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MCSA Job Role

A Microsoft Certified Systems administrator (MCSA), also known LAN administrator, network administrator, information systems administrator, network operations analyst, network technician, or junior network engineer, is an IT professional who manages an organization’s PCs and LAN network. This management includes rolling out new equipment, as well as performing corrective and preventative measures on existing equipment.

Duties of an MCSA, for which nearly every network out there requires at least one, include the installation, configuration and maintenance of PCs, networking equipment and network operating systems. As well, an MCSA must deal with patching systems where necessary as well as locking down systems so that only authorized personal can access and use them. Microsoft network administration is a rather highly technical role. A good understanding of Microsoft Windows network operating systems, network equipment and networking protocols is essential, as well as a basic ability to program scripts and batch files. However, relatively strong interpersonal skills are also important, as the MCSA must understand the networking needs and problems of users and be able to address those issues in a timely fashion. Lastly, an MCSA must be diligent at documenting the network as well as be proficient at troubleshooting problems, often under tense situations. This includes knowing when to give up trying to be the hero when solving a problem and having the humility to go to outside sources for help.

A person may consider entering this field after attaining a Computer Science or Computer Engineering university degree or a one or two year computer diploma from a local technical institute. However, some Microsoft Certified System Administrators are quite proficient without this recommended educational background. A large dose of caution is also important, as is the ability to plan for what-if scenarios and to remember to provide management and users with a heads up on system changes and upgrades.

An MCSA often moves on to becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and reap higher salary rewards as a result. As well, those with exceptional communication and interpersonal skills often slide into management roles, but not generally until first becoming a MCSE.


MCSA+ 2003 Beginner - Course Structure

MCSA on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Certification Requirements

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) candidates on the Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 track are required to satisfy the following requirements:

Core Exams (3 Exams Required)

Two networking system exams

One client operating system exam

Elective Exams (1 Exam Required)

Together with the core exams, the elective exams provide a valid and reliable measure of technical proficiency and expertise to successfully manage and maintain the typically complex computing environment of medium-to- large-sized companies. MCSA candidates should have 6–12 months of experience administering client and network operating systems.

  • Exam 70-228: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000
  • Exam 70-284: Implementing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
  • Exam 70-299: Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
  • CompTIA Security+

Are you new to IT? As an alternative to the electives listed above, these certifications or certification combinations may substitute for an MCSA elective

  • Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST)
  • MCSA on Microsoft Windows 2000
  • MCSE on Microsoft Windows 2000
  • CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Server+



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