I am just about to start MCSE training. Do you have any opinion on what are the most "effective" electives to take i.e. do some electives make you more employable or are some simply much more applicable in everyday networking environments?

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Choosing "effective" electives is like choosing a friend or a spouse: everybody wants to get good advice, but it is much harder to give when you do not know the person who's asking very well. Rather than recommending specific exams, I would suggest that you visit the list of valid MCSE electives at http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=mcp&SubSite=cert/mcse&PageCall=nttracks&AnnMenu=mcse&PageExt=.txt#elective and choose the ones that fit your personal interests and job knowledge requirements most closely. Where there are two versions of an exam available for example SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition) always choose the newer exam or version, as long as your workplace requirements don't force you to choose the older exam--that way, you'll keep your certification "alive" as long as possible.

This was first published in May 2001

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