Some questions now that I got my CCNA

the_dude7the_dude7 Member Posts: 31 ■□□□□□□□□□
I passed the ICND2 yesterday... somehow. I was very surprised as I thought I failed dismally and didn't feel confident about most of my answers. I made educated guesses on almost half of them and somehow passed with an 850! Many of them were just worded so weirdly and most of the topics were on obscure little things that were not highlighted or focused much at all in my course or in the Lammle book. The practice tests and questions I reviewed only helped me with or pertained to like 20% of the exam. I guess I lucked out.

The ICND1 was actually much easier in comparison and I got a higher score and felt better about it while taking it.

So I feel kind of weird now... I got it but in a way I almost feel like I didn't deserve it. Although I doubt an entry level job would need to know 100% of the things on that test by heart, especially the second part, right off the bat on the first day. I assume you work your way up from simpler to more complex tasks/roles as you grow in a company and get experience (which I don't have yet).


Another question: is it strange that even though I got this cert, I don't have a CompTIA A+ (or any other IT cert for that matter), and looking at the A+ topics, I'm barely familiar with maybe 15% of them? Especially since the CCNA is seen as a more "advanced" cert relative to it. Do employers who see that you have a CCNA basically expect or assume that you have knowledge of the CompTIA stuff? Even though it's a different focus, more on an individual computer system and its hardware, operating systems, etc versus networking of many computers/devices. Will that kind of thing be necessarily at all for a networking job? I am kind of interested in exploring the systems engineer side of things too, as I'm aware they can cross over career-wise at times.

My instructor told me that the CompTIA A+ type skills won't be as in demand in the future as computers evolve and also things move more to the cloud, and suggested I look into the CCNA Security next. But I feel like I actually need some real-world experience before getting any more certs.

And speaking of which, where can I get some basic experience in this field as I have none and have made a career change from a completely unrelated field? Just any help desk job?


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    Welly_59Welly_59 Member Posts: 431
    I hold ccnp and don't know even 20% of what is on the A+.
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    the_dude7the_dude7 Member Posts: 31 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Oh wow, okay then. Yeah I figured the A+ was a different set of topics. I think I'll still look at some of the material in my spare time (if just for my own curiosity), even if I won't actually try to get the cert by spending more money and taking the test.

    Anyone else have any suggestions about breaking into this field? The little "school" I went to to take the course on it wants to push me into a data center job immediately, despite me having no IT experience. I'm a little uncertain about it. Part of me feels the easier path (one which may take longer but guarantee an eventual job in networking) is to start with a more basic help desk job and work my way up. The instructors there want me to go for a true CCNA job immediately since I can then give them a positive review/recommendation if I get a job. They have placed people as entry-level network associates or interns in some places.

    But I'm kinda worried I'll either spend months applying and getting nothing or maybe luck out and get a job that is highly demanding, basically going from 0 to 60 with no experience, and risk getting fired soon after starting. A job looking after and managing aspects of a basic LAN, including permissions, configuring basic security, access and linking to devices and such, to start out with would be perfect, before working my way up to more advanced responsibilities (basically more like CCENT or Network+ level work). I feel like that's what most people do, from what I've seen on resumes. Keep in mind I have no physical lab experience yet; all is virtual (and just on Packet Tracer; about to start trying GNS3 but still trying to get it to work as I have some issues). At least starting at a more basic level will more likely ensure me a job of some kind while I work toward a higher up one and get experience.

    Also I'm sorry if I might have come across the wrong way earlier. I don't know if people are mad that I said I lucked out on the CCNA my first time taking it, especially since many others are working very hard toward it and have failed it on multiple occasions. Believe me, I don't want to convey any kind of bragging sentiment or whatever, or act like I'm just taking this lightly. I'm just asking some honest questions.
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    shochanshochan Member Posts: 1,004 ■■■■■■■■□□
    IMO, taking the A+ will help you troubleshoot hardware & software better than what you have now. It goes over the history of computers (hardware/software) & makes you learn it. Just take it, it will make you more confident whenever you are troubleshooting issues.
    CompTIA A+, Network+, i-Net+, MCP 70-210, CNA v5, Server+, Security+, Cloud+, CySA+, ISC² CC, ISC² SSCP
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    Node ManNode Man Member Posts: 668 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I wouldnt over think things. A pass is a pass. YOu just went thru thru the process. IMO many people forget most of the cert material anyways.

    The certs are an indication of capability, not a guarantee that a person has everything memorized. Besides the moment someone enters a mixed vendor network, a chunk of the certs material goes out the window.

    Just my opinion of course.
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    clarsonclarson Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    there is no one in the data center wishing they had a help desk job. and everyone on the help desk wishes they were working in the data center.

    in the data center, you might be starting at the bottom. But, that is still above everyone on the help desk.

    just my opinion.
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    williebwillieb Member Posts: 108 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The CompTia Net+ would be similar to the CCENT or maybe a little more advanced. The biggest difference is The CCNA is Cisco focused and CompTia is supposedly vendor agnostic. Having both will help, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Just starting out, the CCNA and Net+ certs will help with getting a job.

    If a networking related help desk works in regards to income, take it. But if you can get a higher position job of course pass on the help desk job.

    Regardless, with whatever job you end up with, more times than not you will get out of it what you put into it. Always strive to outgrow your current position. Be the best you can be and give 120%. Certify above your current position and look for a higher position at your current job or find another one.

    In regards to A+, although related it's a different field and not really expected knowledge for a CCNA or a Net+ certified employee. If you enjoy working on computers also then go for it. Certs help a lot in getting a related job, in many cases even more so than an actual BS degree.
    [X] CCENT ICND1 100-105
    [X] CCNA ICND2 200-105
    [X] CCNP ROUTE 300-101
    [X] CCNP SWITCH 300-115
    [X] CCNP TSHOOT 300-135
    [ ] CCDP ARCH 300-320
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    the_dude7the_dude7 Member Posts: 31 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys. That makes me feel a bit more confident about it. I also share the philosophy or certifying above the position you want.

    I do have degrees (even a Master's) in an unrelated field, so that may help demonstrate that I am capable of higher level, more complex work and critical thinking.

    Right now a high income is not necessarily an immediate priority for me. I'm more concerned with establishing a good base for a future career and gaining the right experience and contacts.

    I'll consider the data center jobs although I noticed a few of the responsibilities weren't covered in the cert material. Maybe I'll try to learn those independently, and I'm sure there's some on the job learning/training as well.
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