Cisco Certification Path Decision

Super99Super99 Member Posts: 274
I'm working really hard towards finishing my MCSE and what is really motivating me is getting into he Cisco certs.

So the delema I'm facing is what path shall I take?
Voice, security, or wireless?

What is the most desired and in demand in the future?

Comments

  • Ryan82Ryan82 Member Posts: 428
    Choose the path that interests you because if you aren't interested in it, you won't do well at it.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    What are you interested in AND good at?
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Super99 wrote: »
    I'm working really hard towards finishing my MCSE and what is really motivating me is getting into he Cisco certs.

    So the delema I'm facing is what path shall I take?
    Voice, security, or wireless?

    What is the most desired and in demand in the future?

    Well I can tell you that you probably shouldn't start with the CCIE icon_lol.gif


    At any rate you will have to do CCNA before you can go to the "paths" (CCNA Security, CCNA Wireless, CCNA Voice) or you could do CCDA. From there it will be your choice as far as what you want to do.
  • chmorinchmorin Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    MCSE and CCIE are very different in terms of paths.

    Cisco really does require you to prove proficiency from the bottom up. Most of the people start with CCNA.

    If you are not sure what you are interested in, study up for your CCENT. This will give you a good idea of the basics of each field, and let you choose what associate level you want to get, and then what path you want to follow after that.
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    chmorin wrote: »
    MCSE and CCIE are very different in terms of paths.

    Cisco really does require you to prove proficiency from the bottom up. Most of the people start with CCNA.

    If you are not sure what you are interested in, study up for your CCENT. This will give you a good idea of the basics of each field, and let you choose what associate level you want to get, and then what path you want to follow after that.

    But keep in mind you don't have to. You can go right into the CCIE if you want with no pre reqs. Obviously that isn't the best idea but there is at least 1 person on this forum that did that (but he had years of exp).
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,251 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Like knwminus stated go for the CCNA certs in the specialty you like. Unless your really into the technology and enjoy learning and troubleshooting it then pursue the professional and expert level certs. Routing and switching is complicated enough in the higher level certs, Security is only going to be tougher. So make sure you really like what your doing, like i said troubleshooting R&S in complex envoirments can be difficult all on its own. Complex security is much tougher in my opinion.

    Wireless is exciting, fun, and you dont deal with any complicated routing or security, but that doesnt mean there isnt any of that involved. However the learning curve for all the RF and signal technology is a bit different but once your into it its easy. After i get my CCDA and CCDP i will get my CCNA wireless and maybe the CWNA, then depending on how much i like the certs i might go for the CWNP and CCNP Wireless. Well see....
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, SPLK-1002, SC-200, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2022 Goals:
    Certs: EnCE (Phase 1 - Passed, Phase 2 - awaiting results), eCPTXv2 (in progress), SC-300 (in progress), AZ-500, SC-100
    Course: BC Security - Empire Operations 1 (completed), Zero Point Security - CRTO (course completed)
  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    What are your current responsibilites? If you're getting the MCSE, wouldn't that mean you're a systems guy?
  • Super99Super99 Member Posts: 274
    Yes currently I'm a sysadmin guy.
    And Yes, i Do realize I have to start with a CCNA first but I eventually want to be an CCIE. :)
    I'm going to aim high.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Super99 wrote: »
    Yes currently I'm a sysadmin guy.
    And Yes, i Do realize I have to start with a CCNA first but I eventually want to be an CCIE. :)
    I'm going to aim high.

    Do you work with any cisco gear at work?
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Super99 wrote: »
    i Do realize I have to start with a CCNA first but I eventually want to be an CCIE.
    Then you're fine. You've got your starting point, and an end goal. Somewhere down the road the paths to the different CCIEs will diverge, but they all start out heading in the same direction.

