CCNA & CCNP doable in one year?

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Comments

  • /usr/usr Posts: 1,768Member
    My advice would be to get your CCNA, get an entry level job, and then work on your CCNP. Networking is not a game you can brute force your way into with certs.

    Exactly.
  • Tin_ManTin_Man Posts: 77Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Doable? Yes.. Smart? IMHO No. Unless you have a lot of Cisco exposure I would hold off on going after the CCNP. Get your CCNA, get that real hands on experience then move onto your CCNP.
    WIP: 70-647 (5%)
  • mella060mella060 Posts: 196Member
    Is it doable? Of course it is.
    My advice would be to get your CCNA, get an entry level job, and then work on your CCNP. Networking is not a game you can brute force your way into with certs.

    What are the best sought of entry level jobs to go for ? As in ones where you get a lot of exposure to cisco/networking equipment. Where you can move up and do the fun stuff.

    I have worked as a desktop support tech and recently completed my CCNA. Just wondering how i am going to break into the network arena.
  • trackittrackit Posts: 224Member
    /usr wrote: »

    If you can do it, do it. It's not going to hurt you at all, but it also may not help quite as much as you think it will.

    +1 for that sentence :)

    I would say, dont get discouraged because of what people say here :) Just do it, or at least try and see from your own experience how this works out, maybe you will find it too difficult and quit, maybe you wont. (am assuming here that you are interested in networking and this cert is not just some additional credentials you want on your card).

    A lot of people talk here that "if you dont have experience then i would not hire you, i dont care about your certs" and i kinda agree with that, BUT, how can you get "experience" if you cant demonstrate that you are dedicated and at least know your way around in theory and lab environment?? experience in helpdesk wount help you much...
    I can assure you, that if you study theory, lab it up and show this to your employer via some certification. then you have much better chance in getting closer to "experiencing" things :) Sure you wount be put in charge of some corporate network, but at least you can get some "backup admin/engineer" position and get required experience under some senior engineer supervision or something...
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    trackit wrote: »
    +1 for that sentence :)

    A lot of people talk here that "if you dont have experience then i would not hire you, i dont care about your certs" and i kinda agree with that, BUT, how can you get "experience" if you cant demonstrate that you are dedicated and at least know your way around in theory and lab environment?? experience in helpdesk wount help you much...
    I can assure you, that if you study theory, lab it up and show this to your employer via some certification. then you have much better chance in getting closer to "experiencing" things :) Sure you wount be put in charge of some corporate network, but at least you can get some "backup admin/engineer" position and get required experience under some senior engineer supervision or something...

    Well, speaking only for myself...

    Knowledge is good. I think people should *always* be learning. I am forever studying for something, and I'm certain I will be doing so for the rest of my career.

    There's a big difference between learning to increase your skillset, and in shotgunning for a certification. When I see threads from folks talking about time and network certifications, it tells me one thing - they want a paycheck, and they want it right then. When I see a thread about doing CCNA and CCNP in one year, that tells me they don't want an entry level paycheck.

    All I'm trying to do is inject a little reality. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it many more times - too many people thing certification is an end, when it's just a means to an end.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    mella060 wrote: »
    What are the best sought of entry level jobs to go for ? As in ones where you get a lot of exposure to cisco/networking equipment. Where you can move up and do the fun stuff.

    I have worked as a desktop support tech and recently completed my CCNA. Just wondering how i am going to break into the network arena.

