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Ccna

Discussion in 'Routing & Switching' started by spy22, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. spy22

    spy22 Byte Poster

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    Hey Guys,

    I am currently half way through a 12 month secondment in a Network team and previous to that I worked for 6 months in a Desktop support role. Obviously I have asked my colleagues these questions but want lots more opinions if possible guys!?

    Hopefully this secondment will end up as a full time position but in the meantime do I go for CCNA at my local university? Its a 32 week course 2 nights a week or what alternative routes/courses would you suggest!

    Before you ask, I am by no means an expert but im working with cisco routers (configs/maintenance/upgrades) daily, I work with the server team occaisionally, I work with about 7 of our remote sites/permission/ISA/SSH client bla bla bla but if this secondment was to end in 6 months what quals would stand me in the best position to get a job your opinions!?

    Thanks in advance guys!

    Regards
     
    Certifications: Its who you know not what you know!!!
    WIP: CCNA?
  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you work with Cisco routers in your job, why wouldn't you pursue the CCNA? :)

    That said, you don't HAVE to take a course. Many people knock it out with self study... just get a couple books, perhaps a lab guide, a simulator if you can't use production gear or if you don't have routers of your own, some legit practice exams... and you've got everything you need!
     
    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!
  3. spy22

    spy22 Byte Poster

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    Good point! haha. I suppose that is the route I want but after having a quick scan on here ive seen N+ etc thrown around and I dont want to put al my efforts into CCNA and come up against the 'not enough experience' senario.

    To be fair you have answered my question as I have all the materials I need in front of me but havent realised!!! I suppose I feel with a set out course there is more structure and support??

    Thanks for your response :biggrin
     
    Certifications: Its who you know not what you know!!!
    WIP: CCNA?
  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Here's what you need (in my opinion) to be a good candidate for the CCNA:
    1) Experience, however little, with administering Cisco devices in a real-world environment
    or
    2) An employer who is specifically asking for you to get certified before they start letting you touch their live gear.

    The CCNA is not (again, this is just my opinion) for someone who is looking for a job administering Cisco routers, but doesn't yet have any real-world experience administering them, nor is it for someone who doesn't have any real-world experience and is looking for their first IT job. Sadly, there are far too many of these folks wandering about out in the world. Fortunately, you are not one of them. :thumbleft

    Yep. A course will give you a structured timeline, an instructor's ear, and some classmates with whom you can do some people-networking (always valuable, particularly in this employment climate). However, there are some downsides:
    1) The primary one is obvious: the cost. Classes cost more than self-study. We instructor-types ain't cheap... and if we were, what kind of instruction do you think you'd receive? I can guarantee that you wouldn't want your class taught by the cheapest teacher! ;)
    2) The structured timeline is THEIR timeline, not yours. As such, it is at a time that is convenient for them, which isn't always convenient for you. If it is, that's great. However, they don't stop for life's little emergencies... if your child gets sick, that's tough... you've still got class and studying to do. Self-study allows you flexibility, but if you're not motivated, it's easy to procrastinate.
    3) You have to use the study tools (books, practice exams, routers, and/or simulators) that THEY have chosen, whether or not they're the best study tools available. Sometimes, they use the official courseware. Sometimes, they use stuff they've cobbled together on their own. With self-study, you choose what you use.

    That should pretty much address all the advantages and disadvantages with regards to classroom training versus self study. If you need support, motivation, or people with whom to network, that's what this forum is for. You would be hard-pressed to find a better group of experienced IT professionals, authors, and instructors than those you'll find here. :)
     
    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. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    Do Instructor led Courses really "cost more" than self study because self study "costs less" since the books, CBT's and kit are cheaper than most courses, my question is really this: In the long run which is the better route to take considering option time and money?

    I will stick my neck out here and say that I don't agree that self study is always cheaper in the long run in all senarios, having studied the MSCE (well half of it) over the duration of a year on my own I can say from personnal experience that self study ultimately in that particular circumstance cost me a lot of wasted time and money lost in potential earnings that I could have been making. Still this is one example that I draw from my own personnal expereince.


    Disclaimer: Before the wrath of the community decends on me just to clarify that yes I do run a training company. Regular members will know that I do not normal involve myself in these threads regarding the pros and cons of "ILT (Instructor led Training) v's Self Study".

    Sorry if the wording is a little off, I have spent all night fault finding a customers network and I am running on pure caffine
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  6. demarrer

    demarrer Byte Poster

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    I was wondering what are the differences between someone who has real world experience on cisco equipment and someone that can administer a router in a lab? What's so special about real world experience - Apart from the fact you realise that there is no nice documentation like in a lab scenario and the previous network admin has done a duff job in configuring the boxes and leaving the network in a mess :)
     
    Certifications: A+, Security +, CCNA, CCSA
    WIP: music, (dreaming of) CCIE Security :D
  7. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    If you mess up in the real world it's cost you your job plus more and you'll have to explain to your missus why you have been sacked, (Again)

    Nothing like real world!, the lab is a very controlled enviroment for the student and there as only so many variables in a lab, hence why we do the break fix sessions to try and give the student a taste of what is to come.

    But like a pilot in a simulator training for all senarios, how ever many hours he puts in, nothing will prepare him for the real thing until the real thing, engine failure and network failure will make a certain muscle in the lower body twitch enough to knit socks.

    The lab prepares you only to a point, nothing can prepare you for the chaos and pain of people barking at you to get the network back up, because to quote trading places:

    "pork belly prices have been dropping all morning."
     
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  8. BosonMichael
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    First, it's MCSE.

    Second, yes, it's almost always cheaper. If it's not... you're doing self-study wrong.

    Third, certifications don't often result in "higher earnings" unless you are getting the certification specifically to apply for a job or to get a promotion. Certifications are usually gotten well in advance of a job shift, and make the applicant more attractive to employers.

    Fourth, yes, it is possible to get certified faster by taking a class... but in my experience, classes go far slower than I learn. So it's faster for me to knock it out on my own. Other people will vary.

    Which is "better"? Like I attempted to relate in my comparison above, it depends on what is important to you.

    EDIT: No "wrath", here, by the way. Just want to make all the options and benefits clear to people so they can make a well-informed choice. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
    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. BosonMichael
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    Real-world data from real-world users... and real-world downtime and a real-world boss standing over your real-world shoulder while the real-world company loses real-world revenue while you try to fix a problem that isn't in a "real-world answer key". ;)

    When you get into these real-world situations, you will absolutely understand the difference, I promise you! :biggrin
     
    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!
  10. BosonMichael
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    Excellent post - repped. :)
     
    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!
  11. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    I must the only person in the world that can't spell an acronym, I have constant problems with OSPF, I always spell it OPSF.
     
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree
  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Nah... many people flip-flop the C and S in MCSE. Happens all the time on this forum. :)
     
    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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