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CCNA:SEC or CCNP R&S

nb-nb- Member Posts: 40 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi

Okay. So basically im finally about to get my CCNA. I'll be having my employee book a time for the exam next week, and i feel pretty confident considering ive worked with all this ccna stuff plus alot of technologies covered in the ccnp tracks for quite a while now.

Anyway my concern is what i should aim for next. I'm having a troubles decide whether i should go for a CCNA:Security or dive straight into the CCNP R&S Tracks. Right now i'm leaning more towards the ccna:sec considering i work as a trainee in a cisco networking consultancy company which basically is a lot of talking with customers, configuring equipment into customers current infrastructure and either ship the equipment or physically go out and install it for them. It is a really good place to work, no boring tasks and i learn alot. Get to work with really experienced guys and so on.

Alot of the stuff i do is configuring routers, switches etc. Even tho i dont know all the theoretical ccnp stuff behind routers and switches, i feel pretty confident with my hands-on skills. I think i have a good combination og basic ccna theoritical knowledge, and ccnp hands on experience. At least its enough to get the job done, and all of the other guys in the company who are ccnp and ccie's configures the equipment up somewhat similiar to what i would have done.

Where i lack experience is the security site.. ASA firewalls, Site-to-site VPN, DMVPN Routers, Certificates, NAT and so on.. For example, we have alot of big customers with a ton og small sites, shops and stores that needs to be connected to their main site. In each shop we put a small dmvpn router and an access point. Even tho ive only read configuration guides, im able to configure a dmvpn router, but i dont know anything about the theoretical stuff behind it.. I just feel like theres alot of stuff in the security side which has just as much relevans to routing and switching in my job. Im worried i might spend months of my time knocking out the CCNP:R&S not really gaining any hands on experience, cause i already know how to configure most of the stuff.

Im thinking in a bigger perspective what would gain me the biggest kind of 'overview' and general knowledge in the consultancy business? Should i go straight for a CCNP:R&S or knock out the ccna security instead?

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    Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It seems to me that CCNP is more relevant to your day to day work. It sounds like you are doing CCNP level work without the certs and are simply more curious about the security stuff.

    So the question becomes what is your motivation?
    If you want to move your career in the direction of your CCNP and CCIE coworkers then I would pursue R&S.
    If you want to move in the direction of security then you have a strong case for Security.

    If you just want to learn then by all means do whatever is interesting to you.

    Good Luck!
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    OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Agreed. It really depends on your motivation and interests. I will be taking CCNA:Sec in a couple of weeks, and I can tell you the majority of it is VPN, Firewall, IPS/IDS, some layer 2 security and general security policy. The only reason I'm taking it though is because I have a Security+ and am enrolled in the Continuing Education program. I won't have to go out of my way to get CEUs. Instead I can just renew it with a certified level cert (Which the security track is the only Cisco cert authorized for Sec+). I looked into NP security though, and the exams really do focus on the technologies I mentioned above plus in the new exam, they even have an exam dedicated to ISE (Identity Service Engine) which is a combo of ACS and NAC. Personally, if I didn't have to keep up with my other certs, I would've just went straight for the CCNP R&S. Like the guy above said, it's all about interest. NP R&S can also contribute to you working into multi-vendor R&S as well (i.e. Juniper) since many of the foundational topics are similar (Aside from EIGRP and other proprietary Cisco protocol).
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
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    PurpleITPurpleIT Member Posts: 327
    IMO, CCNA:Sec is really more of a survey of network security with a Cisco emphasis. While CCNA R&S teaches you how to use certain protocols and features, the Security cert just gets you familiar with what is available, it doesn't really dive deep. It's nowhere near as shallow as Sec+, but it is not nearly as valuable as the R&S. OfWolfAndMan is right about the CCNP though, it gets into the technologies, how to use and tweak them and it is really a whole different animal.

    All of this said, I wouldn't avoid CCNA:Sec, it sounds like it could play a role in what you do, but unless you decide you LOVE it, I wouldn't let it be more than a distraction. R&S is more foundational, will open more doors, and if you decide to pursue the security route you will still draw on those skills.
    WGU - BS IT: ND&M | Start Date: 12/1/12, End Date 5/7/2013
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