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CCNA After A+?

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by Noxbaile, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Noxbaile

    Noxbaile New Member

    Hello! New guy here with a few questions...

    In less than three months I will be A+ certified. Can I skip the N+ and jump right into the CCNA cert? If so, should I take class courses or self study? I'd prefer self study but it seems it is recommended to buy equipment and I don't think I'll have enough cash to buy all the equip to practice on.

    Mind you a+ just covers the basics of networking.

    Thanks In Advance!
  2. jvanassen

    jvanassen Kilobyte Poster

    I've done the N+ and it taught me alot, Im pretty sure alot of people on here who know more about the CCNA unlike myself will probably say to you its worth doing the N+ first.
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Network+, CCENT
    WIP: ICND2 200-101
  3. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Generally speaking certification proves you have a level of aptitude with a technology, and I would say reaching that level requires using the technology in a production environment, I know we get a chicken and egg scenario for people starting out, but IT learning is a gradient, you need to back it up with experience and people with experience will tell you exams do not mean you are capable, also learning something from a book is not real life, and sometimes not does it truely stick.

    So, my question is do you have any commercial experience in using Cisco kit?

    If not then I would recommend N+ then the CCENT, then maybe the CCNA exam, the CCNA isnt an easy exam even for people with experience.

    Your cheapest option is to self study, which you will require books, and I would recommend you get 2 cisco routers and a cisco switch (search ebay for CCNA training kit for suitable), alternatively there are trainers for a site called commsupport here which seems to have gotten really good reviews, if they are local and you have the money you might be worth getting in touch with them, alternatively you have CBTNuggets and other Web based e-learning sites, but as with all things you should investigate the company propertly and read the T&Cs before getting yourself signed up to anything.

    Good luck
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  4. Sonicimage

    Sonicimage Bit Poster

    Is it possible to prepare and pass ICND1 (CCENT) without having CompTIA+ first?
    I've signed up for the online Cisco Networking course with Tekworx, but they didn't explain me the content of the course, that to pass it I will need some equipment (which is actually quite expensive). And I haven't done CompTIA+ (actually my knowledge of computing is just a bit above a normal user, but I'm passionate about hardware and software - I was studying audio engineering before).
    Is there any chance to pass CCENT without CompTIA+ first? Is it necessary to have that equipment, or it's possible to use simulators?
    Please, help with advice.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
    Certifications: Bachelor of Art; City & Guilds Diploma in ICT Systems Level 2 & 3; MCTS: Active Directory; MCTS: Network Infrastructure; MCTS: Windows 7, Configuring; MCSA: Server 2008; CCENT; CCNA; MCSE: Server 2012
    WIP: MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  5. Beerbaron

    Beerbaron Megabyte Poster

    You can pass the CCENT without doing the A+, just means you might need to revise more. I would say the N+ covers sections of the CCENT.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), MSc, ITIL v3F, MCP, MCDST, MCITP: edst7, MCTS, MCSA: Server 2003, MCSA: Windows 7, N+, NVQ IT lvl 3, MCSA Windows 7, VCP5, CCENT, CEH
  6. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    Having read a lot of N+ and CCENT material, I would say there is a lot of overlap. Things such as the OSI model and the equivalent TCP/IP model and so on is discussed in both as well as the basics methods etc in the way things work and so on.

    The real beauty of the N+ is that it is Vendor Neutral, so it teaches you network basics regardless of equipment and so forth. The CCENT has the same basic aim except it is vendor specific and covers Cisco specifically.

    There are a lot of companies out there still who are non Cisco based, however most networking jobs you see will ask for Cisco knowledge IMO. So it really depends what you are aiming for long term, if you are doing the cert to get a foot in the IT door but haven't really decided what or where you want to specialise, then I would go N+, however if you already know you want to be in Networks, and networking is what appeals, then for me I would suggest you go CCENT and possibly CCNA! I won't go any further than CCNA though until you have some good experience, as I think you might find it hard to get people to take you serious as a CCNP or whatever with no real world commercial experience!

    That's my opinion at least! :)
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  7. parman05

    parman05 Byte Poster

    I think this is dead on!
    Certifications: A+, Network +, MCTS WIN7 (70-680), MCITP WIN7 (70-685), MCSA WIN7, Linux +,LPIC-1, Novell CLA 11, SUSE 11 Tech Spec, DC Tech Spec
    WIP: 70-640, 70-642, security +, CCNA
  8. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Byte Poster

    I've had the misfortune of working with people who hold CCNAs but don't understand networking basics - which is easy to do because the CCNA course does not teach what you need to know. They are awful, don't become one of them.

    Apart from anything else, CCNA is a pretty easy course if you understand TCP/IP and Ethernet and have used command lines before. Skip ahead of that and it must be really quite challenging.
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
  9. Sonicimage

    Sonicimage Bit Poster

    Thank you very much for your comments. I've actually been mis-sold this Cisco Networking course. Someone from Tekworx called me and asked some questions about my career and what I want to do. I'm currently unemployed and looking for work (they must have known that somehow). They introduced themselves as employment agency (kinda), and we arranged an appointment for the next day. They sent me their detail by text, and I went to their website to check what it was. It was actually a training provider company, and they offered different courses. I noticed this Cisco Networking course, and read about it - sounded interesting. Because I've been interested in technology for many years, and enjoy working with devices (I was studying audio engineering), I decided to go for this one. So, when I came there, another person, young asian lady, met me (not the one appointment was initially made with). I brought my CV as they asked, she looked at it quickly, didn't ask if I had any experience in this field, didn't explain the course content. I was so excited about getting into IT, as they were promising to contact employers on my behalf after I have passed the 1st CCENT exam. I wasn't suspicious about anything, as I usually trust people, being honest myself. They made me sign a contract, and I paid £750 with 50% discount.

