Is this possible? (A+, Net+, CCNA within 3 months)

EdinEdin Posts: 25Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

Just wondering whether it's possible to grab my A+, Net+ & CCNA all within a 3 month period. I currently don't have any industry experience and am only 17. I plan to put in roughly 4-5 hours of study per day. The A+ is fairly easy based on the content I've reviewed and I should be able to pass it easily I think(?)

The Cisco certifications though, very worried about as I have no prior Cisco experience and only intermediate networking experience.

Net+ is somewhat hard but I'm fairly sure I'll pass it with some ease.

For A+ I've obtained some private content to study from. Net+ I have CBT-Nuggets with ExamCram Net+ & for CCNA (ICND1 & 2) I currently don't have any material as it's the last cert I want to complete and will probably plan for as soon as I finish the Network+.

Any advice? :)

Cheers all.

Comments

  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    What's the rush? Don't underestimate these tests either, for someone with little experience they can be a mountain to climb. OK maybe A+ might be easy to you, but maybe Network+ might trip you up... what I'm saying is, take your time with these tests and learn the material within them and know it.

    These are foundational tests, you build nearly all paths within IT from A+ & Network+, some would add Security+ to that list also, which wouldn't be a bad idea. It's likely since you are new to the field of IT that you don't really know where you want to end up, so being multi-skilled early on will help you tremendously trying to find a job, and that is the end goal of these tests - matching certs up with the on the job skills required.

    I would say that it took me about a month to get CCENT and another month to just fail CCNA (I didn't go back to that, but I will be next year). Start off with A+ and then Network+ and then head over to the CCNA forums. Speed is not of the essence when you are 17 years old, you have like a decade to become an experienced IT professional - it's a marathon not a sprint.

    Good luck! icon_thumright.gif
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,604Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Possible yes. Probable no.

    Write your start date down and review it when you finish your first certification. This will give you a much better picture of your timeline.

    It is normal for people getting into the industry to look at higher level certs and come up with a quick path to success. It is not normal for them to follow that path. Usually reality hits and they are not test taking machines.

    Get your first certification and if you are not planning to go to school then use it to start looking for an entry level job. If the career still interests you then you will continue to learn and find your path as you go.

    Good Luck!
  • chopstickschopsticks Posts: 389Member
    Not to discourage you, but unless you have mega memory, excellent understanding of the studied topics, able to take it up full time, it's almost impossible. It'll take time to sink it in and be part of you.
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Posts: 973Member
    Jon_Cisco wrote: »
    Possible yes. Probable no.

    ^This

    What IT and Network experience do you have? If none, I would say it will be very unlikely.
    I mean... you can always Cram and memorize stuff that you dont know what it does or mean.
    Take your time, A+ and Net+ overlap(At least they used to) so you can kill that pretty fast, 1-2 months, specially if already have experience in IT.
    CCNA is another story though, study a lot for that one, get hands on, simulate, do it correctly.
    meh
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    With no industry experience you would be lucky to get 2 of those done in 3 months. I would focus one at a time and then review your situation. You may absolutely hate the certification process and only get one. Or you may love it and continue to keep going.

    Personally if it was me I would first see what I think I like. If you like PC and Laptop's then I would look at A+. If you like routers and switches I would look at Network + or the CCNA. If you do go with the CCNA I would highly recommend taking a course that allows you to have hands of experience. I've recently helped a few guys who had their CCNA land jobs through career coaching and resume building and one was let go within 2 weeks and the other was demoted to helpdesk from a field tech.

    If you have the CCNA you better know what the hell you are doing or you'll get bounced. Just an FYI
  • j.petrovj.petrov Posts: 282Member
    kurosaki00 wrote: »
    CCNA is another story though, study a lot for that one, get hands on, simulate, do it correctly.

    Agreed, the CCNA took me 3 months alone. You really need to do some labs to feel comfortable with the material.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    I agree with the rest the CCNA IMO shouldn't be viewed as something you get within a certain timeframe. Legit CCNA's from perspective have a few years of IT experience so in networking.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I got my CCNA and Sec+ within 3 months when I switched to IT, so what OP wants to do is well within reason.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • arrogantbastardarrogantbastard Posts: 61Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    skip net+ and go straight to ccna if that's your end goal.
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    skip net+ and go straight to ccna if that's your end goal.
    Ordinarily I would tend to agree with you but being only 17 I think the OP will struggle to get taken seriously with a CCNA straight out of high school. There are exceptions of course and the OP could be one of them. But really at 17 I would try to be going to college and enjoying that more so and picking up a few certs while in college even the CCNA when a few years older. I struggled to get taken seriously at the OP's age, even though I knew a lot for my age, at least that's my experience.
  • arrogantbastardarrogantbastard Posts: 61Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    Ordinarily I would tend to agree with you but being only 17 I think the OP will struggle to get taken seriously with a CCNA straight out of high school. There are exceptions of course and the OP could be one of them. But really at 17 I would try to be going to college and enjoying that more so and picking up a few certs while in college even the CCNA when a few years older. I struggled to get taken seriously at the OP's age, even though I knew a lot for my age, at least that's my experience.
    Then why bother with net+ if it's going to expire before he uses it?
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Not necessarily, the OP might get a part-time job that might be in IT while in college or if they weren't working while in college then it's unlikely they would take A+, Network+ & Security+ right off the bat for the reason you point out. They could also take the exams with a break in between them.

