Studying for multiple certs simultaneously

MitMMitM Posts: 567Member ■■■■□□□□□□
When 2017 started, I had to two cert goals, complete CISSP and CCNP Security. Due to some personal issues, I'm way behind in my studies, so for the best ROI, I decided to focus only on CISSP.

At first, I was alright with that, but now I feel I'm wasting training resources going with this plan. I paid $650 for an INE All Access subscription, and through my job I have access to the Cisco Digital Learning Library only until November/December.

I already cleared 1 out of the 4 CCNP Security exams. Not sure how smart it would be, but I'm wondering if maybe I can split my time up and study for both certs simultaneously, maybe like a 70/30 (or 80/20) split.

In my mind, the end result would be finishing the remaining CCNP Sec exams first and then put all my focus towards whatever remaining studying is left for the CISSP.

Was wondering how many of you have studied for different certs simultaneously.

Comments

  • jelevatedjelevated Posts: 139Member
    To me the ccnp is the winner. Since your materials will expire soon. Do you plan to change jobs after acquiring the cissp? Many people do, it's the fastest way to get a "payoff" (briefcases full of cash, exotic cars, VIP lifestyle) for your efforts (unless your boss understands the benefits). In that case, I would focus on the cissp to get access to more lucrative opportunities.

    Regardless, IMO studying for two certs, especially higher level ones such as these could increase the time it takes to get both as your focus is split. you may retain less information on one topic as you focus on the other, but your ultimate goal is to achieve the certificate.
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 892Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I've never been able figure out how to study for multiple certs simultaneously. I'll either compromise the study quality of one of the certs or simply take longer combined than if separate.
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • MitMMitM Posts: 567Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    jelevated wrote: »
    To me the ccnp is the winner. Since your materials will expire soon. Do you plan to change jobs after acquiring the cissp? Many people do, it's the fastest way to get a "payoff" (briefcases full of cash, exotic cars, VIP lifestyle) for your efforts (unless your boss understands the benefits). In that case, I would focus on the cissp to get access to more lucrative opportunities.

    Regardless, IMO studying for two certs, especially higher level ones such as these could increase the time it takes to get both as your focus is split. you may retain less information on one topic as you focus on the other, but your ultimate goal is to achieve the certificate.


    I'd say sure, after the CISSP, I'd be looking to switch jobs but I'm not in too much of a rush. The material that is expiring soon is definitely a factor, as there is no way I'll be getting the Cisco Digital Library renewed. Not to say it's fantastic, because the videos are kind of boring but it is a good supplement, and comes with labs.

    There's a good chance that I'd renew my INE when it expires, but I just got it in January 2017 and have barely used it. I don't like wasting money.

    I probably should have also mentioned, that I'm trying to go down the path of a Security Architect. You're both right though, studying for two certs is probably a horrible idea.
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe Posts: 264Member
    I'm not so sure it's a horrible idea. Our brains are pretty resilient, and they're used to having multiple things going on. Do we take a break from learning grammar in elementary school to learn our multiplication tables? Did you put off dissecting a frog in high school because you were taking a foreign language? Were you able to learn to drive during the same time period you were studying for SATs? I mean, those examples may not all fit you, but I bet you can think of a dozen or so that do without too much effort.

    Personally, I think focusing on CCNP makes sense in your situation due to expiring resources. Hitting up a CISSP domain when you need a break, though, also makes sense to me.
  • --chris----chris-- Posts: 1,513Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Prioritize and execute. Focus on one only. You will reach a point where progress is slow then you will wonder why you are studying two difficult certs.


  • kiki162kiki162 Posts: 635Member
    Since you are looking to potentially get a new job out of it, and want to get into a Sec. Arch. role, you may want to lean towards CISSP. The bigger question is what exactly do you want to be doing in this role? Do you want to you your NA background, and dive more into security, or would it be something else all together. Once you get through CISSP, then start on the next CCNA cert.
  • mbarrettmbarrett Posts: 397Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    These are very different subject areas - one is less technical, the other is very detailed in technical issues. Recommend knocking one out before you start on the other - unless you are not working, in which case you can do both at once provided you stay very disciplined in your study. However, the most efficient way is to do one at a time.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,745Mod Mod
    I could only study for two certs if one was technical and one wasn't. So in your case, that could work. BUT, and here's the BUT, the CCNP is no joke and requires a lot of dedicated study and labbing, and the CISSP is a mile wide in it's coverage. I always say anyone can attempt the CISSP with about two weeks of super dedicated study, 4 weeks tops. So I'd almost try to knock that one out, then focus on the CCNP.

    As for your goal, if you want to get into network security architecting, the CCNP wins hands down. If you want to get into more of a general high level security architect, CISSP may be better suited.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python)
  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc Senior Member King City, CAPosts: 587Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I was really thinking about this, as I would like to increase my Cisco knowledge, but I also want to work on CISSP in chunks before I gain the requisite experience. I was just trying to find it, but I saw an article featuring Neil Moore, and he mentioned that he only studies for one cert at a time. Coming from someone with as many Expert-level certs as he has, I figured that was probably the best way to go.
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member
    I do my best to make sure a lot of the information overlaps with each other when I study for certs. It's a lot easier for me and so I don't have to spend as much time studying.
    Booya!!
    WIP : | CISSP [2018] | CISA [2018] | CAPM [2018] | eCPPT [2018] | CRISC [2019] | TORFL (TRKI) B1 | Learning: | Russian | Farsi |
    *****You can fail a test a bunch of times but what matters is that if you fail to give up or not*****
  • p@r0tuXus[email protected] Posts: 532Member
    ^^ This guy gets it.
    Completed: ITIL-F, A+, S+, CCENT, CCNA R|S
    In Progress: Linux+/LPIC-1, Python, Bash
    Upcoming: eJPT, C|EH, CSA+, CCNA-Sec, PA-ACE
  • MitMMitM Posts: 567Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    I always say anyone can attempt the CISSP with about two weeks of super dedicated study, 4 weeks tops. So I'd almost try to knock that one out, then focus on the CCNP.

    As for your goal, if you want to get into network security architecting, the CCNP wins hands down. If you want to get into more of a general high level security architect, CISSP may be better suited.

    If I thought I could knock it out in a month, I'd most definitely go for CISSP first. I'm a bit of a slow reader, especially if some of the material is dry. I was thinking it would take me 4+ months.


    As for the goal, in my next position, I wouldn't want to necessarily be limited to just network security but I do have heavy interest in firewalls. I would want to be more security focused as opposed to now, where I'm a network engineer who does security.
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