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CCNA/CCNP Help

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by fofusion, May 25, 2007.

  1. fofusion

    fofusion Bit Poster

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    Hi there.

    I have been wanting to do some form of certification to help me in my future career. I've finally decided on some form of Cisco training.

    I would like to study for the CCNA and the CCNP.

    I've done some searching on the forum and most people seem to just do the CCNA - I've noticed it's harder to get in the door so you have to work your way up. Is it much easier with a CCNP?

    I had originally thought about SkillsTrain but I'm having my doubts. I would like to do it on my own but I think it would be good having someone to contact if I were to get stuck on something and need a little help. Plus there's the added benefit of having it feel like there's someone looking over your shoulder.

    Anyway I am finding it hard looking for good information on what I need equipment wise/resources/other stuff.

    Also could anyone give me a ballpark figure of how much I should expect this to cost me if I were to do it on my own. Obviously the equipment is a bit complicated to estimate but I'm thinking of spending £300-£500 initially for the CCNA and maybe adding a few things to my rack when I go onto the CCNP.

    I am a pretty advanced when it comes to computers/technology - I've set up various servers, cisco voip phones (on asterisk) and all sorts of stuff like that.

    I have a rather complicated home network (http://www.fofusion.co.uk/uploads/network.jpg) but its nothing overly fancy so I would like to know how much you need to know before starting the CCNA - does it start assuming you have zero/little knowledge?

    I appreciate any replies - sorry for the long post ;-)

    Thanks, Have a great day!
    Barry
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: VCP, CCNP, CCNP Data Centre
  2. Headache

    Headache Gigabyte Poster

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    I've only just started to study for the CCNP myself, so there isn't a lot I can tell you on the subject. Personally, I think you should just concentrate on the CCNA for now, because, trust me, the CCNA is a handful all by itself. Planning for the CCNP before you've completed your CCNA is like trying to run before you can walk IMO.

    In answer to some of your other questions, all I can say is that before I started studying for the CCNA, I had approximately zero background in IT. I didn't study the for A+ or N+ or anything like that. I started studying the CCNA from scratch. Took me almost six months from start to Cert. Based on your IT background, I feel you'll probably complete it in half the time I did.

    As for reading material, most people prefer Sybex and Cisco press. But for me, the CCNA study Guide by Richard Deal is what I used.

    Equipment wise, I'll recommend maybe 4 cisco routers and at least 2 catalyst switches. For the routers, if you can afford it, go for the 2600 and 3600 series. Regarding the switches, if you're really considering going for the CCNP after your CCNA, then the 2950s by themselves just wouldn't cut it. You're also gonna need a couple of 3550s or 3560s or 3750s. But these can be very expensive. That's why I'm saying forget about the CCNP for now and just concentrate on the CCNA.
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  3. fofusion

    fofusion Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the response.

    When you were studying for the CCNA were there times where you needed help or did you find that all the books covered absolutely everything so you didn't need someone?

    I got in touch with a guy on eBay who has been recommended on these forums and he's helping me out equipment wise.

    I'm really thinking that self studying is going to be the better option. Especially seen as there seems to be a lot of negative things about Skillstrain.

    Thanks
    Barry
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: VCP, CCNP, CCNP Data Centre
  4. Headache

    Headache Gigabyte Poster

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    Self-study is the way to go. The books do cover a lot. But I also got (and get) a lot of help from other CF members. Also I try to help others as much as I can. Now that you've joined, if at any point you run in trouble and need help, this is the place to come.
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  6. fofusion

    fofusion Bit Poster

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    Thank's mate I appreciate your help. ;-)

    :-D

    Yeh I love my stuff :-)

    But I'm probably not alone ;-) Ha ha.


    Barry
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: VCP, CCNP, CCNP Data Centre
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep, self-study is the way to go. All my certifications were achieved through self-study and on-the-job work experience.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. fofusion

    fofusion Bit Poster

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    I am hoping for someones opinion on what I should do.

