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Is it necessary to do MCSE before CCNA or one can directly do CCNA?

Is it necessary to do MCSE before CCNA or one can directly do CCNA?
There's no necessary connection between CCNA and MCSE; the former is an entry-level, single (or dual) exam Cisco certification, while the latter is a multi-exam (6 for Windows 2000, 7 for Windows Server 2003) mid-level certification. Many people do indeed get MCSEs before they tackle CCNA, but I also know of many who've gotten the CCNA before they tackle the MCSE. If you want to work primarily on network infrastructure and aren't interested in designing, managing, or working around Microsoft networks, an MCSE will be of little or no use to you. OTOH, if you are involved in Windows networking, the MCSE can be very handy indeed.

Thus, you should let your circumstances guide you as to whether or not you do both CCNA and MCSE, and in what order, or if you should skip the Microsoft stuff and concentrate solely on Cisco stuff.

But it is NOT necessary to do MCSE before CCNA; you can indeed start out with CCNA with no Microsoft credentials at all.

This was last published in November 2003

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