Certified but no experience;(

Unanswered Question
Aug 19th, 2009

I am finding it increasingly difficult to get noticed in the Networking world with CCNA. I have just started CCDA and will attempt CCNP and CCDP after. Does anyone on here know where is a good place to start gaining some experience, or any insights into gaining something that an employer would deem priceless?

Your help is appriciated;)

Bill from the UK;)

I have this problem too.
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Wilson Samuel Wed, 08/19/2009 - 07:42

Hi Bill,

My best would have been to start working as any IT technician (Helpdesks, PCs) or even any Network Technician level jobs.

They are the best mates and all the things you might encounter will go a long way.

Simply doing certifications (and not working at the level) will not yield the results you may be hoping for.

Once employed at any level, I would have started to best of my knoweldge and time to keep up with the technology and parallel to it I would pursue my own favorite technology (I pursued CCVP, though it was not in immediate requirement of my last job) and now I'm taking care of a Voice NEtwork (yet a long way far from the Design n Implementation of the Voice Networks!)

Hope that my few lines did some help.

Please rate if it helps

Kind Regards

Wilson Samuel

Jon Marshall Wed, 08/19/2009 - 11:22


A lot depends on where you live in the UK. If you are based in London or within commuting distance of London then there will be many more opportunities than anywhere else.

Unlike Windows admin etc. with Cisco you often have to look for a company of a certain size as a lot of small companies just don't have the need for Cisco equipment, at least that is my experience here in the UK.

Jobs are a little harder to come by at the moment but that will change and the best thing you can do is to keep studying while you are looking for work. Know your stuff. I have interviewed a number of CCNA's in the past and some of them were very good but a fair few didn't really understand what they had learn't. Make sure your'e one of the first type :-)

I would go for CCNP rather than CCDA if i was you. Design is a whole different thing and you need to understand the technologies well before you can really start to design anything. CCNP would give you a good in depth understanding.

As for gaining experience. Well i got into Cisco via unix. It may well be that you can't get a direct Cisco job but if you can find an IT job at a company that uses Cisco then you have a foot in the door. Once there volunteer to help out, you'd be surprised how much network admins will let you do if they are confident in your abilities.


billyinkin Wed, 08/19/2009 - 12:22

Jon thats a fantastic reply, I live in Greenwich so not far from Central London at all;) I have heard London Met University do a really good course in CCNP so im looking to take that in feb. I was hoping between now and then to fit in CCDA & CCNA Voice. I have started CCDA and it seems quite deep but I am up for the challenge;))

Jon Marshall Wed, 08/19/2009 - 12:29


"I have started CCDA and it seems quite deep but I am up for the challenge;))"

Well with that attitude you should have no problems in your networking career, good on you.

And these forums are full of people with an awful lot of experience in both the engineering and design side so if you get stuck then feel free to ask on these boards.

Good luck.


billyinkin Thu, 08/20/2009 - 01:25

Thanks for the support Jon, I think I just have to keep on learning and eventually I should fall into a position;))) passing the CCNA is a great confidence boost, now I just have to apply the same reasoning all through my learning;)

Wilson Samuel Thu, 08/20/2009 - 10:51

If one is living in London, and wants to apply for Networking jobs, please by all means try Cisco Partners (Premier, Silver or Gold).

You may get the details from the Cisco.com Partner Central webpage


Though sometimes they may not have neccessirily advertised the job but its good to hunt them down any ways :-)

In my experience, its always a thousand times better to work with a Cisco Partner company than any end customer, as the Partners have to be "on the toes" with cutting edge technology irrespective of the Partner Size (Premier, Silver or Gold) hence one has always something new to learn. Where as in the end customer market one really has to convince the managment why you want to learn something new.

Just my 2 cents.

Moral of the story: If you come by a Partner offer, dont reject it, though it will be demanding, but it will shape you for good!

PS: I'm not saying that End Customers are always not up to the cutting edge, however Partners are I guess a better deal.

jgagznos Fri, 08/21/2009 - 13:44

A lot of good ideas in this thread. Here are a couple more inventive ways to get noticed in this field. Look for opportunities to volunteer at local nonprofits or churchs. These organizations are always looking for help and it is a great way to network & find a job.

Another idea is to join professional groups in your area (especially a Cisco User's Group if there is one). Again - this is all about networking (the REAL human network - heehee!)

Good Luck,


howtonetwork Tue, 08/25/2009 - 23:58

Hi Bill,

I would focus on what skills you do have. Many companies hire people with little or no experience if they are keen. I just ran a course for a company who hired a large number of non IT people and then trained them up. There were photographers, painters etc on it.

This should help:


I used the CCNA to get out of the police and into IT.


Paul Browning



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