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CCNA Self-Study

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by Gav, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    Hello all!

    I just made quite a lengthly post, but got disconnected from the internet as I clicked the post button, so here's a more concise version:

    Basically, I'd like to study for a CCNA at home (I don't really 'do' formal education), and I'd like some recommendations for books that I can study from. I've got quite a bit of experience and I know about the basics of IP Addressing, the OSI Model etc.

    I did look here http://certforums.co.uk/forums/thread3549.html - but either I've lost it or there are no books listed :blink

    Any help is appreciated :)

    Thanks,

    Gav
     
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Only study the CCNA if you are currently working with Cisco switches etc. The CCNA is meant for people who are already working in that area.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    Well I'd like to start working with them :biggrin
     
  4. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Ok, to be fair the Cisco site does say there aren't any prerequisites http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/le2/le0/le9/learning_certification_type_home.html

    However, your profile says your just doing A+ and tbh, you're gonna need at the very least N+ to have covered the networking side of things.

    You'll find there is a lot of experience here at CF - take note of the words from the wise. No employer would let you loose on their network without experience of working with Cisco equipment even if you did have the CCNA. Experience speaks volumes !
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    get your N+ first before going anywhere near the CCNA and get a job also, it's difficult and the pass mark is very high. I think 85%. Someone at my place is studying it but he has been working with cisco stuff for a couple of years.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. greenbrucelee
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    agreed
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
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  7. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    As GBL mentioned, the CCNA is meant for people who have experience with Cisco routers and switches, not for people who would like to start working with them. It sounds like you might have some basic networking knowledge and you're looking to expand that knowledge and learn about Cisco devices. If that's true, there's nothing wrong with studying the CCNA material to start becoming familiar with Cisco products and terminology. However, I would not recommend taking the exam until you've had a chance to get some "real life" experience with Cisco products. The CCNA exam is so broad and detailed that you won't have much of a chance to pass it without experience. Furthermore, passing the CCNA exam without experience will likely not help you in your career. It's fairly easy for hiring managers to pick out "paper CCNAs" which you would be if you passed the CCNA without experience.

    All that said, if you want to learn about Cisco products, I'd recommend picking up a Cisco Press book. The ICND1 book might be a good starting place. Even though the content is directed towards the ICND1 exam, there's some good Cisco-focused networking information in that book.
     
  8. HMSPresident

    HMSPresident Bit Poster

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    Whatever happened to the CCENT? I thought that was supposed to be the starting-place into Cisco certification nowadays? Is it not the equivalent of the N+?
     
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  9. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    Hmmm. Thanks for all the information. I think I'll purchase the ICND1 book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/CCENT-Offic...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224695717&sr=8-1), and see what it's like.

    Then I'll consider my options. Looking at the CCENT, it seems like an idea starting point for Cisco, although the N+ is probably a better 'general' starting point. I'll see what sort of content is in the ICND1 first, and go from there.

    Thanks again :)
     
  10. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    I know it’s already been said, but I’ll say it again. If you don’t at least have much networking background, get the N+. The Cisco material can move pretty fast and jump between topics while expecting you already have a base understanding. Just my 2-cents.
     
  11. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    Yes, the Network+ is most definitely a better general starting point. That's the approach I'd recommend taking.
     
  12. BosonMichael
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    Yes, that is the starting place into Cisco certification nowadays... but it's nowhere NEAR the equivalent of the N+. The N+ is for entry-level techs... the CCENT and CCNA are for network admins who are starting to work with Cisco gear.
     
    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!
  13. albertc30

    albertc30 Kilobyte Poster

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    Sorry greenbrucelee but I do not agree with you. I have done networking for a fairly long time and I must say I did not even knew what on earth was the OSI model reference, what were it's layers and what did they do/represent or meant, subnetting was like what is that? Never heard of it and more IOS from cisco? never heard of it and here I am, with no experience in the cisco IOS and I am enjoying myself and got the hang of it quite fast, before this I had never ever touched or seen a Cisco router or switch. At the end of the day it is down to how much do you like the subject, how much do you want it???
    If you want it go for it and get it mate.
    Take care you guys,
    Albert, C
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: 220-701 - A+
  14. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    I think for people starting out completely doing the CCNA would be a mistake.

