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Advice on where to begin!

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by Podium, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. Podium

    Podium New Member

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    Hi, I'm after a bit of advice please. I'm a network manager at an academy and am shortly being made redundant, I am Microsoft certified (MCITP) but have limited knowledge of Cisco. Most jobs I'm looking at require Cisco qualifications therefore I'm looking to get some Cisco certifications, my question is do I have to start at CCENT or can I go straight to CCNA?

    Ideally I'm looking at attending boot camp rather than online courses so would appreciate recommendations on training agencies, I used Firebrand for my Microsoft training.

    Thanks
     
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Surely only you can answer as to your skill set but as a network manager I would honestly expect you to be CCNA certified with a view to being more CCNP\CCIE level (certainly the network managers I have all met fell in to that kind of skill set).

    One thing you don't mention is whether you want to stick with being a network manager or something else?
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. RS91

    RS91 New Member

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    Can you still take CCENT or is CCENT retired? I also would like to start taking cisco certification but not sure where to start. any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    It sounds like you're more of a general IT manager to me. If you look for IT Team Leader or Team Manager see what that brings up. Could just be you're more of a Windows networking orientated guy in your place. Before you go getting a CCNA I'd check what roles out there sound like the one you do as "Network Manager" can be quite generic in some firms from the admittedly small amount of looking around I've done. Then again to me as above, a Network Manager is an ex Network professional (CCNA/CCNP) who's moved into management. Just have a look around before jumping into that cert mate as it might be really heavy going. If you still want to go for it get asking questions about the content on here, there are loads of CCNA certified peeps
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  5. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    As a newly minted manager (very hands on techy really) I can attest to the fact that as a specialised manager I am expected to know the stuff my guys are on about, yes I have a few VCP's but actually I am working towards my VCAPs still when in theory I don't really need to.

    It's better in my opinion to have a really good manager who understands technology but then realises he doesn't need to know everything.

    I have to admit that I do wonder whether I will take a step back next role and go do more techy stuff again because the management side can be quite time consuming and dare I say it... boring. That's not to say I have had it easy, my management experience in the last 9 months as included an engineer who quite simply disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen by us again. Another engineer decide right at the last minute that he was going to stay working for his current employer because they just upped his salary by 15k (3 days before he was due to start with me after having gone through hoops to employ him as he did a disappearing act after his interview (apparently went away on holiday for 2 weeks without telling anyone at the agency and him begging to be employed by us after that became known).
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  6. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I agree entirely mate. I also think it gets you respect from your squad if they know you've been through what they are going through. We used to have a manager who wasn't a good server engineer and he didn't do as well as he should have, I think because the lads knew he would shy away from tricky situations when he was an engineer.
    I think it's great you can still be hands on. All of our managers are hands off, literally all of them. If you go management in our place you'll never click a button again. I've recently gone into Architecture where I hoped I'd get a mix of design with the occassional hands on but it's not working out that way. I don't know if it's just our place but to be honest with you I feel like a technical author, so I'm having doubts if this is for me. Couple that with me yet to do any server related proposals.... its fair to say things aren't floating my boat at the moment. I'm not sure what the heck I can do about it other than go back technical. Which I can do. Will take a few months to transition back but really unsure at the moment. It's only month 5 so I've been hoping to see more, no any, Citrix, VMware or Windows.... nothing yet :(
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Jim it's not just your place, our architecture guys are all hands off.

    I was also told when I was promoted to manager that I was expected to be hands off but due to the size of my team that they would understand me being a hands on manager.

    We are going through a fairly major architecture change at our place, looking at potentially ripping out all the VMware work we did over the last couple of years and replacing it with OpenStack, not my preference or choice and obviously leaves me somewhat at the mercy of the underlying virtualisation stack (looking to be RedHat, again skills I don't have).

    My current team are all VMware accredited enginners so things as a whole are looking somewhat bleak for us but it could also be another thing to add to my CV. It's just somewhat frustrating to be told that the project you delivered failed.. when in actual fact it didn't at all. OpenStack isn't ready for what my company want to do but getting steered from the top to do it, even tho there are people there who have experienced it failing before.

    Like you I am unsure at the moment.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
    jk2447 likes this.
  8. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Well, it really depends on what you're comfortable with... I think it's easier to go with CCENT then ICND2, but at the same time, if you already have experience with Cisco equipment, then CCNA exam might be the better choice.

