General Cisco Inquiry

littlemikelittlemike Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
I think I have a fairly unique problem but I don’t know. I’ve been in college for almost 10 years, maintained a 3.4 GPA throughout, and I have 223 credits total and no degree (I say this only so you know I’m not completely stupid or maybe that means I am, I don’t know). I’ve recently decided to quit school and start getting some certifications to guarantee some future after I was told I was looking at an additional 3 years to complete my degree (as you can tell by the number of credits/years that’s not the first time I have heard this).
I have been working as a senior network admin for a state agency for 5 years and I was in the Army doing basically the same thing before that for another 4 years.
I understand the N+ material very well but I am pretty sure from reading some threads that there is no real value in the N+ if you have the CCNA. I am trying to get into Cisco but I have honestly had no REAL exposure to their products. My problem seems to be something in the syntax or wording of everything. The “N+” level stuff I do fine on but the “Cisco specific" stuff is what I seem to be having the problem on. A friend of mine told me you had to basically relearn everything with the “Cisco twist” on it and at first I thought he was just messing with me but I’m starting to believe he may have been right. I deal more with HP, Extreme Networks, Sonicwall, etc than I do Cisco and I feel like I’m on the wrong side of a tiny gap and I can’t figure out how to jump (if that metaphor makes any sense). I know this seems like a very strange question/post but I’m hoping someone out there was in the same position I am in currently and can shed some light on the topic. I am not looking for pity just some direction (tools, sites, books, etc) that might make the light bulb come on. Thanks for any help you can give ahead of time.


  • laidbackfreaklaidbackfreak Member Posts: 991
    Hya, well if your happy with N+ stuff then stepping upto the Cisco should be no problems and if you've used the cli in HP you'll soon get the feel of cisco. Syntax is a little different but no biggie.

    I would recomend you break teh CCNA into two parts, go for the CCENT first then take teh second part.
    Learning materials there's a whole stack of info in the cisco forums, but CBT's, Sybex Todd Lammel book is highly recomended and not as dry as the official guide. And of course hands on kit, get on ebay buy a couple of routers and a switch and get going icon_smile.gif You can and plenty of people do use simulators\emulators but imo these dont always provide the best learning material, but are an option.

    hth and welcome to the world of cisco icon_smile.gif
    if I say something that can be taken one of two ways and one of them offends, I usually mean the other one :-)
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    Good luck :)

    I have my N+ as well, and am finding the first half of the Cisco Press CCENT book to be N+ rehash (OSI, TCP/IP model, etc etc). So no problem there.

    Get your hands on some routers/switches from ebay, ask questions in the Cisco forums here, and good luck!
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • stephens316stephens316 Senior Member Member Posts: 203 ■■■■□□□□□□
    First off you have found the right place to be when seeking certifications!!

    I will be up front with you Comptia N+ is now a waste of time and money seeing how they have changed their policy on life time certs stay away

    for Cisco there are many products out on the market :

    802 official study guide
    Cram Exam v3 CCNA
    Cram Exam CCENT
    CBT Nuggets
    Boson Simulator if you can get real hardware.

    I would recommend you get some cisco hardware to play with look at Cisco Kits and Cisco webpage to see what some of the current hardware is then go ebay see what out there assuming you have some money for it.

    I would recommend watching for vouchers and trying to do it as cheap as possible

    Take 640-822 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v1.0 640-816 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2) v1.0
    Current Studying : GPEN |GCNF|CISSP??
    Current Reading : CISSP| CounterHack|Gray Hat Hacking
    Completed 2019 : GCIH
    Free Reading : History Books
  • jeanathanjeanathan Member Posts: 163
    Ouch, sorry to hear about your situation Mike. It took me ten years from start to finish in college so you are not alone. B.S. Computer Science 2000-2010. I know the feeling about getting pushed into taking courses you don't want because of collegiate bureaucracy.

    Cisco doesn't put their twist on open protocols really it is just that Cisco Press materials are secretly English majors. The first time I saw ingress/egress instead of packets incoming/outgoing I just wanted to call up and curse the publisher.

    If you are interested in the CCNA I would say give your self time; don't rush into it thinking 3 months I am CCNA period.

    Secondly, use Cisco Press as a reference. Get a hold of CBT Nuggets Jeremy C. the instructor does a far better job with his lectures. Train Signial is Nice too. I used the Sybex book instead of Cisco Press when I did my CCNA (composite exam).

    Finally, Cisco exams are best fought with labs. I just failed the ISCW exam because I studied the book and couldn't perform on the simulation question of the exam. If you are going to do the CCNA get some lab equipment and build a mock network. Implement and play with all of the technologies on the exam before taking it. I also find blogging about my study experience is a good way to articulate what I have learned in a way that keeps it sticking with me.

    I know how depressing the college situation can be from personal experience; if the Army is still assisting you with funds you might keep in mind finishing the degree.

    Just take it one day at a time and best of luck.
    Struggling through the re-certification process after 2 years of no OJT for the CCNP.
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