Cert info and Career

Unanswered Question
Apr 30th, 2009
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This might be in the wrong place and if so it's my fault.

In High School a while back I was told with an Army Career I could easily get a job with Cisco. I was wondering however what certifications I should acquire before being hired. Currently I'm working on Security + but I was wondering what cisco side certs to work on. I'm mainly interested in Security, I love it like no other and I live not to far from a Data Center in Texas. My MOS is 25B IT specialist. I know I probably wont be able to get CCIE but I know I can get something to get on my feet and be able to do something within Cisco.

I have a love for computers and if I love something I would like to keep it safe.

Thank you for any help you may provide,


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ross_rulz Thu, 04/30/2009 - 23:38
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If you want to get into Cisco security I would suggest you start off with getting your CCNA then you can move into CCNA Security and if you want to go further which I suggest you do go for your CCSP (Cisco Certified Security Professional).

The only reason I say go for your CCNA is that you need this before you can sit anyother Cisco certs plus it gives you a good introduction to Cisco routing and switching.

Hope this helps.


Signal25B Fri, 05/01/2009 - 12:23
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Thanks for the response. Now here is my next question. Is their are place on the cisco network that I can study for CCNA. I've heard of this E-learning, is that it?


crow930us Fri, 05/01/2009 - 14:12
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You can go to the Cisco Learning Network for some more info ( https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/index.jspa?ciscoHome=true ) You have to create a user account and it is all free. This site will have more information for you in regards to the different Cisco certifications, Overviews on the exams, practice exams etc. this is a good place to start any online learning for Cisco certifications. There are plenty of other providers who offer computer based training material.

richlohman Tue, 06/02/2009 - 21:42
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First of all, nice to see a fellow Signal soldier. I was with the 123d Signal in Germany.

As far as training, there's quite a bit out there; some good some bad. As you wade through this forum, you'll see the occasional reference to TestKing and ActualTests. These are generally considered bad for any number of reasons.

I am working through the Cisco Press books by Wendell Odom for ICND1/ICND2 to get my CCNA. There are other good ones, as well, but these go pretty deep, and you get access to online practice tests which are a huge help.

There's also a lot of video-based training. That's good too, but I like the books better; they force you to engage the material more, rather than sit there passively. Videos are good as a refresher, or for a second perspective on the material.

If you can afford it, there are boot camps where they cram the knowledge in a short period of time (not unlike AIT - one week one module, another week another module; test at the end of each week, etc.). These are pretty costly, but you usually get to interact with a CCIE (if the instructor is not a CCIE, be wary).

Another option (really more supplemental, than a learning strategy) is how to practice with the equipment. There are a couple of decent simulators out there; One by Boson, and another by CiscoPress. There are emulators that actually run the IOS, but my understanding is that they are not perfected, and there may be some issues with using the IOS images in that capacity and the License agreement. I invite others more knowledgeable than I to comment. You can also build your own lab out of parts you purchase on ebay. I think a personal lab is by far the best way to go, and it can be done for a few hundred dollars. If you do that, make sure you review the kinds of equipment that is being used in your studies and purchase similar models. You might also track down someone who is certified to recommend a small inventory to build a lab.

If I were to start all over again, I would go after the CiscoPress books for CCENT/ICND1 and CCNA/ICND2 by Odom, build my own lab, and take each exam separately to get the CCNA (ICND1 + ICND2 = CCNA).


Rich (31M10)

Rob Huffman Wed, 06/03/2009 - 05:55
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Hi Rich,

Excellent answer here my friend! +5 points for this great advice. I thought you might want to see this (for some reason they are very slow to load, but worth the wait);

From the author of the CiscoPress CCNA Study Guides Wendell Odom (all sorts of invaluable info on building a CCNA or CCNP lab);





Hope this helps!


richlohman Wed, 06/03/2009 - 17:01
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Excellent reviews of home lab options. I'm coming back to these once I start start the CCNP.


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