Starting CCNP

10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
So I've decided to start the CCNP R&S and will be keeping track of time lines and studying here.

I came to this forum in fall of 2013 with no certs or formal education. I now hold 4 certs (see left) and am going to finish the AS I am working on in 9 months (Its Liberal Studies, I know... not IT related, but I work and cert IT so I wanted to learn other stuff too). Once thats done I'll switch to the state university to finish a BS in Geography (let the bashing begin!) Just kidding, everyone here is pretty supportive. I'll actually be completing the BS part at the university that employs me, so thats cool :) . I'm 22 right now so hopefully this works out.

Now, to the plan of action:

SWITCH: Test on 30 OCT 2015
ROUTE: Test on 15 Jan 2016
T-Shoot: Test on 29 Jan 2016

I hope this time table works. I take 2 classes at a time online and 1 in person, while working and studying CCNP when there is free time. I knocked out my last 2 Cisco tests in one try each and hope to keep that up. I did however fail 70-680 twice < I'm convinced its pure evil.

If anyone has comments or advice they would like to share or just to update your own journey, feel free to add whatever you like!
CCNP R&S, Security+
B.S. Geography - Business Minor
MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
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Comments

  • HondabuffHondabuff Member Posts: 667 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Pursuing CCNP, Have CCNA/S+/A+/N+ and shooting for a degree in Geography. I don't get it.
    “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you're going for CCNP I'd forget about the 70-680. Configuring Windows 7? Blah, who cares about Windows 7. Maybe look into the Server path if you really want Microsoft.

    Most undergrad degrees are overrated. Though if I could go back I'd get a degree in Computer Science since it's much more future proof and would help in the future of the SDN hype. I got my degree in CIS a while back and it's basically worthless now."point in time" and outdated now. Just know that every interview you ever go to they are going to ask why you majored in Liberal Arts, lol.
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I thought it would cause some confusion, but it's what I enjoy. Why get an IT degree when I have 4 years IT experience and counting and can choose certs that directly relate to the technology I am interested in? Then I can use formal school to learn the liberal arts, learn about people and communicating, math and (mostly) geography. I think its an awesome mix.

    @koz24 those failed 70-680 attempts were in May of 2014, I haven't revisited it since. I don't want Microsoft, however at the time I saw it as the dominant workstation OS and thought an MCSA: 7 would look good. But after those testing experiences decided to drop it.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • BigToneBigTone Member Posts: 283
    Hondabuff wrote: »
    Pursuing CCNP, Have CCNA/S+/A+/N+ and shooting for a degree in Geography. I don't get it.

    Network engineer with a sociology degree here. The University I went to didn't have anything other than a seriously competitive Computer Science degree and I didn't want to be a programmer.
  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    There's zero chance I would get a non-IT degree at this point in my life if I was planning on staying in IT forever.

    Many IT folks have non IT degrees but I'll be honest, most of those people got the degree before they were in IT. In your case it seems really odd. Oh well, enjoy yourself. Free country to do whatever you want. A BS in IT will help more than a BS in Geography if you're trying to be a network engineer. To be honest, I doubt it holds you back any, but I wouldn't risk it if it was me.
  • late_collisionlate_collision Member Posts: 146
    Based on my experience, it's not what degree you have, just that you have a degree. It'll help him move into management later ;)

    Keep moving forward and keep learning. Knowledge is one of the few things in life that no one can take from you.
  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Based on my experience, it's not what degree you have, just that you have a degree. It'll help him move into management later ;)

    Keep moving forward and keep learning. Knowledge is one of the few things in life that no one can take from you.

    I agree. Personally, I would feel better with a BS in IT than a BS in Geography if it was me. The BS in IT might not help more, but the BS in Geography definitely won't help more.

    Again, it is his dollars. I will never tell someone how to spend their money. It likely will not prevent future success, and I wish you the best. I never heard of someone already in IT getting a non-IT degree, only someone get a non-IT degree and then get into IT, so it's really interesting to hear about someone doing the opposite.
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well, I don't know if I will be in IT forever. However, since I am now I may as well take the next step and earn the CCNP while I wait to see what life has in store. Actually hurricane I don't mind your input since between the Pell Grant and Gi Bill, it is actually your dollars. I'll keep you guys updated on how it goes. Leaving off on page 50 tonight.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You'll be in IT forever because Geography degree job isn't making you any money compared to the CCNP so there's that. If you're getting the GI Bill then you were in the military I'm guessing for 4 years, and if you have 4 years of IT experience you were doing it in the military, and if you're getting a CCNP......you're in IT for a good long time.
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hurricane you may be right. I did network stuff in the military for 4 years, and then transfered right out into my current role.

    I would be interested to know other peoples experiences with the CCNP and any study tips or other guides they may recommend.

    And if you guys want to share college / cert choices and why you made them, I think that would make for an interesting thread too.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • xnxxnx Do they matter? UKMember Posts: 464 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Do you / have you worked on Cisco equipment (either routers or switches) in a production environment?

