MCSE is the acronym that stands for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. An MCSE-certified individual is
one who can evaluate the business needs of a client business, then design and set up the appropriate business
solutions infrastructure using the Microsoft Windows platform, as well as the Microsoft.NET Enterprise servers.
An MCSE-certified individual will be responsible for installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of network
systems. The Microsoft Windows platform this person will use will be 2003 version if he is designing for
medium- to large-sized enterprises.
CCNA is a completely different certification. The acronym stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. This
certification is considered a good complement by some experts to the MCSE certification because CCNA is
about the Cisco networking solutions while MCSE is about business solutions.
Why is it important to earn both certifications when only one is already hard enough to get? Well, the theory
behind earning CCNA and MCSE certifications is that you become twice as effective at your job and so
become more valuable to your employer. If so, then your compensation ought to also go up because you
become a Keyman, or an important resource for the organization you work for. And if you are creating a
business solution using your MCSE knowledge and skills, you will probably need to learn how to network any
disparate systems in one way or another at some point.
The bad news for those who think that one can easily coast through either or both certifications is that they have
become harder to earn nowadays. This is because both Cisco (responsible for CCNA knowledge and skills
development) and Microsoft (which creates the MCSE standards) have made the certification exams much
harder to pass due to the alarming number of people who were able to get certified yet proved not so
competent at their IT jobs even so.