Cisco Technical Floods

MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
It seems like that everyone is going for their CCNA now-a-days. When I was in college most people there were interested in going to the networking side of the house. I really think it has a lot to do with the CCIE salary numbers that are being thrown around. People think "Well I can make 120k doing Cisco or 50k doing Microsoft... I'm going Cisco!".

So the question is, how does the job market look for Cisco recruits? Should we be suggesting that people shoot for more of a general system administrator or is it okay for everyone to be going the CCNA route?

Some facts to consider:

Networking is easier to out source/centralize than systems. I know of a few companies who have centralized their networking departments but can't seem to close down that systems group to one location.

Virtualization is slimming down the amount of servers you need. Although you have to add a VMware skillset, most admins can do/want to do this anyways. This calls for less admins IMO.

And of course the flood of new techies running toward the Cisco side.

How will this balance out the supply/demand part of IT careers? Will there be less money in the Cisco side with the influx of engineers but more money in the systems side as demand goes up? Give me your opinion!

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Comments

  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Personally I think that it will definitely be harder to find jobs in the Cisco market in the near future. Money might decrease but not by much. I don't see demand increasing or supply lowering as a system administrator however it would be nice. :)

    I think the money (without having a CCIE) is in having both system admin skills and Cisco skills and then finding the right job. That is actually my goal before getting into management.
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  • nice343nice343 Member Posts: 391
    Cisco is here to stay. Experience and knowlege will weed out the less competent folks during job interviews. So if you plan on doing cisco KNOW YOUR STUFF because the networking world is changing.



    There are plenty of medical doctors out there, They same way there will be plenty of cisco certified techs out there. It all comes down to Who knows what!

    Both the Microsoft side and cisco side have their advantages but in my personal opinion I think the cisco advantages out weight the microsoft side
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  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think having a diverse set of skills will help you differentiate yourself. I definitely think that it is a valuable certification, but I'm not sure how well it holds up on it's own. Doing things like adding a CCDA or MCSE or going after a CCNP will really increase your value. I personally view the CCNA as the first step to more advanced certifications (and it's up next after I complete my MCSE).
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
    I think there a lot of people "going for things", but few following through.

    I don't mean that people are all talk, but I mean look at all the people who say they want their CCIE or they are "going for it". Meanwhile less than 20,000 in the whole WORLD have actually gone and done it.

    I think people look at it and see average salary charts and their heads get filled with dreams of easy street. Then they pick up a couple books....
  • bertiebbertieb Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I think people look at it and see average salary charts and their heads get filled with dreams of easy street. Then they pick up a couple books....

    Absolutely! I know several colleagues who got seduced by the CCIE, started the CCNA and didnt even get through that. I pay no attention to the average salary stuff and the false earning potential figures. For example in the UK, London jobs tend to be the highest paid and skew the figures massively. Of course, they are paid more for a reason, it's so damn expensive!

    There does seem to be a lot of people going for the CCNA but thats not necessarily a bad thing IMO, it's got a reputation of being a tough exam and as you say, the interviews will weed out the less competent. It'll be much more worthy when combined with other certs, or used as a stepping stone along the way to the CCNP etc.

    Horses for courses I suppose, I personally *try* and stick to my philosophy of doing things I'm interested in because I'm more likely to follow them through and enjoy myself a bit in the process. I'll have to revisit the CCNA towards the end of next year - should never have let it expire but thats personal life for ya icon_redface.gif
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  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Mishra wrote:
    It seems like that everyone is going for their CCNA now-a-days.

    I have noticed this for awhile. It is hard nowadays for someone with a CCNA (or any certification for that matter) and NO experience to get a job as a Network Admin. They will most likely have to start out at the bottom doing Tech Support. Still it is good to have the solid Networking knowledge the CCNA will give someone who studies for it and will help in getting a job regardless if the position involves supporting Cisco Routers/Switches indepth or not. With that said I believe it is best to learn all you can wether it be Microsoft, Cisco, Linux etc...
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • rossonieri#1rossonieri#1 Member Posts: 800
    my opinion :

    @ Mishra :
    Virtualization is slimming down the amount of servers you need. Although you have to add a VMware skillset, most admins can do/want to do this anyways. This calls for less admins IMO.

    mm.. not necessarily true - since maybe some of the servers has different systems on it - different apps - so they will need different expertise which in turn require more admin to manage them.

    @ nice343 :
    Both the Microsoft side and cisco side have their advantages but in my personal opinion I think the cisco advantages out weight the microsoft side

    well said - each has their own strength and weaknesses. every name is only a part of a very huge industry.

    @ GT-Rob :
    I don't mean that people are all talk, but I mean look at all the people who say they want their CCIE or they are "going for it". Meanwhile less than 20,000 in the whole WORLD have actually gone and done it.

    exactly.

