CCNA

Unanswered Question
Jul 23rd, 2007

I'm about to start a CCNA certification course in August, I have the basic principles in the OSI layers and subnetting, can anyone advise me how hard and if it's worth it?

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chuckrenner Mon, 07/23/2007 - 09:11

To me it was not difficult. I used a self-paced, self-study program that included text, online courseware, online labs, a stripped down simulator, practice quizes, and flash cards. The program was supposed to be 6 weeks (officially), but I did it in 3. Then I spent 4 more days reviewing for the exam. I started June 26, and had my CCNA July 20.

Subnetting is extremely important to ANYTHING you do with IP networking (not just CCNA).

There are many more things covered on the CCNA than just subnetting and the OSI model (see http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/current_exams/640-801.html), but those are things that should give you a start.

Depending on your learning style, you may need different resources than I did.

To me it was not hard, but required a lot of study. I earned my CCNA this past Friday (with a perfect score of 1000).

As to whether it is worth it, I think so. I haven't had it long enough for it to make a difference in my career yet, but it certainly gave me valuable skills, experience, and knowledge, as well as the recognition that comes from having certification from one of the most respected companies in IT.

You can gauge the difficultly for yourself. In the CCNA Prep Center (http://forums.cisco.com/eforum/servlet/PrepCenter), they have online games that test various CCNA skills (including subnetting), four sets of practice questions, a pre-course skills evaluation tool, and ALL kinds of resources.

Spend some time there, take advantage of the resources offered (I did), see for yourself whether you think you have the necessary skills, and ABOVE ALL, see if you think you would ENJOY it. There is no sense in pursuing a career path that you don't enjoy.

jrensink78 Mon, 07/23/2007 - 13:06

I passed it using the 2 test format on my first try after about 4 months of fairly diligent preparation (2 months for each). I used the Cisco Press books as well as a Sybex book with their associated practice tests and simulators.

It's an associate level test, so it's not overly difficult. You don't get really in-depth into any one topic. It's good that you have a general network foundation to build off of. But it will definitely take some effort, because you need to learn all the Cisco-specific stuff.

In terms of if it's worth it, it all depends on what you want to do with it. If you plan on working with Cisco gear in the future, it's worth it. It's nice to have that foundation when you start actually getting your hands on the equipment. You'll pick it up much faster.

If not, maybe look at the CompTIA Network+ certification for something vendor neutral.

youngt050 Mon, 07/23/2007 - 13:33

thanks to the both of you for the advice I actually like networking, trying to achieve some personal goals to get a better salary like everyone else, the question I have also is getting certified a boost in salary for your companies or do you see people that are certified not working in their field.

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