CCENT or NET+ no work experience?

mtramme1mtramme1 Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Let me start off and say that I have 0 hands on networking experience. With that out of the way, I have studied for the N+ and was about to register when I saw the price...dang. I am wondering, should I study more and take the cheaper but harder CCENT exam? I feel confident about passing the N+. I am trying to get an entry level job and when I look at job openings in Atlanta I see alot of "CCNA preferred". I've read Mike Meyers AIO book and watched all of Professor Messer's videos online. If I commit time to reading and ICND1 book and some plural sight videos could I pass the ICND1 without experience? Also, is it even worth it if all I have is the CCENT and not a CCNA?

Comments

  • Justin-Justin- Posts: 300Member
    I would highly recommend you take the Network+ first, or just read the Network+ book because it will provide you with the building blocks into networking. When you finish the book/take the Network+, you should go straight into CCENT/CCNA because you will have the Networking fundamentals in mind. This will definitely come to help when you're studying for Cisco.

    That's just my 2 cents.
  • --chris----chris-- Posts: 1,510Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I had a nice post written up on this...but i cant find it. So here is my tl:dr

    Network plus is a great stepping stone towards the CCENT/CCNA. Cisco has published that N+ holders are more likely to pass the CCENT, a substantial number (no sources, no exact numbers). But once you pass N+ you are still two exams away from CCNA, whereas once you pass ICND1 you are halfway there.

    The material on the N+ is broader in scope. The CCENT is much more cisco centric, but so are most production networks.

    I went straight for the CCENT because IMO it had more applicable knowledge in it. I started off like you, almost 12 months ago having never worked in IT and having zero hands on experience but I still choose the ICND1/2 router over Net+. I really really like solving network issues and learning how data traverses networks (and why it doesn't).

    Neither exam is a mistake, you just need to know if you want to pursue a networking based career the CCENT is probably a better choice. If you just want a good foundation to build on and focus on other technologies than do the N+ and read some of the Cisco books to understand some higher level concepts (OSPF, EIGRP, STP, security, etc) and be done with it.


  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member
    Did the CCENT certification lead to a job in networking and bypass help desk?

    Around here, a current hotbed for IT jobs, networking job listings aren't very common and one requiring no experience is very rare. Tons of system admin and analyst jobs however. I'd like to get into routing and security but wondering if there's many jobs to be had out there.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
  • --chris----chris-- Posts: 1,510Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    techfiend wrote: »
    Did the CCENT certification lead to a job in networking and bypass help desk?

    Around here, a current hotbed for IT jobs, networking job listings aren't very common and one requiring no experience is very rare. Tons of system admin and analyst jobs however. I'd like to get into routing and security but wondering if there's many jobs to be had out there.

    Nope.

    I got it after I hired into my current job. My employer liked that I had a interest in networking and supports my pursuit of the ccna through incentives and giving me network related tickets that pop up but that's it.

    gotta do your time at the help desk!


  • RemedympRemedymp Posts: 834Member
    Far too often people with little to no experience want to leap frog into positions they're not qualified for. The purpose of the CCNA is to demonstrate your mastery of Routing and Switching of cisco devices at the associate/administrator level. If you have no experience, your resume will expose this and only lead to your application and resume being discarded.

    My advice is to work on your Network+ and find a Help desk position. There are many benefits to be on the Help Desk. You may even be chosen to work in Data Center as an associate the Network+. I know when I first started, I was tossed into a Data Center and left to my own. I got my Server+ because it was necessary to touch the equipment and the Network+ deal with networking equipment. (under warranty).



    My 2c.
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member
    Don't let 'CCNA preferred' prevent you from sending your resume. If you think you think you'd be a good fit, go for it. I am currently in the final interview of a job that preferred MCP. All I have is A+ but am studying for Network+ expected in December (on resume). Also said in the first interview that I will be pursuing a BS at WGU which will include MCT and either CCNA or MCSE.

    I started in cert study with CCENT for a job I interviewed for that came back as under-qualified. 4 months later I remember very little CCENT material. Then I decided to take the common path of A+, Net+, Sec+, CCENT, CCNA so far I think it's a better path to take and has opened up some entry level opportunities for me.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,735Mod Mod
    Remedymp wrote: »
    Far too often people with little to no experience want to leap frog into positions they're not qualified for. The purpose of the CCNA is to demonstrate your mastery of Routing and Switching of cisco devices at the associate/administrator level. If you have no experience, your resume will expose this and only lead to your application and resume being discarded.

    My advice is to work on your Network+ and find a Help desk position. There are many benefits to be on the Help Desk. You may even be chosen to work in Data Center as an associate the Network+. I know when I first started, I was tossed into a Data Center and left to my own. I got my Server+ because it was necessary to touch the equipment and the Network+ deal with networking equipment. (under warranty).



