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Hi Everyone - New Guy to IT Starting CCNA with OU

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Batfink, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Batfink

    Batfink New Member

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    Hi everyone.

    I have spent the last few hours reading some of your posts on the CCA and it is good to read that some people were wondering the same things as me.

    I have been in retailing for what seems like an age now and i am looking for a different field to play with as i have had enough of the "same old, same old" that comes with working as a retail manager.

    I have just registered for a course with the Open Univerisity that works towards a foundation Bsc in computer science and Internetwork technologies.

    The first six monthly module is the Cisco CCNA which starts in a couple of weeks. I have done a lot of light reading into this and it sounds like a tough one to do - especially seeing I have only basic computing skills. The OU have not sent much information yet as to what to expect rfom the course so I am hoping you guys can fill me in.

    Fistly, i am gathering from reading the posts on here that I will have to grab a cisco router from flea bay - there are so many though and i am not sure which ones are going to be the best to start off with?

    I have chosen to get the cisco press books, but is there anything else that might be useful?

    And lastly, is there any good advice that might help me deal with the new learning curve and help me increase my chances of passing this course?

    Again, thanks for any help with this. So far everything I have read here has been useful and i look forward to hearing some replies

    Cheers

    Btfnk
     
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Batfink - I bet there's not too many on here that remember the cartoon...

    I might not be best-placed to advise on the CCNA, since mine expired about three years ago, but I think the same prinicples apply now that did then. The Cisco press books will give you everything you need academic-wise to study for the CCNA, but they are soooo dull that you'll need to offset them with something a little less bland. Try the Sybex CCNA study guide, or the Certification Press one - both are pretty highly recommended and will provide you a nice alternative to the official Cisco ones.

    As for equipment, it would be lovely if you could grab a couple of 2500 series routers, a 2950 series switch and the necessary transceivers/serial cables. Most of this stuff is widely available on FleaBay - but beware of buying 'CCNA lab' kits - a lot of them will have stuff in them like 1900 series switches, which aren't covered in the exam.

    That ought to help :)
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    You should get up earlier Zeb, it's on at 7am every morning! Anyway, I still remember it from its original days, 'twas me favourite as a kid.

    Anyway, welcome to the forum Batfink. My wings are like a shield of steel!:wink:
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  4. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    LOL - really? Damn - I guess old cartoons never die - they just end up in early-morning slots!

    Oh - and you forgot this bit:

    Your bullets cannot harm me...
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  5. Batfink

    Batfink New Member

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    thanks for the replies so far. This is a great site, although i only understand a small part of its content.

    I like the comments about my username - it was my favorite show as a kid so it seemed fitting to use it as a start to my new life.

    There are some good points. especially the router suggestions. Is building a lab a required part of the course?

    I have to admit that i am very nervous about jumping into this course but i figrured that if i gotinto IT, i might as well get a course and qualification that is worth something. I did a little research and the CCNA came up the most.

    I suppose that the next questions should be "what do i do with the CCNa once i have at the exam? - is there a specific job field that takes rookies like myself on?

    I am very excited but aftet spending an hour or so on this site, it seems that the overall opinion is that the CCNA is one of the hardest qualifications to get.

    OK, I will ask this outright to either make myself feel better or realise that this might not work - Is this a grande undertaking for someone to jump into with only bacis IT skills?

    thanks again for all the help. This is a friendly forum and it has really helped me a lot

    all the best

    btfnk
     
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes!

    Welcome to the forum :biggrin
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. Batfink

    Batfink New Member

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    well, erm.. thanks for the honesty.


    So what are the best steps for getting ready for this??

    is there anything i can look into before i go into getting the books and course material?
     
  8. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    OK - without answering all your questions word for word, the CCNA is NOT a particularly hard cert to get. In fact, its the most basic certification that Cisco offer. However (and its a BIG however), whilst there are plenty of people who may well be able to pass - or get close to passing the O/S & Server Microsoft exams through having experience on their own networks at home or via 'helping out' at work, this is most definitely NOT the case with the CCNA. It is a networking certification, and, unless you have experience in networking you haven't got a prayer of passing it!