    Honestly the best way is to find any job at a company you want to work for, and make friends with the current network staff. Ask questions, learn as much about the network as you can, and let them know you're not an idiot. If you can, get a NOC position and babysit the network, and get the overnight shift if at all possible. This will facilitate your learning, as you'll have plenty of time. You'll also make a friend of the on call engineers when you have to wake them up if you can provide them with as much information as possible. Believe me when I say there's a huge difference between the phone call that goes 'The network is slow and customers are complaining. Fix it plz' and the one that goes 'For some reason, STP has converged so that all traffic is travelling over the 1 gig backup circuit instead of one of the 10 gig primaries. The 1 gig link is saturated and causing slow down for the entire network.'
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    I cleared the CCNP over 9 months from September 2000 until June 2001. Mind you I had full responsibility for the production Cisco network and 9 months prior to starting CCNP had passed the CCNA. I have to say that almost every evening and weekend I had my head in books to pass the CCNP tests. A lot of work. A year for CCNA/CCNP is not uncommon though and hasn't been for years. Looking back at the profiles of many CCIE's on groupstudy over the last 10 years a lot of them got through these certifications in that sort of timeframe. Some of them went on to be the Cisco Tsars that so many people bow down to. The main thing though is to learn the material as well as you can and for many people an intense year like that doesn't sit so well either due to background or very limited access at work to reflect on the learning in an operational setting. Opportunities to put things into context and some solid fundamentals going in really add value to your studies.
  • trackittrackit Posts: 224Member
    Well, speaking only for myself...

    Knowledge is good. I think people should *always* be learning. I am forever studying for something, and I'm certain I will be doing so for the rest of my career.

    There's a big difference between learning to increase your skillset, and in shotgunning for a certification. When I see threads from folks talking about time and network certifications, it tells me one thing - they want a paycheck, and they want it right then. When I see a thread about doing CCNA and CCNP in one year, that tells me they don't want an entry level paycheck.

    All I'm trying to do is inject a little reality. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it many more times - too many people thing certification is an end, when it's just a means to an end.

    yeah, i see what you mean...

    And im also speaking just for myself here: but for me, certifications is not only about "increasing your paycheck fast" (it can give you an advantage to get some better job or some better pay, but i agree that "having some cert" does not = "fat paycheck fast" automatically). For me certifications is also a reward for an effort. it is something that i can touch and feel (well, no an e-cert :D but i think you get what i mean). It is a clear goal or milestone that you can set yourself and feel entusiastic and excited about achieving this goal and when you do and hold this cert in your hands you celebrate and feel good about yourself :) It helps motivate, set clear goals and work towards it.
    So if somebody talks about seting timefames etc... then i dont think automatically "naah just wants fat paycheck fast..." it may also be, that the person just sets himself goals and feels enthused and excited about it so its natural that this person dont want to drag :)
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    trackit wrote: »
    yeah, i see what you mean...

    For me certifications is also a reward for an effort. it is something that i can touch and feel (well, no an e-cert :D but i think you get what i mean). It is a clear goal or milestone that you can set yourself and feel entusiastic and excited about achieving this goal and when you do and hold this cert in your hands you celebrate and feel good about yourself :) It helps motivate, set clear goals and work towards it.

    Well, the certification isn't the reward, the knowledge is. The only thing the certification does is affirm that you can answer 50 to 60 random questions :)

    I agree that it's a good measuring stick, and a good milestone, it lets you know you're making progress instead of always wondering.

    The danger comes with the 'certification = reward' type of thought. That mentality is the reason why companies that provide **** make money hand over fist. Too many folks are shotgunning their certifications. Their goal isn't to prepare for more advanced work, they just want the letters after their name. I guess the best way to sum it up is that too many folks are studying for the test instead of studying for their career.
  • trackittrackit Posts: 224Member
    i still dont quite agree with you... i mean, how is studying for certs not studying for career? you make it seem like there are certs and then there is real world that has nothing to do with certs. Certs are usually designed (especially with Cisco) to help learn stuff that you need in real world and in your career. (and im not talking about **** so there is no need to bring that into discussin ie, if you have set a goal for some cert = you are cheater and **** user)

    If you dont thnik that certs are some kind of "reward" for hard work and certs dont advance your career nor studying for certs is studying for your career then why did you bother to take all the exams required for CCNA, CCNP, CCDA in the first place? I mean, shouldnt you be studying for your career instead? you wasted at least 10 hours of your time and a bunch of money for sitting the exams while you could be doing something actually useful.
  • stuh84stuh84 Posts: 503Member
    trackit wrote: »
    If you dont thnik that certs are some kind of "reward" for hard work and certs dont advance your career nor studying for certs is studying for your career then why did you bother to take all the exams required for CCNA, CCNP, CCDA in the first place? I mean, shouldnt you be studying for your career instead? you wasted at least 10 hours of your time and a bunch of money for sitting the exams while you could be doing something actually useful.

