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Different Routes to CCNA?

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by pmidds, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. pmidds

    pmidds Bit Poster

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    First time poster here so please be gentle! I've spent over 6 years in desktop support and feel that its time to do something different. I've decided that a CCNA is my next step, but how is my question. I've read through a lot of the other threads and see it obviously boils down to 3 options. 1 - self study, I've ruled this out as I did it for one of MCP's and I found it very difficult to motivate myself. That leaves boot camp or at a college.
    Doing it a college appeals as its cheaper and not so intensive (and Sunderland Uni has a proper Cisco lab). But this takes nearly a year to complete. However, a 5 day boot camp seems like an expensive way of doing it especially if I fail.
    How good are these boot camps? Are their pass rates any good?
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Certifications: MCP 70-210; 70-290; ITIL Foundation v.3
    WIP: MCSE? or CCNA?
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hi and welcome to CF!

    The general rule with boot-camps is that you should know the material fairly well before going, otherwise you are likely to be left behind!

    If, for example, you have difficulty with sub-netting, the instructor usualy won't stop the lecture to explain it another way.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you've never worked on Cisco equipment before, there's NO way you'll be able to learn everything you need to know for the CCNA in 5 days... and even if you were force-fed questions and answers to be able to pass the exam, you wouldn't be qualified to support Cisco equipment in the field... it's just not possible.

    If you refuse to go the self-study route, I'd highly encourage you to sign up for a long course at a community college... one where you can take the time to fully digest the material in between classes.

    Best of luck to 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!
  4. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Welcome to the forums.

    I took the CCNA academy course at school (not the boot camp) and it was hard. At the time that I took the course I already had to certs which are A+ and N+ I knew the basics of networking and I still found the CCNA fairly challenging.

    Each person learns differently though. One who finds something hard another person might find it easy. Its like they say if you don't know something its always hard.

    You have experience so I am sure you are at a better understanding of certain topics then I was when I took the course. I think it is best to look over the topics and skim through some KB articles on the Cisco site to understand at least what CCNA is all about.

    Good luck with the studies though.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  5. jackson

    jackson New Member

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    After reading the replies here, I found that living in a small city like Hong Kong also have its advantage, as weve got so many traning centres all around here.

    Back to the topic, pmidds, no matter what route you choose, pls aware that 640-801 will be eliminated, last exam date is 20071106, unless you passed on or before that day, you have to take 640-802 which new topics added, e.g. VoIP,DHCP, DNS, VPN, IPv6, RSTP, Wireless and Route Security.

    Estimate yourself whether you can pass before that day or started your CCNA on 640-802, as I know, Cisco Press has already published its first book for 640-802, it is "CCNA Portable Command Guide - 2nd Edition" in Mid July (dont take 1st Edition, its for 640-801)

    piidds, enjoy you learning and one take pass !
     
  6. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    I'd recommend doing it with Sunderland Uni.

    I did it as part of my degree and the cisco instructors were top notch. 8)

    Yes it takes longer, but you will retain more information than if you try to cram it all in over a short period.

    8)
     
  7. ciscopaul

    ciscopaul Bit Poster

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    Hi,

    I do strongly disagree with some of the options I read on this and similar sites.

    I would never say that a person cannot learn what they need to know to pass the CCNA in 5 days. It all depends on your ambition level, previous knowledge and if you find it easy to learn command line interface. Some people with logical minds can absorb the CLI syntax very quickly.

    Home study is fine if you are highly motivated, have access to live kit and can ask questions of the instructor by phone or e-mail.

    The Cisco academy route is a long and hard path and by all accounts you have to check that the instructor knows what they are talking about, hasn't just passed the CCNA themselves and that you have plenty of access to Cisco equipment. I have had many students arrive on my CCNA course feeling very let down that they studied for a year and came away with nothing or not much.

    The bootcamp route is good if you are prepared to pre-read, work hard on the course and then study for 2 hours per day afterwards. Make sure on the course you attend you get:

    Small numbers
    Your own rack of kit
    Personal time with the trainer if needed
    Ability to resit the course if you need to (for free)
    Free after course support

    I hope it helps. I would be very wary when you read strong opinions of people on these sites who say you can't do this or doing it that way won't work. Your circumstances are unique and so you must be the best judge of what is or is not right for you.

    Thanks

    Paul Browning

    www.howtonetwork.net
    www.subnetting-secrets.com
    www.networksinc.co.uk
     
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yeah, I would guess you'd have something to gain by providing that (mis)information. :thumbdwn

    Thanks for the advertisement. :rolleyes:
     
    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. ciscopaul

    ciscopaul Bit Poster

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    I'm not going to argue with anyone sir.

    I feel people should be encouraged and supported when they want to achieve something rather than well meaning people try to 'tell them how it really is'. Why not raise the bar rather than trying to dash peoples hopes?

