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Hello All

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by 3rdtimelucky, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. 3rdtimelucky

    3rdtimelucky New Member

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    Hello Forum

    How you doing, just looking for some help, I really want to get into networking, it looks like a pretty interesting field.
    I friend of mine is CCNP and works for a large ISP and said that if I want to get into networking I need to get the N+ and then the CCNA before I can even start looking for work, is this about right

    Once again, hello forum
     
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The N+ yes but without experience the CCNA will be hard for you to do and most employers won't hire a CCNA certified person without on the job experience. You should look at the A+ then N+ and get yourself an entry level job whilst doing those then when you have experience of using cisco equipment then go for the CCNA.

    You wont get into a networking job straight away you will probably have to start in Desktop support and get there through experience.

    Wlecome to CF :)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Sounds about right mate.

    As said many people get some industry experience in a desktop support position before venturing into network support.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. 3rdtimelucky

    3rdtimelucky New Member

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    Hi Greenbrucelee

    I have had a quick whizz read of the A+ and N+, the A+ looks very basic so I will give that a miss, the N+ seems interesting enough and I will do the cert, but the problem is that if I do say go for any interview with an employer and all I have is the N+ won't he ask for some sort of technical know how?? or at least vendor specific certs, like if he asks me to configure a router or switch, this is why I am really considering the CCNA, it might be hard but it is vendor specific and I might stand a better chance

    Cheers
     
  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The A+ isn't as basic as you may think it may be an entry level cert but it still better to get with the N+. The general rule is A+, N+, MCDST, MCSA then CCNA. As I said before it is very unlikley you will get a job in Networking as your first IT role and even if you have the CCNA an employer is not going to let you loose on their switches with no basic on the job experience regardless of what your certification status is.

    People who have high level certs like the CCNA and no experience are generally disregarded for positions because employers think they have cheated to get the pass in the exams. You need to start at the bottom and work your way there.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    If you are looking at vendor specific exams then perhaps consider some Microsoft exams? MCDST is a good start. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    The A+ may look very basic, but that sort of stuff is likely what an entry-level tech would start out doing. One doesn't simply jump into network or server administration without first doing desktop support or working on a help desk.

    You might say, "But I already know the information on the A+." Fair enough. You very well may know everything on the A+. But a potential employer has no way of knowing that. Certifications show an employer that you do indeed have knowledge of those technologies. Thus, it's a good idea to get them... even certifications you might consider to be "beneath you".

    Consider this... if you already know everything on the A+, then just go take the exam and get the certification. If you don't already know everything on the A+, then that's stuff that is certainly worth learning.

    The CCNA won't help you get a networking job without first having real-world IT experience. Employers will not entrust the operation, stability, and security of their network to someone who doesn't have real-world experience, even if they have certifications. Plus, you won't stand a chance when competing for those jobs against people who DO have experience, even if they don't have certifications. Other than entry-level certifications (such as the A+, Network+, and MCDST), certifications without experience are not very useful.

    In fact, getting the CCNA without experience can actually make it MORE difficult to get an IT job. As I stated before, you won't be able to just jump right into network administration. But would a CCNA be useful to get an entry-level job? No, it wouldn't... the CCNA doesn't have anything to do with what an entry-level tech will be responsible for doing. Additionally, many employers will see your CCNA and say, "What's a CCNA doing looking for an entry-level job? They're likely to ask for more salary than this position pays," or, "This guy's got a more advanced certification... we won't likely keep him long in this entry level job, and then we'll have to train someone else all over again. It's too big of a risk to hire him."

    So if the CCNA won't help you to get a job administering networks, and it won't help you to get an entry-level job... what reason is there to get it at this stage of your career?

    Certainly the CCNA is a good certification. But you should pursue it when you've had a little exposure to administering networks, and are starting to learn how to administer Cisco devices... not before you've gotten your first, basic, entry-level IT job.