    I think what Forsaken is trying to get across is, too many people say things like "If I get a CCNA, what kind of money will I get" or "I need to get these certs". The mentality of certs = results is the problem, knowledge = results is how people should be thinking.

    I may only be a CCNA, but I'm more knowledgeable than someone who passed it in 2 months with no experience. Why? I've been working in the industry for 2 years, and made sure I knew WHY each routing protocol worked like it did, not just accept it did and move on, etc etc.

    It's not enough to do enough to pass the exam, only for it to become almost forgetabble once you have. This is how formal education seems to be going (and has been while I did it), focussing on the end goal rather than the process.
    Work In Progress: CCIE R&S Written

    CCIE Progress - Hours reading - 15, hours labbing - 1
  • trackittrackit Posts: 224Member
    no he didnt say that. He said:

    "When I see threads from folks talking about time and network certifications, it tells me one thing - they want a paycheck, and they want it right then. When I see a thread about doing CCNA and CCNP in one year, that tells me they don't want an entry level paycheck."

    and i said that setting a timeframe does not = retarded cheater who just wants some paycheck fast, that certs can serve as milestone and as a mental reward.

    anyway, i feel like im wasting my time here :) ill go better make some labs for ICND2 :)
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Posts: 5,031Inactive Imported Users ■■■■■■■■□□
    trackit wrote: »
    no he didnt say that. He said:

    "When I see threads from folks talking about time and network certifications, it tells me one thing - they want a paycheck, and they want it right then. When I see a thread about doing CCNA and CCNP in one year, that tells me they don't want an entry level paycheck."

    and i said that setting a timeframe does not = retarded cheater who just wants some paycheck fast, that certs can serve as milestone and as a mental reward.

    anyway, i feel like im wasting my time here :) ill go better make some labs for ICND2 :)

    I agree. I would like to go for my CCNA and CCNA:S by the end of the year, and CCDA and CCNP and CCDP by the end of next year. The reason why I want this is not so that I can be a senior network engineer, this year or next, it is so I can prove to myself that I can obtain higher level networking knowledge. I want to do consulting eventually and I know that people want experience that I cannot just "get" and they also want certifications and knowledge. I think I can get the second two. How will I do this? Studying, experimenting, and picking the brains of this forums finest.
    If I was going for an "entry" level network engineer, and I had a CCNP, I would still be "expecting" entry level pay otherwise I wouldnt apply for an entry level job.
  • Megadeth4168Megadeth4168 Posts: 2,157Member
    I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy studying for the CCNA. I remember coming off of my MCSE studies and having the same attitude. I took about 6 months before I started hitting the books again after completing my MCSE. The only reason was because Cisco was offering a 2nd chance at the time. After I started studying, I wished that I had started sooner!

    So far, of all the exams that I've studied for, the Cisco Exams have been the only ones that I have had fun doing! I had a great time playing around with labs. I think that you might find it to be a refreshing change from the Dry MS material as well.
  • Solaris_UNIXSolaris_UNIX Posts: 93Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    It sounds like this would be very doable in either of the following two circumstances:

    (1) You've already been working in a CCNP level network administrator position with CISCO equipment for a while now and your spanning tree, VTP, ACL, and BGP routing skills are superb, but you just never bothered to take any of the exams (I actually know two people like this, except they work with mostly Juniper / Foundry equipment and not with CISCO equipment).

    (2) You have no previous CISCO experience- You're unemployed, out of school, have no social life or any kind of other outside human contact, yet you wake up one morning and are surprised to find yourself locked in solitary confinement either in a prison cell or in a 1960's era VietCong POW camp with nothing to comfort you but some power strips with electrical outlets, a couple of laptop computers, a complete library of CISCO press books, a large quantity of rackmounted CISCO 2620XM routers and 1841 and 2811 ISR's a plus a large number of Catalyst 2960 and 3560 switches with the latest and greatest IOS images.

