complement to R/S

fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
Once I've covered all topics in CCIE RS to some degree I want to get another -NP, or some other relevant certification. The goal would be to make myself more marketable and learn more about interesting networking topics. I'm just going to speculate on a few different paths here and I would love some input.

CCNP:SP
Pros:
Logistically it's relatively easy to self-study for and I would basically just need XRv and books
I want to read the relevant books anyway
Would expose me to IOS-XR
Most (all?) major ISPs in Sweden use Cisco and working for an ISP is probably what I want most of all.
Would not need to take the two CCNA:SP exams or SP:Route because I already have CCNP:RS.
Very relevant to CCIE:RS.

Cons:
Service provider topics would probably only have minor relevance if I don't end up working for a SP.
Decreased demand for pure net engineers in ISPs due to improved processes, "SDN", etc?
It will probably be assumed that I braindumped because who reads MPLS books and stuff in their spare time?

CCNP:Security
Pros:
I don't know enough about security.

Cons:
Seems too Cisco specific, resulting in a lot of time learning skills that don't carry over to other vendors
People seem to really dislike the ASA and Cisco as a security vendor in general
I would need to take 5 exams as I don't have CCNA:Sec.

CCNP:Wireless
Pros:
It seems expected that you know wireless if you work in an enterprise environment.
Probably rare due to the logistical problems involved like buying controllers and APs.
I would probably enjoy the "travelling around doing wireless" lifestyle compared to just sitting in an office.

Cons:
Would require buying physical devices that I probably wouldn't be able to afford.
Seems difficult to study for due to lack of books that map to the blueprint, except the quick references.
Probably very time consuming if starting from zero.

CCDP
Pros:
I've heard that the book for Arch is pretty good.
Should be easy to study for/only 1 exam.

Cons:
I'd feel silly putting a design certification on my resume
Would need to also study for CCDA which I've heard is a very poor exam

Other
VMware and other virtualization things, data center, storage?

Thoughts?

Comments

  • ande0255ande0255 Posts: 1,178Banned
    I'd go for VCP-DCV, as studying for that has given me a broad range of knowledge on everything data center related, much more than just the VMware aspects. Would definitely recommend for anyone up to an NP / IE level that is not overly familiar with storage and server technologies (you learn quite a bit setting up windows servers in your lab environment).
    Back in my day we used to route packets on 56k lines, through the snow, uphill both ways.

    https://loopedback.com
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    I want multiple CCIE's but I may end up going VMWare - I've been using ESX for years and Workstation for 10 years.
    I'm an MCSE as well, (albeit an old one, 2003) but you could argue a CCIE, MCSE and VCP would be one HELL of a well rounded consultant
  • HeeroHeero Posts: 486Member
    Keep in mind that "well-rounded" isn't always what people look for in a consultant. At the very high end, they typically want an SME in some specific technology, and those consultant jobs pay really well.

    The best paying consultant gigs are going to be for very large companies (large networks with complex requirements) and they typically have their own competent staff, but bring in expensive consultants for specific projects/tasks/fixes that require an expert level of knowledge in X technology.
  • lrblrb Posts: 526Member
    Juniper JNCIA is probably a good easy one to knock out in a month or so because you already have a strong theory knowledge of the technologies and protocols, it'll just be the CLI that you will need to learn.
  • Dieg0MDieg0M Posts: 861Member
    What about CCNP DC? Honestly, if there's a job market in your area to work for an ISP go for CCNP SP. If not, go for JNCIx or CCNP DC.

    Your main concern should be to find a job that gets you experience to build your career.
    Follow my CCDE journey at www.routingnull0.com
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    Heero wrote: »
    Keep in mind that "well-rounded" isn't always what people look for in a consultant. At the very high end, they typically want an SME in some specific technology, and those consultant jobs pay really well.

    The best paying consultant gigs are going to be for very large companies (large networks with complex requirements) and they typically have their own competent staff, but bring in expensive consultants for specific projects/tasks/fixes that require an expert level of knowledge in X technology.

    You make a very good point there, actually.
  • reaper81reaper81 Posts: 631Member
    The CCIE RS is always going to be the best ROI and it's the base of all the other certifications pretty much. In your case you don't have much on the job experience which could be an obstacle for you.

    The SP market is pretty limited in Sweden but I find the technologies really interesting. I might do the CCIE SP sometime in the future, just because I find it interesting.

    Security is interesting but I don't enjoy it enough to do cert in it currently. I certainly know my way around IOS security features and the ASA though.

    Design is always interesting, CCDE is on my radar.

    Learning something like Vmware could be good to broaden a bit but if you are going to become an networking expert it might not be needed.

    I work as a designer/architect and as a subject matter expert. People hire me for my expertise in networking, I've never heard anyone ask me if I know operating systems or Vmware. Not saying it's not good knowing but people pay good money to get my expertise in networking.
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
    Thanks for the input everyone!
  • powmiapowmia Posts: 322Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    gorebrush wrote: »
    You make a very good point there, actually.

    And if you don't understand the technologies that make up a network and surround the one technology you specialize in... a one-trick-pony consultant will break things. It's not about deep vs. wide... you need both, you just don't need to be deep in everything.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    I owe a lot of my big successes as a Network Engineer to understanding how Windows works, and Linux. I use all sorts of OS and have 6/7 years as a Systems Administrator to thank for a lot of it. Troubleshooting issues is a LOT easier when you understand OS and applications. Not saying it is the be all and end all -but in the environment I work in where I am faced with many diverse network arrangements - I do feel I have a distinct advantage over those who do not.
  • powmiapowmia Posts: 322Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    Exact same thing here. The lines aren't blurred between server guys and network guys (insert storage/dev/whatever), the lines are gone. I had to get heavy into VMware, UCS, and anything SAN or DC stuff a few years back, because many environments I have been in would have considered me irrelevant otherwise. Same thing for voice, video and countless other technologies.

    As with the R&S, there is so much stuff that you just don't use on a daily basis. While it is necessary to gain an expert level understanding of things like fabrics, protocols, server architecture, security frameworks, and applications as they pertain to a network (whether the app is SIP, h.323, VDI, mail, whatever), spending hours on end learning the 'expert level' knowledge of things like; the different modes of an ASA, the different tweaks for a vPC or FEX setup, the countless CUCM features, etc... is a waste of time IMO. For a resume builder, one CCIE gets people's attention, for a career builder... don't chose certs based on what is "marketable" on a resume, because marketing is just buzzwords. You don't want a cert that is just a buzzword.

    Just an example; I know so many people that went and got a CCIE Voice, because it was marketable, and the pass rate was so low that people assumed it must grant some godlike powers and come with a fat paycheck. A lot of them, are now busting their a$$ to pick up data center and R&S/SP knowledge, because Voice is just an application... a very small part of an overall network. Once you claim CCIE, it doesn't matter what track it is, so many customers are going to assume you understand the network and everything it entails. It's embarrassing to have to tell a customer, "I don't know how to zone your new blades, I'll have to get one of our DC guys. After they do, we can install your UC app." This doesn't mean that cert isn't great to have, a lot of people have been very successful with the niche certifications and are perfectly happy with it... it's just something to consider.

    Make the decision based on what provides the most benefit to your career and what makes you as a person relevant in the industry, long term.
Sign In or Register to comment.