I finished my NT4 MCSE in '98 and kept it up as the newer versions came out. Then my CCNA in 2001. In 9 years of being certified, I dont think they have ever gotten me a job or more money. All people have ever done was question the manner in which I earned it... "So, did you just read this out of a book?" etc. etc.
Experience and "knowing your shit" is by far the most important component. Certs are great to have on a resume and certainly the knowledge needed to earn them is a help if you know how to apply it to the real world.
Get your foot in the door, bust your ass, and study. If youre lucky, you can get a company to pay for training which will make getting the certs way easier.
Like Luke said, security is a great way to go. If I had it to do all over again, I would go the dba route no question. I know some guys that make big bank as Oracle dba's and they can move jobs very easily.
Last edited by 1985GT; 01-16-2007 at 08:49 PM.