Breaking the catch 22 CCNP cert/ CCNA level experience

ThexzenoThexzeno Posts: 44Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hey all,

Quick question, How did you(if you had to) break out the catch-22 of having the higher level certifications but not enough experience on your resume to back it up? I currently have my CCNP but my 3 years of work experience has only been configuring a few switches and routers and implementing protocols on a CCNA level. I figured the only way I could prove I was hungry enough to learn more was get my CCNP in hopes that would show employers that I really want to learn networking. Instead the past 3 interviews I have been to have all cited the exact same reasons for not hiring me "you interviewed excellently but we decided to go with someone with more experience."

In every interview I mentioned that I've used GNS3 and other simulators to try and get a hands on feel with configuring and troubleshooting at a higher level but I guess its not enough. My current position is very lackluster technically and although I make a decent wage I am doing troubleshooting at a help-desk level(resetting servers and creating user accounts) So I am very under utilized and fear that the knowledge I studied 2 years to get will slowly fade away. I can only do GNS3 vault labs so much you know.

Any advice? Or should I just leave networking and focus on another field in IT? I'm becoming disillusioned TBH.


  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,905Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I wouldn't, a CCNP is quite an accomplishment. If you can't get a network engineering job due to lack of experience, than concentrate on getting a job what allows you a lot more hands on with configuring and managing switches / routers. Sometimes you have to take a side step to move forward in your career. Also I would leave out the GN3 simulator part. Just tell them you worked on Switches and Routers, you don't have to tell them the whole truth. Sometimes you have to embellish your resume a little to get the job, so long as you have the knowledge to back it up, I don't see an issue.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Posts: 471Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    What is the employee size at your current job? My advice would be to get into a large enterprise even at a CCNA level to gain more experience.
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • NuclearBeavisNuclearBeavis Posts: 79Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    What level positions are you applying for? If they're traditional CCNP level positions, you're probably aiming too high without the necessary experience. Try applying for entry-level jobs in a NOC. I doubt your CCNP would work against you, but you can always leave it off your resume for a time if it does.

    If you're applying for entry-level jobs and they're telling you that you don't have enough experience, then that's a more difficult problem.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 947Member ■■■■■■■□□□

    You only have 3 years of networking EXP.
    and you're thinking of quitting?

    Maybe you should; if you don't really luv it.

    Otherwise... suck it up.
    or just lie on your resume :]
    (just kidding)

    Yeah, i think Beavis is on the right track; just get a new job (lateral) at a bigger place.
    But make it a place where you can really get legit EXP :]

    be aware that applying for entry gigs with your CCNP might get you rejected for the opposite reason :]
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,539Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Lots of times in that situation, it’s not a lack of experience necessarily in the’s in production. If I’m in a company that relies heavily on technology, I cannot afford to have a network engineer that needs assistance in critical situations...for the most part because obviously one-off situations happen. Especially if there is a low amount of engineers, they need to be able to make sure everything is good to go and quickly.

    My advice is to try to find a company that wants a junior member (larger company), or maybe a medium size company. That way help desk issues won’t get assigned to you, and you can start increasing your responsibility and experience level.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Posts: 464Member
    ive been through exactly the same thing - got my CCNP on jan 2014 (2 years experience back then - 22 years old, also).
    at that time (as a junior security technician!!!!!!!!), i got no immediate recognition, no pay raise, no promotion. these would only come after leaving the company and joining a fortune 10. just a few months later.

    just keep doing a great work, try to use your skills daily, and also keep broadening your view on networks. suddenly, your lack of experience will become solid knowledge and you will be on top of your career early on.

    sometimes it can be frustrating - often you will feel that you have way more knowledge than the other folks around you. but don't be fooled by this feeling, it should be time to develop your soft skills and after a few years you will have the whole cake: knowledge, experience, cert and will be prepared for anything else to come.
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 1,053Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Lateral job change. Which sucks, because it's a gamble on if the new job role actually matches what they state. But do what you have to.
    2017: GCIH | LFCS
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ |CCNA CyberOps
    2019: VHL 20 boxes
    2020: OSCP | CISSP
  • sillymcnastysillymcnasty Posts: 254Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my phone interview, I said for hands on experience was plugging my coworkers machines into my switch and turning their ports on and off lol. So, get some physical switches/routers, and set things up. Then break it. Then set it up.
  • unrealskillz06unrealskillz06 CISSP, SSCP, GCIA, GSEC, GCIH, CCNP R/S, Sec+, Net+ Posts: 37Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thexzeno wrote: »
    Any advice? Or should I just leave networking and focus on another field in IT? I'm becoming disillusioned TBH.

    I AM IN THE SAME BOAT!!! It sucks. My current role is too simple, but I haven't had enough experiences doing things out of this scope. Its almost like I wasted time studying for the certification. Yes I gained knowledge of different things, but I'm not actually using it.
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