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CCNA & MCSE

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Willy, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Hello to all.

    I have just signed up to this forum for some info really on CCNA and MCSE courses. I`m currently working as a Data Centre Engineer and AS400 programmer but as we all know the AS400 went out with the Ice Age.

    Although I`m installing kit and configurating it from scratch I don`t have any certifications to my CV just the 6 years experience but to the eye of an employer they like to see those certifications.

    So, I`m looking into doing the CCNA and MCSE. First of all I would like to hear peoples views on what is the best one firstly to take and how much these courses would cost me to self study them.

    If anyone has done these course via self study would they please advise me on the best sites to go with to actually take these courses.

    Any help would be very gratefull

    I also better add that I dont have any MSCE or CC qualifications, So I dont even know if the CCNA or MCSE is where to start - or does it depend on your current knowlegde on which level/course to start on?

    Kind Rgds

    Willy
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  2. ManicMonkey

    ManicMonkey Kilobyte Poster

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    Hello and welcome to CF :)

    Firstly what sort of experience do you actually have with XP / Servers.

    You say you have been doing Data Centre Engineering and installing from scratch does that mean the servers and clients from scratch?

    MCSE vs CCNA, hmm tough one that. It really depends upon how heavily you have been working with router setup compared to server setup.

    I was advised that its better to do MCSE course first and then go for the CCNA, simply because the MCSE covers the generalised networking (as well as 2 routing protocols) and the CCNA will go into a lot more detail about the networking configuration.

    However its again a decision you should make on based which you think your stronger at.
    (Or which you enjoy more)

    IF your going for a self study method all you really need do is get yourself some books, perhaps a cheap couple PC's at home and mess about with them. Read up and then use your own kit to practice on.

    The official MCSE course books (2 of these are the 70-270 for Windows XP and 70-290 for server 2003) will come with a 180 day copy of XP / Server so you can use them to practice with.

    For self study or learning in general im using Testout
    It gives you some nice little practicals, goes through each section in the books with an instructor talking to you (pre-recorded video clips) and has some exams you can do.

    A lot of people say that Transcenders are quite good exam prep, however they are a lot harder than the actual Microsoft exams.

    (Oh and btw im on a MCSE training course atm - do it self study :) its the way forward)
     
    Certifications: MCSE
    WIP: Exchange, Share point - MOM as well
  3. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Hi Manic,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have been installing kit as from starting with an empty floor to
    Power
    Cabs
    Server builds
    Racking
    Patching
    PDUs
    Software installs
    Hardware upgrades
    Fault finding

    But not really configuration of all of this kit. i.e firewalls, switches, routers etc that is what i need to get into configurating. Windows server 2003 is OK, but always room for improving.
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Considering you've already built a bit of real-world IT experience (which is what I would suggest before pursuing the CCNA or MCSE), you should be good to go for either.

    Which do you currently use more? Which do you currently know more about? Which interests you more? What do you want to be doing in a couple of years? The answers to all of these questions will influence your decision as to which to pursue first.

    Keep in mind that the CCNA is achieved by taking either one "consolidated" exam or two separate exams. The MCSE requires SEVEN. That may also influence your decision.

    That said, I assume you will eventually pursue BOTH. And why not? That's the best plan, overall.

    Typically, I recommend that newbies pursue the A+, Network+, MCDST, and lower-level certifications. However, I assume that you are already well grounded in these technologies. If you don't know the material covered in these exams, they might be worth checking out (especially the Network+ before you take the CCNA - you need to be able to subnet in your head before trying the CCNA). If you already know the material, and you've got the money you can spend on these lower-level exams, it should take no time at all to knock these out; but if you're on a budget, they're certainly not required.

    I've gotten all of my certifications (see signature, below) through self-study and on-the-job experience. Haven't taken a training course for any of them. I generally use self-study books and practice exams to see if I'm ready for the live exam.

    Welcome to the forums!
     
    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!
  5. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Great reply Boson thk you. That is some great advice I am on a buget as i`ll be paying for all of this my self and reading some of these threads it doesn`t look cheap for these exams I am going to try and get my company to pay for some of the fees, but i`m not counting on them :rolleyes:

    I think I maybe will take a look at the + exams to see what they are involved in and I defo like the sound of "Self Study" and just sitting the exams when I`m ready, this will again lower the cost for me.

    Very well done on completing all of the courses.

    Which are the best books for self study for the MCSE?


