I am brand new to all of this, and looking through these forums it seems like most everyone here is eager to help where they can, which I find to be very encouraging. Having said that, thank you in advance for any and all help/info you might give. Last week I picked up my Cisco CCENT/CCNA study book, and have started this long road of studying. First for my CCENT, and then naturally my CCNA coming after.
So my question! To anyone that has some insight, whether it negative or positive, is;
In your experience, how realistic is it that getting my CCNA will net me a job?
Looking through job listings that require the CCNA, most all want experience. Now Im not complaining about this because I absolutely understand why companies want this. But I do find it somewhat disheartening. I know the CCNA is the entry level Cisco cert and I expect whatever job I can find to be an entry level job. Im very interested in this field and dont want to let the fact that all the job listings I see on the internet requiring experience get me down. So Id like to hear from those already in the industry, any tips or ideas that might help someone like me out whos just getting started with all of this.
Again, thanks in advance for any help. And if someone in another post has pretty much asked this same thing I apologize for repeating it and would really appreciate a link to it
I am not sure if my comments will help at all or apply to your situation as I would imagine my situation was a bit different because I live in a smaller country (Finland).
I personally started with networking by starting my studies in a local Polytechnic (if that is the correct word) where I studied CCNA and CCNP material in the Cisco Network Academy. I never bothered to get the certs as I wasnt to keen on the exam format.
I finished my studies in 2007 and had no certifications or previous expirience from network jobs and basically just applied for almost any job available in my home town (related to my previous studies ofcource) and called the different companies. As a matter of fact one of my last choises was to call to a company that did mostly IT related stuff but as it happens this company was in the process of being bought by the local ISP that was my original first choice after graduation.
I ended up getting asked to a job interview with 2 other people 1 month later and 2 of us were chosen to the ICT team managing business customer networks.
I think it took me about 1 year to really get the hang of things as I had to learn the structure of the ISP network and all the new devices that I had to manage. I would have to say that the most important tool learning at the start of my career was the help of colleagues and going through the existing environments (configurations) and learning how everything works.
After learning the basics I would have to say that the best situations where you can learn is when you have to solve a problem. It requires you to really understand how the network works and what is causing the problem and you will end up learning so much more than reading from a book.
It wasnt actually until now after 5,5 years into my job that I decided to start getting my Cisco certifications and just finished CCNA R&S and I am waiting for my CCNA Security book to begin studying for the next certification. After that its off to CCNP Security and CCNP R&S if situation permits.
So if my own situation is any indication, holding a certification isnt the most important thing when applying for a job but I would imagine that in your case (as Rob above said) CCNA R&S certification would certainly help especially in a situation where you have no previous studies (I presume?) related to networking or have not worked with networking before.
Based on the students in my CCNA class, the hit rate is about 8 out of 10 within 6 months. Bear in mind that this is mainly based on Singapore, so it might be a different case for where you are right now.
In any case, good luck!
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