I could be wrong as I've been out of the game for a while, but there seems to be less demand for sysadmin type stuff as more and more companies migrate in house servers to cloud based solutions.
When I was in the game, even though I wasn't working with any Cisco gear, I was a tiny bit tempted to do the Cisco qualifications as there seems to be good money for people who have the higher level certifications and I had pretty much CCIE level of knowledge just not with Cisco equipment.
I can't remember who it was, but there I'm sure there was a DF'er who posted a little about his journey, iirc he did some courses, then was working from home for someone for a while setting up 6500's and 7600's to further develop/refine his skills. Only snag with that idea is need something like a garage or spare room as they can be big pieces of kit (never played with one myself but I'm guessing they will be pretty noisy as well).
If you are signing on, I would mention training to them asap. I remember signing on a few years ago, I asked about training programmes/schemes at the beginning but my enquiry got no-where. Then I asked a few months later, and I was told that I had left it too late as they only let people sign on for 6 months before moving them to the "Work Program" i.e. having to work for somewhere like Poundland just to get given JSA, and when people are on the Work Program, they can no longer go on any training schemes/programmes.