Certification/training plan with a $4000 budget

cyber_fan_montereycyber_fan_monterey Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am a network engineer working in the Bay Area. Having started my job a month ago, my boss (a really nice lady) suggested I should get training programs and certifications along the way and to be supported by the company budget ($4000).

So far she has mentioned CCNA RS, CCNA wireless, HP Storage and VMware VCP because they will be related to the systems we are using. We have a backbone Cisco Switch, wireless controllers, Cisco ASA and 10+ virtualized servers. (as you would expect from a moderate network)

The best certifications I have obtained are CISSP and some IT sec. related DoD certifications. Personally I want to have an OSCP and maybe GIAC because I want to move towards a career as app security tester and excitingly to financial and banking industry (such as PCI-DSS compliance tasks).

Giving so much unnecessary info I want to ask your opinions on which certification route I should take.icon_cheers.gif

I am planning to use my PD budget for:

- a training program
- books
- certification and exams.

I would be happy to hear your ideas brilliant people!icon_lol.gif
MSc in Information Technology Management
Focus in IT Security


  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think your boss is right on the money. Those certifications are a great start. The order you do them in however, considering your job responsibilities, is arbitrary. I will tell you though you will find nothing about the Cisco ASA in either of the Cisco exams mentioned. For the VCP however, you will have to take a course as well. With the Cisco certs though, you will just need to study, lab, and pass. Some good books to get you started with your Cisco studies:





    CBT Nuggets is an option for Cisco. I know Greg Shields has a good video series on VSphere as well, so I would check that out (Been creating a home ESXi lab myself).

    Udemy (For the CCNA R&S): Chris Bryant is a great teacher in my opinion. He has a great method of teaching, but some people prefer Jeremy (From CBT Nuggets) over Chris.


    For the Cisco side, I know packet tracer will be more than enough for the Cisco side of things. If the wireless isn't completely functional in packet tracer, you could also try GNS3 as an alternative.

    As for VCP, I'm sure you have or can get access to the lab equipment necessary i.e. ESXi, VSphere, VCenter. As for GIAC and OSCP, I can't comment but I'm sure the community here can give you some input. Good luck and welcome to TechExams!

    P.S. I lived in Monterey for about 8 months. Best place I've ever lived!
    :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 []
  • creamy_stewcreamy_stew Member Posts: 406 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Seems like a good gig. VCP actually requires you to attend a course so I would spend my money on that. It's also a very hot cert.

    I would start with CCNA, though. Get CBT nuggets and Boson and GNS3. Take your time unless you have a deadline.

    Itchy... Tasty!
    [X] DCICN
    [X] IINS

    [ ] CCDA
    [ ] DCICT
  • overthetopoverthetop Banned Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just thought I would jump in for 5 seconds. Unless you pay some money out of your pocket you will not find a SANS Training or even OnDemand for 4k. Yes they have added a bunch of new training not really so much getting HITS on the board that's a little over 4k. Granted I love SANS training but I wouldn't spend a few thousand on New training. Even the Certification Vouchers have gone up a dollar or two. I think one was about 600 I know it started with a 5 last time I bought one. But after you spend 5k what is 600 bucks? Moral of the story .....I will not push you left or right

    Personally I wouldn't use company money for CCNA. You can buy 25 dollar book from Amazon and get Packet Tracer (don't ask me how) and pass CCNA and spent less than 100 bucks without buying "lab equipment" but for higher level certs lab epuip will be desired . You can pay for a book out your pocket....I hope. A lot of those certs you can self study for out your pocket. If a few hundred dollars is hard on your bank, then I would use company money
Sign In or Register to comment.