CCENT - Hard Copy Reading Preferred - Newbie

wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello,

I got a Bachelor's majoring in Management Information Systems in 12/2018 and want to complete at least the CCENT before time runs out and things change in 2020. I was considering doing both the CCENT/CCNA in one shot but I'm not sure I'll have time for all of it. I don't even know the average prep time for the CCENT but I would like to buy a hard copy book and look for a place to do structured simulations and labs online; either good free ones or better paid ones.

I will take all the advice and recommendations anyone can give me and I apologize if I've posted this in the wrong subforum.

Is everything standardized as of now for the exams? The Cisco site talks about training changes over the next few months but I didn't know if that would include new material for the exam.  I think I just want to take a shot at the CCENT as I am comfortable with what I believe it to cover.  Will my CCENT still be good should I pass it before the changes in 2/2020 even if I don't also get the CCNA? 

I'm willing to pay for resources, but I like to read and study mostly hard copy text and of course I would love some recommendations on where to do good simulations and labs and that type of thing. Cisco offers some e-learning course for $600, I don't want to have to do that.  

I see copies of books on Amazon to prepare for the CCENT test, I just fear buying anything outdated.

I know I've asked a lot of questions in a fairly random fashion but I'm glad to have discovered this resource and any help would be appreciated.

Thank you all in advance!

Comments

  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+; CCNA R&S; CCNP R&S Posts: 908Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    After 2/24/20 there will be no more CCENT exam.  If you haven't passed CCENT + CCNA or the combined CCNA exam by that date, then you will have to study, take, and pass the new CCNA exam.

    To get the right study materials you'll want to do the following:
    1. Go to learningnetwork.cisco.com and navigate through the menus to find the CCENT exam information.  In this case you would go to Certifications > Entry > IP Networking (CCENT) > Overview.
    2. Once you are on the overview page for the CCENT exam it will tell you the exam number.  You can use this exam number to make sure you are buying the correct study materials.
    3. You can typically find the correct books at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, CiscoPress.com

    For labbing, you can probably get away with Packet Tracer.  You just have to sign up for an account, but you don't need anything.  I used the Pearson Simulator for CCNA.  Towards the end it got extremely repetitive.  I ended up buying Boson's NetSIM for CCNP, which includes the labs for CCENT and CCNA.  CCENT NetSim = $99, CCNA NetSIM(which includes CCENT labs) = $179, CCNP NetSim(which includes CCENT/CCNA labs) = $349.  If I did it again, I would probably just buy the CCNP NetSIM.  Also, it looks like they are offering free upgrades for the new NetSim when it's released for the people who buy/bought it after 6/1/19.

    Other labbing options include GNS3, VIRL, EVE-NG, and physical hardware.  With GNS3, VIRL and EVE-NG you typically have to set it up and get it working.  Not only do you have to learn the material, but you also have to learn how to configure these programs before you set them up and get started with your studying/labbing.  This is part of the reason why I prefer simulators such as the Boson, Packet Tracer and the Pearson ones.  I ran into a few bugs with them, but for the most part they just start up and you can jump in and start doing the labs without worrying about wasting a bunch of time to get it to run properly.

    Physical hardware is good if you don't haven any experience with actual routers and switches.  This is primarily only so you get the experience with plugging into the physical console port and realize that there are physical cables that go between devices.It's not related to the test, but I think it's beneficial to realize these are physical devices and that point can easily be lost if you've never worked with one.  With that being said, I still think  simulators are one of the better options because you can jump right in and don't have to wait for the hardware to boot, etc.
  • SpiegelSpiegel Taco Tuesday FLPosts: 298Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    There is roughly 4 months and 3 weeks(ish) left before the current CCNA retires. If you have the time and mental fortitude to start steam rolling through the materials you could do both ICND1 and ICND2. I won't lie to you, the materials are dense but it may be possible to get through. To save some time you could go through my personal experience with the CCNA here My CCNA Journey. I list the the resources I used to help me prepare. I would just focus on getting virtual labs going. Boson Sim and Cisco Packet Tracer will be your best friends. I'd aim to try and knock out CCENT in two months and CCNA R&S in the following two months.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Network Operations and Security [In-Progress]
    Current Certs: A+ | N+ | S+ | MTA: OSF | CIW: SDA | ITIL: F | CCENT | CCNA R&S
    Currently Working On: CCDA