    After the CCNA, try the snack pack and see which flavor you like best. You might even decide you prefer the plain vanilla CCNA Routing & Switching flavor.
    knwminus wrote: »
    the "paths" (CCNA Security, CCNA Wireless, CCNA Voice)
    For some reason I think of these as the "snack pack"..... icon_scratch.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The path I am riding feels like the best right now. I am windows support guy who the once in a blue moon handles networking issue.
    If you currently don’t have a job requirement with voice, routing, security, etc etc. Then you should stick with associate level certification. Professional level certifications, assuming you can even somehow pass raise a suspicious look from employers if your resume doesn't demonstrate a lot of experience. But a CCNA on the other hand is for whatever reason if your experience is limited.
    Bottom line I'm following (and recommend) this path right now and I think it's a good move for someone like me who might not have the greatest networking experience.
    CCENT >> CCNA >> CCNA Sec >> CCNA Voice >> CCNA Wireless >> CCDA
    -Daniel
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Daniel333 wrote: »
    CCENT >> CCNA >> CCNA Sec >> CCNA Voice >> CCNA Wireless >> CCDA

    This is a good path. It is very close to what I want to do. With the CCDA you may have to study some NP topics though because some NP topic knowledge is consider a prereq for the exam.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I know some people here recommend the CCNA concentrations, but I don't think they are worth it. If I were you I'd get the CCNA, get a job related to networking and then you will get to see what path you want to go on. Once you know what path you want to go on concentrate on it. No point in having a bunch of entry level certs IMO. They aren't very recognized and the return on investment isn't going to be very good.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I know some people here recommend the CCNA concentrations, but I don't think they are worth it. If I were you I'd get the CCNA, get a job related to networking and then you will get to see what path you want to go on. Once you know what path you want to go on concentrate on it. No point in having a bunch of entry level certs IMO. They aren't very recognized and the return on investment isn't going to be very good.


    I think the concentrations can help someone discover what path they want to take. It also will help broaden your skillset and widen your base. I personally think all of the CCNA concentrations will help me when I move on to CCNP, CCDP and CCSP. I will have to disagree about them not being recognized, I know the interview I am having tommorow is largely because of my CCNA security (they actually told me this).

    For someone who doesn't have alot of networking exp and either isn't ready for the CCNP or doesn't want to move on to the NP topics yet I think the various NAs are an excellent speed bump, just don't stay there forever.
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,251 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think the CCNA will get you some sort of recognition for any entry level position, most definitely!
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, SPLK-1002, SC-200, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2022 Goals:
    Certs: EnCE (Phase 1 - Passed, Phase 2 - awaiting results), eCPTXv2 (in progress), SC-300 (in progress), AZ-500, SC-100
    Course: BC Security - Empire Operations 1 (completed), Zero Point Security - CRTO (course completed)
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    knwminus wrote: »
    I think the concentrations can help someone discover what path they want to take. It also will help broaden your skillset and widen your base. I personally think all of the CCNA concentrations will help me when I move on to CCNP, CCDP and CCSP. I will have to disagree about them not being recognized, I know the interview I am having tommorow is largely because of my CCNA security (they actually told me this).

    For someone who doesn't have alot of networking exp and either isn't ready for the CCNP or doesn't want to move on to the NP topics yet I think the various NAs are an excellent speed bump, just don't stay there forever.

    I'm glad you got a hit out of it, but a nation wide search on Dice brings up two results and Monster brought up seven for "CCNA Security." Not exactly in demand. And I don't think there is anything wrong with learning a bit of everything, but I don't see the point of racking up entry level certs. Get your CCNA and then move onto the certs that are in demand and will help you reach your goals. I guess if your goal is to get a bunch of letters by your name then the concentrations, CompTIA and the like will help with that, but not with advancing your career. Thats my $.02 anyway.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm glad you got a hit out of it, but a nation wide search on Dice brings up two results and Monster brought up seven for "CCNA Security." Not exactly in demand. And I don't think there is anything wrong with learning a bit of everything, but I don't see the point of racking up entry level certs. Get your CCNA and then move onto the certs that are in demand and will help you reach your goals. I guess if your goal is to get a bunch of letters by your name then the concentrations, CompTIA and the like will help with that, but not with advancing your career. Thats my $.02 anyway.

