before #1.) Yes - companies are still working with Windows 7/2008. Many are still just upgrading their users to Windows 7 and servers to Windows 2008, which is still being used today. If you have certifications in both older and newer versions of the OSs, you transcript will show that you have more experience with Windows. However, this also means more tests must be passed. None of these required exams are slated for retirement yet. 

    You can always see the list of exams that have been or will be retired and their retirement dates here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/retired-certification-exams.aspx

    1. Yes - this is correct. Just one upgrade exams is needed for each MCSA to upgrade them to Windows 8.1/2012 R2. Neither is exam is slated for retirement, which is also good news for you. You have to really want both certifications to pass the older and newer exam titles. These exams will exist after this date and you will be able to upgrade them after that date (unless I missed something) - for now.

    2. No - there is no "all inclusive" MCSA certification title. But you can earn multiple versions of MCSA, as you are suggesting.

    3. You should think of the MCSA certification title as a "stepping stone" to the premium MCSE certification title. MCSA certifications are a lesser title than the MCSE title. The MCSE title is the most respected IT Infrastructure certification title you can earn, as far as Microsoft certifications go. By the way, MCSA certification titles do not require recertification where as MCSE titles do require you to recertify every three (3) years. If you earn two MCSEs, you would need to recertify both of them after three years or else their statuses become "Inactive" on your transcript.

    To answer the question 3. specifically and your other posted question - YES! Once you earned the MCSA in Windows 8 or Windows 2012, whether it was by passing the exams regularly or via the single MCSA upgrade exam, you have the MCSA title and can easily upgrade your MCSA to MCSE with just the two (2) extra exams.

    However, only specific MCSA titles can upgrade to certain MCSE titles. For example, the MCSA: Server 2012 can upgrade to MCSE: Server Infrastructure but this same MCSA cannot upgrade to MCSE: Business Intelligence with two exams. You would have to pass the other three SQL Server exams as well.

    As the following MCSE description shows, once you have earned MCSA: Server Infrastructure, you can just take exams 4. and 5. http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/mcse-server-infrastructure-certification.aspx

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson




    Monday, January 13, 2014 1:27 PM
    Answerer
  • Thanks Davin!

    Wonderful, That is all great news then :)

    off to studying on 70-686 :)

    I chose to skip MCSA 2008R2, and will be going after 2012R2 instead (as an upgrade from MCITP Win7). Mostly due to workload and money issues related to extra exams.

    Found a great offer for all 3 exams (70-417, 70-413 and 70-414) where one exam is free and it also includes a free Second Shot as well :) That would earn me a MCSE in 2012 Server Infrastructure for only $300 on top of another $300 that I spent on MCSA/MCITP in Win7. Very decent deal!

    http://bsf01.com/microsoft_vouchers/mcse_ws2012upgrades.aspx

    I hope my years of work with 2008R2 will suffice as hand-on experience with those, and the rest should be similar as in newer 2012 R2 certification (they are kind of backwards compatible in general, I think, minus the new features).


    and yes, I am truly after MCSE in Server Infrastructure, that's my real goal in my head :) ... do you know if recertification every 3 years, means simply taking 1 upgrade exam to newer version or that involves passing them on both MCSA and MCSE level (2-3 upgrade exams total)?


    • Edited by fenixus Tuesday, January 14, 2014 5:38 AM
    Monday, January 13, 2014 5:31 PM
  • To be clear to others (and I know it isn't what you meant), MCSAs never have to recertify - only MCSDs and MCSEs.

    Microsoft has purposely been vague about what encompasses recertification. I asked a team member to post a blog entry on the Born to Learn site and he agreed that he would. I believe that the certification team is currently ironing out the kinks of how we will recertify our MCSD/MCSE titles.

    I have a whole slue of questions about what recertification means. Check out my questions in response to Larry's blog entry.
    http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/btl/b/weblog/archive/2014/01/08/exam-certification-update-mcsd-web-applications.aspx

    We shall have to wait patiently.


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Monday, January 13, 2014 9:54 PM
    Answerer
  • ok, gotcha!

    I am not planning on anymore MCSE certifications save for SI at this point, don't want to have a bunch of them to re-take/upgrade every 3 years ... especially if it is uncertain of what exactly needs to be re-certified.

    Yeah, you are right, MCSA are for life, but I was thinking ... if they upgrade MCSE (which includes MCSA as basis) then one might be required to first upgrade MCSA to newer level (e.g. whatever is next after Windows Server 2012) in order to recertify MCSE SI (for that past-2012 level) with another "upgrade" exam ... I hope you understand what I mean. That might be more than one exam every 3 years... live and see I guess!

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:46 AM
  • dang ... I failed 70-686 today ... was much harder than I thought it would be... also got surprised by 2 case studies (5 questions each), probably I failed those and that was enough to drop below required score level, assuming I also made some mistakes in other 40 questions too ... ehhh ... wasn't prepared for knowing exactly what the SCCM does.

    I think I have just blown my shortcut path to MCSA Windows Server 2012 ... no way I am retaking this exam 70-686 within a week. I need to study way more and do some more practical hands-on testing (LTI/ZTI deployment tools).

    Saturday, January 25, 2014 5:26 PM
  • You can turn that exam into an information gathering event. Spend an hour writing down everything you remember on the exam. Specifically, everything you had trouble with. Then study up on those topics in case you get those same questions again.

    When I fail an exam, I go back over the list of exam topics (Skills measured section of the exam description) and look up the topics on MSDN or TechNet. Often times, this helps me remember the questions and answers as well when I form my personal brain dump to be used only by me.

