Question About "Professional" Level

Unanswered Question
Sep 13th, 2007

So last week I passed my CCNA exam (first try). I have been working in IT for about 4 years, and I have heard so many haunting stories about that exam. Must say I am actually more proud of myself for this exam than my MCSE (kinda odd how one exam trumps 7).

Anyway, now with the CCNA out of the way, I actually have the feeling the rush into the CCNP and CCDA. I know that is the last thing I should be doing. I am trying to get my employer to atleast get more involved in Cisco so I can get more hands on with this. I feel that with a year or two atleast I can really go for the CCNP. My question is does anyone actually go for the higher level stuff, without the "proper" hands on experience before hand?

I have this problem too.
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paul.matthews Fri, 09/14/2007 - 01:39

Oh yes - people do go for (and get) Professional level without real-world experience.

People even try for CCIE without real-world experience, but that is an even higher challenge!

flash2200 Fri, 09/14/2007 - 04:05

Yes people frequently got to professional level without "real world" experience.

Probably worth mentioning that with Cisco in particular "text book knowledge" is at least as critical (if not more so) than real world experience. You can't just pick this stuff up by osmosis. You have to be willing and inclined to read all sorts of highly technical documentation. Ideally you want both of course but if the nature of your job does not let you get as much practical as you want DO KEEP READING as much as you can. It will prove to be beneficial down the road.

P.S. I concur with you about the difference between MSCE and Cisco Certs. MCSE was relatively simple in comparison :)

Cheers and good luck with CCNP

cyphur353 Fri, 09/14/2007 - 04:17

Professional level certs are certainly achievable without industry experience, but no hands-on experience with the equipment is a recipe for failure.

Rent a rack, use Dynamips, or build a home lab - whatever it takes to get some lab time in. The certification doesn't mean much if you can't get on the equipment and knock out configs or troubleshoot them.

Best of luck!

flash2200 Fri, 09/14/2007 - 04:31

Cyphur is right about the need to get some practical to get a job in the field. I should have mentioned that in retrospect.

To summarize... You can get the professional cert without real world experience but when you want to get a job with it you'll need to have had some practical "hands on" one way or another.


jhaddix385 Fri, 09/14/2007 - 05:09

I must say the forums here are one of a kind, really appreciate the feedback. I have seen a lot of "Discount Cisco" equipment and "lab set" equipment being sold. Any suggestions on some good sites for ordering Cisco routers/switches? Thanks.

paul.matthews Fri, 09/14/2007 - 05:22

Indeed - even with CCIE interviews are no longer "you are a CCIE? When can you start?" The certification may get you the interview, but it is no guarantee of a job.


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