welcome to ethicalhacker.net! it's great your already in the field as a network engineer - moving over to pentesting for you shouldn't be extremely difficult! The CEH is heavily known in the industry and gets recognition, but passing the examination doesn't demonstrate to an employer that you have the knowledge to break into anything.
Courses with Practical Level exams such as Offensive Security
's Penetration Testing with BackTrack
with accompanying OSCP
Certification, Cracking the Perimeter
course with accompanying OSCE
Certification are finally gaining some popularity amongst people looking to hire Penetration Testers. These classes make you think, and go way beyond the standard multiple choice examination format to test your skills.
A competing course in regards to the CEH, and a good way to get some practical hands-on level experience is eLearnSecurity's Penetration Tester Pro v2
. With this course, comes an attempt at the eCPPT Certification. "eLearnSecurity Certified Professional Penetration Tester (eCPPT) is an Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Professional certification offered by eLearnSecurity. The eCPPT exam requires the student to carry out a real penetration test against a target and to build a penetration testing report. The eCPPT is part of a growing trend of Professional certifications requiring practical portions demonstrating competency in performing the tested duties.
" - Source wikipedia.org
I took Version 1 of their course, and thought it contained great material. They've significantly improved Version 2. Awhile back there was an exclusive save 5% on enrollment offered for EH.NET members, but not sure if this is still being given out or not. HackingDojo.com
has some great affordable training, as does SecurityTube
. Unfortunately, none of these Vendor's Certifications are highly requested when you do a search for a list of requirements that an Employer wants to see on a Resume under 'Certifications'. They still remain though, affordably priced, and maintain a good reputation.
Moving right along with you mentioning the possibility of getting the Security+ and GPEN Certifications added to your Resume, these are DoD Approved 8570 Baseline Certifications
, and are also known well among HR.
My personal advice, besides exposing some alternate training sources you could look into to help hone your skills, is I say give PWB
a shot. If you've been studying the subject heavily for the past 3 years, you've got to be very comfortable with BackTrack or *Nix enough to take some training from its Developers. If you have an understanding wife, can fit it well in with your work schedule, and want to get the most bang for your buck, it's definitely worth a shot.
Lastly, feel free to look
around more here on the Forum. This site has been around for years, and common is it that we are asked how does one gain entry down the Ethical Hacking road. Were all here to help you along the way, and your among a great community.