In this article we’re going to cover the pros and cons of getting a Microsoft Certification as opposed to getting a Novell certification. To start with, the arguments as to which networking software is actually better will no doubt go on for as long as these two companies are in business. The purpose of this article in not to determine which system is better. The purpose is to point out the differences between the two in relation to how easy or hard it will be to get a certification and hold a job.
The first glaring difference between a Novell certification and an MCSE certification is the intensity of the courses required for each certification. As was pointed out in an earlier article, to get an MCSE one has to take seven exams, five core exams and two electives. The courses for these exams are long and difficult. The length of time, obviously, to get an MCSE is astronomical. On the other hand to get a Novell CNE certification requires only five exams. Two less exams may not seem like much but considering each course can take you months you’re talking about taking about a half a year off your training time. So this needs to be considered when choosing between the two.
The next thing you need to take into consideration is the operating system itself. Because an MCSE is a windows based certification and Microsoft Windows is pretty much the most popular operating system on the market, that means you will have more software written by third party vendors made especially for windows products. So getting an MCSE will make your life a lot easier in the actual work environment because you will not be dealing with as many compatibility issues as you will if you become a Novell CNE and end up working with NetWare. Suffice it to say, your life will be far from easy when it comes to making things work.
Then there are the exams themselves. Naturally everyone will have their own opinion on this but the general consensus is that the Microsoft Exams are easier because they are dealing with operating systems that we are already more familiar with because of our everyday working knowledge of Windows. Novell NetWare is not as intuitive and most say that it requires more “learning” than Microsoft.
Then there is the issue of getting your job. The truth of the matter is, more people use Microsoft products, not so much because they are better but because of the tight hold they have on the market. So getting a job with an MCSE is going to be a lot easier than getting a job with a Novell CNE. The main reason for the dominance of Microsoft networking versus Novell is because of the file and printing services which have always been a problem with Novell.
If you are looking for perfection in either case you have got a long wait. Both networking systems have their pluses and minuses. As a networking professional one needs to decide what is most important when choosing which direction to take, ease of use or ease of passing your exam.