CCNA no corporate experience..what's the next step?

Unanswered Question
Feb 17th, 2010


A little over a year ago, I moved to Texas from Michigan to give myself a legitimate chance at a IT career. I had acquired my CCNA in 2003 but due to the suffering economy in Michigan, I never got any corporate experience. In my last posting I was hesitant to put the time money and effort into acquiring my CCNA again, in fear of being certified again without getting an IT job. Anyway, to make a long story short, I got my CCNA again in Oct. 2009 and still have not managed to get a networking related job. I'm currently working as a Tier II tech support agent, so I'm a little closer than I was before I started on this journey. I've come to far to give up now!

So my question is: what is the best next step to take? Being that I have my CCNA and tech support exp. I'm not sure to go after CCNP, CCNA Voice, CCNA Wireless, etc. My main concern is getting my foot in the door and which would present me with the best opportunity for success. Any help, suggestions and/or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Tim

I have this problem too.
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cisco.xenpak1 Thu, 02/18/2010 - 03:31

Hello Tim,

this has been also a big discussion in our company. But I can tell you, that even when you are employed as a network tech, you will never get to ALL the things that they teach in a CCNA or CCNP stuy material.

It is just the nature of beeing a network tech since it is a big variety out there. Some do OSP, others do IS-IS, and so on.

For me this means, that even if I would be currently not work in the network tech environment I would still keep up learning the next higher topics that are out there. Additionally you can still looking to move closer to the network tech position.

When I moved out of Fort Myers, FL, three weeks after, the office of the Sherriff had posted an opening for a CCNA Network tech.

Good luck.



timlegend Wed, 02/24/2010 - 18:54


Maybe I need to come out there to Fort Meyers! Just kidding. I know if I keep my patience things will work out. Its just frustrating. I actually had an interview today for a NOC I position. The interviewer told me I had the qualifications but not the experience. I totally appreciated and repected the honesty. He told me that they were looking to replace a tech and they needed someone who already had the experience. I asked what would he recommend I do in the future and he said that this would actually be the position for someone at my stage but it was a business needs thing. I might need to look into the Sheriff department down here!

It makes sense that a company would want someone to focus on one particular aspect(like Frame Relay, OSPF, etc.), so I plan on contiuing to my education and staying prepared.

Thanks for the insight,


Leo Laohoo Wed, 02/24/2010 - 19:09

I have no idea what the environment is like in the US.  I'm here in Australia employers tend to hire you as long as you're certified (as long as it's not by a mental institution).  Now here's the kicker.  9-in-10 interview questions they'll ask you, say, if you are CCNA.  BUT the prospective employer will never, ever ask WHEN.  I got mine back in 2005 and not once was I ever asked this question.

Anyone can take CCNA.  Schools here, public and private, now have electives in CCNA.  They're churning out CCNA-ready students faster than corn chips.  But the question is experience.  I've met CCNA, CCNP and CCIE but give them real actual problems, I wouldn't trust them to cross a bike trail with an ice cream cone in winter.

In one interview, I was shown a conference table with two routers, two switches and a bunch of cables.  I was told to set up a dot1q trunking between the router and the switch, connect the routers and use routing protocols.  The guy who was conducting the interview proceeded to read the day's newspaper.

What's your next step?  Practice and experience.  Cisco Netpro is very good place for you to pick up skills, learn from mistakes and understand alot of things.  I'd say if you pick up something interesting here replicate it during your free time and then BREAK IT.  Understand why it's broken and find methods to fix it.


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