    The bootcamp training is typically aimed at those who have the experience of the topic being taught. So depending on your skillset it might be really difficult or you will get through it quite easy. It's also expensive, so make sure you get the most out of it. Don't rely on it alone just to pass the exam. Take your time to really understand the topics.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  9. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    A true solution architect role is always going to be hands off... unless the role is very dynamic... I work as a consultant, and sometimes I act as an Architect, other times and Integrator, SME, etc... I've worked for a very large manufacturer in the past and the Architects there were all hands off. Their role was more focused and tied in with the Director/VP. Their job was to have one foot in the business and the other in IT and work with the leadership team to come up with a solution. But the implementations were either outsourced to a consulting firm or to the internal IT team.

    You really have to like it to be good at it. Personally, I love architecture and if I did it full time, I'd be fine with it. I don't mind doing diagrams and writing documentation, but at the same time I have a full blown lab at home, so I am never really hands off per se.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    The OpenStack stuff sounds like a fun project, but to rip and replace VMware with OpenStack? that I am not so sure about. I am sure you'll face challenges that will make you think outside the box ;)

    Like you said, good to have on a CV. I am also wondering, why not just do small scale deployment, see how you guys like and move from there? Doing one big rip and replace would be a HUGE risk, unless I misunderstood :)
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  11. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah I mean I probably sound daft because I did know it would be hands off, I did my research and worked hard to get the role. I guess I underestimated how much I like getting my hands dirty. Even if I had 5% of that in my role I'd see things differently. I think also because I'm so busy I'm not getting the time I'd like to learn. Everything I'm learning at the moment is really under pressure, never having time to stop and read a book or white paper, there's always too much work for that. I'm not sure what's best to do. I might grow to like it more but at the moment it's constant visio, excel and word. I enjoy the commercial and business element but not loving being this high up. In our place we have Technical Architects that aren't as business / cost orientated. I'm wondering if that would have been a better move. They occassionally get some hands on, certainly more time to read than write.

    ** I think also the fact that I'm not seeing any server work at the moment has me rattled a little. I worked hard to get my VCP4/5 so I'm worried those will be a waste now.... and my MCSE, CCA etc
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  12. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    The Technical Architects at your current place do the low level designs right?
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  13. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Mostly High Level Designs HLDs but occasional Low Level LLDs. In our place, I'm a Solution Architect so I do the early engagement when a request comes in, I scope the requirements and produce a proposal, a separate internal costs spreadsheet and a Solution Design Doc SDD. From there it goes to a PM, who'll get a TA to create the HLD if one is required, not always for resource only, simple proposals etc. Usually a SME or specific TA that will do the LLD so project engineer or Wintel Architect, Storage Architect etc.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  14. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I'm in the heavens at the start of the process basically, which don't get me wrong, in some ways is great. I'm just wondering if I should have weened myself from technical by going into what we call, Technical Engineering, who produce our standards, gold builds etc. Or possibly Wintel TA, who just does LLD's in all things Server but occasionally gets pulled in on Major Incidents, before going TA then seeing out my days in the clouds as an SA. I don't know if my role is different elsewhere, I'd imagine it must be, but right now I don't see how I'll stay sharp enough to tackle something like a VCAP. I just don't get enough hands on. Am I being daft? Is that the case and you guys lab your way to success? I have a lab of course but I've not touched it for months :S

    **Edit: sorry to pour my heart out a bit there, just plays on my mind a lot at the moment as I'm sure you can tell ha ha :S
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  15. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Sorry I missed this somehow. Glad it's not just me mate. We just love getting stuck in don't we. I'm not really going to be able to get the low level experience I need when I work at a high level.... unless I'm just needing more time and more proposals to roll by
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  16. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Well, don't feel discouraged... I mean I have colleagues who've done their VCAPs and they are not technical anymore, that's what the labs are for ;) ...

    You can always start with VCAP-DCD which is more design oriented and ease your way into DCA at some point later on. I know Craigie is not much hands on anymore either, but he's done his VCAPs, just labbed a lot and figured it out.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
    jk2447 likes this.
  17. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Cheers Prof, that is great to hear to be honest with you. I think possibly a combination of non server work plus being placed on an extremely busy account has given me the impression I won't be able to carry on with advanced certs like the VCAP. I suppose if I do well at this role I might have a few spare pennies to up my lab. It's a bit of a mad max cobbled together job at the moment. Thank's though Prof that is good to hear mate.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
    Theprof likes this.
  18. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    For sure! Also there are Hands on Labs which are free :)

    If you have any lab design/config questions, don't hesitate and let me know if I can help out in any way.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
    jk2447 likes this.
  19. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Cheers Prof I do appreciate it mate. I probably just need to get through the initial shock of not clicking buttons and get my fix in the lab. I'm in the unfortunate position of taking a little drop in cash initially to make this move but once I get back up to speed I'll splash out on a decent lab. I'm fine setting everything up but I'll definitely give you a shout on what kit to buy I think.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  20. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Sounds good!
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA

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