    No offense but I am going to have to disagree. Besides if you want to do anything besides the NP after NA you will have to do associated NA concentration (NA Voice for VP, NA Security for SP etc*). I think that to totally write them off as useless seems a bit unfair especially to those who want to earn them. I will leave it at that since I don't want this thread to turn into another NAs vs NP thread.



    * or have a CCIE
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    knwminus wrote: »
    No offense but I am going to have to disagree. Besides if you want to do anything besides the NP after NA you will have to do associated NA concentration (NA Voice for VP, NA Security for SP etc*). I think that to totally write them off as useless seems a bit unfair especially to those who want to earn them. I will leave it at that since I don't want this thread to turn into another NAs vs NP thread.



    * or have a CCIE


    No offense taken, the point of these boards are for people to come get differing opinions. It would defeat the whole purpose if people took offense to others opinions (which at times some do unfortunately).

    I realize you have to get the concentration exam for the pro level cert, but you don't need all of them to head down the road you want. I also don't really see how me writing them off is unfair to anyone except maybe Cisco :D And not sure what makes you think this is an anyone vs anyone thread. Its all a matter of opinion. Take it or leave it, doesn't hurt my feelings if someone thinks my certifications are useless. They have helped me achieve what I want and all I'm trying to do is help others that were in the same boat I was once. I came here seeking advice on what I should do after the CCNA just like the OP and many others here.

    Anyway, enough ruining this guy's thread. You have my advice and my reasoning behind it.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm sticking with my answer that the "snack pack" is a good sampler to help someone figure out if they have an aptitude/interest in that track.

    If they don't like (or have the aptitude for) voice, security, or wireless, then it really doesn't which track is most desired/demanded -- they probably won't make it past the CCIE, and even the professional level exams may be a fight to stay awake.

    I'd still suggest the CCNA:Security for someone skipping the CCNP and going straight to the CCVP (and maybe CCNP:Wireless). Security is too important to skip -- even the dinky router/switch amount in the current CCNP and/or CCNA:Security.

    As for helping find a job, the CCNA Specializations are more like the icing on a cake -- with the CCNA being the cake. Some people may find the Specialization(s) interesting and it may give you an advantage over just the "plain CCNAs" out there. And even if it isn't asked for in a job posting, it could be the trigger for getting selected for a phone call over someone else.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • SysAdmin4066SysAdmin4066 Member Posts: 443
    I would agree with Mike, I would say the snack packs as he calls them are a good way to figure out whether you like or are interested in that particular area. Being well rounded has helped me to get my foot in the door in so many areas, and employers have typically liked the fact that I continue to learn, even after completing my BS and MS. I had a comment on my certs just the other day. Entry level is fine if you are entry level, just dont get to caught up on collecting those. They are pretty much the same amount to take, and really some are not a good return on the investment. I would see what is important to hiring managers in your area, or the area you would like to be in and start looking at if you're interested in that. That will help you to get the jobs that you want, and that after all is the purpose of certification, right? Shows what you've learned over the course of your career, typically vendor specific knowledge so that employers have some form of reference, as in, I am looking for CCNP level knowledge on this topic.
    In Progress: CCIE R&S Written Scheduled July 17th (Tentative)

    Next Up: CCIE R&S Lab
  • Super99Super99 Member Posts: 274
    So when I study for the CCNA, do I have to decide what topic of CCNA or is CCNA a cover all topic test?
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    The CCNA is the 640-802 CCNA single exam option or the ICND1/ICND2 2 exam option. You learn Routing and Switching in the CCNA, and everything else Cisco builds on that foundation.

    The CCNA is the prerequisite for the CCNA Specializations (the snack pack). You can do the CCNA Specializations to gain more knowledge of the track(s) and to fill an additional line on your resume (if you need it).

    The CCNA Specializations are now prerequisites for their respective Professional level tracks (except the CCVP CVOICE exam can allow you to skip the actual CCNA:Voice exam and still get the cert/prerequisite).
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
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