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MS Certification questions/advice needed!

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Hi everyone! I'm looking for some advice regarding MS certifications.

My background is in biotech, so I haven't been working directly in the IT world. However I'm very proficient in IT work and run a small consulting business on the side, mostly because I enjoy it.

Of course I don't have a lot of 'formal' IT experience on my resume, so I was doing some research on MS certifications in hopes that it would bolster my experience in this area somewhat. I'm not really in the market for IT-specific jobs at the moment but I think it would certainly help increase my credibility in this area.

I had a voucher for the MTA Windows exam (which was somewhat recently opened to the public, not just students) so I figured I would give it a shot. It turned out to be very, very easy. There is also MTA in networking and security as well.

Figuring that this is really a basic cert, I did some more homework and am looking at the MCSA Windows 7. It requires 2 exams, 70-680 and 70-685/686. Plus if you do them before January 2014 you also pick up a MCTS Windows 7 and an MCITP cert as well. After January, it's just the MCSA.

So to get to my questions....does this seem like a good next-level cert? Can anyone recommend any prep materials for either exam? (Lots of mixed opinions out there on prep for these exams). Just looking for some thoughts and advice!

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