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New start to CCNA

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by David25, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    After taking alot of time out & thinking what i really want to do, i have decided to take on the CCNA. I have always had been interested in networking therefore i will take my chances.

    Now the only problem i have is where & who can i do it with? Im not to confident with self learning & fear that it may go all wrong.

    I have seen this but not sure if its a proper CCNA certification i get http://www.westminster.ac.uk/schools/computing/short-courses/cisco-ccna-courses


    Any help & advice is highly appreciated. God bless
     
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    How long have you been working in IT, the CCNA is definitely not for the faint hearted (and definitely not an entry level cert).
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    I have never worked in IT. I have done a few courses such as GNVQ & BTEC diploma in PC support & both covered networking which i enjoyed. I've manage to build up the confidence.
     
  4. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

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    If it's a Network Academy course your thinking of, then you won't go far wrong. Just be aware of the length of time it takes to complete, it intentionally goes into a lot more depth than your normal commercial CCNA course so as to allow it to be accepted as an official Academic course and therefore count as points towards a degree etc.

    If you've got prior experience you may be better with the shorter commercial option, if not and you really don't want to self study then i'd say crack on, it starts right from the basics of networking so you shouldn't find yourself out of your depth. Just be aware though that the course is essentially self study with a structured format, mostly web based learning interspersed with practical sessions in the classroom if the college is any good, most though tend to use the provided Packet Tracer simulation software.
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  5. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I'm booking mine with this company. Google them or look on these forums to see what people think. Cheers
    James
     
    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
  6. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    Im sorry but can please you explain to me whats the difference between commercial CCNA & Academic course?

    Thanks
     
  7. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Hi David, its great that your confidence is on the up but if you are new to IT, it may be best to go for the CompTIA Networking+ first, as this will create a rock solid foundation of networking knowledge in your mind before you crack onto Vendor specific certs like the CCNA. One thing to bear in mind is that the N+ is vendor neutral so doesn't get locked down to certain kit. You may find your first role is administering Juniper kit which would render your CCNA almost useless, which is one reason why most try to get into IT with entry level certs like A+ N+ possibly an MCP etc. Its always best to get in there and study hard on what you'll be working with otherwise you run the risk of paying for studies on things you'll never touch and believe me, if you don't use it you loose it! Good luck
    Jim
     
    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
  8. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    Hi Jim

    Thanks for the supporting post. So what would you advice for a beginner getting into networking? I have made my mind up & it is networking for sure with no jumping out.
     
  9. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Jim already mentioned it, it's the N+ course from Comptia.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  10. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    Cant the CCNA be done without doing the N+? What would job hunting be like if i just had the CCNA?
     
  11. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

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    A commercial course is primarily aimed at those with prior Cisco networking experience trying to achieve certification or those brave enough to have a go without the relevant experience, normally conducted in a 1 week or 2 week time frame sticking mainly to the objectives of the exam. Attendance is normally full time and are normally fairly pricey.

    The Academic course such as the Cisco Academy courses, i.e CCNA exploration, CCNA essentials etc is in effect the same material dragged out over a number of semesters, normally 4. Each of the semesters will concentrate on a few specific areas in great detail and also add additional material that is not covered in the exam. Normally a test is taken at the end of each semester to confirm your knowledge. As mentioned before the curriculum is purposefully longer than it really needs to be to allow it to be accredited as a proper University level academic course, therefore allowing it to be used as partial credits towards degree courses etc.
    Attendance is generally part time sometimes only 1 or 2 nights a week, hence again the longer completion time.
    They are normally reasonably priced, but you should note that even on completion of the course and passing the curriculum exams you will still not be certified as a CCNA, you will still have to sit the CCNA exam at a Pearson Vue testing centre.
    The good thing about them though is that unlike the commercial courses they suit beginners well as they assume no prior knowledge, pretty much covering a similar curriculum to the A+ & N+ to start with in the first semester all be it with a Cisco slant on things.
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  12. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    Thanks for your definition it has helped alot. Its much more clear than what i was thinking before. The other thing that attracted me towards the Acadmic course was the price as you have mentioned. I want to complete the course as quick as possible, i believe i can complate it in 6 months? as i have more time to myself now. I am under the impression that the commercial courses are something like this http://www.ics-it-training.co.uk/it_online_courses/distance-learning-course/cisco-certified-network-associate, which is more self learning?

