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When will the Exchange 5.5 and Proxy Server exams be phased out?

I am a systems administrator, working in an ad agency with 50 or so MACs, about 100 NT4 PCs and five NT4 servers. I have been in this position for three years and have decided it is about time to get some qualifications/certifications.

I bought a couple of exam guides and set up couple of workstations running Windows 2000 Professional, and one member server running Windows 2000 Server, so that I have something to practice with. But I don't have access to an Exchange 2000 box or a 2000 proxy box.

Ideally, I'd like to take the Exchange 5.5/Proxy 2000 as electives. However, I know that these exams are being phased out sometime in 2003. First, can you tell me when in 2003 they will be stopped? Second, can you tell me if they still count towards my MCSE if I pass them now, but don't finish the other units until, say, the end of 2003?

I started studying for my MCSE exams about three months ago. I recently passed exam 70-210, Win2k Professional, and I intend to take one exam every two to three months until I have passed them all.
By Proxy 2000, I assume you mean 70-227 Internet Security & Acceleration Server. That is a safe topic and should stay viable for at least another couple of years. I recommend against Exchange 5.5, however, since Exchange 2000 will itself be supplanted by a .NET Server-based backoffice component in the second half of next year. The "Exams Scheduled for Discontinuation" page indicates that 70-081 Exchange 5.5 is to be discontinued as of June 20, 2003. Therefore, you must take that exam before that date, if you decide to stick with it after all. 70-227 is not scheduled for retirement; if you mean 70-088 Proxy Server 2.0, however, it is scheduled to retire on June 30, 2003, as well. Because they are listed on the acceptable electives, they should remain valid until the Win2000 credentials are replaced by Server .NET credentials. But this probably won't occur until some time in 2004. MS has already announced it will be offering upgrade exams so that MCSAs and MCSEs don't have to repeat the entire test regime to upgrade their credentials from Win2k to .NET.


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