Unanswered Question
Jan 7th, 2008

Hello, Im 32 and currently in the process of a career change. Im a broadcast engineer (radio / TV ) for the last 8 years with quite limited IT knowledge even though lately due to issues I am now the system admin.

I was wondering, before I check into CCNA or CCENT certs, is there something like a basic networking class I should have? or is that gone over with those certifications? Over the last year I have only learned thru trial n error and havent learned much "properly". Money isnt a issue if it will help make a transition into the IT field easier.

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dbeare Mon, 01/07/2008 - 08:34

I'd highly recommend taking a CCNA course via a Cisco Learning Partner or through the Cisco Network Academy, if you don't have much of a background in the area.

sicilyeng Tue, 01/08/2008 - 01:22

Thanks for the fast replies and yup that helps.

Looking into the A+ overview, I noticed thats pretty much the extent of my knowledge. But is the certificate from A+ a big deal? A couple extra ?months? for an A+ cert to help get a better job is fine. Ive been out of the USA for almost 9 years so im a bit cloudy of how things are.

Really, I have the next 8 months of almost unlimited study time since im stationed in Sicily and so far I havent seen any pure online ways of doing A+, Net+, CCNA or CCENT without needing a classroom.

I just want to be fully prepared in 8 months to get back to the United States and be able to start a life in a new career, or at least make my life that much easier when going for my CCNA certificate.


dbeare Thu, 01/10/2008 - 07:13

Depending on your resources, I would try to get as much hands on time as possible on routers and switches while studying for your CCNA. Being able to learn information from reading books is good, but being able to put them into application will help you greatly, not only when testing but also when looking for jobs. Ebay is your friend. You can put together a fairly simple lab for under $500, or a great lab for a few thousand. Also, there are companies that sell lab time for access remotely into routers and switches. I haven't used that route, so i'm not too familiar with it. Best of luck in your studies!

rgfrergfre Tue, 01/15/2008 - 11:58

You may want to have a look at I studied for a few months with books, used onlineexpert, and then went to a boot camp; just received my CCNA this past week. One thing to note is that the onlineexpert material was for the tests that expired in Dec. '07.

wbosher01 Tue, 01/29/2008 - 12:27


I'm 36 and doing the same thing, I come from an automotive background. Pretty scary.

I haven't actually sat the CCENT exam yet so I don't know know exactly what's involved in the exam but if you want to grasp the basics then this is what I did.

I studied for the Comptia Network+ exam which covers the networking fundamentals. I didn't bother sitting the exam though due to the ridiculous cost involved compared with CCENT/CCNA. This gave me enough knowledge to go into the CCENT without too much trouble.

I'm using CBT Nuggets for the latest exam and the instructor explains thing really well and makes thing very easy to understand (although it helps if you have some basic knowledge, hence the Network+ route) and if you don't get it first time, you can just go back and take another look at that section.

That what I'm doing and I seem to be picking thing up fairly well at the moment. Hope this helps.


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