    Many thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  13. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

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    The self learning courses like the one you metion from ics you'd be better stearing clear of and purchasing the materials yourself. The commercial courses I'm referring to would be the ones where you actually attend the training in person at a training centre with a suitably experienced and qualified instructor to teach you, all be it for a princely sum. If set on the Cisco route then the academy option would probably be your best bet if you don't feel confident in self studying. Like others have mentioned though Cisco is a tough old world to get in to.

    Best of luck.
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  14. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    Ok thanks

    Is there anyway someone can show me what sort of work or scenarios would be involved with taking the CCNA please?

    Thanks
     
  15. David25

    David25 Bit Poster

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    Can you recommend a few reputable place to look into please?

    Thanks
     
  16. bazzawood30

    bazzawood30 Byte Poster

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    CCNA was the first IT cert i got, I did it over 2 school years at night school I sat the CCENT at the end of the first year. Job hunting is not easy with just a CCNA. I have had to go backwards to get A+ N+ and MCDST to improve my employment chances(Still looking). I did really enjoy doing my CCNA once i have finished my MCDST i am going to have a crack at CCNP. I dont care if it does not lead to a job i just enjoy networking even if its in labs.
     
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,N+,CCENT,CCNA,MCP,MCDST
  17. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

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    There's quite a few on here who have nothing but good words to say about Commsupport, have a search on the forums. I also like QA and Global Knowledge but like most Cisco partners they are pricey. I'd also recommend myself of course but were strictly MOD only at present. Joe from Commsupport posts regularly on here I'm sure he'd be happy to help you out.
    If going commercial though don't forget to factor in any accommodation costs. Reading through a Net+ book would stand you in good stead as you'd be missing some of the basic network theory covered in a Cisco Academy course. Pay particular attention to the OSI model and try to get as much of a grasp on I.P addressing and subnetting as you can.

    A lot of people have found this site helpful for subnetting: http://www.learntosubnet.com/
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  18. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    What you need to take into consideration is that networking is not an entry level IT position. It is something that people generally work their way up to from entry level jobs.

    Therefore, there is a good chance that you will put a lot of effort into gaining a CCNA and then find yourself in a position where you are over qualified for entry level work and that you can't find a job working on Cisco kit, because employers will want people with the relevant real world experience.

    Also, it could take years to work your way up and gain enough real world experience to be considered skilled enough to be given the opportunity to touch a Cisco device. Bearing in mind that the CCNA is a cert that needs to be renewed every three years, you could find that you are going to have to renew the cert, without having ever worked on the kit.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  19. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Exactly. A Network Engineer, in a traditional sense, is 3rd line. Almost no one starts off in IT as a Network Analyst/Engineer. Its a position that is gained over time in an IT career in most medium to large IT departments. There is always an exception to any rule so I'm not saying its impossible, just unlikely to be your first IT role and therefore possibly not the best investment when persuing certification, not to mention exceptionaly difficult if you don't work on Cisco routers and switches :S
     
    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
  20. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    As Blue correctly stated, network administrator positions aren't something you jump into straight from the word go... they are something you work up to. With just the CCNA, employers with network admin jobs won't likely hire you because you lack experience.

    But I hear the question inside of the question you are asking... which is, "Why shouldn't I just go ahead and get the CCNA because it is more advanced?" The problem is that employers who have entry-level jobs to offer aren't generally looking for people with the CCNA, because entry-level jobs don't deal with administering Cisco gear. Those employers will tend to think that you are more expensive due to your advanced certification and/or that you are a flight risk - meaning, they'll believe that you're not really interested in basic, entry-level IT work, and when the first networking job comes around, you'll take off, leaving them to find, hire, and train someone all over again. Thus, you can make yourself unattractive to employers by being overcertified for your experience level.

    Hope this helps give you a bit of perspective from the employer's side of the table. :)
     
    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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