after CCNA.......

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Jul 11th, 2008
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I have a question....I am currently in the process of studying for my CCNA. My question is, what's next? I understand that at the CCNA level, you should have a solid foundation, but just researching job postings and cisco.com, there is so much more to know. Between wireless, voice, security, VPN, Data Center, how does a newbie get his foot in the door, what are the next steps? I would hate to take CCNA test and then not be able to get into the field because I don't know enough.



thanks

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jim_berlow Fri, 07/11/2008 - 14:40
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It is difficult to find a job with just a CCNA. As you mentioned, there is just so much that is expected of you. Once you get your CCNA definitely update your resume and get it out there, but start immediately on another certification.


The hottest certification right now (and the one with the most job opportunities) is the CCVP. The CCVP is commanding almost a six digit salary (equivalent to a R&S CCIE) and it is much easier to obtain. You may not get that number starting out, but you won't have any issue finding employment. To give you an idea, this last year my company has hired only 1 very experienced CCNP but about 10 CCVPs (some with and without practical experience). There is just that much of a shortage of voice guys right now.


Good luck with what you decide to do. And never stop studying - you want to always be working toward something in this field.


Jim

ciscoskeemz Fri, 07/11/2008 - 19:46
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thanks so much for your quick reply.


Do you know whats the best way for studying for that without classroom training. I would think it must be hard to setup a home network for that.

jim_berlow Sat, 07/12/2008 - 17:58
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Any of the professional level certs can be done through self study (that's the way I did the CCVP). When you get to the call manager stuff, you can rent some time very cheaply on the internet (like $20 / 4 hours) to get some hands on. The other option is to load Call Manager into a virtual machine in VMware (a couple coworkers did it that way).


Good luck,

Jim

ciscoskeemz Mon, 07/14/2008 - 05:00
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thank you again...one more ? if you don't mind.


I noticed there are two paths to CCVP, Cisco Unified CallManager and Cisco Unified Communications Manager.


Is there a preference? Is one better than the other? ty

jim_berlow Mon, 07/14/2008 - 07:22
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Which track you choose is completely up to you. Both tracks are equally respected in industry. You'll notice that several of the exams are the same on both tracks. If your not sure about the tracks, the CVOICE training is common to both tracks and is a great starting place toward certification down either path. Work through that course and it should help you with deciding which track you want to do.


Best of luck!

Jim



lrrossi Mon, 07/21/2008 - 06:47
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You can't go wrong with the CCVP, either track. I did some research on the job boards and posted the results here:

http://www.ccprep.com/Resources/cc-news/articles/Certification%20Question-Jul-08.asp


There are literally hundreds of CCVP jobs out there and I find it to to be the most interesting of all the certifications :-).


Good Luck,


Lou Rossi

www.CCPrep.com

A Cisco Learning Partner

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