Right path to get CCNA?

stark4stark4 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
My goal is to become a network engineer with CCIE in the future but can you guys please advice me on how to get there? My background is.. I graduated with Economics and i don't have any IT Experience yet. I always want to work around computers and I decided that networking is where i want to be. After reading though the forum.. i noticed that i have to get Help Desk type job to get entry level experience first. I searched on job boards and a lot entry level help desk jobs required A+ Certificate.

So should i get CompTIA A+ Cert first then start looking for help desk job? Then study for CCNA? It would be nice if you can give me step by step advice on what I should do.

I know it's long long way for me to get to CCIE but i believe that i'll get there one day.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,234Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think that would be a good path.
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Posts: 2,235Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Skip A+, go for Network + and at the same time study for CCNA. A+ really has no value to a networking type role. Also Network+ will help you land a Help desk job too.
  • snunez889snunez889 Posts: 238Member
    The best advice I can give you is to take your time with it. Dont just get it to get it, sit down and really learn the material. I would start with network+, then focus on the CCNA.

    I kinda rushed when I got my CCNA because I wanted it to get a job and I quickly forgot most of the stuff I learned. I am taking a four part class geared toward CCNA and I am really learning more then I ever did just rushing through the CCNA.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,234Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think the A+ will help more to get a first job, and then I would skip the Net+ and just go the CCENT/CCNA route... Just my opinion though :) Might be beneficial to look over the Net+ topics but I don't see it having much ROI.
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Personally, I'd just go to Professor Messer and brush up on A+ and N+ concepts and knowledge and not bother taking the exams. They are expensive and don't guarantee you a job. I'd jump right into the CCENT and CCNA, both of which are more valuable and cheaper.

    If you want a quick cert under your belt to begin applying, I'd grab the MTA: Operating Systems cert. It's cheap, it's based on Windows 7 (which is likely what you'll be working with), and it's from a respected vendor. Less study time for that.

    If you don't want that then just try to fast track to the CCENT ASAP and put that on your resume. From there, really learn everything about Cisco and networking that you can and start working on your CCNA while you're applying for jobs/working.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,237Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    They might not guarantee a job but he's starting with zero experience, some are suggesting 0 certs and just tell the potential employers that you "brushed up" on certain topics when really he never knew them in the first place. With no experience and looking at help desk I'd think an A+ is a great place to start, from there I'd skip over the N+ and go right for CCNA.
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    They might not guarantee a job but he's starting with zero experience, some are suggesting 0 certs and just tell the potential employers that you "brushed up" on certain topics when really he never knew them in the first place. With no experience and looking at help desk I'd think an A+ is a great place to start, from there I'd skip over the N+ and go right for CCNA.

    Ok, "brush up" may not be the best way to say it, but I think you knew what I meant. I'm just saying to study for them but the certs themselves aren't that valuable. If he can drop that much money on the A+ then great, but the CCENT would be more beneficial if he can study for it right now. Either way he's a couple months out before he can put a cert on his resume, the way I suggested was just cheaper.
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Posts: 773Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    markulous wrote: »
    Ok, "brush up" may not be the best way to say it, but I think you knew what I meant. I'm just saying to study for them but the certs themselves aren't that valuable. If he can drop that much money on the A+ then great, but the CCENT would be more beneficial if he can study for it right now. Either way he's a couple months out before he can put a cert on his resume, the way I suggested was just cheaper.

    This is pretty spot on. From what I have seen with my experience in help desk is they put A+ on the requirements because they want someone who has basic PC skills. If you can understand the material and manage to get an interview then you can show them you have the knowledge. If I was hiring a Tier 1 I would rather see a CCENT than a N+ or A+.
    2019 Certification Goals: OSCE OSWE
    Blog: https://hackfox.net
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,234Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Mooseboost wrote: »
    If I was hiring a Tier 1 I would rather see a CCENT than a N+ or A+.

