Originally Posted by jasonX
I'm basically on the same path, and from what I have gathered, if looking to enter Network Security, you should look into the following certifications which you did not list.
Security+ While yes, an entry-level certification, it is required for many DoD positions, provides a foundation for several security related topics, as well as knocks off 1 year on the required experience for the next certification
CISSP For Network Security, this certification is in demand for mid-level/senior positions and will get your foot in the door for the higher paying jobs. However, this certification requires 5 years of experience or 4 with Security+ or a M.S. degree by an approved academic institution. They will also investigate your work experience and if I recall correctly, you need an existing CISSP to essentially vouch for you.
I myself will be knocking out my CCNP (R&S) hopefully before summer this year, then look into the CISSP. After you're done with Route, proceed to Switch (I'd guess you're looking at 2-3 months for Switch) but then immediately take Troubleshooting a week or 2 tops after completing R&S.
The Security+ can be done in a week but I already went a cert above it with the CCNA Security. Ive been keeping my eye on the CISSP but am still a couple years off from meeting the required experience for it. We do have a couple CISSP holders in my organization that can vouch when the time comes.
We needed to burn our training budget before the end of the year, all that was left was the CCNP Switch. What a disappointment that was. I was surprised at how much I already knew about switching and didnt really come home with much to show for it.