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CCNA as my first cert - thoughts and help

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by Testarossa, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Testarossa

    Testarossa New Member

    Okay so i am taking a CCNA course (72 hour course spanning 2 months) and at the end taking the tests for either the 1 or 2 tests. I have no previous certs or experience in the field. However i am not stupid. I am wondering if i dedicate myself to this course, study daily & practice daily, will I be able to grasp all the concepts?

    Any help is appreciated, thanks
  2. jerry.paul1

    jerry.paul1 New Member

    Dedication is strongly recommended for having expertise in networking field. I'll suggest you to study theory for CCNA and practice labs on hardware or on Cisco Packet Tracer or GNS3 software. CCNA is not that easy but I wish you best of luck. If you need further guidance then contact me.
    I'll be happy to help you out.
    Thank You
    Certifications: CCIE (R&S
  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Do you work in IT mate?
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

    If you have no previous experience, never having touched a networking device i.es routers and switches you will find it very hard going.

    It depends what the 72 hours is, are they recorded videos or classroom? What practical work will you expected to do, on simulators or real kit.
    If you practice daily i would expect anyone to be practicing at least 2 hours per day on the labs getting as much hands on as possible.

    It's not about being smart or stupid but having the aptitude for networking, not everyone takes to it immediately, some people really, really struggle with simple concepts like VLAN's but totally understand OSPF and then are baffled by ACL's.

    End of the day, do the 72 hours, come back here and i will give you a lab to do if you fancy to gauge how well you have understood the concepts of networking.

    I wish you all the best, networking is the best, been doing it nearly 20 years and enjoy it more every day.


    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  5. Testarossa

    Testarossa New Member

    I would like to thank all of you for sharing your knowledge as it is greatly appreciated. I now have somewhat of an idea of what I'm getting myself into and starting to study and learn the info a month prior to the first class seems like a good idea. Cheers, I'll post back here about the class.
  6. Andras

    Andras New Member

    Hi there,
    I started to learn to the CCNA exam on my own from the CCNA Exploration book. It's really helpful but I suppose it won't be enough to pass the exam as it's only a book and contains no packet tracer labs or any other resources to learn. It's only usable to repeat the main topics before I start to attend a real course.
    So my question as which is the better possibility to prepare the following:
    1. I'd choose a curriculum with online video material where I can ask per online chat and my question will be answered online still in the videostream. The lab practices (via packet tracer) can be completed through a virtual environment of Cisco. There're no physical devices available on this course but in this case I'd buy some equipment on eBay. My other problem is that I don't receive any book format curriculum in order to review the things later if necessary, e.g. for the renewal of he certification in 3 years..
    This is the cheaper opportunity where I need to learn at home on my own which is absolutely not problem for me by the way.
    2. I'd take a "traditional" course which lasts 5 days (45 hours in all), where we have an instructor. It begins with theroretical knowledge then some demos and at the end the practical network building, of course instead of physical assets on virtual environment, packet tracer... you know.
    It much more expensive but I get the book format curriculum too.

    So what do you think, which would be the better from which points of view, more practice-orientated, cheaper etc.

    Thank you in advance and sorry if my english a bit strange, I'm from Hungary :)
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    Szia :)

    My advice would be to spend some time on Youtube watching various videos (not limiting yourself to CCNA but also anything Network+ related as well).

    The more you can take on board prior to going on training the better.

    The one thing I have to stress for the OP and you is that the CCNA isn't an entry level certification, having it won't suddenly open doors into the world of Networking, unfortunately it's more likely going to hinder than help, why? Well because things like the CCNA are there to prove experience and if you don't have it that should worry the person hiring you as a CCNA, after all your ****-ups could have a massive impact on the companies figures or it could quite literally cost someone their life (if you got a job at an NHS trust or Charity for example).

    Hiring managers want experience first, certifications second for the most part.
    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).
  8. Andras

    Andras New Member

    Hi :)
    Yes you're true, that's why I plan to buy some equipment after I've got the CCNA cert as the theoretical knowledge because it's obvious that companies are interested in hiring people with strong practical skills behind the cert too :) I just liked to know, which is the better: when I get the cert first and after that I take some devices to practice the expertise I learned or learning through video curriculum for a friendlier price and meanwhile buy some assets in order to practice as well :)
    Just because I think, I won't learn the practice side only from YouTubes-videos...
    Otherwise I suppose, everybody begins his career without any experience in the field he/she wants to discover.. Am I right? :)

    Thank you for your answer btw :)

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