Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (or MCSE) is the best-known and premier Microsoft certification for Windows Server 2003
and Server 2008. It qualifies an individual as being able to analyze the business requirements for information systems solutions, and design and implement the infrastructure required.
For the MCSE 2003, candidates must pass six core design exams (Four networking exams, one client operating system and one design exam) and one elective exam, for a total of seven exams. For the MCSE 2000, a candidate needed to pass five Core Exams (Four operating system exams, one design exam) and two electives. Most of these exams have been retired. For the MCSE NT 4.0 (retired), a candidate needed to pass four Core Exams (Networking Essentials, Windows NT Workstation, Windows NT Server and Windows NT Server in the Enterprise) and two electives. These exams have been retired.
The topic of these exams include network security, computer networking infrastructure, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and other topics of both general networking interest as well as specific Microsoft products.
There are also specializations available for the MCSE's along different tracks. For 2003 these tracks were MCSE Security, and Messaging. To obtain these specializations it was required that you do an associated Elective, design and then an extra core exam. The denotation that is usually used for these on resumes etc is MCSE:Security, and MCSE: Messaging.