    As far as current Qualifications which i have are a GNVQ and HND in Computing and programming. It seems as though I have 6 years experience in a D.C but I need to get this experience on paper as I`m finding it hard to progress further in my career. Agencies and employers like to see Certifications from what I`ve been told.
    Thks again.
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Here are my book preferences:
    For A+: A+ All-in-One Sixth Edition by Meyers, and PC Technician Street Smarts by Pyles (tripwire45, himself!)
    For Network+: Sybex's Network+ Study guide
    For Microsoft exams: Microsoft Press and Sybex
    For Cisco exams: Cisco Press and Sybex
     
    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!
  7. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Thks Boson - i`ll check those books out.

    Sorry for all the questions....but where do you get practice exams from?
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Well, I write practice exams for a living (check Boson Software), so my opinion is quite biased! In fact, I'm currently managing the new CCNA product line that should be out in the next couple months.

    I used to write for another large practice exam company for many years, but I voluntarily left due to outsourcing content to India and a lack of attention to quality on the company's part.
     
    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!
  9. Toadeh

    Toadeh Nibble Poster

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    There are loads of CBT's for cisco online if you search hard enough. Always worth a google neways. I did CCNA at Uni, its a bizare one cause they can ask about anything (rather like 70-536) but its not too bad. However, it does seem like a massive sales pitch from cisco all the way through :) Good fun though, I got a second hand router off ebay for £20 and practiced doing the configs on that.
     
    Certifications: BSc(Hons), MCTS Web Development
  10. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Thks for the reply mate. Once I get setup with books etc (guy I work with is bringing me in aload of study info) I`ll have a look. Just had a quick browse on ebay and your right £20-£40 nice one!.
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  11. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  12. NetEyeBall

    NetEyeBall Kilobyte Poster

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    You will need at least 3 routers if you want to go down the Cisco road (plus cables, WIC cards or T1 cards) and 3 switches for a decent CCNA Lab.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, A+, N+, MCSE 4.0, CCA
    WIP: CCDA, CCNP, Cisco Firewall
  13. Headache

    Headache Gigabyte Poster

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    I've never used a 1600 series before, but this one doesn't look like it has a serial port. For any router to be worth the hassle, it has to have at least 2 serial ports and one ethernet or fastethernet port. Plus you've also got to be able to swop the modules around as needed. I'll suggest you get something bigger like a 2600 or a 3600 for example. Also, as NetEyeBall said, you need to bear in mind that for your CCNA lab you're gonna need more than just one router. Infact you'll probably need about three or four, plus a couple of switches at least.

    Take a look here to get an idea:

    http://www.ciscokits.com/index.php
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  14. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    I`ve spoken to a chap from Computeach today and even though I`ve had 6 yrs experience in a Network Engineers role, have access to kit at work and will be getting a test lab set up at home. He still advises me to take the full course with them and that it isn`t possiable to just do the exam.

    His words were "this CCNA course is just to hard to self study"
    CUMON!! he`s joking right?.

    I just feel he`s trying to sales pitch me?

    Rgds

    Willy
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  15. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Sale = Commission for salesman.

    Opinion of others on forum = no comission for anyone.

    You do the maths! 8)
     
  16. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    The CCNA is a difficult course and or exam to pass does need a lot of hands on and hard work. I still think though that it very do able via self study just don't take it lightly.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  17. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    can`t beleave this!

    After him telling me I need to take the course blah blah blah and him also saying you can`t sit the test with out enroling on the course. I`ve phoned him back to ask how I go about booking the exam etc etc and he said

    "sorry don`t know" and hung up! (shocked)

    So he works for Computeach and he has no contact or info on how to book a exam for CCNA - Mmmmm?

    What a **** - well thats put me off already
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA
  18. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

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    I self studied the CCNA back in 2001 and i'm studying for it again right now before i embark on the CCNP.... it can definately be done.... as long as you have some hands on too :D

    As for the exams you can sit those at any time that YOU choose and are completely independant of courses.... dont be fooled by a salesman! :blink :)
     
    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  19. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    If you want to know how to go about booking an exam, or any help in studying for it then just ask us lot here. None of us get paid a penny for helping others. We do it because it helps everyone and no doubt that as you progress in your studies Willy you will be able to help others too. 8)
     
  20. Willy

    Willy Bit Poster

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    Cheers guys.

    I think i`m at the right place here. Just P`s me off these people just out to grab your money, seems as though thats all there bothered about and when anything esle comes there way they don`t want to know.

    I`m sure i`ll have lots of questions to be answered over the next few months.

    Cheers

    Willy :biggrin
     
    Certifications: Self Study - CCNA & MCSE
    WIP: CCNA

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