Please help me understand! CCNA, A+ advice

nnayr3nnayr3 Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
so let me tell you the situation
I am a 28 year old female with a Masters and Bachelors in Communications, i have working experience but not in computers(where i belong) right now i am studying for the A+ cert. on my own. and i got into a year long CCNA program at the community college ( i thought this would be better with no experience) just in case i had questions and the hands on part. I understand not working in the field and no experience makes it harder for me to get a job or god money that is why i would like to get the a+ cert so i can start working and get a little experience while im in the program. I plan on continuing my education through my career

Also- i am taking the CCNA course for $450 a semester/qt there are 4 over a year. is it worth it?
A+ cert i am studying on my own so i can get a job and experience before i finish the program

what are your thoughts on jobs and titles i should look at. Starting pay to ask for. just need some advice if i am taking the right approach

Comments

  • TechytachTechytach Member Posts: 140
    CCNA doesn't do much for you without actual job experience to back it up. I would focus more on the A+ and entry level job than I would the CCNA.
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,511 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Combined they would be acceptable coming out of community college. At the same time I disagree with community colleges trying to teach to the CCNP and CISSP level course work.

    Added edit below.

    What's with the minority female crutch? This is IT not a beauty contest. We generally don't care what you look like, where you came from or that your favorite color is burnt orange, only if you can do the job or not. Skills win the day and add to the team effort, everything else is generally saved for the water cooler. icon_confused.gif:

    - b/eads
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    Entry level stuff, helpdesk, desktop support, NOC - all titles that people generally land at entry level with zero experience.

    You definitely won't get Master level pay though, but if you stick to it, keep certifying and increasing your skillsets you can make six figures pretty quickly. I started in IT 7 years ago as a Helpdesk engineer taking phone calls. I moved up 2 years later to desktop support at another company, then network engineer 2 years later and recently moved into an architect type role.
  • nnayr3nnayr3 Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    wow thats awesome to hear! i figure if i get a job while i am doing the CCNA program in about a year i can advance into a better role with more opportunity.
    Lexluethar wrote: »
    Entry level stuff, helpdesk, desktop support, NOC - all titles that people generally land at entry level with zero experience.

    You definitely won't get Master level pay though, but if you stick to it, keep certifying and increasing your skillsets you can make six figures pretty quickly. I started in IT 7 years ago as a Helpdesk engineer taking phone calls. I moved up 2 years later to desktop support at another company, then network engineer 2 years later and recently moved into an architect type role.
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    For sure, don't wait to finish your A+ or CCNA before apply for jobs. Just be realistic about the jobs you are applying for. If you land a job before finishing your certifications don't stop there, keep studying. You may also find a niche that you like more than others, which may change your certification track (IE studying for CCNA but then find out you don't like networking, subnetting, ect - in that case you can switch paths).

    Also considering you do have a degree I bet a few companies will value that and will give you an opportunity before you even finish your certifications. I got my A+ and I was given a chance at my first job - i think primary because I had my bachelors (BS in HR, not IT).
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Techytach wrote: »
    CCNA doesn't do much for you without actual job experience to back it up. I would focus more on the A+ and entry level job than I would the CCNA.

    I don't agree. CCNA without job experience just means you'll have to look harder and really know your stuff and convince the employer that you are a great hire for the money(you will make less). How are you supposed to get CCNA-level job experience without a CCNA? An A+ helpdesk route is a fine place to start but it is not the only place to start. Personally I would rather hire a CCNA with no experience for entry-level NOC jobs than an A+ with helpdesk experience and no CCNA, just my opinion.

    To the OP: If networking is where you want to be then by all means get the CCNA. Just be ready to start from the bottom and "work your way up". Focus on the experience and knowledge and the money will eventually find you anyway. I would use NOC and CCNA as my searches and then just focus on the places that want 0-1 years experience but education can be substituted for the experience, things like that. Do your homework on the salary ranges for your area but do not expect the moon. For CCNA with no experience I would be happy with 45-50k just for the experience.
  • TechytachTechytach Member Posts: 140
    koz24 wrote: »
    I don't agree. CCNA without job experience just means you'll have to look harder and really know your stuff and convince the employer that you are a great hire for the money(you will make less). How are you supposed to get CCNA-level job experience without a CCNA? An A+ helpdesk route is a fine place to start but it is not the only place to start. Personally I would rather hire a CCNA with no experience for entry-level NOC jobs than an A+ with helpdesk experience and no CCNA, just my opinion.

    Speaking from experience. I have a CCNA with no previous IT job. So far I haven't been able to get an interview with any NOC positions. So I can't even try to convince them.

    I also have a college degree, though unrelated. Perhaps I just need to give it more time, it's only been a few months and a few NOC positions that I've been able to apply to. It's not like there are a ton of NOC jobs floating around.
  • nnayr3nnayr3 Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    NOC jobs are up there in salary and title if i am not mistaken. The same thing will probably happen to me which is why i want to get at least the A+ cert while in school. Someone even suggested to me to do the trio but idk if i can do that while in school to which will help me get a job and land a decent one in a year. What other certs do you have just curious?
  • MowMow Member Posts: 445 ■■■□□□□□□□
    What's your location? Cisco has internships for graduates, it might be worth looking into for when you graduate, though I would start now. Those internships have led to employment with Cisco, from what I've heard. If you're interested, some of our Cisco employees here can probably steer you in the right direction.
  • nnayr3nnayr3 Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I live in Columbus Ohio, i have already graduated college twice but do you mean while i am in the program???? that actually might be a good idea, but i do work full time and will be doing this night class one day a week.
    Mow wrote: »
    What's your location? Cisco has internships for graduates, it might be worth looking into for when you graduate, though I would start now. Those internships have led to employment with Cisco, from what I've heard. If you're interested, some of our Cisco employees here can probably steer you in the right direction.
  • nnayr3nnayr3 Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for that advice, it's encouraging just curious what was your first job?
    Lexluethar wrote: »
    For sure, don't wait to finish your A+ or CCNA before apply for jobs. Just be realistic about the jobs you are applying for. If you land a job before finishing your certifications don't stop there, keep studying. You may also find a niche that you like more than others, which may change your certification track (IE studying for CCNA but then find out you don't like networking, subnetting, ect - in that case you can switch paths).

    Also considering you do have a degree I bet a few companies will value that and will give you an opportunity before you even finish your certifications. I got my A+ and I was given a chance at my first job - i think primary because I had my bachelors (BS in HR, not IT).
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    koz24 wrote: »
    I don't agree. CCNA without job experience just means you'll have to look harder and really know your stuff and convince the employer that you are a great hire for the money(you will make less). How are you supposed to get CCNA-level job experience without a CCNA?

    I agree with Koz.
    I wouldnt really pay for ccna courses (having paid for cisco network academy myself) unless it's a hand's on course and you get actual hardware experience. If it's just like simulations n presentations, please get yourself some equipment with those $450 off ebay and practice yourself at home + book + cbt nuggets or something.

    A+ is great if you are very new to the IT field, if you have some lan troubleshooting skills, how printers works, what is an IP, etc./basic It knowledge. I would skip A+. If not, by all means go for it, dont pay for courses. Get a book and prof messer videos and you'll be fine.

    I would suggest getting CCENT first and starting your job search there for a position.
    meh
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