Which is best for you – multiple vendor certs or be an expert in one area?
There seems to be a lot of speculation about this including some very bad advice.
I should start out by saying that you need to work out what it is you want from your career and be very careful about listening to uninformed opinions. I know of several people with zero contracting experience and who have worked for one company their entire career dispensing advice to unsuspecting newbies on forums.
Generalist – you can work across several vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco as well as a few other area. By the very nature of the role you will be okay to good at many things but quickly hit the limit when dealing with a complex issue on one of the platforms.
At this point you will have to raise a support request or call in expert help.
You will be suitable for helpdesk type roles, maybe up to level two or working for small to medium sized company who can’t afford to have a dedicated person for each role.
Specialist – you are at a high level for one type of technology and have dedicated yourself to becoming good with one vendors technology such as Linux, Cisco or MS.
You have narrowed the type of role you can apply for but you will be involved in higher level work requiring the services of an authority.
This type of role is suitable for a larger company who has a dedicated person or team for different parts of the network. You will often be called in for project work and probably gravitate towards contracting.
Which is Best?
There is no actual best. If you want to be doing more support based work and more variety then you will go for a generalist position and try to please all people. If you want to focus your time one vendor then you will naturally become a specialist and be able to command higher salaries or contracting rates. You will also be lifting yourself from the lower level support based roles.
The choice is yours.