    @ bertieb :
    There does seem to be a lot of people going for the CCNA but thats not necessarily a bad thing IMO, it's got a reputation of being a tough exam and as you say, the interviews will weed out the less competent. It'll be much more worthy when combined with other certs, or used as a stepping stone along the way to the CCNP etc.

    agreed.

    @ sthomas :

    you said that very clearly -
    learning all thing & gain knowledge little-by little is not a bad thing to start.

    Cheers.
    the More I know, that is more and More I dont know.
  • borumasborumas Member Posts: 244 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I kind of felt the opposite, everyone talks and pressures to get Microsoft certified, I agree though that it seems to be readily desired for an MCSE to round out by getting a CCNA under their belt. Just like the flood of people who went or go for their MCSE, it matters what you really know and not that you have a piece of paper in your hand whether it be with Cisco or the Microsoft certifications.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    There does seem to be quite a surge around here (Techexams) as well where I am from with the 801 expiring. I know a couple guys who never worked with Cisco directly (system admins) but decided to go for it just because the 801 was expiring and they thought the new test would be harder. Everyone making that last minute push. I think it will drop back down to normal now that the 802 has taken over. As far as the market for Cisco certified individuals, the certification doesn't do much for you with out experience anyway. If you are banking on just the CCNA to get you a great job I feel for you....
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • sir_creamy_sir_creamy_ Inactive Imported Users Posts: 298
    So from these comments I take it the best solution is to lock yourself in your lab until you have a CCNP + (CCDP OR CCSP) ? Then start the job hunt?
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  • dtlokeedtlokee Member Posts: 2,381
    So from these comments I take it the best solution is to lock yourself in your lab until you have a CCNP + (CCDP OR CCSP) ? Then start the job hunt?

    Nah, you need to lock yourself in a room until you have a few CCIEs under your belt. With the dire picture painted here one CCIE won't be good enough anymore.

    The market isn’t getting flooded with entry level candidates (CCNA) that is why Cisco created the CCENT, because there weren’t enough entry level technicians (according to their market research). Will you make more money with the CCNP under your belt? Most likely, but don’t out certify your experience. There’s nothing worse than having 3 or 4 different certifications and no experience to justify the certifications. That is a huge red flag for most employers and will make people think you have dumped your way to a certification.
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  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think that statement is too general since so many other factors must be taken into account. If you have a CCNA and want to start using it, throw it on your resume and get it out there. However, if you are planning on getting a professional-level certification in the near future, you probably wouldn't want to lock yourself into a position that doesn't have any opportunity for advancement. I'd start getting work experience asap unless there's some reason that would hinder you in the future.
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,800 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The market is just evolving, the same skills and talents that let those who pushed for and got the CCNA when it was rare will drive them to the next levels also. Essentially the foundation is shifting upwards but you still have heights you can scale to improve your knowledge and prove yourself the better candidate for the jobs you go for.
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,035 Admin
    dtlokee wrote:
    There’s nothing worse than having 3 or 4 different certifications and no experience to justify the certifications. That is a huge red flag for most employers and will make people think you have dumped your way to a certification.
    That's very true, but there's no law forcing you to list all of your professional certifications on your resume. There's nothing wrong with studying for and passing certification exams for the purpose of learning the material, but don't attempt to pass yourself off as experienced just because you passed a written exam or two. Listing IT certifications on your resume will certainly give prospective employers that impression, so be wary of the impression that your resume gives.
  • silentc1015silentc1015 Member Posts: 128
    JDMurray wrote:
    dtlokee wrote:
    There’s nothing worse than having 3 or 4 different certifications and no experience to justify the certifications. That is a huge red flag for most employers and will make people think you have dumped your way to a certification.
    That's very true, but there's no law forcing you to list all of your professional certifications on your resume. There's nothing wrong with studying for and passing certification exams for the purpose of learning the material, but don't attempt to pass yourself off as experienced just because you passed a written exam or two. Listing IT certifications on your resume will certainly give prospective employers that impression, so be wary of the impression that your resume gives.

    I completely agree with this. There's nothing wrong with obtaining certs in different areas of expertise where you may have an inadequate level of practical experience to obtain a job. I've found the most important thing is to just be honest about your level of experience during the job interview. It's not a "red flag" at all if you're completely honest about your experience and how/why you obtained the cert.
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
    I could see SOME places maybe not liking to see a lot of certs (especially all over the place) and no experience, but I think it will help you more than hurt you to list what you have.