    Best of luck to you, and 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!
  8. 3rdtimelucky

    3rdtimelucky New Member

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    Why would an employer think I cheated to get the exam is that how most people achieve the cert, so you are saying that the only way that I will pass the exam is if I have a years worth of I.T experience or cheat?

    If I get an entry level job in I.T to gain experience, what experience will I gain, will I gain experience in answering telephones or configuring switches, at some point to get that experience I need to get into networking I will need to configure a switch or router, I obliviously do not expect to be "let loose" on the whole network without supervision and also I don't expect that they will ask me to reconfigure the whole network from start on a Sunday evening by myself on the first day or work with a N+ or A+, so what do I need to have to show the employer that I have the "right stuff"

    If I read the books or even do a course surely the things that the books show or the courses teach will be pretty much what I will be doing as a networking bod??
     
  9. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome to the forums...

    The above mentioned advice is accurate. The A+ isn't a walk, but if you have the knowledge (or think it's easy) why not get it and have an accomplishment immediately? As for the CCNA, some real-world Cisco experience (at the very least networking experience) is a key.

    I don't see configuring a router/switch being asked in an entry-level job (or did I miss your experience?). Even if you had a CCNA, what if the question was to configure a Juniper 5GT? The point is to get certs that you're qualified to get. If you're entry-level, stick with the A+ & N+ and decide where to go from there while to get experience.

    I'm thoughts are based on personal experience and seeing many others succeed and fail. I've seen what works (and what has led to failure).
     
  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Dude, get real! The books will help but when you get to see some live networks they don’t always follow what’s in the books.

    I’ve been working with some Cisco kit over the past few months and I have 6 years networking experience.

    It takes time mate but you will get there if you put the work in. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. 3rdtimelucky

    3rdtimelucky New Member

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    I have spoken to my friend about this, the one that works for the ISP and he said that when he was interviewed for his job they looked at his experience and his certs and they still put him through their own practical test so that he could demonstrate to them he really could do what he claimed to be able to do. Is there anything to stop me suggesting this approach to any potential employer asking them to test me practically, this way if I cheated of did not know my stuff, then would this not prove conclusively that I did know my stuff????
     
  12. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Unlikely mate, the employer would just take the guy with the CCNA and X years experience. After the usual 3 month probationary period if all is working out then its all fun and games, if not then they will look for someone else.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  13. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Let's put it this way...
    IT is used in many places, from health sector to financial sector (and many others). Which company would trust a newbie "with the keys to the kingdom"? Online gaming companies make $100's /hour; the health sector and financial sector are not places that take downtime very well.

    To answer your question, NO course will prepare you with experience. The teaching will be theoretical and that's pretty much not what you will be doing as a networking professional
     
  14. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Is it possible your 'friend' was only given a chance to prove himself because he had a number of years of experience? Before being hired, were references requested? An org isn't only testing your knowledge, they're testing your quick responses under pressure.
     
  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Employers might (not would, but MIGHT) think you cheated for a few reasons:
    1) The exams are incredibly difficult without first having real-world experience, and
    2) ...to be brutally honest, most people who certify without first having experience cheat their way through the exams. They use products called braindumps, which are illegal collections of questions stolen from the live exam. Using them can get you decertified for life. Despite that fact, many people use them to try to gain an advantage. Unfortunately for them, many employers are on to their "little game"... and this is why certifications are not as respected as they once were... the cheaters have ruined certifications for those who work hard to get them legitimately.

    Certainly it is POSSIBLE to pass the exams without cheating. But perception is important, and if an employer is concerned that you MIGHT have cheated your way through because you gained a mid-level certification without experience, then that raises a red flag to them, and might cause you to not get the job. Whether you cheated or not is irrelevant; the employer's perception is what will get you the job or not.

    Perception CAN work in your favor... after all, if you can manage to convince an employer that your CCNA means that you can administer a network even though you don't have any experience, then great! However, we're just saying that that's not likely to happen. You could be the exception... but if I were you, I wouldn't stake my career on it.