    Your captors tell you that you won't be freed from solitary confinement until you successfully pass all of the required exams for both the CCNA and CCNP certifications. They take you out of your cell for daily lab exam "interrogations" based on the labs in CISCO's official netacad curriculum and beat you mercilessly with bamboo sticks and smelly old salmon fish carcasses every time you make a mistake in configuring OSPF, Frame Relay with CHAP, Nat overload, etc.

    I vaguely suspect that something similar to option #2 might have been how Dynamik got his MCSE and CCENT certs. icon_lol.gif


    ps -e -o pid | xargs -t -n1 pfiles | grep "port: $PORT"

    dtrace -n 'syscall::write:entry { @num[zonename] = count(); }'

    http://get.a.clue.de/Fun/advsh.html

    http://www.perturb.org/display/entry/462/
  • Solaris_UNIXSolaris_UNIX Posts: 93Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Seriously though, try reading all the way through both of Wendell Odom's Cisco press books for ICND1 and ICND2 before you make any hasty judgements about how much time you will need or won't need for the exams:

    Here's ICND1:

    Amazon.com: CCENT/CCNA ICND1 Official Exam Certification Guide, 2nd Edition (9781587201820): Wendell Odom: Books

    And here's ICND2:

    Amazon.com: CCNA ICND2 Official Exam Certification Guide (CCNA Exams 640-816 and 640-802) (2nd Edition) (9781587201813): Wendell Odom: Books

    Each of the books is approximately some 700 pages or so long. Of course there's some negative reviews from people who didn't pass the exams, but this is Cisco's official book on what objectives you need to know to pass their exam and it seems to be the most thorough in exhaustively explaining the theoretical underpinnings of everything you need to know (the Flintstones part is particularly excellent).

    There's also the Lammle book which weighs in at 900 or so pages and has a more "real world" focus instead of a theoretical focus, kind of like mentoring under an experienced teacher, but it doesn't beat to death all the theory for all the official exam objectives quite as thoroughly as Odom's does (how could it when Odom's book is twice as long).

    So this will be how much reading material you need to get through in the first three months to read everything:

    Skim 500 to 600 pages out of Odom ICND1

    Skim another 500 to 600 pages out of Odom ICND2

    Ready 800 pages or so from Lammle's book (as a review of the material from Odom's books).

    So you need to (conservative estimate) read about 500 + 500 + 800

    = 1,800 pages of dry, dense, technical network stuff in three months and also find the time to lab it up on some equipment so that you can pass the "sim" questions on the exam that (as the name suggests) simulate configuring and troubleshooting real equipment.

    You think you can do this? If not then it might be better to take more than 3 months to study for the composite CCNA exam.


    ps -e -o pid | xargs -t -n1 pfiles | grep "port: $PORT"

    dtrace -n 'syscall::write:entry { @num[zonename] = count(); }'

    http://get.a.clue.de/Fun/advsh.html

    http://www.perturb.org/display/entry/462/
  • Solaris_UNIXSolaris_UNIX Posts: 93Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Then there's also the problem that when prospective employers find out that you got BOTH your CCNA and CCNP in less than one year, many of them will automatically assume that you cheated your way through it (even if you're legit and did no such thing) and will deliberately try to trick you and trip you up as much as possible in the interview (you probably wouldn't have this problem if you got the CCNA in year 1 and the CCNP more than halfway through year 2).

    I'm just throwing this information out there to try to be helpful. Feel free to go forward with it if you personally feel that you are up to the task.


    ps -e -o pid | xargs -t -n1 pfiles | grep "port: $PORT"

    dtrace -n 'syscall::write:entry { @num[zonename] = count(); }'

    http://get.a.clue.de/Fun/advsh.html

    http://www.perturb.org/display/entry/462/
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