if you want to make your way to 100k/yr jobs:
start with Sec+ ( i mean If you want, only entry level cert worth getting is Net+)
Then get your MCSE/MCSA if going the sysadmin route or CCNA for networking
Other than that, Branch from there. if sysadmin stuff, DEFINATELY look into VMWARE.
If you want to be more IT Management, look into CISSP after your Sec+ (it's basically all of sec+ from a management stance. very hard lots of material, and it's a 5hr exam.
As always, Linux+ or RH certs aren't bad to have and are also valuable
Source: I am a linux sysadmin for the Govt making close to 100k/yr. No degree yet, just certs and experience @ 25 yrs old