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Hi all

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Qaasim, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Qaasim

    Qaasim New Member

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    Hi, firstly I would like to say I was delighted to find this site which I have been looking through for a while now. I particularly like the nice and well articulated manner in which you guys answers peoples questions. It seems a really nice community you've got here.

    On to me, I am a 22 year old second year student on a BSC networking degree in a London university. I am also doing the second part of the CCNA course which runs alongside my degree.

    I thoughrougly enjoyed my first year as far as the cisco and other networking aspects were concerned and achieved good marks; however this year has been an absolute nightmare with poor lack luster teaching, hardly any lab time, constant building works around the lecture rooms, no replies to my emails about the talks we were supposed to get about next years sandwich year and no book to study from or take into the 'Open Book' exams :eek:.

    on the last note I refer to our uni taking on the new ccna exploration syllabus for which the book won't be out until after our exams. so the only place I can study for the tests and my general knowledge of the whole thing is on the web site where there are often mistakes and each chapter literally becomes about 60 pages! Nor could I print them even if I wanted too. the whole thing has given me a hell of a lot more migraines than knowledge (=\que the miniature violins/=).

    So basically while still somehow managing to keep up with the syllabus I am not doing as well as I should be and have spent alot of this year pi$$ed off, so would like any advice from you guys of good guides to CCNA2 or just places/books on how to structure a network well and implement the right protocols/configure routers well :p

    erm sorry for rant.. incase you missed it at the top HI!:biggrin
     
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Welcome

    If you have no experience in a real world job with cisco kits then you should not being doing the ccna, a cert like this for proffesionals, having the ccna with no experience can actually hurt you job prospects.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Qaasim

    Qaasim New Member

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    well that was the idea for the sandwich year, work for cheap doing something to do with setting up/maintaining networks. I enjoy learning about networking and I really can't see how doing what I consider to be quite an entry level qualification can hurt job prospects if I am realistic about what level I am applying at. Nor am I bad at the subject, I can configure routers and set out networks to work fine in a lab and on a larger scale on paper... I am just looking to find some better resources to hone my skills as it were. My main problem is teh lack of a CCNA2 book and the fact that the curriculum we are studying, being a first edition has errors and not the best structure in my opinon. Infact i'm sure it will get revised.

    I am confused what is wrong with me learning about cisco kits from the ccna? where would I get a job where I learnt to configure them? Would you say that I shouldn't be doing the Networking Degree as practically all the cisco stuff is required learning for the degree? What qualification is a better place to start?

    Thanks very much for your reply
     
  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi and welcome to CF:) with regards to where do you start I'd say you're on the right track is just that with the CCNA credential one is expected to have a one year or more of hands on practical experience in a work environment.

    The networking degree you're doing would help to further enlighten you on the principles of a network environment etc. On the other hand in other to have a well rounded understanding on networking the Comptia Network+ would help you more when compared to the CCNA. Cheerio and hope this helps:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    You ask where you can experience with cisco kits in a job, you wont in your first IT job. There was a guy on here not so long ago who had a masters in IT and had done the CCNA but he had no experience so no one would give him a job doing cisco stuff. You need to start at the bottom and work your way up, no employer in their right mind is going to let the new boy loose on their network with or without the CCNA.

    I am not studying cisco so I can't help you with the books, there is nothing wrong with getting it either but when you come to apply for jobs that is were it might let you down. We have had people on here who have got the CCNA or MCSE but no experience and they have actually had to hide the fact they have those certs on their CV to get a job. It is very rare for someone to walk into a network administrators job without any experience, you would be best to get some work on a help desk and work your way up.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. Qaasim

    Qaasim New Member

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    Thanks for your reply onoski,

    I may well go and do that later although looking at what it is based around I think most of it is covered on my degree, however I'm sure it would be useful to have on my CV..

    Luckily for me I have a lot of family friends and a bit of wealth to allow for my cheap employment... so once I get the Degree, CCNA etc I shouldnt have too much trouble even if it does take longer than if I had taken the 'right' route and gone straight into work after.

    greenbrucelee, cheers for the responce... I am quite happy with starting off in a support position and am doing CCNA and degree not to 'get rich quick' but because I actually like learning and I am very interested in networking. You see otherwise I would have to wait ages to have a go with proper cisco routers. one thing that will never change about jobs is that you need experience to get a good job and you need a job to get experience....
     
  7. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Hi there and welcome to CF 8)
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  8. Qaasim

    Qaasim New Member

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    Hi Wizard! Glad to be here :biggrin

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    Found some really good stuff in the CCNA sectton of the forums... fancy that :p
     
  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Problem is, that's not a job that employers will hire someone to do for cheap... or even for free. The cost is not the problem for employers... the problem is the lack of experience in real-world environments. Without that, companies aren't going to allow you to mess with their network... not even for free, not even with a certification under your belt.

    What you consider to be quite an entry-level qualification is considered by employers to be a mid-level qualification.

