CCNA and real world networking

NissekiNisseki Member Posts: 160
Hey guys,

I've recently passed my Network+ exam and looking to go down the Cisco and networking route.

I've been told by a few people who work in networking that the CCNA is just the beginning.

I'm hoping to reach out to people on this forum who work in Networks, how different is the CCNA to real world networking?

Any tips and advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks,


  • Node ManNode Man Member Posts: 668 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The CCNA covers a vast amount of information and is a good starting point. However, the real world is not just Cisco.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It really is just the beginning. 5 years ago I got my CCNA and thought I was hot stuff. Went into my first networking gig soon after and boy I was shocked on how little I really knew.

    CCNA is great to get your start with though but like anything IT, its a constant learning and building process.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    CCNA is the very beginning. Depending in your job position and company, your responsibilities will be limited. Also, the bigger the company, your job will be concentrated/ separation of duties.
    CCNA is just cisco. Real world will get you exposed to systems that you need to troubleshoot to make sure that its not Ciscos fault. Damn those system guys! lol

    Troubleshooting and thinking out of the box will help you a lot.
    You will be surprise how much information that is not in the cisco book even though you are dealing with a cisco device. crash.gif
  • NissekiNisseki Member Posts: 160
    Thanks guys for your replies.

    I am in the process of studying for CCNA but what else can I do to learn more that would help in a working environment?

    What books should I read? Any particular skills should I learn such as Python or SDN etc.

    Many thanks,
  • blatiniblatini Member Posts: 285
    You should be aware of other products, talk to coworkers and get a fundamental understanding of how everything interacts. If you are going to get your CCNA learning Python with no previous coding experience is probably not the best idea.

    Your time out of work studying IMO should be focused on one thing. At work, interacting on forums, or speaking to friends be open to learning. There is a ton out there to learn, and if you keep jumping from one thing to the next you can sometimes end up with very little.
  • blatiniblatini Member Posts: 285
    And just because the CCNA is the wet of the iceberg as most have pointed out does not mean that it is a joke exam. There is a ton of great information in the exam and you don't have to look far on the forums for examples of people who failed. It is significantly harder than the Network+ IMO!
  • Node ManNode Man Member Posts: 668 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Like others have said, I would focus completely on CCNA. If by any chance I failed (and many people do the first 1 or 2 times), I would not want to wonder if i didn't focus enough.
  • boxerboy1168boxerboy1168 Member Posts: 395 ■■■□□□□□□□
    @blatini have you taken the Net+ since the March 2017 update?
    Currently enrolling into WGU's IT - Security Program. Working on LPIC (1,2,3) and CCNA (and S) as long term goals and preparing for the Security+ and A+ as short term goals.
  • blatiniblatini Member Posts: 285
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    The CCNA level skill set will give you the ability to know how to work within different customer / company deployments, and experience is what hones those skills to make you a professional Network Tech / Admin / Engineer somday.

    That is why experience of a job candidate should match their certification level, because just knowing the skills is absolutely nothing compared to knowing how and when to use them, it depends if the manager wants to roll the dice that you didn't Brain **** the exam and he can count on experience to help hone your skill set to meet their needs.

    So don't brain **** or get ahead of yourself with certs, and if you do get certifications at a higher level than your experience, leave them off the resume and use the knowledge to ace technical exams in the interview room.
  • NissekiNisseki Member Posts: 160
    Thanks guys for the on-going support.

    I've never used brain **** and will never use them as a study resource. I think it's practically impossible for me to try and memorize questions that may not appear on the exam.

    I've always worked and studied hard, I don't believe in short cuts. I rather study hard and achieve something by learning new things and hopefully some day be given a proper technical opportunity.

    I'm getting bored of IT support haha.
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    It's not what you know, its who you know, I found this out the good and the hard way by getting offered a network job at my ex-company and the director of my department (helpdesk) not allowing me to transfer to the network department.

    Needless to say, I was gone within 2.5 weeks, enough time for an interview, and honored my two week notice while they found a replacement.

    I went on a random interview that was for a VOIP engineer, and I told them flat out I've never worked with VOIP and only had a CCNA / Helpdesk experience, and the manager said "Alright this will be a personality interview then" and I had to just convince him I wouldn't be awkward around the office / team. I'm pretty relaxed and love to joke, so I just let loose and shot the ****, and fortunately the guy loved it.

    They even left a technical questionnaire with CCNA / VOIP type questions, and I even wrote a joke answer on one of them because I didn't think I was getting the job, and that night the hiring manager that interviewed me was calling me by cell phone after a glass of nice scotch loosed him up and convinced me to take this job as it would lead to better things in my future.

    ^And this lucky job break of like a lifetime came from a completely random recruiter on Linkedin that I'd never even knew existed before

    That's why I say use the **** out of linkedin, pound the pavement of those interviews, and you'll get your break eventually into the industry. As a great man once said in Pulp Fiction, "We're all gonna be like a bunch of Fonzies Yolanda, and what's Fonzy like?"

    Once you finally rub the right shoulders, or catch your lucky break, your ass needs to be cool like the Fonz to get the hiring manager feeling comfortable with you and you are good to go icon_thumright.gif

    (Disclaimer: This may take years and years to happen, but eventually, it'll happen)
  • NissekiNisseki Member Posts: 160
    Thanks Ande.

    I like your website by the way, how are you finding the CCNP?
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