That said, plenty of people do earn both MCSE and CCNA credentials because they are rather more complementary than competitive. But the MCSE is clearly a better job ticket than the CCNA, because of the entry-level, single exam status of the latter and the multiple-exam (7) and more demanding criteria for the former. Thus job prospects for MCSEs definitely outstrip those for CCNAs, both in terms of the number and kinds of jobs to which they might lead.
In fact, most people earn the CCNA as a stepping stone to more advanced Cisco certifications (such as the Cisco Professional or Specialist credentials, for which the CCNA is a pre-requisite for the overwhelming majority of credentials in both categories).
This was first published in November 2005