@Joshua-Havins & @Andreas-Hoffmann ,
I hope you are both well. So it is an interesting set of questions that you both have posed, and like most great questions, there is not one single great answer.... :)
What I mean is that it really depends on what you are looking to do, or accomplish, as part of taking one or more exams in any given knowledge area.
#1. If you are looking to gain skills and build, or pursue, a career path that is targeted at becoming a Red Team/Pen Test professional, then that is one thing.
#2. If you are looking to build a broad ranging set of skills in the security arts and areas, and ARE NOT focused on becoming a specialist in any one area as part of your career path, then that is another thing.
#1 is a path that sees you going deep in a very narrowly defined area and becoming a specialist in that area as you acquire/build ever deepening skills as a hands-on practitioner.
#2 is a path that sees you building a broader base of skills across multiple areas of knowledge and practice, and while you may choose to specialize in one or more over time, you are looking to gain broad knowledge about many things as you figure out what will be of interest to you.
With that being said, to Andres's point, there is a hierarchy of skill and knowledge that exists in ALL things, and as a result, the smart people pay attention to it in order to understand how to build successfully as they build/acquire knowledge.
No exam is a "waste of time", because you are studying and acquiring knowledge, and hopefully retaining and applying that knowledge over time. HOWEVER, there are exams that are more or less valuable to you at any particular point of your plan, or growth curve, depending on where you are, and where you want to be...
The EC-Council CEH exam is a good base exam, as it has a broad area of knowledge and skills that it draws on for it's coverage, BUT, it is relatively shallow in any/all of those areas in terms of detail and application of skills.
The CompTIA PenTest+ and CySA+ exams are also a very good set of exams that offer a great set of skills and knowledge areas for you to learn about and apply. A bit narrower in focus than the CEH exam, but a bit deeper in the areas focused on.
The OSCP certification is a very very very deep technical exam that seeks to blend knowledge and application of skill together in one experience. It is one of the more difficult exams currently available, and is not something that a security focused professional attempts until they have put in a significant amount of study time, hands-on time doing Capture The Flag (CTF)'s, hack challenges, etc... to understand how to synthesize and apply their knowledge in a focused, practical, creative and time bounded way to accomplish successfully a series of hack the box challenges over a 24 hour period as well as writing up a full report documenting all of their activity.
My point is that exams are not a one-size fits all thing, lots of people do them, but they do them, or do not do them, for a very wide array of reasons.
Focus on what your end result(s) that you are hoping to achieve should be, and then work backwards to plan the best career path, and the supporting elements like exams that will play a crucial part in helping you to achieve them.
Take lots of people's opinions into account/under advisement, but, at the end of it all, you need to do what seems to make sense for you at the time.
I have never had a student, or an employee, come to me in over 35 years, and tell me that they regretted taking an exam.
I have had A LOT of people come to me over the years and tell me that they regretted NOT TAKING an exam, as it was a missed opportunity, often in hindsight, to accomplish something, or to be positioned to accomplish something that they wanted to do, but just did not see that connection at the time.
Good luck to you both...