    UPGRADE exams are the hardest exams. I usually avoid them whenever possible. As an MCSD holder and (hopefully!) a future MCSE holder, I am worried that the recertification exams will be like UPGRADE exams, containing content across all the exams it represents.

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Saturday, January 25, 2014 7:12 PM
    Answerer
  • You can turn that exam into an information gathering event. Spend an hour writing down everything you remember on the exam. Specifically, everything you had trouble with. Then study up on those topics in case you get those same questions again.

    When I fail an exam, I go back over the list of exam topics (Skills measured section of the exam description) and look up the topics on MSDN or TechNet. Often times, this helps me remember the questions and answers as well when I form my personal brain dump to be used only by me.

    UPGRADE exams are the hardest exams. I usually avoid them whenever possible. As an MCSD holder and (hopefully!) a future MCSE holder, I am worried that the recertification exams will be like UPGRADE exams, containing content across all the exams it represents.

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Thanks Davin :)

    Yeah, I am looking at the summary page I received and seems like I failed most miserably on "Planning and Managing a Client Life Cycle Strategy" ... that sounds exactly like both case studies I had on exam ... others were not bad, but I definitely need to study. Figured, I was 6 questions away from passing the exam.

    I am definitely going to go through all the topics on MS exam details page and try to recall what I had and what I answered.

    Now, as per the upgrade exams, I think you are right on their hardness of them. Just recently I realized that a single 70-417 covers topics across 3 other exams, so it sounds like it must be terribly troublesome to memorize all of that and then hard to pass everything during a single exam, instead of taking them one by one. Oh well, now I have no other choice and do just that LOL! I am not giving up on MCSE Server Infrastructure, but I have just added 2 extra exams (3 total, instead of 1) for getting into MCSA WS2012 ... will get there, eventually :)



    • Edited by fenixus Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:46 PM
    Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:44 PM
  • hmmm .. decided to take another chance within a week. I need to clear up first why my second shot voucher doesn't work with prometric (will call them in morning), but am eager to re-take exam on last day of January (this Friday).

    Just to make sure, if I pass on Jan 31st (last day of MCITP title validity before it gets retired) then I get both MCSA win7 and MCITP:EDA, right? or I need to allow like 2 business days for MS to give me the title while still being within Jan 31st cutoff date?

    Pretty sure this time I can make it, received good learning materials to cover the holes I fell through on last Saturday exam ... I see where I took wrong turns... tricky questions they must have been that don't like speed reading and me not knowing the details of SCCM deployments and environment in second part ...

    as you said, that failed exam was actually a great learning experience.



    • Edited by fenixus Thursday, February 06, 2014 3:46 AM
    Sunday, January 26, 2014 10:41 PM
  • Yes - since you already passed 70-680, if you pass 70-686 on Friday, you will earn both titles (MCSA and MCITP).

    It will take a few business days but both certifications should appear on your transcript!

    If you are using a book to help you prepare, take a look at the book's reviews on Amazon such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/MCITP-Self-Paced-Training-Exam-70-686/product-reviews/0735627177The reviews can be hidden gems to exam content - even if you aren't using the book! Otherwise, they can point out which topics in the book are worth focusing on.

    Know that you will probably get many different questions on the exam and some of the same questions than you did the first time you took it, depending on how large of a question pool Microsoft has.

    When you read the questions, look for tiny strange facts that are easy to overlook. These are often hints that help you pick the correct answer. On multiple choice questions, immediately remove the dumb answers from the choices so that you have a better chance of picking the right one.

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Sunday, January 26, 2014 11:28 PM
    Answerer
  • yup, all good points Davin, thanks for bearing with me, appreciated! :)

    I just realized that Prometric Second Shot FAQ specifically says that individual must wait at least one day before using the Second Shot voucher should they fail the initial exam ... and since I failed the exam on Saturday, that means I need to wait probably until Tuesday morning ...

    https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/Microsoft/Pages/2ndshotFAQ.aspx

    "Individuals must wait at least one day after failing an exam before registering for their exam retake. "

    oh well, I guess on Tuesday I should be able to schedule the reatake for free ... hopefully they still have the seats available in my local testing center!

    That exam and the adventures I have along with it is pretty amazing, I will be really surprised myself if it all still works out LOL!

    Sunday, January 26, 2014 11:49 PM
  • woot! :D

    got my free retake (voucher needed "replacement" in prometric due to technical issues) and passed the 70-686 today! :)

    70-417 is waiting up next in queue ... that will be a BIG one though ....

    Friday, January 31, 2014 2:32 AM
  • That's awesome, fenixus - high five!

    You're right - UPGRADE exams are always tough to pass.

    Remember - you do not have to study all the topics included in exams 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412.

    Anyone wanting to pass exam 70-417 should study the topics that are specifically covered in the three (3) exams it represents.

    Specifically, 70-417 explicitly covers:

    • Four (4) of the six (6) exam topics in 70-410
    • Five (5) of the six (6) exam topics in 70-411
    • Five (5) of the six (6) exam topics in 70-412

    Here are the exam details:
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-417.aspx

    Here's some free training for 70-417:
    http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/Studies/SearchResult.aspx?q=70-417

    Good job and good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Friday, January 31, 2014 4:07 PM
    Answerer
  • Thanks! :)

    also thank you for the details regarding 70-417, appreciated!

    Friday, January 31, 2014 4:24 PM