what next? Post CCNA

monorionmonorion Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello all,

So i got my CCNA:R/S this weekend which is super exciting, but I wanted to get some ideas on what is next certification wise. I am currently thinking about 2 routes, either got straight for CCNP:R/S or go for CCNA: Sec. Security route popped in my head because i think it will be beneficial to learn and configure firewalls since, every job i've worked for had VPNs as their WAN technology (small to mid-sized) so will this help? or do i go straight for CCNP?

little back story, I have been doing desktop support for quite a while and my real world networking experience is definitely entry-level. so main priority right now is to get a new job where i can work on networks as my main responsibility.


Thank you!


  • shochanshochan Member Posts: 963 ■■■■■■■□□□
    IMO, yeah go after CCNA CyberOps
    2021 Goal ~ OSCP

    Urban Achiever~ A+, Network+, i-Net+, MCP 70-210, CNA v5, Server+, Security+, Cloud+, CySA+
    A.A.S - CIS
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,233 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd wait until after you get the next job. Not every company uses Cisco equipment.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • draughtdraught Member Posts: 229 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Personally I would go for CCNP R&S unless you have a very specific career plan in mind. That said since you mentioned job experience if you can back what you know in interviews you should be able to find a suitable position with networking skills required.
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,937 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I would keep up the momentum and go straight into CCNP R/S.
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, and more.

    2021 goals: AZ-303, AZ-304, maybe TOGAF and more ISACA

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • monorionmonorion Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you all, sorry for being MIA, going to go for CCNP, it's def the route i want to go.

    watching some videos on youtube (networkchuck) he brought up python, is this a good skill to have in the networking world? should i learn this along side of CCNP studies?
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,712 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Like the NP approach
  • IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm thinking of going for CCNA Data Center and CCNA Security. I don't find myself having to do any complex Network Engineering that training for CCNP would help me with. In any case I feel I just need to get a better grasp on how protocols in the Data Center track and Security track are configured, administered and understanding the why of them. That's just my current situation though.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 948 ■■■■■■■□□□
    CCNP is not as good as you think it is. Wayy too much empahsis on 802.1d holddown timers (and other irrelevant, ancient factoids).
    And let's not even talk about FRAMERELAY.

    Besides, no one is going to hire a person with a CCNP and Zero experience.

    You want to know "whats next"?
    Go get an entry job doing NETWORKING somewhere.

    That's the correct answer.

    CCNA:Sec is not going to be fruitful if you arent touching 5500s everyday.
    You want to learn about firewalls & VPNs? then go check out PaloAltos. they have a VM you can use to learn-lab at home (using vmware workstation).

    The CCNA CyberOps..... actually is legitimate. i was actually impressed with the practical subject-matter it covered (at least for the 1st exam).
    For that matter, the Security+ is useful too (if you have gaps in your foundational knowledge).

    Thats my 2 cents.

    However, if you are already doing Networking; and have some resume-experience...... then do whatever you want.
    But the CCNP isnt the magic-bullet that people think it is.
    ive seen quite a few who don't even know how to read a packet capture...
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 998 ■■■■■■■□□□
    For the most part I agree with @volfkhat networking job is definitely the most useful. I also agree that CCNP, and any other cert for that matter isn't a magic bullet, but I do think there is quite a leap in knowledge you get from studying for the CCNP R&S over the CCNA. At the very least studying for the CCNP would keep you fresh on your CCNA stuff while you are looking for a job and doing interviews. I'm all for studying to improve knowledge. I know you don't need to study for a cert to increase your knowledge, but I do like the inherent study structure it provides. It also has the added benefit of "checking the box" once you get the cert that will help you get past HR.
  • Phileeeeeeep651Phileeeeeeep651 Member Posts: 179 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Worked with a few paper CCNP's at my NOC job, had to constantly hold their hands through the most menial tasks. Word of advice, don't be that person.

    IMO, if I was in your shoes I'd be looking for a networking gig ASAP. Your CCNA will help with that, especially if you've already been doing "entry level networking" in your current job. Wait 6 months then make a decision on what you want to study next. You'll have a way better understanding of the networking landscape and what really interests you at that point.
    Working on: CCNP Switch
  • monorionmonorion Member Posts: 90 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you all! this is amazing info, and I do agree not having any networking knowledge is my biggest drawback currently, trying to find a job in my area to break into that realm is super difficult, literally getting no bites...even submitted my resume to recruiters and not getting anything. I am confident that my resume is strong (had a couple people look it over) so we'll see what happens

    Thanks again all!
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