A wise man once told me that the hallmark of a truly interesting question was that the answer always begins with the phrase "that depends..." By that criterion, your questions qualify as interesting. And the answer begins with the usual formula: The certifications you pursue for the future will depend on the kind of job role you wish to grow into. Thus, if your goals are to become a system/network administrator, the Unix/Linux administration path is probably best for you (though you should also consider other popular operating systems such as Microsoft Windows -- MCSA or MCSE, to be more specific -- or Novell NetWare -- CNA, CNE, or MCNE, to be more specific again). OTOH, if your inclinations lean you more toward network engineering, the Cisco credentials -- CCNA, CCNP, and on to other, more senior Cisco certs -- would represent a better growth path for you. In the final analysis, only you can decide where your interests lie. But if you haven't yet started down the certification trail, you might want to begin with CompTIA's A+ and Network+ credentials to get you started with a solid basic techical foundation. In the process of completing those entry-level certs, you should also be able to get a better sense for where your long-term interests and goals reside. Good luck!
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