Ask the Expert

Should I jump ship on my Win2k cert and go right for a Windows 2003 MCSE?

I have familiarity with Windows 2000 and have started the study process for an MCSE on Windows 2000. I have not started the exam process yet, though. Should I just drop the 2000 track and jump on the 2003 track? Do you think Microsoft will continue to support Windows 2000 for quite some time or will they do what they did with NT4 and stop support soon to push the Windows 2003 platform? Thank you for your time.

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The MCSA exams won't be ready until August 2003; the MCSE exams won't be ready until September/October 2003. Thus, the earliest holders of MCSA and MCSE credentials for 2003 won't get their certs until late in 2003.

As I've watched the last four series of Microsoft certifications come (and some of them go), I've observed that it normally takes two years from the time a new certification becomes possible to achieve before most people start targeting that program as their primary choice. As far as Windows 2000 and 2003 are concerned, that makes Windows 2000 a safe bet until late 2004/early 2005.

Go ahead and get your Windows 2000 MCSE as soon as you can, then plan to take the two upgrade exams next year or the year after, as events compel you to upgrade your certification. That way, you can use study guides, Exam Crams, practice tests and all the other aftermarket information and tools available to help you get past the current generation of exams, and give us content developers time to build materials to equip you similarly to take and pass the 2003 exams.

HTH,
--Ed--

This was first published in March 2003

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