    2019 Goals: CCENT [X], CCNA R&S [X], CCDA [ ]
    Future Certs: LPI Linux Essentials | Project+| Cloud Essentials + | CCSP | CCNP Enterprise | CCNP Security | MDAA
  • LunchbocksLunchbocks Senior Member FloridaPosts: 292Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    CCNA in 4 months is doable, it just takes discipline. For books, I highly recommend The Official Cert Guide by Wendall Odum. His book is the most comprehensive of any that I have read. But that book alone will not prepare you. I also highly recommend CBT Nuggets. They are training videos that not only teach you the subject material, they also show you how to perform the tasks on cisco devices. CBT Nuggets is a monthly subscription, so you could subscribe for 4 months and then drop the subscription if you want. I have used CBT nuggets for most of my certs for many years, and I don't know that I could have passed the exams the first time through without them. To round out the learning, I also recommend Chris Bryant's training videos on Udemy. Between CBT and Chris Bryant's videos, it really prepares you.

    Finally, you need to do a lot of labs. I have a Cisco lab set up with 3560G switches and 1841 Routers. However, I also use and recommend Boson's Netsim. Not only can you use it for labs, but they have also preestablished labs ready for you to follow along to learn. It is easy to use and does a fairly good job of simulating a Cisco environment. And the $99.00price is a lot cheaper than setting up a physical Cisco lab.

    I say give it a shot. With dedication, you could get your CCNA before the February date.

    Degree: Liberty University - B.S Computer Science (In Progress)
    Current Certs: MCTS | Network+
    Currently Working On: CCNA
    2019 Goals: CCNA R&S
    2020 Goals: CCNP Enterprise, CCNP Security, Linux+


  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    If I manage to only get the CCENT before that date, hypothetically speaking, would the certification still carry any weight on a resume? Thank you for the rest of your helpful comments, I can't quote them apparently because I'm not yet allowed to post links but thank you, that has gotten me headed in the right direction.
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I found the required exam for the CCENT is 101-105 ICND1.  I would like to buy a hard copy book from amazon or somewhere relating to that one. If there is one that comes with lab access that someone might recommend, feel free to comment here to PM me. I really appreciate the help, everyone!

  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm hoping the CCENT will be more of a refresher exam for me, but I'd like to get it under my belt and then the CCNA if possible before Feb.
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm going to go ahead and buy the CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide by Wendell Odom as someone suggested. 
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    When I get that and start digging through it, it sounds like the Boson labs might be the best bet especially at the $99 price point. Let me know if I'm wrong. I'm very familiar with kali linux and network penetration as well as how Windows networks function, some on Cisco equipment, some not. So I'm hoping CCENT isn't the big bad wolf I'm blowing it up to be but I know CCNA is likely beyond my current capabilities without a lot of work.
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    CBT nuggets sounds great as well! Thank you!!
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I doubt I will be able to set up a Cisco lab so the instructional videos and sims are very important aside from the book I'm ordering. I just wanted to thank everyone once again for their input and please contribute anything else you'd like that might help me. 

    The more I look at the outline of the CCENT on Cisco, nothing jumps out at me that I'm not familiar with but CCNA is another story.
  • itdeptitdept Posts: 35Registered Users ■■■□□□□□□□
    Lots of people swear by a combination of CBT, Odom book, Boson exam and lots of labbing with packet tracer / GNS. I've heard a great deal of feedback saying to not do the composite but break into 2 parts for exam
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Make sure you get packet tracer. It is only a simulator but for CCENT it is very useful. My favorite feature is the ability to watch the packets move and see how they change. Great for troubleshooting as you can see where they fail.
    Good Luck
  • LunchbocksLunchbocks Senior Member FloridaPosts: 292Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    itdept said:
    Lots of people swear by a combination of CBT, Odom book, Boson exam and lots of labbing with packet tracer / GNS. I've heard a great deal of feedback saying to not do the composite but break into 2 parts for exam

    I did the composite for my first CCNA certification back in the early 2000s. I failed that exam and is the only certification I have ever failed. My first certification was MCSE for NT 4.0, so I've been doing certs for quite some time.

