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Last Updated December 16, 2003

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MCSE Certification on a Budget

Becoming an MCSE can be expensive. The exams are $100 each, the books are about $40 - $90 each, classes can be $1,000 a week. But did you know that there are free online MCP tutorials on the web? How about a way to access all those expensive Microsoft training Kits online for $70 a year. Or better yet, access +400 technical books online for $20 a month. 
Free Online Professional Tutorials
Learn to
A free lecture based tutorial on IP addressing and subnetting. It combines audio with a slide presentation using Windows Media Player and is split into specific topics for easy downloading. The site also includes a DNS primer in the same format, and both lectures are available on CD-ROM.

Network Magazine Online Networking Tutorials.
A huge and exceptional resource. Essentially a full online course in Networking, the tutorials cover Network Basics, Hardware, Software, Interoperability, Internetworking, Network Management, etc .  
One of the first MCSE sites on the web, this site includes tutorials for Networking Essentials, Win95, Win98, Windows NT and TCP/IP as well as review questions and other tools.  
One of our favorite sites, features over 300 pages of tutorials for the Workstation and Server Enterprise Exams.

Practice Tests and Study Guides
CheckPoint MCSE  
A great MCSE Study sites that index all of the free trail exams offered by various companies who sell practice exams.
Hands down, this site has the best review guides we've used for the Microsoft Exams. Don't take an exam without checking these out.

Microsoft Resources
Free sample chapters from the Windows 2000 Resource Kits
Index of sample chapters from the Windows 2000 Professional and Server resource kits, available for free on Microsoft's web site

MS TechNet CD-Online
Recently, Microsoft placed their entire TechNet CD onto their website. This gives you access to ALL of the server books and resource kits via the web. You can also search the Knowledge Base for additional articles.

Cheap Books  
Okay, so you've heard us talking about all over this site, and you already know about it, but they really are the cheapest place we've found to buy technical books. Really. Honest. This is not a paid endorsement.

Inform IT
A complete online community delivering information, technology, reference, training, news, and opinion to IT professionals, students, and corporate users. Sponsored by Macmillan (the parent company to Sams and Que), the site features a free online library of some of their biggest titles, and Alpha Books where you get to read the text of books in progress using content submitted by the author.

Windows IT Library
The publishers of Windows 2000 Magazine have compiled a free online library of books on a variety of topics. Most of the titles aren't new releases, but still make great reading on your lunch break or downtime. It's also a great way to preview a book before you buy it. As a bonus, the site features comprehensive book reviews of newly released titles from a variety of publishers.

Other Resources
Join the Saluki Mailing List
This is a great (and free) study resource for MCSE candidates. The list is moderated by several volunteer MCSE's including Scott Armstrong and Thomas Lee. You can expect to get about 150 e-mails a day as part of this list so we recommend setting up an inbox rule in Outlook to move the mail to a separate folder to help sort it out.
If you're an industry professional you may qualify for free magazine subscriptions to some of the biggest computer magazines. Just fill out an entry form and pick what magazines you think would be most useful to you.


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