Welcome to LQ!!
First, I suggest you remove your e-mail address from the post. You are just inviting spamming.
As already pointed out, start by being a Linux user. I would not be concerned about certification just yet---it's more important to talk to people in the field, learn where people are being hired, etc.
Good, free, material is available in many places--eg: http://tldp.org
Also, look at the O'Reilly website. They have many free books, + the Safari subscription service.