Anecdotal story time!
I was recently laid off due to my last company basically going under. They kept a very minimal staff to keep it afloat but that's another story. I was technically out of work for exactly 2 months. BUT. The first 3 weeks I did no job search or anything related to job search. I did some projects around the house, traveled to DC to visit a friend, basically just did a lot of errands and stuff I hadn't had time to do while working. After 3 weeks I decided to update my resume and post it online(dice, career builder,etc) Within a few days I was getting calls from recruiters. I scheduled a few "interviews" with the recruiters to give them an idea of what I was looking for and for them to tell me what they had available. After about 2 weeks I got an interview with a great company, spoke to the hiring manager on Monday afternoon, he invited me to interview with his employees on Tuesday. I spent about 2 hours on site at the company. One my way home from the interview the recruiting manager called me and said the company offered me the job. I took it, making slightly more than the previous job but it is a 6 month contractor position with a chance to become full time. From the day I interviewed to the day I was hired was about 2 weeks, had to fill out paperwork, background check/etc.
I have no degree, I have no certificates. I have plenty of experience both from home use of Linux and professionally. I also live in a very very great area for tech jobs so maybe its a lot easier to find a good job. That said. I do plan on taking some of the Red Hat certs, mainly the RHCT and RHCE then the new VM cert. My job is a Linux Admin.
To answer your question. Certs/etc depend on the hiring company. What do they use for their OS/network/hardware. Find out what you want to do or find out what company you really want to work. Find out what OS/network/hardware they use and what certs would be useful to them. You can get any cert you want and maybe get a job, but experience and knowing your market is really important.
Last edited by ncsuapex; 07-16-2010 at 12:53 PM.