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Should I pursue CCNA

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by Methodman85, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Methodman85

    Methodman85 Byte Poster

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    Hey Everyone,

    I need some advice.

    I'm thinking about switching gears and going for the CCNA; putting the MCSE on hold for a little while.

    My manager (The network admin) has been on leave since Feb 20th 2009. While he was here, things were great, I did the employee desktop/laptop support, along with managed AD, Exchange, File servers etc, your standard Systems Admin role.

    Since he's been gone though, there's been an increasing demand on me for higher level networking work that I've been struggling with, or avoiding alltogether.

    We're a Cisco shop through and through, Routers, switches, and Pix firewalls (although we've migrated most to checkpoint, our Colo still runs on Pix's).

    I wasn't left with much documentation on how our network is setup, and there was never a knowledge transfer since I had my hands full with Microsoft stuff.

    I need to start understanding more how our network is configured, which router routes what, the vlans on our switches, our T1's, E10, and Frame connections (Which networks they connect to, and provide internet connectivity to), etc.

    So, what do you guys recommend, besides getting in contact with my manager (not an option).
     
    Certifications: MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, CCNA, MCDST, N+
    WIP: 70-680
  2. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    I think you have answered the question yourself.

    If your happy with your MS knowledge and feel that you need to learn more to be able to perform your job role better, then head downt he CCNA!
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  3. danielno8

    danielno8 Gigabyte Poster

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    If i was you that is what i would be doing.
     
    Certifications: CCENT, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  4. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    grab the chance now that you can and do your CCNA! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  5. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    Ditto to above, its a good chance to get the CCNA and have exposure to all the stuff you'd be learning! 8)
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  6. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Yup, go for it ! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  7. Methodman85

    Methodman85 Byte Poster

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    Great! Well I'm sold guys, thanks!

    It's a shame though, I really wanted to finish the MCSE before expanding to something else, but the networking gap in my brain needs to be filled!
     
    Certifications: MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, CCNA, MCDST, N+
    WIP: 70-680
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'll give a dissenting devil's advocate position... wouldn't be the first time for that! ;)

    Certification doesn't automagically give you knowledge. I'd recommend focusing less on which certification to pursue and more on how to work with (and understand) the equipment you use.

    You might say, "But BM, studying for the CCNA certification will help me understand the equipment I use." Yes... and no. Some stuff will be relevant... some stuff will be not as relevant... and some stuff won't be covered at all.

    So... what I would recommend is to fill in your knowledge gaps... then continue down whichever certification track (or, better yet, TRACKS) that you choose.

    What would I do? Guess it depends on how far down the track I am. If I've only got one or two more MCSE exams to knock out, I'd do that... particularly since I've been studying on that already - getting the CCNA first, THEN having to relearn all the MCSE stuff that I don't use every single day (domain migrations? forest trusts?) doesn't sound particularly appealing to me. By the time I knock the MCSE out, I'll have a better idea of how my network works... which will better arm me for knocking the CCNA out in relatively short order.
     
    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!
  9. Methodman85

    Methodman85 Byte Poster

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    Well the thing is, I don't know when or if my manager is even coming back, and completing the MCSE would probably take me another 6-9 months (294, 297, 284). At the end of that, I probably still wouldn't have a clear picture of our network. I won't be able to hop onto a router and view/understand what it's doing, and what role it plays on our network. That's what I need to have right now. My concern really isn't the cert, it's the knowledge, and what will help me obtain that knowlege. I need a place to start, and I figured CCNA might be a good place. Although, if there's other books or paths I can take to fill in the gaps, I'm all for suggestions.

    I would love to tell my company to just higher another network admin, but over the last year we've gone from 100+ employees to 25, so we're not exactly in the position to dole out the cash to someone that would be coming in blind with 0 knowledge transfer.
     
    Certifications: MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, CCNA, MCDST, N+
    WIP: 70-680
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Fair enough. But it won't be easy to jump back on the 294 horse after sliding off of it! :)

    Good luck on the CCNA - you'll learn a lot while studying for it. :)
     
    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!
  11. Methodman85

    Methodman85 Byte Poster

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    Indeed, I know what that's like all too well. I took a break between 291 and 293 to do the Network + Exam. Needless to say, I barely made it through the 293.

    I think this is a must though, hopefully in the next few months I won't be avoiding networking requests as much!

    Thanks! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, CCNA, MCDST, N+
    WIP: 70-680
  12. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    I think you should go for it - you certainly have access (or already using) a lot of the kit, so it would be good to pick the certificate up along the way.

    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT

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