Why should I do CCNP after CCNA?

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I passed my CCNA last year in November. I heard that CCNA is a great certificate which can bring some difference in your life or career path and much better than other like A+ or Microsoft.

But after acquiring CCNA, I don't see any significant change/improvement in my career path so far.

Basically I am not satisfied with the time and money I put for it and result I got from it. Now in hope (like before) thinking that CCNP can bring some magic?

Shall I go for it? If Yes, why?

Do you have any similar situation, please share.

I have this problem too.
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Hi There

Firstly, congratulations on passing the CCNA.

I am curious as to what difference you were told the CCNA certification would make to your life/career path and what expectations you had of the CCNA certification changing/improving your life/career path.

The CCNA is an entry level networking certification for a single vendor. It (hopefully) shows that you have a understanding of the basics of networking and can configure Cisco equipment from a simple to maybe intermediate level (depending on actual experience).

If you were expecting lots of HR managers waiting outside the exam center calling successful candidates "Sir/Madam" and offering them jobs with 6 figure saleries or Mr Ferrari waiting outside to make you a present of a brand new 2007 model of your choice, then you were always in for disappointment.

What is your motivation for studying for and taking certifications?

For me personally, I chose to work in the IT arena. For the last number of years I have been working quite a bit as a network engineer and I learned the skills I needed for my job from my work colleagues. I understood that there were gaps in my knowledge (some quite large :) ), so I decided that I would do some reading up on networking so that I would start to understand why I was doing things aand not just doing them because I was told to do them.

I expected the knowledge I gained to make me more valuable to my department and that I would be given more complex problems to work through/help with.

While shopping for books, I noticed the Cisco books on the shelves, and knowing that Cisco is the biggest name in the industry at present, I purchased some of their books.

I picked up some old equipment off of Ebay to play with and away I went.

My reason studying is to aquire knowledge of a field that I enjoy working in. As long as I enjoy working with networking I will continue to try and improve my understanding of this topic and better myself. I take the certification exams to prove to myself that I know a subject to a particular level.

So to your question "should you go for the CCNP certification and why", well that depends on your motivation.

If you are doing it in the hope of meeting all those HR managers with the high paying job offers, or the free Ferrari's etc, I would say don't bother!

However if you enjoy networking and want to provide yourself with the knowledge to tackle the challanges that you will face in your working life, then the answer is easy.

The certifications should be for yourself. If the knowledge you pick up in your studies leads to better job positions, more respect from your peers, higher renumeration, then that is a bonus. These should not be your driving reasons for the job you choose to do or the certifications you study for.

You will spend quite a lot of your adult life working, so make sure that you are working at something that you enjoy and not just what is paying the best at this moment in time, as this might always be the case.

Best Regards,

Michael

jim_berlow Thu, 08/14/2008 - 09:08

Good information from Michael about this.

I would also like to add that I think some people forget what certification is designed to do. Quoted from the CCNA information page:

"The Cisco CCNA network associate certification validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN."

http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/le2/le0/le9/learning_certification_type_home.html

Certification is designed to validate the skills that you have already obtained on the job or through hands-on experience. The certification does not mean that you are qualified to obtain a job working with Cisco routers. From an employer's point of view, they don't want people who are relatively new to the industry working on one of the most important technologies in the company. They will look for those who have years of hard-earned experience along with that CCNA.

Having completed the CCNP & even the CCIE (at quite some cost), I can tell you that you will find the same thing once you complete them. Employers look at your experience - certifications are just an independent validation of your skills that looks nice but doesn't really mean anything. If you are looking to break into this industry then that is what universities are for.

I agree with the answers to the OP. Your reasoning, unfortunately, is flawed with your expectations. Can you tell us what you expected out of getting your CCNA? Now, I would understand that if you were to say... "I put all this money into CCIE and I dont see any significant change/improvement in my career path so far... " then I would say that sucks. But, I guess you have to lay a baseline of what you did expect from getting the CCNA cert?

Honestly, if you want to become a UNIX admin then study Unix/Linux and apply for a linux job. You want to become a AD admin... study Windows and apply for a Windows job. If you want to become a Cisco admin... then study Cisco and apply for a Cisco job. My point being is that just because you got the cert... that doesnt automatically get you a job. You still have to apply yourself to find a better job for you. Unless you get to become the lucky few in the world where the job falls in your lap because you have an entry level cisco cert.

You can always go to medical school and put money into there and Im pretty sure that you would get a great paying job with a lot of respect. But, Cisco being like medical school... the more money and time you put into your training and your life... the better it will become in the later years.

joaquin48 Fri, 09/26/2008 - 06:21

Hi

Don't get discouraged. Look, I have been working in the IT area for 11 years now, I have seen many different things, and have had great jobs. Now, it all comes together, experience, knowledge, AND certifications. CCNA is not a PH.D degree from Harvard. But it is a GREAT start for your certification career.

Certifications alone are wotrhless (in my opinion), BUT if you have knowledge, experience, AND you get certified, then you are looking at real fun jobs with big $$$. But CCNA is a very basic certification, just entry level. There are certifications from Comptia, like Network+, or Security+, from Juniper Networks, Foundry Networks, and many more that can lead you into the path for real Network engineer careers, so, just keep working and studying hard, and you will find joy and $$$ in the way,

Regards,

Joaquin

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