I have been preparing on and off for the CISSP for the past 6 years. (sigh)
I know, it sounds like serious procrastination and I get that, but when I changed jobs from WIN and UNIX Admin for the USGov to a dedicated Systems Analyst - my whole skillset took a dump.
No more field or bench repair of broken Server, Network, Printer/Scanner or PC/Laptop items down to piece-part, module or chip level (1300 of them - all unique), no more physical inventorying, assembling, disassembling, receiving/setting up or packing/shipping of items, no more at-desk customer support (or driving/flying all over Europe) and no more need for the intermittent 'refreshing' of the 13 IT and dozens of vendor-specific Certs I'd managed to get and had to maintain.(A+, N+, Inet+, Sec+, Server+, Novell CNA, Msoft MCSE, Cisco CCNA, Oracle, Sun, Apple, Hetra, GRiD, HP, WANG, Zenith, CDC, TEMPEST Tech, etc...)
So, suddenly I had to put down my toolkit and soldering iron and pick up a clipboard, wear a tie and manage OTHERS to do what I most loved myself. The job did not require PMP, although I have also studied for it, and CISSP was not required, but it was another goal of mine - when I had the time and extra $650.00 to throw at it.
5 YEARS later, I changed jobs again and after another 26weeks of 'specialized' training, I find myself in exotic parts of the world for 2-3 years at a stretch, responsible for the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of the (IT) Servers, Networks, Workstations and Voice (Tel, SatPhone, HF, VHF and UHF radio) systems of a satellite office of a HUGE global organization. Naturally CISSP is on the plate again 🙂
Well, that EXAM changed (in 2015) and I don't know if I am ready for the 8-Domain version just yet... and I think by taking and passing SSCP and then attacking the much-harder (and 3hrs longer) CISSP would be the least difficult path to 'ease' into the 'mile wide - inch deep' infosec stream.
What say all of you?
I'd go for the CISSP if I were you. Although the security domains changed from 10 to 8, the same information is covered. Also, if you're nervous about spending the $600 or so and not passing, Skillset offers a program online for preparing for the exam. If you want to purchase the Pro version, they have a pass guarantee and will pay for a second exam if you aren't successful with your first try. You can do it!!!
I guess it depends on where you want to go career-wise...
CISSP is much more a management level qualification and it strikes me from your description that you're more a technical, hands-on kind of guy.
If I were in your shoes so long as the role you're in doesn't demand it, I would get the SSCP under my belt with a view to getting CISSP later when you decide it's time to make that leap into a more senior or management role. Hey, having both qualifications can only make your resume that much more attractive to a potential future employer!
Good luck in whatever you choose