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Starting off my IT career with CCNA

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by MnazirKhan, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. MnazirKhan

    MnazirKhan New Member

    Hi guys just joined CF! very exited to start my it career and heard good things about cf. However i just need some guidance in starting everything off. i have a good basic understanding of networking so i would like to start off with ccna. However i have no idea of how i should go about this.

    I want to take the self study route unless you advise me not to if so which are the best books to buy and should i look to buy equipment or as i would prefer to use a sim which sim is the best one to use? any help would be much appreciated thank you to anyone that can help.
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    The CCNA is not an entry level certification, it's aimed at engineers with a decent knowledge of networking. Please have a re-think about how\where you want to start as this isn't in my opinion the right way forward (ask yourself this, would you trust a new engineer with no previous commercial enterprise experience with your networking stack, imagine that he could be responsible for millions of lost revenue if he ****s something up).
    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. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    Have to agree with this, you say you have a 'good basic understanding of networking' but what does this actually mean? Are we talking home network or something more substantial?

    Unless you already have experience of the areas covered in the CCNA in a working business network you are better off going for the CompTIA A+ and Network+ and getting some front line IT support experience.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  4. MnazirKhan

    MnazirKhan New Member

    Hi thanks for the replies. I had a look and i agree maybe ccna is too advanced for me but what should i start off with then? i have been informed by a friend of mine that comptia a+ is very very basic entry level and by what he explained to me should i start off with comptia a+ ?
  5. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    Absolutely, A+ and Network+ will give you a good basic understanding and server as a good starting point towards a career in IT.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  6. BraderzTheDog

    BraderzTheDog Kilobyte Poster

    Well you need to start somewhere...

    A+ doesn't give you any networking knoweldge really. N+ you could argue is a good place to start however it wont teach you anything other than concepts.

    If you are looking for a job in the network engineering field concepts are not really going to get you past the interview stage. Yes its good to understand how tcp works etc, however you also need to be able to do basic administration of kit you see in today's networks. Corporations done need an engineer that understands what a static route is but has never actually applied one in reality.

    I don't want to seem like I'm going against the good and I have to admit the experience of Simon and the other outweighs mine... However, as a network engineer I had to start somewhere... and I broke my way into the market with the CCENT. I would look at this certification (also known as ICND1). Not only does it teach the concepts but will enable you to actually apply and troubleshoot very basic network problems on kit that is used in every network just about everywhere.

    CCENT is totally entry level, so don't worry about not having any experience. The clue is in the title (Cisco Certified Entry Level Network Technician).

    Good luck, if there's anything we can do along the way let us know :)
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
    milordman likes this.
  7. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Nibble Poster

    The network concepts are pretty important. I don't actually know what gets taught in N+, but I've met a few CCNA's whose grasp of ethernet and TCP is quite appalling. So if skipping N+ is the plan, buy a decent book on TCP/IP as well.
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
  8. Black Tortoise

    Black Tortoise Byte Poster

    If you want to be regarded as a serious IT proffesional then get your rudimentary and elementary IT knowledge first with A+ N+ et al and start looking for entry level IT jobs. Once you HAVE an IT job and have worked in it for say example 6-12 months start steering it in the direction which appeals to you the most eg do CCNA. At no point stop studying - if you need further proof look at craigie's first year in IT thread.

    Even without certs, getting into IT industry is still acheivable. It is possible to go strait for the CCNA and land a job within IT, but not at all the best way.
    Certifications: N+
    WIP: A+ Security+ ITIL V3
  9. bbel121

    bbel121 Bit Poster

    My two cents would be take the two step process to get your CCNA as that is why Cisco broke it into a two part exam so you can get your CCENT certification first and then progress to CCNA. I think the CompTIA certs are too basic for most, but that is just my opinion. So you asked what is an effective way to get your certification...

    I have actually taken the exam more than once to recertify. The basic process I used was the same both times with one change which was the book I used. The first time I used Todd Lammle's book CCNA Routing and Switching Study Guide: Exams 100-101, 200-101, and 200-120: Todd Lammle: 9781118749616: Amazon.com: Books . This is the book for someone new to the industry as it is written in layman's terms. The other option is the Wendell Odom book which is usually too technical for people breaking in Amazon.com: CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101 Official Cert Guide (9781587143854): Wendell Odom: Books . But I did use it my second time and found it very dry. So I would start off with Todd's book if I was you. I also provided the links for the books to make sure you don't buy the old revision of it by mistake.

    I also purchased a lab as to the point above, it is hard to get a break in the industry if you never touched real equipment. 3 routers and 3 switches seems to be the best setup and you can get something pretty nice for about $500 with some 1841 routers and 2960 and or 3550 switches. You probably want to stay away from the older 10mb routers that you might see out there in various lab kits. Here are a few video links on how to build a CCNA lab kit one by Jeremy Cioara https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-CP6w6TAIc and the other by certificationkits https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaMeL0TOfj8 Watch them both and it will give you some good insight in what types of equipment is out there for a lab.

    So how did I study for the exam? I read one chapter a night in my CCNA study guide and then I tried to do a lab or two from the lab workbook. Due to the amount of labs, sometimes I would read a chapter let's say on Monday and there were 4 associated labs, I would do one on Monday night and the other 3 on Tuesday night and then go to the next chapter on Wednesday. So it took about a little over 3 weeks to finish them all. Then I took a practice exam. I did not guess on any. If I did not know it, I left it blank so I could get it wrong and then I printed off all the ones I got wrong. I then went back and reviewed the ones I got wrong and reread the theory and redid the labs. Then I took another practice exam and repeated until I was scoring 80%+ on the practice exam. That took another 10 days. I then easily passed the exam.

    There are a bunch of practice exam simulators out there. The ones that come with the books such as Lammle's or Odom's books in my opinion are not all that great. The better ones are along the lines of Transcender or Measure-Up(not sure if they are still around). But the key thing is to make sure the one that you pick does not just give the correct answer, but it also tells you why each of the possible choices are right or wrong. That will help you better understand why you might have picked an incorrect answer. Also I did not use videos as that is just not the way I learn and you may be different. But I don't think you can substitute a video for a book. I get bored watching videos and I like to highlight and make notes on what I am reading.
    BraderzTheDog and milordman like this.
  10. jaronanderson

    jaronanderson New Member

    I have preferred you to Use the Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide book. Which is very helpful for you, from there you can get, more knowledge about the CCNA. This book is so nicely explain all the matter. You can also study the switching and routing. And you can also take help from the google. From there all type information is available.

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