Introduction to MCSA 2003
The key letter in MCSA is the A for administrator. This is a chopped down version of the MSCE. The worthy idea of this qualification is to concentrate on the day-to-day tasks performed by those who look after the server. Whilst you take the very same exams as for MCSE, they are fewer in number, for instance, you only need the 70-290 and 70-291, but not the 70-293.
Another way of looking at the MCSA is a stepping stone to the MCSE. Pass 4 exams, take a breather, then see if you want to test yourself further by taking another 3 exams and thereby upgrade to MSCE.
As an MCT trainer, I can thoroughly recommend TrainSignal, I particularly liked their provide practical hands on training. In addition TrainSignal cover all the topics needed to succeed in your MCSE / MCSA exams. To make learning enjoyable, TrainSignal vary the methods with, instructor lead, video and of course text material. See more about the training materials here
MCSA 2003 – Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator
There is one exam on the upgrade path for those who are MCSA 2000 qualified 70-292 (Also on the MCSE upgrade Path)
For those not MCSA qualified there are 4 exams:
One Client – XP (70-270) or Windows 2000 (70-210)
Two Networking – Managing, Maintaining Server (70-290)
One Elective – The 3 most popular electives are SQL (70-228), Exchange (70-284) and ISA (70-277). Other electives are SMS, Windows 2003 Security.
Note: the MCSA Electives appear to be fewer than the MCSE electives.
Note: CompTIA exams also count as one elective.
Other qualifications similar to MCSA
Simply passing any exam makes you a Microsoft Certified Professional. Most people then get the bug and go on to pass more exams and become MCSE or MCSA
MCSDBA – Microsoft Certified Database Administrator
MCSD – Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
MCSD – Microsoft Certified Applications Developer
MCT – Microsoft Certified Trainer (Have to be MCSE first)
MCSE NT – Certified on NT 4.0 exams