The question is -- am I on the right track if I intend to be a system administrator? And will the working experience I get from that company add value to my resume?
What is more important for me to achieve now -- an advanced diploma or IT certifications? MCSE, SCSA, or RHCE?
As for your other questions, the answer to the advanced diploma versus IT certifications depends on what you'd like to do AFTER you become a network admin. If that's what you'd like to do for the next 5-10 years, a cert will probably do you as much good as a master's or other advanced degree; but if you want to climb higher in the ranks, move into management, or develop software/do research/write books then an advanced diploma might be worth more. As for MCSE versus SCSA versus RHCE, that depends on where you think the market is going (because MS undeniably rules the market today).
Alternatively, if you're dead set on administering Unix server rather than MS ones, the choice between RHCE and SCSA will depend on if the places you think you might want to work are more in the Sun/Solaris camp or the general, Open Source Linux camp.
This was first published in February 2004