    Take a concept called spanning tree for instance, or pvst+, this is a internal system that switches use when working with multiple switches, however for th eexam you need knowledge on how this works, for someone with a good idea of how a switch distributes traffic, then i think it would be a reasonably easy concept to grasp, but more importantly would be less frustrating, and less to digest, for me if you dive in too early you are likely to drown in a sea of terminology and half understood concepts.

    The CCNA is a difficult exam, it is also high pressured and highlights any weakness.

    The CCENT on the other hand is more appropriate, but I would highly recommend the network+ for the simple reason that you are not additionally learning the Cisco IOS you are learning, more generic networking, and that will do you more good, the CCENT is achievable after, that way you get to have a basis before you have to absorb the IOS.

    Admittedly some people can absorb knowledge, and if they feel they want to push the boundries then they are more than welcome to try.

    However I would say my learning path, and also my work experience path I have continually tried to build on knowledge, but I have also rehashed it, and that way the important concepts (im sick of re-reading subnetting for instance - at first it was daunting, now its a technique) really do stick, and thats whats important.

    When your in the field the less you rely on google, the more you will get the $$$'s
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  15. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Actually some techs who have IT experience but no *Cisco* experience could go for the CCNA if they are interested in trying to move their career towards supporting Cisco kit. No harm in that.

    The CCNA is not recommended for someone starting out in IT with no IT experience IMO.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
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  16. BosonMichael
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    GBL's point isn't that you can't do it, or that you won't find it interesting... GBL's point is that the certification won't be of much use to you in seeking employment (which is what certifications are for) if you don't have real-world Cisco 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!
  17. BosonMichael
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    Is it? I disagree. I don't know anyone just starting out who is responsible for working with routing protocols (RIP/OSPF/EIGRP), configuring/upgrading/troubleshooting Cisco devices, troubleshooting VoIP or DNS issues, working with serial WAN connections, implementing security, or - most importantly - touching a Cisco device at all.

    The CCENT isn't really designed to teach you networking... it's designed to teach you networking in the scope of Cisco router administration. If you want general networking knowledge, grab the Network+.

    Again, absorbing knowledge is fine. It's the certification that won't be of much use until you get real-world 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!
  18. AlDuck

    AlDuck New Member

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    Unfortunately, I am in the basket of people currently studying for their CCNA without any networking experience.... :oops:

    I have a tiny bit of basic knowledge, I am enjoying it and am confident of passing my exam when the time comes, however reading this forum has me in a panic over employment options once I am certified...

    Any suggestions on how one would go about gaining said experience?? I am willing to start from the bottom.. Will I need to step backwards and get my N+ once passing my CCNA exam? This seems counter-productive....

    Would an excellent exam score help employment prospects in a significant way?

    Many thanks in advance for any replies. :thumbleft
     
  19. greenbrucelee
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    Thats what I mean though, no experience then don't do CCNA but if you have been working in IT for a while especially networking then getting the CCNA would help move your career on.

    Paul the guy at my place who is studying CCNA at my work has loads of networking experience about 5 years worth now but he was saying to me that the CCNA is more complex than he thought it would be and he is learning things he didn't know before.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  20. BosonMichael
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    Start at the bottom, which has nothing to do with the CCNA. In fact, some entry-level employers won't hire you because you'll look 1) overqualified/overcertified, 2) too expensive, and 3) a potential flight risk (leaving the entry-level job for "something better" in a short amount of time). I'd recommend that you do what some others have done: leave the CCNA off your CV until you build your real-world experience to the point where the CCNA will do your CV some good. Or better yet... put off your CCNA studies. After all, you're going to have to recertify your CCNA within three years anyway... and if you don't use it... you WILL lose it.

    Getting the Network+ isn't counter-productive, since Network+ DOES have relevance to many entry-level jobs. Remember, certification isn't so you can learn new stuff (although you likely WILL learn new stuff when you study)... certification is so you can impress employers and gain an advantage over your competition. So in what way would getting the Network+ (which is relevant to entry-level jobs) be counter-productive?

    No. All the certification does is show that you were able to pass an exam with theoretical knowledge, not practical knowledge... and all a high score does is show that you knew the theory quite well. But without the real-world experience, most employers won't risk hiring you, particularly when experienced people ARE available. The only way to overcome a lack of experience is... getting experience. There are no shortcuts (unless you have an uncle who is an IT manager and willing to take a risk on hiring you).
     
    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!

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