    Lets leave egos out of it. I don't need to prove anything on this or other forums by putting a string of letters after my name. I posted to help others so lets concentrate on that.

    Thanks

    Paul

    www.howtonetwork.net
    www.subnetting-secrets.com
    www.networksinc.co.uk
     
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Because "raising the bar" and encouraging people to get the CCNA without experience can cause them to NOT be considered for entry-level jobs because they have the CCNA (if you want to know why, there are plenty of other posts here on this matter), and they WON'T be considered for a networking job because they don't have experience. Believe what you want, but that's what happens in the "real world". Thus, your "help" can actually damage someone's IT career.

    I'm not dashing hopes... I'm giving them hope by telling them that you don't need the CCNA from ground zero to get a solid start in IT.

    Not sure where the "string of letters" comment came from, as I didn't bring that up. Doesn't matter what letters I have after my name. I know what employers want because I've been there, done that.

    My track record speaks for itself - I have no need to prove myself to these good people because they know me. You, on the other hand, are a relative unknown, posting 5 posts in three years, giving bad advice on how people should get certified regardless of impact to their careers, and advertising THREE of your websites where you sell your services (against the advertising policy of these forums, by the way: link).

    So there's no "ego" to it, mate... sounds like you are trying to promote your services through bad advice - advice that any other training school would give just to sell their classes... and THAT'S what I've got a problem with. :dry
     
    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. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    BM has made some excellent points! Besides, he's not the person with a string of websites after his name!

    Please take the sales pitch somewhere else! You'll find that BM and the CF community have a real interest in providing sound and FREE advice.
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  12. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Gee. Something tells me this thread could use a little moderation. First off pmidds, I apologize that your thread's been hijacked away from it's original course but hope that some of what's been posted here has been useful.

    I agree with Harry that boot camps are designed for people who already possess the relevant skill sets but need to organize the information relative to taking an exam because their job requires they have the letters after their name.

    Also please remember that certifications, at least ideally, are supposed to represent what you already know rather than a means to learn. Going the 5-day route via boot camp *might* give you what you need to pass an exam but this isn't about passing an exam, it's about establishing that you have the skills to perform in a career. If you don't retain the information in the long run, you won't be able to do the job.

    I'd recommend the Cisco academy as well. Sure, it takes longer, but you are more likely to retain the information and transfer the skills into a work environment. There's no such thing as a "quick fix" or a "free lunch" as far as learning skills you want to turn into a job.

    Ciscopaul, the jury is still out on how we handle advertising on this site. I don't want to discourage talented professionals from contributing to the forums and providing insight however, if your presence here is only to drum up business rather than becoming part of the community, it's not particularly encouraged.

    BosonMichael obviously works for Boson and so part of his contribution involves his company but he also is a contributing member of this forum and provides good input on a variety of subjects beyond just the business he works for.

    Being a member of a discussion forum is not a right, it's a privilege.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  13. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    CCNA in a year will enable you to learn everything & let it sink in.
    You will get plenty of time to digest all the things you need to learn & have more of a chance to pass CCNA first time.

    Buy a couple of CCNA books and learn now so when you start your ready.

    As for the great sub netting myth there are various on line sites that offer you the secret to it.
    They are ALL a waste of money including those that offer a 'money back guarantee' & i'm still waiting for mine!

    So some who tell you their way is the best are talking rubbish, if adverts on the net for sub netting were regulated by the ASA they would not be able to advertise!
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  14. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    I myself are contemplating taking up the CCNA - it's one of those things that I feel that I should have! But to prepare myself I bought an excellent book on TCP/IP from Amazon. Once I've completed this book then I'll feel ready to crack on with the CCNA! 6 months ago I got a quarter of the through my Sybex CCNA book and had to put it down...it seems a real toughie! But I really need to get my arse in gear to get it sorted! Self study will be the route for me!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  15. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  16. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    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. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    Also the 'Net Warrior' mini film is worth viewing as well, It's often packaged with CCNA Books.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  18. chris2007

    chris2007 New Member

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    hi pmidd

    i am starting the ccna course at sunderland uni 1 year course. tomorrow! (at a cost of £800 of my own money) fingers crossed. i don't work in IT at the mo, but did do a HNC in computing, however only passed the 1st year, didn't do the 2nd cause of work n money etc....

    after reading through this post am a bit unsure as to weather i have made the correct decision in doing the ccna. basically am doing it to get into IT work and a better job..more money!!!! been working in telesales etc for years... a guy i did the hnc went on to do the ccna, and he has gained employment that way(dunno his background though)

    u guys think it many be hard for me to get work after qualified? am i wasting my money? or am i doing the right thing? (i hope)

    regards

    chris
     
  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you don't work in IT already, the CCNA won't help you get into the field because the CCNA doesn't relate to work you'd be able to land without experience.

    Best of luck!
     
    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!
  20. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    :hhhmmm sounds like you (or 'someone' you know) has been burned. Want to share details? :blink
     

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