Hitchhikers guide to MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification – Part 1

mcse_deskiThere is an increasing demand for skilled and certified Engineers/Specialists and Architects. You will definitely boost you career and increase your value for employers if you achieve the Microsoft MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification!


MCSE Desktop Infrastructure is Microsoft newest certification for Remote Desktop Services based on Windows Server 2012 combined with System Center, App-V, and multiple deployment methods. For now MCSE Desktop Infrastructure is the highest certification you can achieve on Microsoft Remote Desktops Services.


Unfortunately there is no Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) track available for the Desktop or Cloud (System Center) track and there are no signs that Microsoft is planning to add these to the MCSM program at some point.


I have also written The Hitchhikers Gide’s to Citrix CCEE & CCI Certification. Citrix’s newest version of the combined XenApp and XenDesktop which will run on Server 2012 (project Excalibur, part of project Avalon) will be available soon. (Excalibur is available as Tech Preview).


The Microsoft MCSE Desktop Infrastructure certification track requires you to pass 5 exams. First you will need to pass the three exams for the MCSA Windows Server 2012 Certification:




There is also an upgrade path available ik you already have any of the following Microsoft MCITP/MCSA Certifications:




If you can upgrade then you can reduce the total number of exams to three instead of five!


Once you have the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification you can start with the final two exams for MCSE Desktop Infrastructure:





The upcoming part 2 and part 3 for the Hitchhikers guide to MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure will help to study for the 70-415 and 70-416 exam.


If you really want to (and yes you can!) then you can finish the MCSE Desktop infrastructure track in 4 to 5 months if you have to pass 5 exams by planning an exam every 3 to 4 weeks until you have passed the five exams. If you can upgrade to MCSA 2012 then you can finish the track in 2-3 months by planning an exam every 3-4 weeks until you have passed the three exams. If you already have MCSA Server 2012 then you can finish the track in 1-2 months by planning an exam every 3-4 week until you have passed the two final exams.


If you have some hands-on or testlab/poc experience  with Server 2012, Remote Desktop Services then this will help to pass the exams. This 4 to 5 month schedule will be more difficult if you do not have any hands-on experience with Windows Server 2012.


There are a number of basic study rules that I recommend:


Study rule 1#: Book the exam before you start studying, this will make sure that you have a deadline to work to. Do not reschedule the exam unless absolutely necessary, use the time pressure that you might experience to put more effort into studying.


Study rule 2#: Once you get studying and you pass the 1st exam then continue with studying for the other required exams right away. If you take a break between the exams that is longer than 1-2 two weeks it will take you more effort to get used to studying and you will forget what you learned from the previous exams.


Study rule #3: Enjoy learning and studying Microsoft stuff 🙂 If you really like to learn about Microsoft products then this will help.


Study rule #4: Follow @MSLearning on twitter and the Born to Learn blog on for information on upcoming exams, beta exams or special promotions.


Study rule #5: You can always use Microsoft TechNet to find information on all Microsoft products and related topics.


Study rule#6: For every exam read the official Microsoft exam guide thoroughly so you will now what topics will be tested in the exam.


You can find Part 2 here

You can find Part  3 here

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