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Should I follow the Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 exam track?

I'm in the NT 4.0 MSCE group and am planning to upgrade to the latest exam. The question I would like to ask is which track (Windows 2000 or Windows 2003) would be worthy based on my skills (managing 1000 Windows XP, 10 Windows 2000 servers and five NT)? Are the new exams similar to the Windows 2000 series? From what I've seen from the Sims it is quite challenging.

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Given your current work environment and the fact that it took 2-2.5 years for 50% of all organizations and companies to upgrade from NT to Windows 2000, it's likely that the 50% point for Windows Server 2003 is probably still 18-24 months in the future. I suggest you obtain your Windows 2000 MCSE first, then take the two upgrade exams: 70-292 and 70-296--to qualify for Windows Server 2003 MCSE when your organization begins the planning work for its migration to the new platform. This should give you 12 months to get through the Windows 2000 stuff, and another 6 months to prepare and get through the Windows Server 2003 stuff.

As for MCDST, for those who support end users on Windows XP desktops, the credential is worthwhile for help desk and tech support professionals. Given what you already know and can do, unless you're planning to change roles and go to work at a help desk or tech support operation, it's probably not the right thing for you. As far as MCDST's markeplace acceptance goes (another way of measuring the credential's worthiness) it's still too early to tell if this program will be become the big success that Microsoft hopes it will.

This was first published in January 2004

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