    I believe doing them separate gives you less to focus on in one sitting, making it easier to pass.

    Degree: Liberty University - B.S Computer Science (In Progress)
    Current Certs: MCTS | Network+
    Currently Working On: CCNA
    2019 Goals: CCNA R&S
    2020 Goals: CCNP Enterprise, CCNP Security, Linux+


  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 1,055Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    From what I understand having only a CCENT by the 2020 deadline is as good as having nothing, since it retires and you'll have to start all over again to get a CCNA. Why not something like Network+ now and as a primer, and then the new CCNA later next year?
    2017: GCIH | LFCS
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ |CCNA CyberOps
    2019: VHL 20 boxes
    2020: OSCP | CISSP
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    To tell the truth, I am just looking for a good place to start as I have no certifications. I have ordered the CCNA book but I'm open to suggestions for certs that would be valuable to have. I've heard of Network+, perhaps this is something I'll consider instead of the CCNA right off the bat.

    Again, I can use all the advice I can get. I appreciate the advice of using packet tracer, Boson, CBT, and the book as well. I might well be able to do it before it expires but perhaps I should start with something else first especially if the CCENT just retires after 2/2020 with no value and the CCNA is the only thing that would count after that point.

    I've had quite a bit of self-taught experience but no certifications, so I'm just looking for the best path forward possibly instead of immediately racing the clock, though I may be able to do that.

    Any advice is appreciated. I like the Network+ idea but admittedly don't know much about it.
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    My major was in Management Information Systems but I've always liked the network administration side of things. I am extremely interested in cybersecurity and also business analysis as well as other IT fields.

    Whatever certifications you think would stand out on a resume, what I mean to say is, I think I like the idea of starting with something like Network+ but I've not discounted the CCNA idea.

    After it changes in 2020, it is predicted to be much harder or just different?
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 1,055Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    edited October 7
    In my opinion, I believe CCENT is of similar weight (maybe a touch more valuable) than CompTIA Network+ on a resume.

    Another option I'd suggest is just prepping for the new CCNA now, so that you can take it Feb 1, but not be under pressure to do so. Cisco really stirred up the hornet's nest with the CCNA/P revamping and many people are unhappy -- particularly CCENT holders (who are scrambling to take the second half of the exam to be CCNA before Feb. Also unhappy are CCNA security cert holders, because that exam is retiring and I've heard it's quite difficult to pass. Getting the CCENT now would place you right into the unhappy/scrambling CCENT category. Might as well wait (or Network+). Have you tried a job search for the keywords CCENT and then for Network+?

    Speaking of the Odom book, here's Wendell's take on the situation (it's 2 pages):
    http://www.pearsonitcertification.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2982442
    2017: GCIH | LFCS
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ |CCNA CyberOps
    2019: VHL 20 boxes
    2020: OSCP | CISSP
  • wifipineapplewifipineapple Posts: 20Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have a good fundamental understanding of networking concepts (I think). Could I just skip the CCENT and dive right into the CCNA studying without a problem or does one build on the other in ways that would surpass my understandingyoba222 said:
    In my opinion, I believe CCENT is of similar weight (maybe a touch more valuable) than CompTIA Network+ on a resume.

    Another option I'd suggest is just prepping for the new CCNA now, so that you can take it Feb 1, but not be under pressure to do so. Cisco really stirred up the hornet's nest with the CCNA/P revamping and many people are unhappy -- particularly CCENT holders (who are scrambling to take the second half of the exam to be CCNA before Feb. Also unhappy are CCNA security cert holders, because that exam is retiring and I've heard it's quite difficult to pass. Getting the CCENT now would place you right into the unhappy/scrambling CCENT category. Might as well wait (or Network+). Have you tried a job search for the keywords CCENT and then for Network+?

    Speaking of the Odom book, here's Wendell's take on the situation (it's 2 pages):
    http://www.pearsonitcertification.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2982442

  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,473Admin Admin
    edited October 10
    I did the CCENT before CCNA R/S to allow me to get a feel for Cisco's cert material and exam experience. I would use the same strategy again for the new CCNA if it were possible--but it's not.
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