    To be honest, you are unlikely to get a job anywhere nowadays with just a CCNA - nowhere will want you just sitting there managing the Cisco stuff - unless you're managing the whole network, which would require at least a CCNP

    However, you're not just doing the CCNA! The OU course will provide you with a 'proper' grounding in IT. It does seem a little odd that they start off with an entry level networking cert as opposed to an introduction to computing principles, but the rest of the course will probably give you more of an understanding of what you need to get on in IT.

    With a background in retail, you will probably be able to get at least a helpdesk position whilst you study - which will definitely help you. Provided you get a job where you're not just logging calls - but are actually fixing problems, you will find that the studying and the 'on the job' experience complement each other nicely.

    The advice you got from Bluerinse might sound a little harsh, but its not meant that way - its just, as you identfied, a dose of honesty.

    At least, having worked in retail for a long while, you'll have enough cynicism to cut through the usual bullshit and hype that surrounds this industry and realise that, whilst the rewards to be had with a career in IT are pretty decent, it is bloody hard work getting there!

    Good luck with the study - this forum has a load of people who are willing to help you out - I'm planning to start my OU degree myself after xmas!
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  9. Batfink

    Batfink New Member

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    I really appreciate the honesty. Right, as for the course - the CCNA is the first part i am taking - after that, i am not sure what other course would best suit me. By what i can tell, the foundation BSc let's you choose different related elements that add up to the final degree cert. So i will cross that bridge closer to april when i finish the course.

    It is good to get a realistic measure with regards to how i can get the cert to work for me. I knew it would not get me a VP's job and i was half expecting to be sat in a call centre but if it is a means to an end, then it will be worth it.
    My long term goal within the next twelve months will be to emigrate to New Zealand where cisco certs are sought after so the CCNP is definatly the way to go after this. Experience is always a key factor and getting it is always a hard one to get around.

    You are right about retailing and being a retail manager for the better part of my career ( i am 26 and I have been a manager since i was 19 ), so i can relate more to what i am going to accomplish. I am worried that i will fail this but i am going to approach it as i will put in double effort, ask for help when i need it and not rush taking the exam until i know i am ready. I know it will not be six months but i expect by this time next year, i should be ready. call me optimistic but if any of you guys have been in retail, you know that being determined and optimistic is the only thing that gets you through the same old beige days that you have to troll through.


    What is the chain of getting a career in this field after call centres and what other bolt on's beside cisco are actually worth having?
     
  10. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Sorry if it sounded harsh, I was in a rush and it was early in the morning and I felt a tad jaded after too much Aussie red last night. :oops:

    Zeb said it much better, listen to him he has afterall been there and done it, unlike myself.

    I would still balk at the idea of doing a CCNA and I have been in IT for 12 years. It is Cisco's entry level cert but I suspect from my existing knowledge of subnetting that is is one of those areas which some people take to and others (me) shy away from. That and the fact that here on the Gold Coast I have never seen a Cisco piece of kit. If I were still in London, I would think differently but IMHO if you are not going to be in a position to use your new knowledge on a daily basis, it's pointless getting the cert. As the old adage says, if you don't use it you will lose it.

    Also bear in mind that many certs, like the CCNA expire after a certain time and you have to re-certify to keep it current.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  11. Batfink

    Batfink New Member

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    well it should be a fun journey! I am excited about getting the degre. Not only that, the prospect of getting away from retailing always puts a big smile on my face.

    Thanks for the advice so far:D
     
  12. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I've done OU before, and you're in good hands.

    CCNA looks like tough going though - 6 months, 13 hours study per week and compulsory residential schools.

    Ouch!

    Word of warning from experience - the OU requires you to keep up the pace. Miss a TMA, flunk a residential and you're out.

    I saw many people fall by the wayside when the going got tough!

    Good luck.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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