    Later, at home, I logged into my account on their website, the course was there, I looked at it - there were qualifications: CCENT, CCNA, CCNA Security, CCNP (switch, route, tshoot), and CCIE! All those exams within a year! (the access to the course content is only for a year). I started to learn - it was instructor led live lectures, like at university, with slides. I saw it wan't enough, and bought a thick ICND1 book to study. I enjoyed reading it, understood the material. But, I have no experience in computing really - I'm just a bit above of an average user, just resolve some minor problems with our home PCs, being led by intuition or online instructions. A couple of days ago I noticed the link on google about that Tekworx, followed it, and jumped into the forum where many people complained about being fooled by that company. I started to search further, found this forum, and read posts about these certifications. I realised this Cisco qualifications are not an entry level in IT, and could be taken after CompTIA. Besides, I found out to pass Cisco exams you do need equipment (your own lab) to practise. Tekworx didn't tell me that, and I had no idea!

    Finally I've come to the conclusion I have to do CompTIA first, and found another company, "Just IT". They offer Network Professional course with Job Guarantee scheme: two CompTIAs, Windows 7, Server 2008, then work placement 4 - 8 weeks, then employment, and only after working of 6 - 12 months, taking CCNA. I searched online about this Just IT and didn't find anything negative about them. So, they must be genuine. But I've lost that money I paid for Cisco course, as they won't give it back to me willingly, and I don't really feel like fighting and wasting time, when I can spend it for studying instead. I have to do this network course at their pace and get a job this year (this is 'a must'), and don't have time to waste. I'm also finishing uni this year.

    Please, send your comments, guys (I'm addressing "guys", as I think no females here - am I the only one?) what you think about all this!
    Certifications: Bachelor of Art; City & Guilds Diploma in ICT Systems Level 2 & 3; MCTS: Active Directory; MCTS: Network Infrastructure; MCTS: Windows 7, Configuring; MCSA: Server 2008; CCENT; CCNA; MCSE: Server 2012
    WIP: MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    I would finish uni first and get good grades. After that look into Cisco academies, your Uni may even already be one.

    If not its likely you have a local tech college, sixth form or HE type place that offers these sorts of courses cheap part time.

    I'd forget about these other private training companies for now, read about Training Providers or TP's on the forum.

    Beware of training linked to jobs offers unless its a proper scheme like an apprenticeship or sandwich degree.

    Beware of 'Job Guarantee' schemes, in the current climate this is totally unfeasible, there are millions out of work all across Europe, nobody can guarantee you a job.
  11. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    You might find this worth a read:

    My advice is don't use a TP for A+. There are no hard (if you are cut out for IT) concepts in there, it is mostly a memory marathon. No TP can train you to remember facts. they can only tell you the facts to remember and the rest is down to your own hard graft.
    Best of luck.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  12. Sonicimage

    Sonicimage Bit Poster

    But it's not only for CompTIA A+ - they also offer Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 course, and CCNA after being in employment 6 - 12 months. And you don't have to pay all the money straight away - they have pay as you earn option as well (though it costs you more). Do they lie all about it? Their contract says "no job - no money paid", so, if they don't provide a job I won't have to re-pay that remaining money. I didn't find any negative comments about Just IT on the web. Does it still mean they are not genuine?
    If you just study on your own from books, then pass exams, how can you find a job without experience? Maybe it's easier for young guys, but I'm not a guy, and not that young!
    Certifications: Bachelor of Art; City & Guilds Diploma in ICT Systems Level 2 & 3; MCTS: Active Directory; MCTS: Network Infrastructure; MCTS: Windows 7, Configuring; MCSA: Server 2008; CCENT; CCNA; MCSE: Server 2012
    WIP: MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  13. Sonicimage

    Sonicimage Bit Poster

    Yeah, I've read that post following the link above - the person doesn't say about the actual result: did he get a job promised or not, did he pass all the exams or not. He just expressed his opinion, and this phrase from that post: "they think because they give you one ounce of help then you should be indebted to them for the rest of your life!" Does it mean you have to re-pay them for all your life? For sure not - you pay them for a few months until you pay off all their fee, then, I think, you are free of debt. The owner of the post should have said if he got a job from them or not; then, if not, it would have testified they hadn't fulfilled their promises.
    Certifications: Bachelor of Art; City & Guilds Diploma in ICT Systems Level 2 & 3; MCTS: Active Directory; MCTS: Network Infrastructure; MCTS: Windows 7, Configuring; MCSA: Server 2008; CCENT; CCNA; MCSE: Server 2012
    WIP: MCSE: Server Infrastructure
  14. TheMagician

    TheMagician Nibble Poster

    I think you should not make any quick decisions.

    You've just been burned by one training/recruitment company and you then start thinking about signing up with ANOTHER one???

    Warning bells are going off all over the place.

    You couldn't find any negative comments on JustIT on the web? May I direct you to a thread on this very forum


    It should make for some interesting reading. The boss himself posts on it (trying to do some damage limitation after googling his company)

    Be careful with any of these sharks. My advice is to stay well clear. I have read too many horror stories.

    These companies pray on desperate people who will do anything for a job, they know this and suck you in with false promises.

    My opinion is that in IT (like many jobs) you need to have an interest in the subject to do well. And if you do have an interest then you should have no problem buying some books and getting stuck in that way. This is a very inexpensive way of working out if you want to keep going down this path.
    Certifications: MCSA 2012, MCITP: EA, SA, ITIL

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