CCIE folks do have a good stature in employment prospects. If you are coming from an AIX background though, I would suggest you look closely at security certifications in the Unix/Linux world. These prospects seem to be even higher in terms of salary and potential. Deep knowledge of the Unix focused operating systems, kernel and some development skills will go a long way to making you an invaluable senior member to many information security teams.
If you don't think you would regret not moving beyond deep knowledge of the OS, stay focused in Unix. We are going to need more of those folks in the future than colleges can turn out.