    My 2c.

    People can break into the networking world by studying for and actually LEARNING the CCNA material, then applying for an entry level NOC position and in the interview they are able to at least speak to things on a CCNA level of knowledge. Being able to demonstrate you have the knowledge can lead you to a company taking a chance and training you up.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
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  • Kai123Kai123 Posts: 364Member
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    People can break into the networking world by studying for and actually LEARNING the CCNA material, then applying for an entry level NOC position and in the interview they are able to at least speak to things on a CCNA level of knowledge. Being able to demonstrate you have the knowledge can lead you to a company taking a chance and training you up.

    This is how I got my NOC position.

    I had only just started a part-time CCNA course, which I think got me the interview, and all my previous studying helped ace the questions they asked me.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 Senior Super Awesome Member KCPosts: 874Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Personally, if the end goal is a CCNA, I would only use the network + books to get a basic understanding, but then would not sit the test and then study for the CCENT and get that first. Of course, I am in the mindset now that I will not take a Comptia exam again as it would make my A+ expire since I finished mine prior to the change that Comptia did. Now, if I were in a different path where employers don't care about the A+, then that may change my mindset, but if the end goal is a CCNA, I would totally skip the Network + certification and only use the book to get a good understanding and then apply it to the CCENT after studying for that.
  • RemedympRemedymp Posts: 834Member
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    people can break into the networking world by studying for and actually learning the ccna material, then applying for an entry level noc position and in the interview they are able to at least speak to things on a ccna level of knowledge. Being able to demonstrate you have the knowledge can lead you to a company taking a chance and training you up.

    ymmv. Jmho.
  • Nafe92014Nafe92014 Posts: 276Member
    Personally, if the end goal is a CCNA, I would only use the network + books to get a basic understanding, but then would not sit the test and then study for the CCENT and get that first. Of course, I am in the mindset now that I will not take a Comptia exam again as it would make my A+ expire since I finished mine prior to the change that Comptia did. Now, if I were in a different path where employers don't care about the A+, then that may change my mindset, but if the end goal is a CCNA, I would totally skip the Network + certification and only use the book to get a good understanding and then apply it to the CCENT after studying for that.

    Thats what I'm doing. Just looking at the price of Net+ exam made me cringe.
    Certification Goals 2017: Cisco CCENT, MCSA: Windows Server 2012

    "You have enemies? Good, that means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." ~Winston S. Churchill
  • J_Jones89J_Jones89 Posts: 38Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Nafe92014 wrote: »
    Thats what I'm doing. Just looking at the price of Net+ exam made me cringe.


    Same here man lol.
  • RemedympRemedymp Posts: 834Member
    Nafe92014 wrote: »
    Thats what I'm doing. Just looking at the price of Net+ exam made me cringe.

    For what it's worth, I paid only $50 for Comptia Vouchers. The most I've ever had to pay for a voucher was $150. Getcertified4less.com and other sites have proven to be of significant value to me when sitting for an exam.
  • Nafe92014Nafe92014 Posts: 276Member
    Remedymp wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I paid only $50 for Comptia Vouchers. The most I've ever had to pay for a voucher was $150. Getcertified4less.com and other sites have proven to be of significant value to me when sitting for an exam.

    Ummm...I'm only seeing a 14.00 discount right now for the Net+.
    Certification Goals 2017: Cisco CCENT, MCSA: Windows Server 2012

    "You have enemies? Good, that means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." ~Winston S. Churchill
  • The_PariahThe_Pariah Posts: 10Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    techfiend wrote: »
    Did the CCENT certification lead to a job in networking and bypass help desk?

    Around here, a current hotbed for IT jobs, networking job listings aren't very common and one requiring no experience is very rare. Tons of system admin and analyst jobs however. I'd like to get into routing and security but wondering if there's many jobs to be had out there.


    YMMV, but I have found while most people in the industry even if they don't have any Cisco equipment in their organizations are familiar with the CCNA that recognition of the CCENT has never garnered as much attention from hiring managers in my experience fwiw. Among those I have interviewed with many have asked me what it is because they frankly didn't know. I recently interviewed with the owner of an MSP that largely manages network equipment that has been in the business for decades and has probably interviewed hundreds and wasn't familiar with the CCENT. Is taking the CCNA in two parts a good strategy for some people? Sure, but don't expect it to automatically open many more new doors than without it. The CCENT imho should merely be a short term temporary status while you are still studying for the ICND2 to finally get a CCNA. You can obviously put the CCENT on your resume, but I think the knowledge that you might get out of studying the material that you can demonstrate is more valuable than the cert itself. I'm right now working harder on finishing my CCNA because I don't think that the CCENT by itself is making a big difference in hunting for my next gig.

