CCDA: Now or Later?

SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & SwitchiBay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
So here's another incarnation of a classic (read "tired") question: After passing CCNA, how "big" is CCDA, in comparison? It's difficult to tell from the objectives on Cisco's site, but I would imagine that some things overlap. I guess what I'm wondering is, will the time I spend studying for CCDA be comparible to the time I spend studying for CCNA?

I'm working on a lot of Cisco equipment at my current job, but I'm studying to take some Linux certs at the present time. (There's lots of Unix/Linux work to be done, as well.) After I've gone through the LPIC track, I'm planning on working towards CCNA. The long-term plan is to go back and finish up my MCSE: Security once I'm finished with CCNA, but the CCNA is going to get the time it needs. I was pondering whether or not I should spend some extra time before I get back to my MCSE work, maybe take another month or two to take the CCDA, or if I should head on back over to the Microsoft world and do it later on.

In the end, after my trek through Linuxland and Microsoft-world, I plan on hitting the Cisco certs for as long as it takes. I'd love to take CCNP, CCDP, CCSP, and maybe CCIP. (Real long-term plans.) I just feel like the clock is ticking on the MCSE, and I'd like to be through the next four tests by next summer. What do you guys think, will CCDA add months and months of extra study time to my break from MCSE, or should I just do the CCNA and CCDA in one long stretch, back-to-back?

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Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    Later probably works best -- unless you get a job with a Cisco Business Partner and they need someone for a role that requires the CCDA.

    The CCDA requires "CCNA level knowledge" -- but I only remember maybe just one part where it helped to touch a router. The CCDA just talks about stuff that you learn how to actually do in the CCNA and CCNP -- so its easier to understand (and design) if you've actually done the stuff (and have the CCNA and CCNP).

    If you have networking experience, you might be able to get away with just shooting through the Sybex CCNA book to cover the "CCNA level knowledge" prerequisite.

    But the CCDA is mostly "book learning" stuff -- go through the exam blueprint and pick the important stuff for the exam as you read the Teare book and Top Down Network Design, 2nd edition book. There is lots of reading in those 2 books....

    To see if you'd like "design" you might want to read Campus Network Design Fundamentals by Teare & Paquet. It came out just after I finished my CCDP and I've paged through most of it. At 349 pages (without the index) its a faster read than the just under 1000 page (not counting the index) Teare DESGN book. Its my guess that if you don't like this book, you wouldn't enjoy reading the big one (which is also a good book -- you just need to have the "design gene" to appreciate it).

    Next to the "all testlet" exam I took, the CCDA was the exam "most different" from all the others Cisco exams I've taken in what they were asking. Its not really that hard if you figure out how and what to prepare for on the exam -- its just lots of reading and questions on "fluffy stuff."
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    Hmm, I'll have to think about what I want to do. From the sounds of it, the CCDA seems to be a "backside of water" scenario. Then again, if it's the theoretical look at all the stuff I'd be doing in CCNA/CCNP, it doesn't sound all that hard. (Theory is easy, application is hard.)

    Alright, so here's the real question. If I spend a month or two really hitting the CCNA material hard, along with getting work handed to me at my job that would be directly related to what I'm studying, I'd be pretty well-versed in all the CCNA-level material. I have plenty of general networking experience, and the Cisco material isn't all that difficult for me. After getting the CCNA, would CCDA take me a while, or would it really just be "read the books, read the books, check out the CBT Nuggets, take the test"?

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  • keenonkeenon Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    i prefer doing the cbts before reading anything.. i did this for my last test which has helped amazingly ( if thats a word) icon_wink.gif i'm doing that for the current test i'm working on now. after doing the cbt and just last night touching the book i'm already at chapter 4 icon_eek.gif . i plan on hitting some other tests afterwards such as the DA .. when reviewing the materials it looked like INTRO to CCNP icon_scratch.gif a few of the topics i saw in the BCMSN
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    Well, I tend to watch the CBT's first, myself. (I just like to say I read books. . . hell, I just like to say I can read, period. icon_cool.gif ) The more I hear about the test, the more the objectives on the Cisco site make sense. I'll have to give it some thought, but I think I could use some of that "intro to CCNP" stuff before I really jump off the Cisco track for a few months.

    I'm leaning towards pushing for the CCDA before I get off-track, but we'll see. Right now I'm primarily doing LPIC studying, with a lot of CCNA moonlighting (read "procrastinating") when I should be working on my Linux concepts. Thanks for the advice, guys, I'm sure I'll be hitting you up for help a lot more in the coming months.

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  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    Slowhand wrote:
    "read the books, read the books, check out the CBT Nuggets, take the test"?
    Yep -- once you have the prereq taken care of -- that's all the exam is. icon_lol.gif

    I checked out the Nuggets contents on the website -- and (even though I'm not a "video study person") it looks like it would be useful.

    The Cisco Press CCDA/CCDP Flash Cards were good. The "Reference Sheet PDF" on the CD-ROM was priceless. I still wonder about the practice exam questions -- maybe I forgot to check for updates.
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  • romainromain Posts: 222Member
    I'm interested in taking this test and I'd like to know if you have simulation questions like in all other exams or just single/multiple choice questions ?

    I find the Cisco blueprint "short" and hesitate to buy Teare's book or not...
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  • steve-o87steve-o87 Posts: 274Member
    niamor wrote:
    I'm interested in taking this test and I'd like to know if you have simulation questions like in all other exams or just single/multiple choice questions ?

    I find the Cisco blueprint "short" and hesitate to buy Teare's book or not...

    From what I hear it's just a load of long and really in-depth questions and scenarios but no sims or anything like that. icon_scratch.gif (What Mike Calls Fluff icon_lol.gif )

    I would like to take the CCDA exam myself one day once I have my NP and VP icon_study.gif icon_study.gif
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  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've been studying for the CCNA and CCDA parallel and I can say that a lot of the material overlaps. The CCNA seems a bit more challenging to study for because it's so much information, but I wouldn't say the CCDA is super easy. I think that the CCDA is a nice compliment to the CCNA if you're interested in design and want to persue the CCDP afterwards. It's only a little extra studying so you may as well just keep at it and go for it while you're getting the CCNA.
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