    I've been accepted into Glasgow Caledonian University (apparently has a reputation for its computing degrees and the woman said to me they have links with Cisco). I would be studying Computing with specialised streams.

    I am considering whether to study at Uni then do CCNA/CCNP certification later (I would do it at the same time but I cant imagine being able to find the time to have Uni, a job and study for certification)

    Obviously the Cisco certification is more relevant than a university degree but would I be doing myself a disservice by not going to Uni?

    I've done a lot of research and obviously no employer is going to trust a newbie with their equipment straight away but those posts were all from people who have just got CCNA's would this seriously improve my chances of getting a decent job right away or much sooner? I just cant see myself doing tech support without hanging myself ;-)

    Obviously it'll depend on how lucky I get in finding a job but do you think i'd either get the job I trained for if I went to uni then after uni done the CCNA/CCNP or would I still have to spend a few years working my way up?

    I'm thinking I could do the CCNA then the CCNP then try finding a job that I want, failing that go to uni a year later (its only a year) then reapplying for a job - obviously I'd need to renew my CCNP after 3 years though.

    Thanks
    Barry
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: VCP, CCNP, CCNP Data Centre
  9. NetEyeBall

    NetEyeBall Kilobyte Poster

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    Personally...I would go to Uni. Get a good education. While your at Uni..study for your CCNP. That way you will both have a great education and also your CCNP certification. During summer break see if you can intern working with networking since you will have at least your CCNA working on your CCNP.

    Just my .02 cents. I don't regret my degree at all. I wish I worked harder at uni though. Perhaps an engineering degree or medical degree. In any event, Uni is something you shouldn't miss. You will have the rest of your life to work in a job. Uni only comes around one usually.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, A+, N+, MCSE 4.0, CCA
    WIP: CCDA, CCNP, Cisco Firewall
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    What he said ! :biggrin

    You are at the best time to goto Uni as you get older it will only get harder ! If you want a degree I'd strongly reccomend you go now rather than put it off. Yes you can get placements over the summer to help with costs and hopefully get relevant experience, remember to check out the careers section at college well before the break, some courses even have placement years.

    The pace on the first two years isn't always that hectic, plus you get alot of holidays so theres no reason you couldn't pick up a couple certs along the way especially as 50% of the content may be covered by the course if you are lucky.

    You have the rest of your life to work and earn money !

    Uni offers alot, social clubs, sports etc, be sure to check as much out as you can while you are there, I know i didn't find out alot until the final year when it was too late !

    As for wishing about harder degrees, I worked really hard on my HND and degree, picking all the hardest modules I could, but yes I sometimes wish I'd done a maths degree now despite the fact I'd probably of hated it !
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. fofusion

    fofusion Bit Poster

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    Thanks for your opinions :-)

    I suppose I kinda knew the answer I just wanted to make sure it was worthwhile before going to Uni and having it cost me so much money.

    Thanks
    Barry
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: VCP, CCNP, CCNP Data Centre
  12. Pablo1888

    Pablo1888 Byte Poster

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    Hi mate,

    I'm studying CCNA at Caledonian (all be it part-time) and would recommend it. The fact being, that you have hands on experience with the hardware and you have the tutors and fellow students for backup if things aren't clear. I have went down the self-study route and found myself getting demotivated easily, where as this way I am forced to do the work to keep up. There is also other benefits such as access to Netlab which enables you to connect into the routers and switches remotely and configure them from home or work (if you get the time or the boss isn't looking). :tune

    Hope this is of some help. If you have any more questions just give me a shout and I'll answer them if possible.
     
    Certifications: MOUS Master, MCP 70-210, A+
    WIP: CCNA
  13. fofusion

    fofusion Bit Poster

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    That's awesome

    Thank you for your reply.

    I never knew they did the CCNA at Caledonian - I'm actually waiting on them to get back to me with proper information about the course I'm doing because their website is lacking.

    And I think I have an old version of the prospectus.

    Barry
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: VCP, CCNP, CCNP Data Centre

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