I'm looking to get some training and certifications but I'm having a bit of a difficult time deciding on which cert(s) to get and when.

Right now my company is running windows server 2k3 and exchange 2k3, so I've been studying and practicing (with a home server) in that environment, but there's 2 problems with this:

  1. The certs for those are old and I don't even know if I could get them now.
  2. We're planning on upgrading to exchange 2k7 (at least) and server 2010 (eventually - about a year from now)

Right NOW I have the a) time b) energy c) finances (for books/equipment) to study and take the tests within the next 6 months but I am not sure if I will have a or b after that (buying a house, lots of work is being planned for the not-too-distant future).

So, even if I could get my 2k3 certs now (MCSE I think) they would be old the day I got them, but the studying and practice would help right now for what I do at work. However, if I wait to study and take the 2010 certs (MCITP Server Admin - for 2010 when they're available) it could be a good while from now.

What should I do? Are there any other options?

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Many places still have a random Windows 2000 server still around. Getting your 2003 MCSE isn't going to make you look horribly out of date. Once you get your MCSE on 2003 there is an upgrade path to 2008.


Getting a more advanced degree is always an option, and it might open doors, but it won't help you get things done. Its best to have a mix of a degree, work experience, and certifications than a combination of just two.

For what its worth I personally like to see server admins that went to get CCNA, CCENT, or Network+ just because I've seen so many admins that have no clue how even the basics like subnetting work.

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