Calling CCSP's ...

examseekerexamseeker Member Posts: 118
Hey guys:

I have a few questions for you CCSP's out there. I am currently studying for the CCNA and plan to go either CCSP or CCNP after I pass (cross fingers). I know I have to set up a home lab for both and they are different scenarios. I know that the CCSP is less popular than the CCNP. I have heard that CCSP's secure the network while CCNP's build the network. Where could a CCSP take me in the future? Are there any CCSP's out there that have regretted taking this path?

My colleagues at work have ordered the full package of CBT Nuggets, so we can use that to study. I am going to ask a similar question on the CCNP forum as well.

Thanks for your advice and I look forward to reading your replies.

es
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Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I haven't done either, but I'm in a similar position, so I'll share what I've learned. Hopefully you'll still get something out of it ;)

    I think first and foremost, it really depends on what you want to do. I'm interested in security, so I'm going to go that route. Plain and simple. There are other members sticking solely to the security route as well. Both Keatron and Ahriakin have CCSPs and are currently pursuing their security CCIEs. Some people will tell you to always start with the NP, but you don't have to.

    If you're not really set on a path, keep in mind that the NP is more general, and you might be able to find a job easier with that. The SP seems to be a bit more of a niche. You can always do both as well. Try to be like DT or Mike and get all the pro-level certs.
  • examseekerexamseeker Member Posts: 118
    I'm with you, dynamik. I like the security field (though I am not currently in it). I'm trying to get more info so I can make a decision. Will let you know more soon.

    Thank you for your reply..
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  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    There's a whole CCSP or CCNP? section in the CCSP FAQ.

    If you have your heart set on Security then you'd start small and probably work as part of a team, like being the Firewall Specialist or the IDS/IPS Specialist.

    The hardest part is getting your foot in the door to start getting the experience so that someday someone would trust you to secure their entire network. So if a Security Opportunity does present itself, it may be worth getting the CCSP first, then backfill the CCNP later.

    Of course, you may luck into a Consulting Job. For a large Consulting Company your lack of experience translates in more billable hours. Plus you'll be trained to blame all the problems on the employees so that someone from the Consulting Company can make an outsourcing pitch to the customer. If you're not part of the solution, there's great money to be made extending the problem. icon_eek.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    I've been tossing around the idea of the CCSP once I move to the firewall group at my company but I do have reservations about doing the SP and not the NP. Both are well respected and bring great knowledge to someone. I think it all depends on what you want to do whether you do both or just one.
  • examseekerexamseeker Member Posts: 118
    Sorry, Mike -- I did read the CCSP vs CCNP stuff in the forums. I found most of my answers there, I just posted this without thinking too much about it. You did answer my questions though and I can say I will _attempt_ to do the CCNP track.

    Thanks again,
    es
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  • mw7301mw7301 Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    There is one major drawback to the CCSP. There is very little to almost none direct documentation, meaning CBT's for the CCSP. But there is this direct documentation for the CCNP. I'm a security guy and my major focus is the CCSP, but for some bizarre reason they dont bother to fully document the CCSP as they do the CCNA or the CCNP. Pretty weird considering how vitally important security is.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    mw7301 wrote:
    There is one major drawback to the CCSP. There is very little to almost none direct documentation, meaning CBT's for the CCSP. But there is this direct documentation for the CCNP. I'm a security guy and my major focus is the CCSP, but for some bizarre reason they dont bother to fully document the CCSP as they do the CCNA or the CCNP. Pretty weird considering how vitally important security is.

    It changes too quickly. They're now trying to create electronic resources in order to keep up: http://www.ciscopress.com/bookstore/browse.asp?st=42112

    Check out the digital shortcuts.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    mw7301 wrote:
    I'm a security guy and my major focus is the CCSP, but for some bizarre reason they dont bother to fully document the CCSP as they do the CCNA or the CCNP.
    I think the first link in the Book Links in the CCSP FAQ has an email response to the question -- and it's as dynamik said, its changing too fast to get the books out in a timely manner.
    I wanted to get back to you regarding the CCSP texts you were asking about.

    Because the CCSP exams are revising so often (more than once a year in some cases), we are not able to have current books readily available in the market on a timely basis. With that in mind, we will not be publishing printed books to these exams for the time being, but we will be creating Quick Reference electronic products. The following titles are all to the most current versions of their respective exams, and can be purchased at www.ciscopress.com.

    The Cisco Documentation seems to be up to date.

    I did the CCVP before there were any Cisco Press Self-Study Guides or Exam Certification Guides and got by with using the CCIE Voice Suggested Reading List and the Exam Blueprints to pick relevant books. I also grabbed any other available Cisco Press Book on the subject that looked good -- even if it was a few years old and possibly "out of date." And I had links to the major Cisco Documents that seemed relevant to the CCVP from the Cisco Documentation, White Papers, and Design Documents.

    A similar approach should work for the CCSP.

    The other option is to wait until there is a complete set of Cisco Press books and 3rd part CBTs available -- but you could be waiting a long time. After the burst of Cisco Press Exam Certification Guides for the CCVP, the Troubleshooting exam was updated and renamed, and other then the Quick Reference Sheets there are no other recommended resources available (but CBT Nuggest did finally release their 4.x CIPT Nuggets and is promising GWGK and TUC Nuggets this year).
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Cross-linking with the Calling CCNP's ... thread.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,799 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A lot of the older study guides can be used as your core and supplemented with the Cisco user and product guides. At least half the battle on most of the exams is understanding the principles behind the technology and these are much less volatile than the device specifics. Yes the command structure may change with software updates but for example IPSec is still IPSec and understanding encryption/hashing+HMACs/IKE Phases etc. has value regardless of the actual commands you use to configure the device.
    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?
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