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MCSA Server 2008 vs MCSA Server 2012 – Which One To Get?

With Server 2012 and Windows 8 around the corner and the new MCSA program already available to us you may be wondering if you should skip over the MCSA Server 2008 for the shiny new MCSA 2012? The short answer is get the MCSA 2008, read on to find out why.

MCSA Server 2008 provides a one exam upgrade process.

To achieve the MCSA Server 2008 certification you require the following exams:

MCSA Server 2008 Path

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windows-server-2008-MCSA.aspx

Once completed, you can upgrade your MCSA Server 2008 to MCSA 2012 by completing a single exam: Exam 417

MCSA Server 2012 Upgrade Path

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-windows-server-2008-MCSA.aspx

You earn two certifications for taking four exams versus 2 certifications by taking six if you had to do both in their entirety. Which leads us to our next point.

You can't "downgrade" a MCSA Server 2012 certification.

If you achieve an MCSA in Server 2012 and decide or are required to be certified in Sever 2008, you can't simply take one exam to "downgrade" your certification. You must take the 70-640, 70-642 and 70-646 from scratch.

Server 2008 is in wide use.

Server 2008 and Server 2003 are the primary operating systems being used in production. Even without accurate installed base figures considering Server 2012 is not released officially yet it is a no contest what is most in demand for current infrastructures. Being at the cutting edge will allow you to compete and perform better in the marketplace but not at the expense of overlooking the current status quo. Given the fact that Server 2008 is still in wide use, will be in extended support until 10 July 2018, and the process to upgrade your skills to 2012 are relatively simple the answer becomes clear.

Neil Bryan
IT Consultant & Technical Trainer
Neil Bryan is an IT consultant and technical trainer specializing in VMware, Citrix and Microsoft virtualization and infrastructure.

3 Comments

  1. 2008, or 2012?

    […] AM #9 I say definitely start with 2008. I made a quick blog entry on this in August. MCSA Server 2008 vs MCSA Server 2012 – Which One To Get? | Neil Bryan Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next Thread […]

  2. Mark Leonhartsberger

    I have been pondering on this question for a while now. I think after reading your points here that I’m heading for the 2008 MCSA. Thanks a lot!

    1. Profile photo of Neil Bryan
      Neil Bryan

      Good luck!

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