    Think about it, if you don't get a job because you had CCNP on your resume and not much experience, do you REALLY think you would have got the job without CCNP on their? You still don't have any experience lol.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    I think that the "answer" to a lot of this may be defining what experience really is. Experience is the assumption on the part of your hiring manager that you've spent a certain amount of time working with a piece of technology or in a certain field, and therefore have a certain level of proficiency with it by virtue of having spent that time on it. (That's my two cents, at least, when it comes to 'x number of years experience with <blank>', as most HR managers tend to want to see.) I've known a lot of IT guys that spent five or six years in an environment with Cisco routers, and only ever logged in and brought interfaces up and down, but not much else. Does that mean that those guys, who don't know how to efficiently use the IOS and could probably make their networks more efficient and probably more secure if they knew more than basic show and int commands, know more than someone who spent the last year working towards CCNA? Probably not, seeing as how these same guys now come to me to ask me about how to configure their routers, they're too afraid to touch the CLI of the firewalls they "manage" to do anything but watch over my shoulder when I configure them, and let's not even talk about VLANs. . . So, is 1 year < 5 years? It depends on the quality and depth of the work you've done, not necessarily the length of time you've been doing it.

    The real question is, can you do the work? Experience in the field is a great way to learn how to do the work, especially with something like Cisco equipment, which is less readily available to play with than Windows and Linux machines or home networking devices. Doing labs, so long as you're being honest with yourself and really pushing to learn all the ins and outs of a technology, is also a great way to learn how to do the work. Neither will prepare you for everything, but you'll have a good foundation no matter which way you go. For me, I don't always look for people that have worked so many years, but can show me that they know what they're doing. If they say "I'm CCNA certified", then I should be able to go to the Cisco website, print out a copy of the exam objectives, then pick a couple of topics and test the candidate out. The same goes for MCSE, LPIC, A+, Network+, etc. I'm not expecting everyone in the world to know 100% of the things they studied for, that'd be a little out there. However, anyone who says "I know how to do this", by virtue of their resume or all the things expected of someone who is CCNA certified, should be able to give me at least 75%, regardless of if they've done the work for a company or set up the same situations in a lab.

    The jist of it: when you get certified, make sure you can do the work.

    As for the dire outlook on what's required to make it in IT, that's pretty simple. When you go out and work, you find that there is so much more to know than any exam could prepare you for. You bring with you the skills you learned, you augment them with on-the-job experience, (read "breaking production environments",) and you add to them with hands-on knowledge of things you need on a day to day basis. There's a reason you progress from junior network admin to senior engineer, you learn more and more as you go along. No one knows everything when going into a job, and as you go along you pick up more, do more, and you might even be prepared to do higher-level certs. From junior or regular network admin (CCNA), all the way up to seniority (CCIE), and all points in between (CCNP), it's a long process. You have to start somewhere, be it volunteer work, a lucky break, or lots and lots of lab-hours.

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  • nice343nice343 Member Posts: 391
    what you said is really true thats why in my post I said experience and knowlege.


    I know someone who claims to have 7 years with cisco equipments but cannot configure a simple vpn or even simple routing of cisco technologies.

    That fact that someone claims they have "experience" doesn't mean they know anything.

    The 5 years experience they have might compose of 30% of coffee drinking on on the job, 20% of internet surfing, 40% of asking for help when issue arises and 10% of actual using their own knowlege to solve anything. The fact that someone has 8 years of experience with cisco devices doesn't mean they know something. They probably slept on the job 60% of the time.
    And when they were not sleeping they were configuring the routers through the web interface icon_eek.gif
    Experience is good but what is really important is the knowlege you gain from that experience.
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  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    Slowhand wrote:
    I think that the "answer" to a lot of this may be defining what experience really is. Experience is the assumption on the part of your hiring manager that you've spent a certain amount of time working with a piece of technology or in a certain field, and therefore have a certain level of proficiency with it by virtue of having spent that time on it. (That's my two cents, at least, when it comes to 'x number of years experience with <blank>', as most HR managers tend to want to see.) I've known a lot of IT guys that spent five or six years in an environment with Cisco routers, and only ever logged in and brought interfaces up and down, but not much else. Does that mean that those guys, who don't know how to efficiently use the IOS and could probably make their networks more efficient and probably more secure if they knew more than basic show and int commands, know more than someone who spent the last year working towards CCNA? Probably not, seeing as how these same guys now come to me to ask me about how to configure their routers, they're too afraid to touch the CLI of the firewalls they "manage" to do anything but watch over my shoulder when I configure them, and let's not even talk about VLANs. . . So, is 1 year < 5 years? It depends on the quality and depth of the work you've done, not necessarily the length of time you've been doing it.

    The real question is, can you do the work? Experience in the field is a great way to learn how to do the work, especially with something like Cisco equipment, which is less readily available to play with than Windows and Linux machines or home networking devices. Doing labs, so long as you're being honest with yourself and really pushing to learn all the ins and outs of a technology, is also a great way to learn how to do the work. Neither will prepare you for everything, but you'll have a good foundation no matter which way you go. For me, I don't always look for people that have worked so many years, but can show me that they know what they're doing. If they say "I'm CCNA certified", then I should be able to go to the Cisco website, print out a copy of the exam objectives, then pick a couple of topics and test the candidate out. The same goes for MCSE, LPIC, A+, Network+, etc. I'm not expecting everyone in the world to know 100% of the things they studied for, that'd be a little out there. However, anyone who says "I know how to do this", by virtue of their resume or all the things expected of someone who is CCNA certified, should be able to give me at least 75%, regardless of if they've done the work for a company or set up the same situations in a lab.

