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Looking for advice on re-entering the job market

By iccanui ·
Quick summary:
I recently Lost my job with a local ISP. I have been soul searching on what to do and in the long run i have decided i want to go to school and work in either the space industry or the renewable energies ( wind and solar). This of course takes money.

So for now i would like to stay in the IT world so i can make money to fund my future. I am looking for advice in being a hirable candidate these days. My current experience is the following.

Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional: 70-270 - Passed
Windows Server 2003 Environment - Management and Maintenance 70-290 Passed
Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure - Implementation, management and maintenance. - Material complete, but test was never taken, my job took me another direction.
Mac experienced, but not certified.
16 Years experience in PC Repair and Telecommunications.

Ive been applying every where, no one is hiring, not even for crappy part time jobs in the town im in. My only course of action it seems is to retool up my current skill set and move to a area where i can get a job. I have a lot of time, so learning is the one thing i can do a lot of.

My thoughts are.
CompTia Network+
Windows 7 Certification
Beyond that im like .... i dont know what i should do. Should i do windows 8? Are mac certs valuable? If so what are the best resources for learning for the tests, im a little out of the educational loop. I honestly just want to work someplace a little better then a help desk, because i have some back issues and sitting all day aggravates it.

Also if anyone is kind enough to read this far and has input, any advice on how to go about it as cheap and direct as possible would be great. For example,i found the Sybex books to be very helpful to me and they were like 50 bucks back in the day. But when i go to the CompTia site, they want like 300 bucks, which is doable, but i just want to make sure im taking the right path. Its a lot of money to waste if im wrong.

I hope i was clear, i tried to condense as much as i could and leave out anything that i felt would not be of interest. Feel free to ask me any questions for more detail, im a open book. And like i said, i got the time currently

Thank you so much for your time. Its very appreciated.

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