    Some people don't do college early on in life or at all and get on fine, but these days at least trying college is a good idea and the OP has not said anything about college. We could describe several hypothetical situations but I think we need more information from them about college... is that in their plans or not?

    This forum has mostly recommended COLLEGE + CERTS + EXPERIENCE = GREAT JOB and so far they are only talking about CERTS = JOB. It's already hard enough for college grads to get a job as it is, just having the CCNA the OP in my opinion will find it tough finding someone to take a chance on them in a competitive marketplace.

    Like I say, I struggled to get management to take me seriously when I was their age, but people that knew what I could do thought I was smart - that didn't matter a jot to management, who just saw someone as too young to do the job required. I'm not saying it to be mean, I'm trying to be realistic about the situation and share my experience.
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,025Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm going to have to come in on the unlikely side, but rather than trying to discourage you, I'd encourage trying to get all of those. I would probably start with a+/network+ as they're likely to be the easiest for you and get you in the door somewhere to get the eminently valuable REAL WORLD experience.

    FWIW, I got my first CCNA in a week of study (on a bet, with a 6 figure job on the line) 7 years ago, but that was also with a decade or so of IT experience already. This second CCNA took me about two weeks, but I was more leisurely about it, and it was all stuff I worked with every day (data center track this time, routing and switching the first time).

    The most important part is if you want to do this, you have to be willing to do the required work, just like any job. You're not going to just walk out there and get a CCIE level job (or CCIE level paycheck) without putting in the work. There are no real shortcuts. Certifications will get your resume past the first culling by HR, but they won't get you a job.
  • tkerbertkerber Posts: 223Member
    When I was 17 I got my A+. I had a very similar plan as well. I wanted to get A+, Net+, and Secutiy+ done in a couple of months as a Junior in high school. I too thought these would all be cake, but I was definitely wrong. Even the A+ took me by surprise with all of its acronyms and concepts that were completely foreign to high school me.

    I did pass it though (with a lot of studying) and was A+ certified by the end of Junior year. I was lucky enough to get a FTE Desktop Support position right out of high school and cracked away some certifications when I had the time.

    Looking back at high school me I would say the best advice is take things one step at a time. Start with A+, study hard and once you've passed both tests make that your mark for other certifications. But also don't get too worked up on certs, they alone won't land you a job and they cost a lot of money. If all your certs expire before you even get a chance to use them then getting certified is a waste.
  • NersesianNersesian Posts: 96Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■□□□□□□□□
    Howdy there. First of all, kudos on the motivation to get these and see progress while only 17. If you're asking for advice, I might be able to help out on setting some realistic expectations.

    - Can it be done?

    Sure.

    Let me start with the A+. The difficulty of the exam is not the technical nature of the data, but the sheer scope of data. I sincerely hope you're not basing the perceived ease of the exam on opinions posted here. I'm 15 years in and if I had to sit for the A+ it would most likely hand me my ass. So the material looks easy? Awesome. Can you recall specific information on some mundane technology no one has used for years? I hope so. The reason this exam is difficult for many is its normally the first one folks get out of the gate. It teaches you how to retain large amount of technical information and recall it in a test environment.

    - Net+ is somewhat hard but I'm fairly sure I'll pass it with some ease.

    Study for the exam and pass it. If you find it easy, you've got a nice introduction into networking which can lead into a career and a solid cert out of it.

    - The Cisco certifications though, very worried about as I have no prior Cisco experience and only intermediate networking experience.

    Here is where you might be wrong. You don't have intermediate networking experience. If you do, you're going to need to prove it to an employer. Have you worked on live enterprise domains? Have you had to address capacity concerns? What about scalability? Security concerns external to your network? Can a former employer vouch for any of it? I'm not trying to be a prick here, but you're going to realize at some point the more knowledge you retain, the more people you work with, the less you truly understand. Go for the Net+ to see if you even like networking as a field first.

    The cold hard truth? I'm not hiring anyone with a CCNA or CCENT without a solid employment history. Focus on putting in the time, build up your resume, go to college and see what you like. The A+ and Net+ will get you in the door to answer phones and rework some end user workstations which will build your experience. I'm not taking some sort of new age position here, but the statement rings true. When you're ready to study and sit for the CCNA/CCENT, you'll know it and it will come naturally. There are too many things to worry about that have an actual impact on your life and potential career. This is not one of them right now.
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