If you wait for .NET to fully unfold, you'll be unable to finish your MCSE until the end of 2003 at the very earliest. I would urge you to factor your employer's upgrade history into your planning. If they've upgraded to Windows 2000 any sooner than the last 24 months, they're unlikely to upgrade again for at least another 24 months. If that's the case, go with Win2k exams; if they're on an early adopter track, only then would it be worth the wait -- and even then, that might hold back your chances at promotions or raises longer than you would like. If that's the case, do Win2k now, then take the upgrade exams later. Only if waiting confers tangible benefits should you consider waiting at all.
This was first published in December 2002