    Ultimately you might be able to find a datacenter that has an entry level NOC position. I occasionally see companies that are willing to take people with limited experience and basically give you an on the job apprenticeship. Most weren't offering good pay, but if you were just trying to get your foot in the door the opportunity to get paid experience should be worth working for a relatively low training wage. If you can get an interview and talk about some more advanced networking topics and use the terminology correctly in a manner that suggests actual comprehension as opposed to simply using gibberish to sound smart you could break into some type of non-help desk position that way. Most companies unless they are fairly very large or complex network topologies don't have dedicated networking admins and most admins split their time between systems support and network support. You might be able to bypass the helpdesk, but don't assume that it will be a pure networking job either.

    It is certainly possible to bypass helpdesk, but you really need to hunt for such organizations that are willing to hand responsibility to somebody that hasn't ever proven themselves valuable in a production environment.
  • BokehBokeh Posts: 1,635Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Ive seen this come up all the time on here. I agree with the folks here who say get your foot in the door first. Ive seen CCNA, MCSE with no experience and try to get networking jobs right away, but have to get a NOC or help desk position first. Its all about not letting the door close on you.

    Sure, help desk might not be what you want, however if could be that first step to something bigger and better. Most companies will promote from within first, so if you land yourself a help desk job at a somewhat bigger company and prove yourself, then hey, get to know the networking/security teams. Make yourself known once you are in the door, stand out from the others.

    You'll hear it all the time - we want someone with experience. Well how can you get experience if no one wants to give it to you? You start at the bottom and bust your butt! No one is going to hand you a 100k job just because you passed a test. You're going to have to push, pull, grind, climb your way to the top and PROVE yourself. Once you have the experience, THEN folks will be chasing YOU. If you become a CCIE, A Virtual Guru, etc then you can pick and choose who you wish to share your talents with.

    Till then ... buckle up, suck it up, and get that first foot in the door!
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member
    Datacenter would be great fit for me, I think, but I don't think I've ever seen a job listing that would fit me at one. There are some around here but the only current openings are sales and software development. I had interviewed for a cisco testing job at a reseller which could have led to bigger things but unfortunately I didn't get it.

    My reason for finding another way in for related experience is traditional help desk/msp isn't something I would be very good at due to below average communication skills (although practice would probably improve it). Also what would a person looking to get into networking and/or virtualization gain from a traditional help desk position resetting passwords and troubleshooting basic windows/office issues?
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
  • bhcs2014bhcs2014 Posts: 103Member
    techfiend wrote: »
    Datacenter would be great fit for me, I think, but I don't think I've ever seen a job listing that would fit me at one. There are some around here but the only current openings are sales and software development. I had interviewed for a cisco testing job at a reseller which could have led to bigger things but unfortunately I didn't get it.

    My reason for finding another way in for related experience is traditional help desk/msp isn't something I would be very good at due to below average communication skills (although practice would probably improve it). Also what would a person looking to get into networking and/or virtualization gain from a traditional help desk position resetting passwords and troubleshooting basic windows/office issues?

    Ideally you'd find a help desk position that'd let you grow and accept more responsibility as time goes on. If you just reset passwords and troubleshoot basic issues that probably won't be good enough exp. to land the type of jobs you want. Also it's important to know that communication skills are and always will be important in IT, no matter what level you are at.
  • IIIMasterIIIMaster Posts: 233Member
    The ccent is in essence the net+. You would be better off and saving money. Go for your ccent then take the other half of your ccna.
  • Lexcorp6Lexcorp6 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm also curious about the job opportunities with a security+ and a CCENT. I have no experience, and I'm trying to get my foot in the door. I also plan to enroll in WGU for It-Security.
  • parkeraleeparkeralee Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    May I add you to my linkedin?
  • JamesKurtovichJamesKurtovich Posts: 195Member
    The CCENT/CCNA is cheaper and more reputable than the Network+. Go for Cisco!
  • alan2308alan2308 Senior Member Ann Arbor, MIPosts: 1,854Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    techfiend wrote: »
    My reason for finding another way in for related experience is traditional help desk/msp isn't something I would be very good at due to below average communication skills

    I worked for an MSP for 3 years before moving on to bigger and better things. Whatever skills you are lacking, you will pick up in no time at an MSP. You'll have a hand in just about everything at one time or another.
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member
    I found a desktop support position that led to a sys admin position at an SMB. I'm still not great communicating issues over the phone and I rarely have to do it in my current position. I've applied for some MSP positions but still not sure it's for me. It takes me a while to get comfortable around people and working in a stable office would be much preferred to dealing with strangers.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
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