    Maybe if you get a NOC or entry level networking position. As for just help desk, I would want someone with basic computer troubleshooting knowledge over basic networking knowledge. I don't know how much CCENT material applies to most people's first IT jobs, but it wouldn't have applied much to mine. Those entry networking jobs seem to be much harder to find too. And especially since he would probably be going up against people with help desk experience already trying to get into networking.
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Maybe if you get a NOC or entry level networking position. As for just help desk, I would want someone with basic computer troubleshooting knowledge over basic networking knowledge. I don't know how much CCENT material applies to most people's first IT jobs, but it wouldn't have applied much to mine. Those entry networking jobs seem to be much harder to find too. And especially since he would probably be going up against people with help desk experience already trying to get into networking.

    That's why you'd have a technical interview. If he's studied the concepts, then it doesn't matter if he has the A+ cert or not. I'm just trying to save him a bit of time and money. If neither one is an issue, then the more certs the better, but it's rarely not an issue for someone.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,234Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Just think its going to be tough to get passed HR with a CCENT instead of A+, especially with zero experience. I'm sure it's possible though.
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • olaHaloolaHalo Posts: 748Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Everyones different but I skipped A+
    Did Net+ then CCENT then CCNA within about 6 months.

    Stay motivated and good luck
  • echo_time_catecho_time_cat Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    What would help the OP get on the right path to eventually land CCIE?

    At first glance, I'd also suggest skipping the A+ as well and moving to the CCENT.

    That being said, the OP doesn't have any IT related experience yet, so the question really needs to be "What get's my foot in the door?"

    I faced the same question ~3 years ago. I did have some Data Center experience, and had long been the guy in the office that also did a lot of un-official IT fixes, but it was never anything in an official capacity.

    What I found was getting that Tier 1 Technical Support job was relatively easy if you could show you had an interest/aptitude for things "Techy." I'm not saying it'll be like this everywhere, but for me it worked and got me past the HR screenings to multiple technical interviews. A "If I don't know the answer, I'll find it..." attitude also helps... a lot of Tier 1 support issues come down to your own "Google-Fu" or use of internal documentation/wiki.

    What I stated on my resume, which showed no certifications yet obtained, was that I was "Currently Studying for Comptia A+", which I was, and I think it helped a lot in getting past HR to an interview. I also feel that having the A+ helped me in the Tier 1 capacity at that time, as I was often able to rule out things that were end user PC issues quicker, and not an issue with the service provided. I also thought it was a bit more professional to actually point out the end users own issues to them (while maybe not being able to directly fix them due to support boundaries), instead of simply saying "That's a problem with your computer, not our service. Sorry you'll have to contact ..." That always felt like a brush-off statement to me... maybe that's just me though.
  • stark4stark4 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the input guys. I understand that getting A+ will be waste of time and money but i think its going to be tough to get pass HR with CCENT instead of A+ with zero IT experience. I guess i'll have to decide fast if i want to get A+ first or not and stick to it.
  • echo_time_catecho_time_cat Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think that will depend on the HR person and where you apply too. Obviously both are considered entry level, but as Markulous was suggesting, if you knew the A+ material well enough to get past the technical interview, that should be enough to get your foot in the door. Let us know how it goes?
  • TDSTDS Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    stark4 wrote: »
    Thanks for all the input guys. I understand that getting A+ will be waste of time and money but i think its going to be tough to get pass HR with CCENT instead of A+ with zero IT experience. I guess i'll have to decide fast if i want to get A+ first or not and stick to it.
    How much do you know about basic computing? I had a similar situation getting a degree in a business field before realizing I wanted to work in IT. Computers were a hobby of mine though. Would build PCs, repair friends PCs, worked in my high schools computer lab etc. I was able to do the A+ in less then a month because of all that. If you are less versed in PC hardware the A+ could take much longer, in which case I would think about just getting the CCENT. So I would add that to the equation. Why not get it if you could do it in 2-3 weeks.

