These certifications are all so confusing...please help

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Feb 6th, 2008
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OK. Everybody, I am currently enrolled in my Highschool CISCO Networking Academy class, and I thought the only certifications were the CCENT and the CCNA. Here I look up routers on ebay just for fun, and I see, CCIE and other things like that. Can somebody briefly describe the certifications as well as career opportunities available? I happen to be the only one in my class who listens, pays attention, and cares. I am seriously considering a career in networking because it is my favorite class ever taken. I want to work for companies with large-scale networks, and fix the problems with their networks, like FireDog from Circuit City, but on a much larger scale. Can anybody also provide a job description and what degrees in college I need as well? I would really appreciate any help from any of you and am willing to learn. If you want to further communicate with me, my E-mail address is [email protected]. Thank you in advance for your help.



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tpattgeek Wed, 02/06/2008 - 19:13
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This is the home page that describes all of the most popular Cisco certifications and what category they fall under. As you can see, the CCNA/CCENT are the entry level exams and the professional level exams concentrate on your specified area of study (i.e. routing and switching, security, voice, etc.). You must pass the CCNA in order to proceed to the next level. Most decent professional network jobs out there require a bachelor of science or maybe an associate with equivalent work experience. I'm halfway through with my CCNP and will be on my way to CCIE (expert level) within a few years. Cisco recommends 10-15 years of work experience before attempting CCIE's although there are no prerequisites like the professional level. You can find all of this plus more on the site I gave. Hope that helps.


robertham Thu, 02/07/2008 - 05:02
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The above link posted by tpattgeek is your best resource...

I disagree however with the statement regarding the college education requirement for a decent network job soley based on my personal experience. Different job markets perhaps.

That being said i would encourage anyone to get a college education if they are lacking professional experience.

toddlerdal Thu, 02/07/2008 - 06:52
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I tend to agree. I know a lot of technicians out there with a 2 year technical degree, but worked their way through the ranks.

I think the key when first starting out is not to expect to be managing a large network with 0 experience and only relying on your CCNA. Not wanting to sound like I'm bashing the certs...I have them myself and have found great value in them. But, the experience to back it is what sells it.

What I see in job descriptions is verbage along the lines of "bachelors degree or equivalent work experience" and "xx years experience." Something I also learned along the way, is just because you don't meet what they are asking for in an ad, doesn't mean you shouldn't apply. If you don't get called for an interview or you don't get a job after an interview, follow it up with questions asking what you need to improve on, or what skills were you lacking that you can work on.

Just my $.02

robertham Fri, 02/08/2008 - 03:47
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Excellent post toddlerdal...

Along with those expectations Toddlerdal states, you also have to put yourself in the mindset that you will not be making 90k a year right out of college/bootcamp/passing your certifications if you have zero experience... No matter what the advertisements or instructors tell you. =)

points to toddlerdal..


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