As someone who does all the hiring for the IT department, I can tell you that certifications are not on the top of my list for hiring. Here is how I prioritize.
1. Experience: This trumps everything right here. How long have you worked on Windows 2000 server? Can you solve real world problems? I tend to test candidates on real world issues to see how they would react. Typically, the inexperienced people with certifications can’t answer questions like this.
2. Education: A degree from an accredited university can work wonders. Those people who have a degree have shown they can see a project through and have a pretty diverse education. Obviously, a masters degree is better than a bachleors. The degree can matter if they have a degree in political science and are applying for a computer job without much experience.
3. Certifications: The worth of these has went down quite a bit. Mainly because there are a lot of people who left high school to get an MCSE in hopes to make the big money right away. What you have is a book learned computer certification that will be obselete in a year or so. There is no real world experience, trial and error, or problem solving in these things. However, if you have a certification with experience and a degree, that changes things. You have a good balance of all 3, then you will beat out competition for a job when some candidates only have experience and an education without the certifications.
Certifications can’t carry your resume on its own. However, they do help carry a resume when you have 8-10 years of experience and a 4 year college degree.
Just my .02 cents.