    Note: The A+ did virtually nothing for me. Though afaik the value of the A+ varies wildly from region to region. Entry level places will usually train you thus not really care, other places may ask for the A+ but really value experience so they don't have to train you. At least around here.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,237Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    TDS wrote: »
    I had a similar situation getting a degree in a business field before realizing I wanted to work in IT.

    I have a coworker who has a degree in CIS I believe, so does my brother in law and another distant relative. None of them know anything about IT, it's amazing how much of a difference it makes in actually enjoying technology so you make a point of really learning the ideas vs what these people got. The coworker was promoted from other dept into IT, then she has to be moved to some sort of business analytics role instead because she knew literally nothing about how computers work. The other day I had to sit down and explain how data gets from one network to another, not even in detail, just the whole concept was foreign. The BIL and other relative are reasonably proficient on their iPhones, otherwise nothing.

    But, if you look around here, you'll find lots of people with CIS degrees who have done really well in IT, because they love it, not because of what they learned getting their degrees.

    Random rant, hah.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,234Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    I have a coworker who has a degree in CIS I believe, so does my brother in law and another distant relative. None of them know anything about IT, it's amazing how much of a difference it makes in actually enjoying technology so you make a point of really learning the ideas vs what these people got. The coworker was promoted from other dept into IT, then she has to be moved to some sort of business analytics role instead because she knew literally nothing about how computers work. The other day I had to sit down and explain how data gets from one network to another, not even in detail, just the whole concept was foreign. The BIL and other relative are reasonably proficient on their iPhones, otherwise nothing.

    But, if you look around here, you'll find lots of people with CIS degrees who have done really well in IT, because they love it, not because of what they learned getting their degrees.

    Random rant, hah.

    As someone who has their CIS, I would say I was in the same boat as the people you know 4-5 years ago about not knowing alot even with the degree. The degree touches on alot of subjects and didn't think it did a very good job to prepare me for the real world. You really have to work on continuing your education/skills after college if you want to be successful. Right now I pretty much just feel my degree is a big check mark that looks good on a resume. I feel I've learned more relevant skills by experience and self study than I did by my degree.

    I believe the classes I took should help me and will apply more as I continue on to my Masters degree soon though.
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
    Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops) , CISSP
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Posts: 773Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Maybe if you get a NOC or entry level networking position. As for just help desk, I would want someone with basic computer troubleshooting knowledge over basic networking knowledge. I don't know how much CCENT material applies to most people's first IT jobs, but it wouldn't have applied much to mine. Those entry networking jobs seem to be much harder to find too. And especially since he would probably be going up against people with help desk experience already trying to get into networking.


    I should have thrown in there that I work at help desk for an ISP, so CCENT networking skills are more relevant to us. We troubleshoot ADLS2+, PON, GPON, MetroE, Fiber voice, IPTV, etc.. So we are a very network heavy help desk.
    2019 Certification Goals: OSCE OSWE
    Blog: https://hackfox.net
  • stark4stark4 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    TDS wrote: »
    How much do you know about basic computing? I had a similar situation getting a degree in a business field before realizing I wanted to work in IT. Computers were a hobby of mine though. Would build PCs, repair friends PCs, worked in my high schools computer lab etc. I was able to do the A+ in less then a month because of all that. If you are less versed in PC hardware the A+ could take much longer, in which case I would think about just getting the CCENT. So I would add that to the equation. Why not get it if you could do it in 2-3 weeks.

    Note: The A+ did virtually nothing for me. Though afaik the value of the A+ varies wildly from region to region. Entry level places will usually train you thus not really care, other places may ask for the A+ but really value experience so they don't have to train you. At least around here.

    Yeah i also built a gaming PC when i was in college. Help out friends with their computer problem all the time. I think I'm gonna start study for A+. it shouldn't take that long. After that should i study for CCENT or CCNA? I'm gonna start looking for entry level IT job also.
  • pevangelpevangel Posts: 342Member
    I like the idea of putting "Studying for CompTIA A+" on the resume. You get the keywords in your resume without actually spending the money for it.

    I have to admit that the A+ did help me get my first IT job so I can't knock it.
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