Certifications / Microsoft

Roadmap to Success: MCTS SCCM 2012

by Karin Klinger
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Published on October 13, 2015

Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

UPDATED: We updated this article on August 8, 2017, to reflect relevant changes to the Microsoft SCCM 2012 certification curriculum.

The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (MCTS SCCM 2012) certification enables administrators to manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across an enterprise. It is closely aligned with the Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012 R2 certification.

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS): System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SCCM 2012)

UPDATE: Microsoft restructured its certifications. Please check their website for more information about its certification restructure.

The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (MCTS: SCCM 2012) certification is designed to affirm a learner's ability to help businesses manage client computers and devices. The MCTS: SCCM 2012 certification is made up of one exam, which is covered by CBT Nuggets training:

  • Microsoft SCCM 2012 70-243 R2

Technically, there is no formal prerequisite for the MCTS: SCCM 2012, but the certification exam assumes foundational knowledge in various areas. Learners pursuing this certification should typically have 1-3 years of experience working with SCCM 2012, Windows Server 2012 (or Server 2016), security, and networking in an enterprise environment.

Ideally, learners should have some basic knowledge of Microsoft SQL Server, PowerShell, mobile device management, and application configuration. They should also have a fundamental knowledge of Active Directory.

Microsoft is no longer developing new MCTS certifications, but they are relevant and practical for any organization using the technology.

Exam Details

Learners may be able to take the MCTS: SCCM 2012 exam remotely as an online proctored (OP) exam. Learn more about the requirements on Microsoft's Learning OP site.

  • Time allotted for the exam: 2 hours (120 minutes)

  • Number of questions: 40-60*

  • Passing score: 700**

  • Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; multiple choice/multiple answer; scenario

  • Exam registration: Microsoft Learning or Pearson Vue

  • Exam cost: $165

  • Skills measured: Administering and Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (free resource) *Microsoft does not publish the exact number of questions associated with its exams. Therefore, the number of questions a learner will see varies on a case-by-case basis. **Because the number of questions varies, it is not necessarily true that learners must earn a simple 70 percent to pass the exam.

Microsoft exams have a reputation for being challenging. Many learners must take an exam more than once to achieve success. Fortunately, Microsoft is aware of the challenges associated with their exams and often provides an Exam Replay, allowing learners to retake exams at a fraction of the cost.

Please note that the Exam Replay may not always be available. As of this post's publication date, each exam associated with the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification offers the option to include Exam Replay, but that may change. Learners should research Exam Replay availability to avoid missing out on the opportunity.


The MCTS certification does not require recertification and is a lifetime certification.

The Next Step

As previously noted, the MCTS: SCCM 2012 certification assumes learners have some foundational knowledge in various areas. Many learners who have experience may not yet have the certifications to demonstrate their understanding. Therefore, learners may benefit from earning the certifications that prove that experience and knowledge:

  • MCSA: Windows Server 2012 R2 (made up of three exams: 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412)

  • MCSA: Windows Server 2016 (made up of three exams: 70-740, 70-741, and 70-742)

  • CompTIA Network+ (made up of just one exam: CompTIA Network+ N10-006)

  • CompTIA Security+ (made up of just one exam: CompTIA Security+ SY0-401)

  • MCSA: SQL Server 2012 (made up of three exams: 70-461, 70-462, and 70-463)

For those looking to advance their MCTS certification, many will consider pursuing an MCSE certification:

  • MCSE: Mobility (made up of just one exam of your choice: 70-695, 70-696, or 70-398)

  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (made up of just one exam of your choice: 70-532, 70-533, 70-534, 70-473, 70-745, 70-744, 70-413, 70-414, 70-246, or 70-247)

Career Considerations

Payscale.com/ provides information to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with an MCTS certification.

Depending on experience, an employee holding any MCTS certification can earn between $45,482 and $135,862 annually. Common roles or titles for those who hold an MCTS include systems administrator, software engineer, senior software engineer, IT manager, IT consultant, SharePoint developer, and software developer.

Microsoft Certifications

Microsoft certifications are laid out as a pyramid, with each level of certification leading learners to higher, more specialized, complex certifications. At the base of the Microsoft pyramid, IT professionals develop the foundation of knowledge with the MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate).

The next levels are the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) and MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer), which include many of Microsoft's most popular certifications among IT professionals, including Server 2012, Office 365, and Azure. Finally, the MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert) represents the highest level of certification offered by Microsoft and allows learners to develop specializations related to MCSA-level content.

As Microsoft describes it, the new MCSE and MCSD certifications (MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSE: Mobility, MCSE: Data Management and Analytics, MCSE: Productivity, and MCSD: AppBuilder) are aligned to Centers of Excellence, used by the Microsoft Partner Network to identify technical competencies that are widely recognizable by both Microsoft partners and customers.

These credentials do not require recertification. Instead, the achievement date signifies how well you keep up with technological changes.

Each year, you can renew the certification by passing an exam from the list of electives, demonstrating your investment in broadening or deepening your skills in a given Center of Excellence. A new certification entry is added to your transcript each time you earn the certification.

This process replaces the existing recertification requirement of taking a specific recertification exam every two years (MCSD) or every three years (MCSE) to prevent your certification from going inactive. Learn more about the new Microsoft certification structure.

Begin exploring other Microsoft training and certification options to open up more professional development opportunities.

Concluding Thoughts

The MCTS: SCCM 2012 provides learners with the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise with System Center 2012 configuration. Employers often highly seek Expertise in this area, so it is certainly worth the effort!

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