My background degree is in electrical and electronics engineering but have a bias towards data networking. I started the CCNA trainig program straight after university to equip me with real life data communications skills. I gained my CCNA in November and I'm considering studying for the professional level certs. I have a couple of questions;
1. As I've not worked with my CCNA, is it sensible to carry on studying or gain some experience before attempting my CCNP? I feel like a job in the field will reinforce my knowledge as well as I need money to survive.
2. I need suggestions regarding books to use for the exams. I'm considering the Cisco press series but these are a little confusing in their title names. Do I get the Study guides or the exams guides? The study guides seem to have more details of the topics but do these come in a packaged box (multiple books in a box)?
3. If I'm not asking for too much does it make sense to acquire a Microsoft network cert? Though I'm already certified MCP but my interest is more in the data communications side of the network than what the servers do. Any advice will be helpful.