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Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by Synthil, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Synthil

    Synthil New Member

    Hello all.

    I am looking to follow the CCNA > CCNP route towards becoming a Network Engineer. Whatever I specialise in (CCSP, CCIE, Linux, etc.) I shall largely determine after I obtain a CCNA or CCNP, and then I'll likely follow such specialties in my spare time towards certification.

    However, my experience in the practical world is limited. I am young, and my experience has only involved 1 month working for a Tiscali helpdesk, and 1 month as a Trainee Web Developer which was sadly, due to the sheer rarity of such positions, cut short. I have certainly had no experience in configuring Cisco routers and switches.

    From many, many job searches and comments on this forum, it appears that any prospective Network Engineer requires experience. And a fair amount of it. Since that is so, what is the point of these qualifications, when offered to someone with no experience? How exactly do you become a Network Engineer, and proceed to gain invaluable experience?

    Obviously, these questions are near impossible to answer, as everyone's experiences and opportunities differ tremendously. I would really appreciate it if some Network Engineers here, or people who know Network Engineers, could explain how they got into the industry back from since they had no experience whatsoever, including any qualifications they obtained. We aren't born with experience, ya know! :)
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    High end certs like CCNA, MSCA and MCSE are supposed to show that you have on the job experience and are supposed to be a backup to show you have that experience they are not designed to show that you can pass an exam.

    Entry level certs like the A+, N+ and MCDST are used to help someone get into the industry, high end certs are supposed to show your experience level within the industry.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    My first break in IT was a lucky one, I attended an A+ course aged 19, and the trainer was very impressed, although he had to have a quick word about my enthusiasm regarding answering all the questions.

    Anyways he recommended me to a small building firm and i ended up running there network, alongside helping with the accounts, (ie data input), but the money was rubbish, however i cut my teeth in the real world.

    Well anyways the point of the story is that YOU have to make it happen.

    You need to plan for your certifications and study path, but also have to get involved wherever you can.

    For example, Put up an advert offering IT support locally, maybe someone will take up your services and then be impressed and let you know there is work going at wherever they work.

    look for support work locally or volunteer work, offer services free to local charities, whether webdesign or helping with IT.

    Whatever id do, the first thing is i would get rid of the negativity, it can be a long road, with lots to learn, but the first step maybe the hardest, but the more positively you think, the easier it will happen.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    In short... there is no point in offering advanced certifications to someone with no experience. Certifications without the appropriate level of real-world experience isn't very useful... not to the individual being certified, and not to companies looking for experienced individuals. Typically, the only ones who profit from getting people certified before they should do so are training providers.

    You start out with an entry-level IT job, and you make yourself more attractive to an entry-level employer by gaining entry-level certifications, such as the A+, Network+, and/or MCDST. Eventually, you should attempt to move into a more advanced role - desktop support, if you don't already start out there. Then, while working in desktop support, try to get into a position where you can assist the server admins with server administration and learn from them so you can gain a little server experience. Then, get a full-fledged server admin job, and try to get one where you can assist the network admins with network/router/firewall administration so you can build that experience. Then, get a full-fledged job as a network admin... then specialize, if you desire.

    Only pursue certifications that are relevant to the experience you are getting. For example, when you start building server admin experience, only THEN should you consider pursuing the MCSA. When you start getting a bit of Cisco router experience, only THEN should you consider pursuing the CCNA. Certifications aren't designed to show employers what you WANT to be doing... they're designed to show employers what you can ALREADY do.

    This method takes you one rung up the IT career ladder at a time. It absolutely worked for me. Jumping rungs can be done with a little luck... but I wouldn't advise it. When jumping rungs, you are competing against people who have experience. Further, even if you get the job, you won't have the solid foundation of experience that you should have before stepping into that role... so the chances for "epic fail" rise substantially.

    Hope this helps. :)
    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!
  5. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    Some sound advice here. Welcome to CF!
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV

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