im smart but where to start ? ?

Unanswered Question
Feb 17th, 2009

My good friend works at the national institute of health on cisco equipment . He knows im really tired of my plumbing career and he also knows how intuitive and self taught i can be . He thinks i can teach myself to getting my ccna ( with his help )and he could help me get a job . where would i start ? he told me to get the dvds from cbtnuggets . but i feel like thats going to be missing something in the area of " hands on " . im a visual learner and have never needed anyone to teach me anything ( taught myself how to build and moddify engines ) with that being said is it possable to teach yourself a ccna cert or will i need one of these $3k classes i see cisco linking me too ( fastlane ) ? any help will be appreciated . thx

I have this problem too.
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compsolv Tue, 02/17/2009 - 14:22

Check out a sample lesson from our course that will release prior to March 1. The course will consist of videos, Hands-On labs w/ actual equipment, 24x7 support forums, practice exams, and practice labs - all for a FRACTION of the cost of traditional training.

izackvail Tue, 02/17/2009 - 19:02

I think it is definitely possible to teach yourself. It just depends on how much time you have. You will definitely need books and even those aren't cheap. If you have the time and energy to figure it out yourself then give it a go. But if you are short on time and you have the dollars to spend on some formal training then I would definitely recommend that.

If you choose to purchases something I woud definitely recommend Internetwork Expert.

I agree with both of the above posters and I wanted to interject another opinion about OPs question. I am not in the same scenario as you are but I am assisting a friend of mine to get into the "Cisco" field. This is what I recommended:

1. Purchase the the dual book CCNA package or purchase the CCENT (pre-CCNA) book package.

2. Read the first portion of the book "CCNA1" and take the tests. You really dont need as much hands on for that part but there are some lab concepts that you have to understand.

3. If you feel comfortable with the book tests and the knowledge of the first book then take the test associated with CCNA1. And see how you do... if you pass great if you dont... rate yourself and you will find your weak points.

(Assuming you have passed the CCNA1 portion of it.. go onto the next part. CCNA1 is more of the math/logic portion of the Cisco theory versus the practice portion (CCNA2)).

4. Read the CCNA2 book one time in full. Very important since you may not understand the practice concepts but yet you will pick up some concepts that might fill in gaps from earlier chapter concepts.

5. This is the hard part... Read the book again but while doing so... find a method so you can get hands on practice. (These methods will be explained below yet there are different ways.) So you work through all of the book tests and the end chapter tests.

6. Take the test if you feel you are ready and if you pass... viola... YOU IS A CERTIFIED CISCO DUDE! ;)

Different methods of getting hands on practice:

1. Buy an online simulator like Cisco CCNA one. Forgot the name but anyone can look it up. This will cost about 150+ at Borders/Barnes and Nobles/Amazon... wherever you go.

2. Buy the BOSON simulator that gives you the CCNP stuff too but thats even more expensive... like $300+ and that gives you CCNA and CCNP expansion simulation.

3. Go to a company like Internetwork and use a remote rack pod. Really cool idea and it will cost you like $7+ an hour. (I dont know exact prices but I hope Im up to date on estimated prices.)You can use the Cisco Press book that you purchased previously (thats a given) and use their lab scenarios on the remote pods.

4. Go to a company like Internetwork and purchase a lab book and remote pod rental equipment so you can follow their lab scenarios. I dont know the price for their lab book but you can look it up. This is a good idea if you need a lot of pushing from an external source bc you will feel that you spent money on a product and you want to make sure you use the product. But a company like this have good stuff. Personally I would strongly recommend this route if you are going to the more advanced stuff like CCIE. (I plan to do this route. But then again its easy for me to say that bc I work in the field every day.)

5. Go to ebay and buy network switches and routers. This can be cheap or expensive... all up to you. But think of these things as disposable. Bc once you are done with them... they provide very little use unless you want to see the physical components by sight and not by theory. On the other hand, you can see the difference of network modules, wic cards, ram, nvram, and so on... so you get a hands on view of upgrading ram and such. But then again, plugging a chip in is just plugging a chip in... nothing special about it once you do it once.

6. Go to a company like the one you mentioned on your OP and spend $3k. I would strongly not recommend that bc you still dont know if Cisco is for you! Plus that takes time out of your workday and worknight and its just always an issue IMHO.

7. Go to a community college and attend a Cisco Academy class. IMHO... its a good idea but takes to darn long.

Bottomline you know yourself and you know your own dedication... if you can dedicate yourself to studies for a few weeks... you will have no problem "self-studying" your way through a cert and actually know what you are doing.

karmatib1 Fri, 02/20/2009 - 15:57

cool thanks . my IT friend recommended the boson software . currently im reading each chapter of the first book in the ccna library and watching the same video for each chapter from cbtnuggets . so far ive seem to be interested . so much so that im spending hours on end studying . im very analytical and this seems right up my alley . i also found out that my fiance talked to her boss ( she works as a manager at an IT company ) and asked if i could "intern" with their cisco guy and learn in the field . this of coarse will be after i get a better grasp on it . though its good to know ive got a hook up in the IT world .

johnlloyd_13 Fri, 02/20/2009 - 22:29

try to consider other network/router simulation tool. boson has limited commands on it. i used it before and was frustrated, but when i found about dynamips/gns3, i used it ever since.


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