Best way to obtain the latest MCSE Cert.?

I became an MCSE back in the Windows NT days.  Been working with it ever since, but never "upgraded" to a 2000 or 2003 MCSE cert.  At this point, what do you think is the best way to go about it?  BAck then, I had the opportunity to actually go to full blown classes for months, but I think there's probably better & cheaper options now....Any suggestions?  I'm thinking just do it class by class, test by test, but just buying the books myself and training at home.  Anyone have any good suggestions for training books?
tenoverAsked:
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Jay_Jay70Connect With a Mentor Commented:
i am doing the same thing at the moment.

I was looking at doing courses with seeklearning and mobs like that, but decided that for the sake of 6-7K AU dollars, that i could go and by the books and do it myself, exam by exam.

I have been reccomended the MSPRESS books by some big people in the know and am picking them up today
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tenoverAuthor Commented:
I've read a lot of good things about CTNuggets.  I just ordered their entire MCSA/MCSE 152 CD kit.  
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tenoverAuthor Commented:
Make that CBTNuggets.
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Jay_Jay70Commented:
excellent, if you have heard good things then run with it, everyone has different techniques and reccomended study guides - if you have background then you will scream through it
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mass2612Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi tenover,

I upgraded my NT4 MCSE to Windows 2000 a few years ago. I worked through the MCSE training kits with a test lab at my disposal plus at the office I was getting real hands on experience upgrading from an NT domain to an AD windows 2000 domain. This was the best training I could get. I also spent a lot of time as part of the migration reading through the best practices guides on the MS site.

I have been completing my upgrade from Windows 2000 MCSE to Windows 2003 earlier this year, Once again I work in an environment where I spent a good deal of time upgrading from Windows/Exchange 2000 to Windows/Exchange 2003. Again I worked my way through the MS training kit books for 290, 291, 293 and 294. I was pretty impressed with the level of the material in the books and made sure I had a test lab working with VMWare so that I could play and complete all the labs. Once you have the basic concepts doing the labs really helped me.

Since I had my MCSE 2000 I was able to do just the upgrade exams 292 and 296 therefore my road will be different to what you need to complete. I've heard that the 290 exam is quite hard which you might want to think about as I found the NT4 server exam pretty straightforward so don't underestimate them. The exams are tougher now than the NT days so take your time to know the material before sitting the exam. If you have a support contract with MS through your work and can get access to the MS workshops I would recommend attending some of them. Your Technical Account Manager will be able to give you the details. They don't aim to set you up for the exam but they opened some more detail of areas that I could only find limited info publicly.

As Jay Jay says everyone is different. I learn well by myself reading, doing labs and picking up stuff off the Internet and reading through questions on EE that I might have no idea about.
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tenoverAuthor Commented:
Thanks, great advice.  I have a current TechNet subscription, are the Workshops included with that (if you know)?
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mass2612Commented:
Sorry I don't know. I work for a large international company and I'm not sure what our support contract is. I just know I get to go on some of the courses which is nice.
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