    The experience you will gain depends on what you're doing. Most entry-level techs do basic PC and desktop support. Eventually, you may be entrusted to start assisting with a little server administration and/or support. At that point, you should look to get certifications related to server administration (such as the MCSA) and get a job as a server/systems administrator. Eventually, you may be entrusted to start assisting with a little network administration (configuring firewalls, routers, switches, etc). At that point, you should look to get certifications related to network administration (such as the CCNA/CCNP) and advanced server administration (such as the MCSE) and get a job as a network administrator.

    Past that, you could specialize as a DBA, security specialist, network design architect, Exchange specialist, or any number of other specializations. The options are wide open at that point.

    ...but you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

    You prove to an employer that you can do it by showing an aptitude at what you're doing... and, to be honest, a good attitude and a willingness to assist.

    Yes, and no. Books and courses will teach you theoretical knowledge. They will give you a lot of great information. You may even get hands-on experience in a lab environment. But books and courses and labs can NOT give you the real-world experience that can only be gained by working in a real-life environment, with real-world users, and real-world data, and real-world problems, and real-world downtime, and real-world revenue that's being lost while 425 users sit idle and your boss is breathing down your neck to troubleshoot a problem. There may not be a way to adequately describe to you how theory is different from reality... but once you are actually IN IT, you'll understand what we're trying to say.
     
    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!
  16. 3rdtimelucky

    3rdtimelucky New Member

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    I disagree, I think it makes sense for an employer to test every good candidate for their technical knowledge, were is the point for an employer to take somebody on only to have to get rid of them after x number of weeks or months because they were no good, it is more hassle for them to have to re-hire and re-train etc.

    I think the best approach is to go in there show them what you can do and take it from there, frankly what's the worst that can happen, they might take me on and away we go networking galore or I can spend the next couple of years answering phones fixing printers whilst not gaining networking experience while not being allowed to touch any kit because I have no experience and anyway I will be too busy answering phones fixing those pesky printers to be gaining experience, remember lads, "fortune favors the brave"

    If books can't prep you for the job, and courses can't prep you for the job and getting a job as a help desk bod fixing printers won't prep me for networking then what on this earth will other than dropping a pair banging on doors and hassling people to give you a crack of the whip
     
  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Sure, taking an employer's test would certainly confirm that you have knowledge. But "knowing stuff" and "being able to do stuff" are two different things. Again, that's the difference between theoretical knowledge and practical application. And the only thing that will give you practical application is 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. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The fact is mate you have to start somewhere and its usually at the bottom.

    We had an IT guy start at out place not so long ago he had MCSE certification and he couldn't even configure a VLAN actually he didn't know what one was because he had no experience of the real world of IT.

    By all means go fo the CCNA if you think your gonna get a networking job straight of the bat, but do a search on CF first for threads like "I have my MCSE or CCNA and no one will give me a job" there is a reason for this that has been mentioned quite a few times on here already.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you think you've got the right plan, then what are you doing here asking people who have many years of experience in IT, some of them who are IT managers responsible for making hiring decisions? Certainly we must be mistaken in our advice, right?

    Fortune favors the brave... but fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
     
    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. 3rdtimelucky

    3rdtimelucky New Member

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    Good, that's settled, glad we all agree, I'll get the N+ and the CCNA, hassle my mate until he kills himself, use his switches and routers to practice on, or buy my own, get as much hands on as possible, roll into the as many companies as I can find and bust their dangley bits until they give me a chance, then when I am in I will sponge off as many people as I can build up my networking knowledge, practice on as much kit at home as I can afford to by from ebay and read up as many books and websites as possible for the first few months and years I will be flying by the seat of my pants but like I said better than a crappy help desk job fixing printers!!!! Hey, and if I burn the place to the ground, I can always try Maccy D's, they have computers, right?!

    Fortune favors the brave
     

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