CCNA shelf life + self study

2confused2confused Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi, just wanted to ask a few crucial q's.

So I'm cosidering following the CCNA/CCNP path before pursuing further studies and just wanted to clarify on the shelf life. I was a little disturbed to read that re-certification would be needed every 3 years for the CCNA for instance and so wondered if this takes away the incetive or makes it a bad choice to take in any way? I don't like the idea of my qualifications simply evaporating esp. after hard work may be put in.

Also, for someone who has a basic knowledge of networks and is self studying i.e. no lab access (since the price is so high), would it be possible to do both the CCNA and CCNP myself purely through books/simulations?

Last, what is your outlook on getting straight into a career purely from cisco based certs?


p.s. very important question- is it worth me paying around $8000 (for proper teaching/labs) for getting these two certs? This is with making a career in mind.


  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    I wouldn't recommend shelling out $8,000 on training and lab material, just yet. Start with the CCNA, and focus on that. If you're hard-up for lab equipment, stick with the simulators and books. However, if you check out eBay, you should be able to pick up a couple of routers, a switch, and the cabling you need for a reasonable pricem, usually well under $1,000.

    As for the expiration and recertification requirements, three years isn't really that short of a timeframe until you have to recertify. I'm a big fan of lifetime certs, but echnology changes a lot in three years, and Cisco wants to keep your knowledge current, as well as encourage you to obtain higher-level certs. Cisco sees the CCNA/CCNP/CCIE as career certifications; once you have them, you should be working and making your employer foot the bill for training and recertification. Just keep in mind, you don't necessarily need to take the CCNA over after the three years, you can also recertify with a 642 exam (from the pro-level certification series), or any CCIE written exam.

    Check out this thread and the CCNA Page on Cisco's website, as well as the full listing of career certifications to get a better idea of what training is needed and how recertification works.

    Getting certified with only books and simulators will give you a lot of knowledge, but only with real hands-on experience with the physical equipment will you really "know" how things work. The CCNA and CCNP certs will definately help you land a good job, especially when you have some useful experience to back them up. Not necessarily work experience, but you should be able to perform the everyday functions of a CCNA or CCNP, and only keep reference books around for more intricate details of how things work, (not every single command and protocol).

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  • DW [banned]DW [banned] Posts: 240Inactive Imported Users
    Very well said Slowhand.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    You don't need a full blown lab for the CCNA. there's really nothing covered on the CCNA that simulators can't take care of, and the books are relatively cheap compared to the text books I have to buy for college. You can get a CCNA for about $150, or the cost of taking the exam and buying the Sybex book (5th edition, because it has supplemental stuff on NAT on the CD). I wouldn't shell out $8000 to take any kind of CCNA/CCNP course either because that's about three semesters worth of tuition where I go to school (LSU) and I seriously doubt that you'll get 36 college credit hours worth of knowledge from that class.
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