If money is tight and if nothing else, at least read and study for each of the exams as if you were going to take them. That way you don't actually have to spend extra on the certification vouchers but you still have the level of understanding associated with them. If budget isn't a primary concern, getting those professional certifications is an excellent way to achieve a higher status of Cisco recognition along the way to your long-term...
goal of getting the CCIE, since you will inevitably be spending a long time preparing.
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