    The jist of it: when you get certified, make sure you can do the work.

    As for the dire outlook on what's required to make it in IT, that's pretty simple. When you go out and work, you find that there is so much more to know than any exam could prepare you for. You bring with you the skills you learned, you augment them with on-the-job experience, (read "breaking production environments",) and you add to them with hands-on knowledge of things you need on a day to day basis. There's a reason you progress from junior network admin to senior engineer, you learn more and more as you go along. No one knows everything when going into a job, and as you go along you pick up more, do more, and you might even be prepared to do higher-level certs. From junior or regular network admin (CCNA), all the way up to seniority (CCIE), and all points in between (CCNP), it's a long process. You have to start somewhere, be it volunteer work, a lucky break, or lots and lots of lab-hours.

    Quoted for truth and agreement!

    In my experience, my certifications and education landed me the interviews where I had to prove I knew my stuff although my experience lacked in certain categories. A Hiring Manager gave me a chance due to my interview results, and I made sure he did not regret it. I've also been on the other side of the table where I've interviewed MCSE's that have been doing nothing but Help Desk work forever, finished their MCSE a couple years back, and could not answer or perform any Systems Admin type questions or tasks due to them just not remembering. Their certs and education got them the interview, but their lack of knowledge hurt them in the job opportunity. The guy couldn't name the five FSMO roles. The questions and hands-on demostrations were related to upcoming projects and current issues that the candidate would be involved with. Learn the material, practice the material, get that interview, impress the interviewer, and they will give you a chance. They may even offer less money since they are giving you a chance :D . I always say this...everyone was given an opportunity to gain experience working on something in production...labs will prepare you tremendously, but in production, there are a lot more factors involved than just the included MS products or Cisco equipment.
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  • wtc310wtc310 Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You all gave some good advice with the experience and training, I however have a dilemma not entirely along those lines and could use some of your advice. After 14 years of being a cop, I'm done. Pay is stagant, benefits cut annually,which used to be 2 factors which would differentiate the public sector from the private and to be honest, nowadays it really just sucks. So I decided to go for my CCNA. I have some technical education (college lvl but pre internet). I am progressing well and feel I should be ready by Feb. What would my chances be in the job market or what tactic should I take ? My ultimate goal is network security. And for now, changing jobs, going into help desk or something is not feasable. I was hoping that self taught ccna, 4 year degree and a solid albeit unrelated work history would be positives, would the lack of hands on be an issue (although I recently purchased 2 2500's and am looking for a switch) ? Thanks for any input.
  • silentc1015silentc1015 Member Posts: 128
    wtc310 wrote:
    You all gave some good advice with the experience and training, I however have a dilemma not entirely along those lines and could use some of your advice. After 14 years of being a cop, I'm done. Pay is stagant, benefits cut annually,which used to be 2 factors which would differentiate the public sector from the private and to be honest, nowadays it really just sucks. So I decided to go for my CCNA. I have some technical education (college lvl but pre internet). I am progressing well and feel I should be ready by Feb. What would my chances be in the job market or what tactic should I take ? My ultimate goal is network security. And for now, changing jobs, going into help desk or something is not feasable. I was hoping that self taught ccna, 4 year degree and a solid albeit unrelated work history would be positives, would the lack of hands on be an issue (although I recently purchased 2 2500's and am looking for a switch) ? Thanks for any input.

    New Jersey, where your profile says you live, is pretty hot for IT right now. I got my resume around even though I'm employed and still get many offers for Unix admin positions there, especially around NY. I'd imagine network admin and network engineer positions would be in similar demand. So, you can probably find something. If you have trouble, I'd get your resume to some IT hiring agencies. Although they're a pain to work with sometimes, it is in their best interests to place you. They often have connections that guys like you and I don't. I always found a job very quickly when I used them to my advantage. Check out local job fairs too. Being able to make a first impression before they even look at your resume is a huge advantage. A couple hours googling and surfing the web should get you a schedule of local job fairs and a list of IT hiring agencies that may be able to help you out. Don't settle for helpdesk. I don't think it's necessary in your case. Build a lab and play with it. Try to see if you can shadow the IT guy at your police station occasionally on your time off or something. Then you can say during an interview you have real on-the-job experience.
  • wtc310wtc310 Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    ok, thank you for the advice, I will give that a shot...and to be honest I do 'visit' the IT dept. more than the average so I guess I'm on the right track.
    Happy new year.
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