Just starting: Should I get a CCNA?

Raymond MasonRaymond Mason Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello guys! I am 25 with zero experience in networking and I don't have a degree or currently going to college. I really don't have the money to go through college so that's not an opinion. The only real job I had was help making signs for my uncle which didn't last for very long.

So I decided to study for the CCNA until I learned I should of gotten my network + before hand. I plan on just getting through the CCNA and backtrack to get the network + certification. My dad works in telecommunications so its something I wanted to do. I know its totally unrelated to what he does but its similar.

The thing is my father is going to retire very soon and I feel like I need to step in and fill the boots per say. Gonna be a challenge since his been doing it since he was 18 years old and now is around 60 years old. I guess I just want to make him proud and prove I can do this.

Should I get the CCNA? Or stop what I am doing and work on something else due to my freshness?

Comments

  • Binary FreakBinary Freak Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    There's not really much point in getting a degree until your field requires it. I think the CCNA is a good place to start (But that's just me). If you've already started it then I wouldn't recommend going down to the N+. There's going to be mixed opinions on this though

    I would recommend reading the N+ then going on to the CCNA book(s)

    Telecommunications is actually closely related related to networking
    , especially from a service provider perspective. :)
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,571Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Honestly, what is covered in the Network+ is covered in the CCNA, so I wouldn't suggest backtracking at all. Telco (I work for a large one) requires a good understanding of networking, which I believe the CCNA will provide to you (it would be, roughly speaking, foundational). If you want to get into telco quicker, I'd recommend getting the CCENT, as it might give you an edge with the hiring manager. I got my job, in part, because I had a Network+ cert but found out later that the CCENT/CCNA is more or less the gold standard. Naturally, I'd discuss this issue with your dad and see if getting the CCENT would be helpful to get you a job with his company.

    Cheers
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  • Raymond MasonRaymond Mason Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    There's not really much point in getting a degree until your field requires it. I think the CCNA is a good place to start (But that's just me). If you've already started it then I wouldn't recommend going down to the N+. There's going to be mixed opinions on this though

    I would recommend reading the N+ then going on to the CCNA book(s)

    Telecommunications is actually closely related related to networking
    , especially from a service provider perspective. :)

    Thanks for the reply! I am reading Internetworking Basics book. So I will finish going through that and then read the N+. I have been keeping notes and writing down anything that I think is important. Later I review the notes and make sure I understood the concept of the topic and have someone test me.

    I saw the N+ book and considered getting it. I am learning a lot already. Although I do have some basic networking knowledge about routers, hubs, switches and how to wire up a network. Before I studied some electrical theory and have a little experience in that area.

    My father told me I should get into networking. He said if he had to start over again he would go in that field. I suppose his fielding is slowly merging with networking more and more.

    @stryder144: Thanks for the input! We kind of crossed posted. I don't plan on getting into telecommunications for the reasons I stated above. I still will go for CCENT though after this one. Good to know I don't need to backtrack. :D
  • Raymond MasonRaymond Mason Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys for both of your inputs! Its good to know I don't need to backtrack. I will try to get the CCENT after I get the CCNA. I don't plan on working for my fathers company since I kind of want to go my own way. I got a lot of studying to do. :D

    If you have any extra advice or tips on how to study that would be great too!
  • Binary FreakBinary Freak Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    You get the CCENT first, then the CCNA. :)

    Personally, my approach is, I usually spend early morning watching the videos (CBT Nuggets) related to the chapter I will be studying on that dad, that way I can get some insight on to what is covered on the chapter

    Secondly, I also spend as much time doing labs as possible (remember employers always prefer those that can implement). Later in the day, towards the end, you ideally want to get the memory tables completed alongside the practice test related to that particular chapter (OCG).

    Provided you can stick to a good routine for 2-3 hours per day, then there really is no excuse as to why you can't get a CCNP or even a CCIE in 2-3 years :)
  • Raymond MasonRaymond Mason Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    You get the CCENT first, then the CCNA. :)

    Personally, my approach is, I usually spend early morning watching the videos (CBT Nuggets) related to the chapter I will be studying on that dad, that way I can get some insight on to what is covered on the chapter

    Secondly, I also spend as much time doing labs as possible (remember employers always prefer those that can implement). Later in the day, towards the end, you ideally want to get the memory tables completed alongside the practice test related to that particular chapter (OCG).

    Provided you can stick to a good routine for 2-3 hours per day, then there really is no excuse as to why you can't get a CCNP or even a CCIE in 2-3 years :)

    Alright! Thanks for the advice. I guess I didn't know what order to go in. I am studying the Cisco book Internetworking Basics. I just started on it yesterday.
  • Binary FreakBinary Freak Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    That is great.

    You could also try looking at some videos on Youtube, just set the filter for playlists so you get the best results :)
  • Raymond MasonRaymond Mason Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    That is great.

    You could also try looking at some videos on Youtube, just set the filter for playlists so you get the best results :)

    I found CBT Nuggets that you mentioned. I heard from another video that he does labs. There is this one guy who said he bought some equipment to follow the labs. Have you ever personally done this?
  • Binary FreakBinary Freak Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yes most of his videos do cover the labs that you'll do.

