I would suggest that your advice applies to all careers and disciplines. Getting accreditation is only a start. Having practical and life experience is a huge factor for any job.IF you want to go the Cisco route, CCNA is the starting point. Once you get this, you can go onto different things but I don't think a company will hire you just because you have a CCNA and no practical work experience. IMO, having the practical experience along with the book smarts is key with this stuff.