Also, given that the security component of networking is increasingly important as well, I have to speculate that security savvy is a very desirable characteristic in somebody who wants to keep designing and implementing networks in the future. Given your interests, after you finish your CCNA, you might want to go after CCNP and/or CCDP in addition to CCSP. Plan on keeping the door open for the CCIE later on (an "average CCIE"--an oxymoron, if I ever wrote one--has 8-10 years Cisco-related work experience anyway, so it'll be a while before this is really an option for you), which also offers a security specialty?
I think this could be a good move for you, particularly if you want to work in a Cisco environment and plan to do "security stuff" as an important part of your job. You might also consider pursuing Security+ and CISSP to round out your security smarts and knowledge base, and make yourself an even more attractive employee (or employment prospect).
This was first published in March 2004