    Yea, buying equipment to do that labs with is probably the best ideas, though most people just use GNS3 :)
  • NersesianNersesian Posts: 96Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hello Mr. Mason,

    I can serve as the voice of dissent if that's what you're looking for. This all comes down to what you want to do professionally. Obtaining a CCNA/CCENT does not come standard with a high paying job of your choice. You may want to consider taking a look at the Network+ as it breaks down some concepts you may have missed by 1) not having any time in the field and 2) not having any context for some of the terms. The CCNA/CCENT places some assumptions on your general field of knowledge, so you may have a difficult time with some of the more technical topics.

    So, what would the anonymous internet advice giver advise?

    1. Look into college again. You say you can't afford it, but I don't know of anyone who has ever been able to afford it. I wasn't raised in a wealthy area or family and most folks considered college simply out of reach due to their class and/or status. I was raised ******* dirt poor. Depending on which area of which country you're in there may be a wealth of options you're not considering. Community college might be a route you can explore. There is a difference between good debt and bad debt. I always consider college a good debt. PM if you want and I can walk you through the steps.

    2. You're going to need some experience. Remember that whole college thing? They're going to need people to run their help desk, assist students with password resets and help faculty out with the wi-fi password. Its not going to pay much (if they could pay more they wouldn't pay you) but it will get your foot in the door and get something on that resume of yours.

    3. You're going to need to start talking to other people in the industry. TechExams is a great start. Take that motivation and apply it to local meat space events in your area. Some of the most backwoods locations have localized groups which can help with people who have the same goals you do.

    4. Still interested in the IT field? If not, don't worry. Its certainly not for everyone and you always have a backup gig with dad's sign shop. If you are interested, start working on the certs. You may have noticed the CCNA/CCENT is a bit...heavy. This is by design. If it was easy, everyone would have one and we would all be sitting on a Brazilian beach somewhere remoteing into our environments.

    I'm not saying there is a right or wrong path for anyone and you are most certainly not the first person to go down this road. I grew up with an overly controlling father and understand the burden of making a father proud. Be successful and happy in whatever you do and if he's a halfway decent person, he'll be proud of you either way. Don't go into this thinking you've found a **** code for life as it just doesn't work that way.
  • tkerbertkerber Posts: 223Member
    I have to really disagree with some of the people on this thread. Sure maybe a degree isn't required for some jobs but the further you climb the latter the more you will find restrictions. Also if I'm interviewing two people for a potential position and both have CCNAs and a couple years of experience but one has a degree.. In most cases I'm going to take the better value of my dollar and get someone who has a degree, experience, and certs..

    IT is competitive and I think by just jumping to the CCNA you're skipping so many other fundamental skills needed for a career in IT. A lot of jobs like you to have some low level experience and exposure to other technologies as well. Have you even considered community college? My degree costed me less than 5,000 a year (BEFORE FEDERAL tax breaks) AND it had CCNA, A+, Net+, Microsoft, and even Linux classes included.
  • NersesianNersesian Posts: 96Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■□□□□□□□□
    Is there an echo in here?
  • tkerbertkerber Posts: 223Member
    Nersesian wrote: »
    Is there an echo in here?

    Haha my bad.. I started typing up a response and left it open for a few minutes.

    Beat me to it! I'm agreeing with you though, spot on!
  • NersesianNersesian Posts: 96Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■□□□□□□□□
    No worries. The purpose for me is to 1) avoid the frustration that comes with studying for something which you may not be the intended audience. Pardon the comparison, but it would be like me waking up one day and deciding to be a CPA. It might happen, but it probably shouldn't and I still shouldn't be let anywhere near a corporate tax form. 2) I think what would be worse if he obtained the CCNA and then couldn't find a stable gig. That runs the risk of killing the enthusiasm and souring someone on our chosen profession which is bad for everyone.

    I encourage the enthusiasm, but you might want to focus on something less ambitious and more rewarding. Cisco isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
  • Raymond MasonRaymond Mason Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Nersesian wrote: »
    No worries. The purpose for me is to 1) avoid the frustration that comes with studying for something which you may not be the intended audience. Pardon the comparison, but it would be like me waking up one day and deciding to be a CPA. It might happen, but it probably shouldn't and I still shouldn't be let anywhere near a corporate tax form. 2) I think what would be worse if he obtained the CCNA and then couldn't find a stable gig. That runs the risk of killing the enthusiasm and souring someone on our chosen profession which is bad for everyone.

    I encourage the enthusiasm, but you might want to focus on something less ambitious and more rewarding. Cisco isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

    I appreciate your guys input. Unfortunately my uncles sign business is more or less a two man show. I have considered going into meteorology since I love the weather but the math is murder. Storm chasing I would love to make an annual hobby of, but that's going to have to stay a hobby.

    I really wanted to have a server farm and being a hosting service primarily. So I see this as an opportunity to learn the technology better. I try not to have unrealistic expectations of myself. I want to do this to prove I can complete a goal in something I like to do. It might take me a few years even to get somewhere but I am willing to do it.

    I am set to do this for life. I am starting with the CCENT and working my way up.
  • ramrunner800ramrunner800 Posts: 238Member
    CCENT starts off pretty basic, I think fears you'll miss something are overblown. It's a pretty good first step if you're willing to plow your way through the material. I will say, I haven't seen that it's much in demand for jobs. To get the most mileage out of it you have to plow through and complete the full CCNA. I've seen plenty of low/entry level jobs in my area that desire a CCNA, or even say those posessing CCNA will automatically get called for an interview.

    Edit: That's not to say that other advice in this thread is bad. I would highly recommend doing college while you're young and unencumbered by other responsibilities. Life will severely encroach on the time you have available to dedicate to education later.
    Currently Studying For: GXPN
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