Searching for CCENT, CCNA, CCNP and CCIE jobs within 20 miles, here is what I found: CCENT jobs - 1, CCNA jobs - 32, CCNP jobs - 36, CCIE jobs - 22. Those ratios seem to hold up farily well nationwide: CCENT jobs - 18, CCNA jobs - 1,263, CCNP jobs - 1,049, CCIE jobs - 715.
It looks like Cisco's recent entry-level certification (CCENT) is not getting much traction in the job market. The next three levels up (CCNA, CCNP and CCIE) all seem to be in demand. CCIE jobs are always at or near the top of average salary surverys, but you don't start college studying for your PhD. IMO, pursuing the CCNA first, then moving on to the CCNP, and finally - if you're willing to dedicate yourself to the huge amount of work required - acquiring the CCIE certification can be very fulfilling and a wonderful professional advancement.
Jerry J. Anderson, CCIE #5000
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