    I have and will be starting as a network engineer rather than a technician soon at a ISP, I could pass my CCNP but it would be worthless when compared to the other engineers. I also have a thorough home lab which I've spent considerable time on, but I've not implemented BGP outside a lab..

    What I'm saying is that the CCNP without experience won't get you a job, it will also raise an employer's expectations of you at an interview.. if you think you can maintain CCNP level knowledge then good for you.
    Getting There ...

    Lab Equipment: Using Cisco CSRs and 4 Switches currently
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yes, all 4 years were spent with cisco equipment. And now its almost exclusively what my new employer uses, with the exception of a few appliances. I was signal before and that was my primary job along with radio and satcom stuff, and now I have been a network analyst for the past few months. So I've got around 4 years of experience.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Geography??

    ahahahahahahahahahah
    LOL

    Now that i've got that out the way... Do what you Luv :]

    If Geography is your passion... OWN it!

    In my opinion, most computer-jobs are closer to "trades", anyway. You don't need a 4-year degree (in ANYTHING) in order to do them well.
    College Degree Requirements are mainly "artificial constructs" used to Deny people opportunities and Push others into crushing debt.

    If i could do it again... i'd get a degree in HISTORY.
    (it's really loaded with fascinating stuff!)

    I would have still possesed the 'mental capacity'of performing my 1st job answering phonecalls at the helpdesk, then working my way up to desktop repair, then server administration, and then into networking.

    REQUIRING that someone have a Specific Degree is silly.

    People are all capable of MANY different things... they just need the Opportunity.
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Volfkhat thanks for the support dude. I agree that a lot of jobs require degrees that don't really need them. I think for some professions there is a valid need for a specific degrees (MD's, architects, things that can endanger people) but overall, eh.. probably not.

    >> Prep for crazy rant >> I think corporations bought off politicians to cause an increase in college costs which plunges people into debt so when they graduate they are forced to get a job and are then an indentured servant to their debt and new employer. Ensuring the corporation now has a well educated servant who they know wont quit because they cant afford to. How evil....

    On to the topic of CCNP, I'm on page 110 and am enjoying it a lot! Cant wait to finish the book and go back to make flash cards, watch the CBT Nuggets and lab!
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    The Colleges increase the cost of Tuition on their students.

    The Governement (our elected leaders) eventually respond by increasing fudning for Grants, gi Bills, and other student aid.

    The Colleges (aware of this).... increase their Tuition yet again. (Why not? they know most of their students just got extra government-funding).

    Eventually, our government feels the pressure to increase Student-funding again.

    The Colleges then Raise Tuition AGain..... See the cycle here?


    Back in the 70's, my mom worked her way through school and eventually earned her masters.
    Total Student Debt: $5,000.
    Your Rant isn't Crazy...
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    volfkhat wrote: »
    The Colleges increase the cost of Tuition on their students.

    The Governement (our elected leaders) eventually respond by increasing fudning for Grants, gi Bills, and other student aid.

    The Colleges (aware of this).... increase their Tuition yet again. (Why not? they know most of their students just got extra government-funding).

    Eventually, our government feels the pressure to increase Student-funding again.

    The Colleges then Raise Tuition AGain..... See the cycle here?


    Back in the 70's, my mom worked her way through school and eventually earned her masters.
    Total Student Debt: $5,000.
    Your Rant isn't Crazy...

    Getting a B.S. Degree was a mistake I made early in my career. I wish I never got one, as I'm still paying the damn thing off and it's provided very little value to me. Everything that I need for my career I've had to learn on my own and I'm still learning on my own(Cisco).

    If I had to go back, I'd never do Brick and Mortar College, but I think I would do WGU. They charge like 3k flat per 6 months, and you can take a ton of classes per term. I think I would do that and take the max classes and study my ass off and get out owing only 25k or so. Reason being is you still unfortunately need a BS degree to get past HR and some companies requirements(even though some let you sub experience).
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So to be clear : I think they are good. But sometimes overpriced for the initial ROI.

    Back to the subject of CCNP: On page 159 and am learning a lot. Cant wait to start the CBT nuggets here soon. May as well purchase a year membership to have time to cover all three tests. Will be using works copy of packet tracer 6.1 for some labs and then exploring our production environment to see some SH commands in the wild.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • _Gonzalo__Gonzalo_ Member Posts: 113
    That´s cool. As many have stated, doesn´t seem to be too logical... But it´s peculiar, which means that not many people think like that, which in turn means that you are a thinker. And having broad interests is also good, it´s just that it is not good only for networking! You have 22, so you´ll have plenty of time to decide and discard as well... To me, you´re in a very good path. Also have to say that it will be trying at times, but good overall.

    And after that idle philosophy, hehehe, more practical things. I do not believe that planning your exams in advance is the best. I got my CCNA exam in September and my NPs in november-december (the three of them in little more than a month), but I´ve met people that had other timelines, nothing like mine. Some others never passed CCNP or even CCNA. You´d do better if you prepare yourself and when you are satisfied and confident get the exam.

