Classes for CCNP?

sleemiesleemie Member Posts: 109
I've read through the FAQs and through the posts and haven't seen much on courses. The only one I found someone basically stated that they don't recommend the classes because you can't learn all of the material in that short of a time-frame. However, the class I'm considering is part of a community college, although it's part of their adult education program not the actual college, and they teach the classes similar to a college schedule where each class(one for each test) lasts for about 12 weeks and meets two nights a week for 4 hours each class. To me, that seems like that's plenty enough spread out so that you're not being crammed with information. And of course a good portion of the class is in the lab, working on actual equipment. It's not cheap, though, it's $1,000 per class.

Given that I have virtually no experience on switches and routers and I don't work on them at work, I don't foresee me being able to do this strictly through self-study. I completed my CCNA that way, but this is a different animal. I work in the IT field doing desktop support and would like to work my way into the network side of the house.


  • kryollakryolla Member Posts: 785
    The adult education course seems like a good choice to learn. I would supplement the course with the recommended reading list for CCNP. I am a big beleiver in investing toward your education.
    Studying for CCIE and drinking Home Brew
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    It's hard to keep up and learn enough in a 1 week CCNA bootcamp or a 2 week CCNP bootcamp to pass the exams. If you already have knowledge and experience (and work is paying) then it may be an option worth looking at.

    Even the official training courses can be tough for someone who isn't experienced or hasn't prepared for them. But if you haven't scheduled them in advance (and back-to-back) you can take time after the class to study and review the official courseware (which is really good and usually a "single source" that covers what you need to know to pass the exam). This is another that is good when work is paying for it.

    The Cisco Network Academy courses which are spread out over more time are more likely to be useful for someone with no or little experience. Since it goes at a slower pace, you have the opportunity to get more help from your Instructor or other Students as the course progresses. And since there are multiple classes, if you find out you're not as prepared as you should be, you can delay the additional classes and jump back to some more introductory level courses. And if you're not a A Student in the class (but pass), you can take more time after the class to review, and relearn the material before you try to pass the Certification Exams.

    I think my 4 CCNA Academy courses cost about $1200 (including all the Community College Fees and Lab fee). I think I would have also paid that for the 4 CCNP Academy Courses, but I would have been traveling to another district to the Regional Academy location that offered the CCNP Courses. Costs of the Academy courses varies depending on where you take them (and the Institution offering them).

    I'd also suggest supplementing your study with the Cisco Press books and doing some additional study and review after finishing the classes. While one of my CCNA Academy Classmates and I passed our CCNA exam right after finishing up our CCNA Academy Courses, when she did the CCNP Academy courses she was the top student in her classes, but still needed 2 tries on a couple of the old CCNP exams to pass. There is a lot more material in the CCNP classes, so even though they went to 12 weeks (rather than the 8 weeks for each CCNA "semester") I think it's still a faster pace than the CCNA Academy courses.

    Self-study tends to be the cheapest option, but you have to be dedicated and motivated. While you can get some "hand holding" in forums like this, some people may need the "push" of a scheduled class to motivate them to study. Other people may need more hands-on one-on-one additional study help that you can only get from an instructor or smart classmates who don't mind showing off how smart they are by helping you understand all the new and strange stuff. :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • kingpinofdiskskingpinofdisks Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    It depends. Only YOU will know if you need classes or not. But I gotta say - if you don't have any experience, then the classes are almost mandatory.

    Me? I spent 5 years (in the late 90s) as a network engineer for a company of about 3000 users. I used EIGRP and OSPF, lots of switches / VLAN stuff, weird voice/data CSU/DSU stuff, and lots of physical cabling with fiber and copper.

    That means I am quite comfortable with the fundamental concepts, just need to pass the tests. So I am 100% self study. You just need books, labs (whether you make up your own labs or use lab books), and equipment to work with... since I am both poor and cheap, I am using online rack rental as my equipment.

    I figure $200-$300 for books and $500-$1000 for rack rental time to get your CCNP, depending on the different variables. The cheapest class I can find near me was $3200, all the way up to $6000. My cheapness means self study. That, and I don't like to share equipment with others while I am doing lab work.
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