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Looking for some advice with CCNA and MCITP

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by dlyon, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. dlyon

    dlyon New Member

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    Hi there folks,

    My head's spinning with this at the moment, so I hope some of you can give me a bit of advice.

    I decided a while ago to pursue a CCNA certification, and an MCITP Enterprise Administrator 2008.

    My background: I've worked in IT various places over the past 5 years or so, used computers for around 10 years, am very fluent in the fundamentals which lend themselves to quickly learning new areas. My area of interest is networking/support, which I'm looking to get my foot into the door to start working my way up in that general area. I know Windows inside out, and am looking to fill the gaps in my knowledge to become properly certified.

    A few weeks ago, I enrolled into a CCNA program at a local college. The total cost is £800.00, which is spread out over the 4 exams, at £200.00 a shot. I've had conversations with a few of my friends who are older than I am (I'm 26), and some of them who are very high up in the IT world (one is a global operations manager for a very large company). He advised against a "bootcamp" CCNA, recommended doing it through full-time study which would include lab work, and suggested a Microsoft cert would boost my CV.

    Now, before enrolling at the college, I saw a variety of CCNA packages on offer online. The bootcamp ones stuck out straight away, offering it over a weekend and other such silly things. One of the differences I noticed was that a lot of these bootcamps only offer 1 or 2 exams. Some of the other ones took slightly longer, but also offered only 1 or 2 exams. I was unsure if these were "bootcamp" or not.

    Fast forward to today... I telephoned a company called Seek Learning to enquire about their MCITP, as there was no price on the website. 6 weeks average pass time, pass or money back, the usual stuff. While I was on the phone to the fellow, the price for the MCITP I wanted was £2000. But! There's an offer on, which lopped 20% off straight away. When I mentioned a CCNA (I was asking the price for comparison to what I'm paying at college), he said that could be included for nothing, it was normally £795.

    After a few emails, it transpires that the price does not include the cost of the exams, and that their CCNA has the same 1/2 exams that the bootcamp methods normally offer. This makes me wary. According to my friend... (this conversation was a while ago, my memory may be faulty)... employers can check and see how you did your CCNA. What I do not want, is to have a CCNA to my name that is of less value than the one I'm doing at college.

    All in all, £1600.00 for both, materials only. As far as the MCITP goes, I then did a bit of research into that... I've read of some people doing the study themselves, buying books, and then sitting the exams independently.

    My questions:

    1) CCNA. Is there a qualatative difference between the 1/2 online and 4 exam academic versions? I'm well versed in networking, this will again simply be to fill a few gaps and gain the cert. I have no need for tuition or anything of that sort, but I want the best certification with no corners cut. Will the employer be able to tell that I went for one version or the other? Is it all the same on their screens? I don't want an employer to see something that suggests I went into a fly-by-night course and got a lesser certification as a result.

    2) MCITP. Are the materials these places provide useful? I would like to have some sort of guidance through the course, just to make sure I cover what the exam needs me to cover. I've never done one of these before. Does the structured course and materials make it a bit easier and streamlined, making it quicker to get through, rather than pouring over books every night?

    3) Price. £1600.00 + cost of exams. With an ILA Account, I may get £500.00 off, bringing it to £1100.00, £300.00 more than my current CCNA, which is £800.00. The MS exams cost £88.00 and the combined CCNA exam is £123.00.

    Assuming the CCNA is "okay", and not of a lesser quality, would the additional £300.00 be worth it for the MCITP materials?

    My alternative is obviously to stick with my current CCNA, doing the 4 exams academically, and doing the MCITP myself from books and paying whatever the exam costs when the time comes. I haven't so far looked looked much into what the cost of the MCITP is when you do it independently.

    All in all... any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2009
  2. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    Are you sure you get CCNA certification from the college and not just the 4 semesters of the Cisco Netacademy?

    Read around on here, you will see that most people buy a couple of books and study the material, buy some kit and practice.

    You can take the one exam route or two exam route. I would suggest the 2 exam route.

    See here http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/learning_career_certifications_and_learning_paths_home.html
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  3. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    In addition to what Danny has said, for that kind of money you could but a CCNA lab off ebay, and your books and exam fee's and have change left over.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  4. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    To my knowledge, you cannot take 4 exams at a school and get the CCNA. Those sound like academic final exams, not certification exams.

    You don't need to sink your money into any training program at all, and particularly if you've got the IT experience you have. See all those certifications in my sig? Every one of them was achieved through self-study and on-the-job experience. You can do the same!

    Sometimes. Depends on what they use. If this is a concern for you, why don't you simply self-study and buy the best training materials available?

    If you study what's in the study guides, you'll be well prepared for the exam.

    And if you need any further motivation, guidance, advice, or clarification... that's what forums like these are for. ;)

    Um... if you do a training course, you'll STILL be poring over books every night. There's no shortcut, bro. The knowledge doesn't magically pass into your head through osmosis... you're going to have to bear down and study it one way or the other, regardless of whether you take a class or study from the comfort of your own home.

    Unless the money is simply burning a hole in your pocket, I'd recommend holding on to it. :)

    Sure you have. The MS exams cost £88.00 each. :) That's what the cost is when you do it independently. :D

    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!
  6. dlyon

    dlyon New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    This sounds like where I'm going wrong when trying to work out what the score is with the various CCNA packages. I guess the only way of taking the Cisco CCNA, no matter where it's studied or how it's sat, is the 1/2 exam route?

    If I was to leave this course and not do the Cisco Academy route to the exams, since not only have I not paid anything yet, but the material so far has been 90% revision, and study it myself only paying for the exams at the end... would this give me an equally valid CCNA visible to an outsider?

    If the above is true... is there any real disadvantage to the bootcamp CCNA methods? Obviously if the individual hasn't touched a network before, this would be immediately disadvantageous in terms of learning, but from an employer's perspective, other than in the ability of the certificate holder, can they tell the difference?
     
  7. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    ^ nah they can't tell the difference. There's a validation site where you give them your validation code you get when you pass and they punch it into a website.

    the disadvantage to the bootcamp is hwo much it costs :)

    I'd add, if the netacad stuff was 90% revision, so will self-study, as the netacad covers the exact same topics, it's just broken into 4 "semesters". So if it is 90% revision i would go get the book, freshen up witht he topics, and book the exams.

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  8. dlyon

    dlyon New Member

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    Thanks again to everyone who replied. I've read them all, they've given me a far clearer picture of what to do.

    This was poor wording on my part. I'm not looking to avoid pouring over books, or evade the hard work and leg work of real learning, I'm simply looking for something that will give me a straightforward guide through a structure that will ensure that I cover all required subjects without wasting time accidentally covering redundant or unneeded data, or getting bogged down in areas that aren't all that important, or even getting lost down a road of unneeded knowledge.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2009
  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    There are good training providers and there are bad training providers; there are good instructors and there are bad instructors. Unfortunately, there's no way to know which one you would get.

    On the other hand, with the right self-study materials, you can study just as effectively, if not more so, and you'll be assured of having the best study materials available. Just be sure to buy study guides that people on here recommend. Rule of thumb: if it's in the study guides, you'll probably need to know it for the exam.

    Relax. You'll do fine. :)
     
    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. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    No, you can sit the 802 exam which, if passed, gives you CCNA in one hit
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)

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