    In truth, having the CCNA without experience can absolutely hurt your job prospects. As I have already mentioned, employers won't hire someone to do a networking job without experience - you'll simply have to trust us on that fact. So when you go to apply for a job doing networking, you'll be passed over in favor of those who DO already have experience.

    Okay, fine, so let's say you decide to "start at the bottom" and work your way up. Employers looking for entry-level individuals will see your CCNA and turn you down for one of these reasons:
    - Being overcertified is a danger sign that you may have used braindumps to cheat your way through the exam (I'm not implying YOU would... just saying that some employers MAY think that... and perception is what's important when applying for a job)
    - Being overcertified leads employers to believe that you are too expensive for them to afford.
    - Being overcertified leads employers to believe that you will not stick around their "lower-level" job for very long... and in truth, they're right... you probably WON'T stick around for very long.

    Ultimately, if you choose to go through with the CCNA, I'd not advertise it to employers this early in your career. It won't help you get an upper-level job, and it can hurt you getting a lower-level job.

    You're not bad at the subject... on paper, and in test labs. You have no experience in a real-world environment with real-world data and real-world users and real-world managers breathing down your neck to get the network back up.

    I don't mean to say that your knowledge is useless... I only mean to say that things are a LOT different in the real world, and THAT is why employers want people with experience... not just certifications.

    Learning is fine. But you shouldn't expect that it will get you an entry-level job in IT. That knowledge will CERTAINLY come in useful later in your career.

    Where would you get a job where you learnt to configure them? You likely won't, until you build experience. That's not entry-level stuff. You may indeed be capable of doing the job... but it will be extremely difficult to convince an employer of that, especially when you are competing for those jobs against others who DO have experience.

    Should you be doing the Networking Degree? Sure... but I would have advised that you work in IT while in school... get your entry-level stuff "out of the way", so to speak. Then, by the time you got out of school, you'd possibly be ready for a networking job.

    So... you start out with a "not-so-good" job to build experience so you can get a "GOOD job" later. You can't start at the top. You can't start at the middle. It's even difficult to "skip a step." Most everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. There are exceptions, but they are extremely rare... and intelligence doesn't have anything to do with it - it's just sheer luck when that happens.

    I don't mean to be a downer... but I do want to hit you with a dose of reality before you hit the real world. I truly hope that any of what I said helps you to succeed. :) 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!
  10. Qaasim

    Qaasim New Member

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    Cheers BosonMichael for the responce... I agree with all you said, I always knew that lack of experience would be an issue so that didn't hit me too hard. I'm still young an Networking is a direction I'm interested in following. If hiding that I have a CCNA helps me get a job than thats fair enough I'll take ur guys advice on that :)

    Where would you suggest I go for a low level entry to networking job while I study? What field?
     
  11. Rafek

    Rafek Kilobyte Poster

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    Hello & Welcome.

    I wish you all the best with your studies! Glad you joined the fold:biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: IPT/IPCC stuff
  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Cheers, mate... thank you for taking the advice in the spirit it was meant to be taken. :) Hard to relay "difficult" advice pleasantly on a forum...

    Playing devils' advocate: some people will advise you to keep the CCNA on there, and to heck with what employers think. However, being in IT for 10 years (and messing with computers for almost 30), it's ust my opinion that it is not beneficial for the reasons given above. After all, you HAVE to care what employers think. Whether they're right or not is irrelevant.

    There are no entry-level networking jobs. They don't exist. Entry-level means a job at which you ENTER the field. People entering the IT field don't have experience (because they've never been in the IT field). And 99.9% of companies simply won't allow someone without real-world, hands-on experience in a business environment to even ASSIST administering a network. It's too risky for them.

    Will companies hire an entry-level desktop support tech, over TIME find out the tech is smart and knowledgeable, then promote that tech into a position where the tech CAN help administer the network? Certainly. But you have to start out at the bottom somewhere... that means, help desk, call center tech, level 1 / tier 1 tech, PC repair tech, field service tech, etc. Start out here. What field? Dude, anything that involves IT work. You're a ways away from being able to pick which field you want to be in. Just about the only choices you've got starting out in IT is "tech" or "programmer". And it seems like you're already on the "tech track".

    Be persistent - Getting your first IT job is likely the hardest thing you'll do in IT. Don't give up.

    Be patient - and it seems like you know this, because you know you're young yet (I didn't get my "official" start in IT till age 28, and my career is doing fine!). It takes time to build experience. Then, you can start moving upwards. :)

    Trust me, those who TRULY know their stuff WILL get noticed and WILL move up... if not with the first company they're with, then with the second or third. But it WILL happen, if you're good, and if you're knowledgeable. If you're degreed, and if you're certified, certainly you SHOULD be knowledgeable... but it's your experience and your knowledge that will help you climb the ladder. The degree and certs are just things to get your resume noticed when switching from job to job. YOU carry your career from there. :)
     
    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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