Are the CCNA and MCSE good certifications for network or software engineers?

1545 pts.
Networking careers
Networking certifications
I wanted to get a CCNA Cisco certification, but when I asked my local institution about it they suggested I take the CCNA plus the MSCE. Will this be the right option if I'm looking to be either a network engineer or software engineer? Is a networking or software career more profitable than the other?

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Dear Sir or Madam:

The MCSE is becoming increasingly passe as it applies only to Windows Server 2003 and earlier versions. For Windows Server 2008 (the current version since it shipped last February) the newer MS certifications are called the MCTS, or Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, and MCITP, or …Information Technology Professional). I wouldn’t recommend spending good money on the MCSE any longer. That said, the CCNA is just an entry-level Cisco cert and by itself probably won’t be enough to do you a lot of good in landing a network engineer job (It’s more or less irrelevant to software engineering topics, except in the most basic ways).

If you’re interested in programming, then the newer Microsoft programming certifications (see the discussion online at where you’ll find coverage of both networking and software engineering credentials included) may indeed make significant sense. Here again, however, I’d urge you to look at the technology specialist and Professional Developer certifications that you’ll find covered on the aforementioned Web page.

As for which pays better, it depends on how far you advance in the field and what kind of work you are most interested in doing. I don’t think it’s really possible to say that if you choose one path over the other you will make more or less money, simply because there are so many options on both the networking and development sides, and you can early well into the 100,000s going either way.

HTH, and thanks for posting. Please post again if you have any follow-up comments, questions, or concerns.


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  • Odida
    i did CCNA and i would like to begin MCSE.can i get a good job with this without a bachelor degree or will i still have to do a bachelor course?please help guide me.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Lonewolfbw
    A Bachelor's degree will help you, there is no question about that. However, I can volunteer my own situation as an alternative. After 10 years at my previous company, I was downsized (and eventually, the entire branch was closed - mortgage lending services industry, you see), and was job-seeking with 3 years experience as a systems analyst and 4 years of helpdesk. I had 2 Associates degrees (Computer Network Systems, and Computer Forensics/Network Security), and an A+ certification. I was able to secure a job as a network admin for a research facility at the University of Pittsburgh, with those things. In my case I was fortunate in that the hiring manager took my career stability and family situation into account, giving me the edge over someone who had I believe a Bachelor's degree and more experience. So yes, you CAN get a good job without a Bachelor's. But it will be potentially more difficult, especially if you lack experience. (Also, I did eventually get my MCSE, because of an offered discount, since we are using 2003 for the foreseeable future.)
    525 pointsBadges:
  • Chetannegi
    sir i m a btech IT pass out student n still i m persuing ccna but stil i m in very big confussion that whether i have to go with networking line or should i go to softwaare field so plz help me as soon as possible
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Mamoman
    Hi, I don't have MCSE, but have CCNA, CCNA voice and CCDA, it very much wanted, I get 2 to 3 times a week a job offer, just on my CCNA and CCDA. But if you want to be taken seriously, just get the CCNP or CCDP and you are on the wanted list. Buy some second hand cisco kit (can be old) from ebay or so, and play, play play. From the microsoft side, I wanted to do the MCSE aswell, but as they changed with MCITP etc I just did some TS (Technology Specialist) on some items, that is more interesting for the companies.
    40 pointsBadges:
  • sumaira123
    i want know which course is better mcse or ccna
    10 pointsBadges:
  • eddie9
    You should complete both of the courses if you want to be a network engineer. Without MSCE you will not get better job.
    40 pointsBadges:

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