    And another piece of advice. Do not read too much and practice some too. Simulators are the way to go, but if you could afford some hardware for your NP (I didn´t), it certainly would not hurt. The way to go for real understanding is theory, practice and then try to go a little further (make your own networks!). At least it worked fine for me! :)
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks Gonzalo! Yea being well rounded and having varied interests is good I think. Yea, I have to plan my tests to keep procrastination in check. Plus taking 2 classes online and 1 in person right now its hard to stay focused without the pressure. On page 220 of SWITCH, seems to be going well.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • Params7Params7 Member Posts: 254
    I majored in MIS and it was more or less worthless since I never worked a day with business processes or databases. Was never my path. Going back and knowing that I would work in core technical IT - I wouldn't even get a degree and go straight for NOC experience/Certificates after high school. I see people my age who did that and are now relatively debt free and making almost twice as much as me.

    And when I do find myself being blocked by large corporate jobs due to lack of a degree, I would have probably majored in History as I love studying it. Or Comp Sci but then I'd probably be on stack overflow instead of techexams.
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Theres a lot of routes and its always easy to look back and see one that would of made your journey easier, but then again, you wouldn't of know that until now!

    Update:

    On page 324 of SWITCH. Its going well, cant wait to start the CBT series. They have the core series and then another shorter one about labing so excited for both. Going back through the book this weekend to start making flash cards.
    4 weeks left of Interpersonal Comm and English II. Week 3 of Geography is going great in class.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • dabadaba Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I can't seem to find it, but are you reading the FLG or the OCG?
  • orlandoflorlandofl Member Posts: 216 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I personally think you nailed it! I see no need to get a technical degree, that’s what certifications are for. I always encourage people to go for a liberal arts/ social science degree as they are centered around writing and research which is the corner stone of academia. By not doing a technical degree you’ve essentially given yourself a credential that does not have a shelf life like so many technical degrees today as in 3-4 years a technical degree is completely irrelevant. When I see statements like this, I cringe:

    Many IT folks have non IT degrees but I'll be honest, most of those people got the degree before they were in IT. In your case it seems really odd.

    Just know that every interview you ever go to they are going to ask why you majored in Liberal Arts, lol.



    If my prospective employer ever questioned my degree or couldn’t see the value of a liberal arts education that proves one’s ability in terms of critical thinking, research skills and professional communication I’m not entirely sure that is the sort of company that I would want to be employed with. One of the best ways to supplement your degree if you’re truly looking to appease the hearts and minds of those in HR is an undergraduate certificate in a technical discipline or (like me) a graduate program in a technical discipline.

    Best of luck,

    -Travis
    • Education: B.A. Criminal Justice - Thomas Edison State University
    • Education: Undergraduate Certificate in Microsoft Server Administration - St. Petersburg College
    • Currently Working On: MCSA - Windows 10
    • Planned Certifications for 2017: MCSE - Mobility
    • Connect With Me On LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/travisebyrd
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Daba: Sorry I didn't specify, I am reading the OCG. When I come across things that are not covered well enough, such as Loopguard and Rootguard I turn to Cisco's website to dig deeper.

    Orlandofl (Travis): Thank you for the kind words man I agree with you 100%. And so far I have learned in school how to be more patient when researching and dig deeper, which I think will be a great asset. I was super lucky to get a job at a state university where they seem really supportive of education, in whatever direction you want to go.

    I'll keep the thread updated as I go. Feel free to share your experiences and any tips you may have along the way!
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • dppagcdppagc Member Posts: 293
    koz24 wrote: »
    If you're going for CCNP I'd forget about the 70-680. Configuring Windows 7? Blah, who cares about Windows 7. Maybe look into the Server path if you really want Microsoft.

    Most undergrad degrees are overrated. Though if I could go back I'd get a degree in Computer Science since it's much more future proof and would help in the future of the SDN hype. I got my degree in CIS a while back and it's basically worthless now."point in time" and outdated now. Just know that every interview you ever go to they are going to ask why you majored in Liberal Arts, lol.

    Dont mind me asking. What is CIS?
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    @ dppagc : CIS usually means Computer Information Systems.

    Starting chapter 17, Understanding High Availability, today hope to have it finished before dinner.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I finished reading the SWITCH OCG just now. It was a good read, and took a little over a month cover to cover. Now I am going to build flash cards on every chapter and use the test engine CD that came with it. Starting on the 1st I will watch the CBT Nuggets series and lab until the 30th on test day!
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Finished the chapter review questions in the book on Friday. Purchased the CBT Nuggets yearly subscription today, so going to work through those and lab along side them.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    Good luck bro, been eyeballing the CCNP myself now with the CCNA in my sights. My goals for 2016 are so unclear, can't decide.

    Not sure if MCSA will make me well rounded and then get CCNP or what lol!
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks Deathmage! I have been following your CCNP thread too, looks like a good plan. When you are learning, which vendor do you seem to enjoy the most between Cisco, Microsoft, and VMware?

    I am about 4 hours into the video series on CBT nuggets. As always, Jeremy is informative. I do recommend reading the OCG first so the videos just help it sink and and they occasionally offer nuggets (pun intended! lol) of good information thats not in the book. Overall, its going along well, sit for the test in about 30 days.
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
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