Honest opinion needed

CCNAbusterCCNAbuster Posts: 3Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Ok I am gonna keep it short and simple. Will CCNA open doors for good jobs? I don't ask much 30k/yr would be swell. With no previous experience. I wanna know if I am wasting my time. Will employers, at least, give me an entry job if I bring CCNA?

Comments

  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Ok I am gonna keep it short and simple. Will CCNA open doors for good jobs? I don't ask much 30k/yr would be swell. With no previous experience. I wanna know if I am wasting my time. Will employers, at least, give me an entry job if I bring CCNA?

    With the current state of most job markets?

    No.

    You'd be competing against out of work people who have experience. If your only motivation in obtaining a CCNA is for financial reasons, you're making a bad choice.
  • peanutnogginpeanutnoggin Posts: 1,096Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    With the current state of most job markets?

    No.

    You'd be competing against out of work people who have experience. If your only motivation in obtaining a CCNA is for financial reasons, you're making a bad choice.

    +1

    I agree with you Forsaken_Ga... The CCNA will not open "magical doors of wealth" (no sarcasm intended) to the person obtaining it. The CCNA validates that you have Associate level knowledge of networking with Cisco products. This certification will however, separate you from someone else who does not have any experience and no certification! I hope this helps.

    -Peanut
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  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    If I had to choose between hiring someone with a CCNA and getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick, I'd definitely hire the CCNA. :D

    Unless you're a Cisco Network Academy graduate who impressed their instructor (who also works in the industry and only teaches on the side) who recommends you for a job with one of their industry contacts, you'll probably have to fight for the job scraps with the rest of the unemployed (who aren't discouraged from looking).

    Right now almost any combination of the A+ and/or Network+ and/or Microsoft Desk Side Support or Client Certification and/or Cisco CCENT/CCNA, and maybe even Linux would be good for an entry level position. This first trick is finding an open entry level position. The second trick is getting your resume pulled from a pile -- and the CCNA may help with this. The third trick is to keep looking for and applying for jobs until you impress someone enough to get hired.

    Hit up all the employment/temp agencies in your area and take any contract you can get to gain some experience.... and then claw your way up from there. Hit up you local crappy cable provider and sucky phone company and see what kind of crappy support/help desk they have (that they haven't outsourced overseas).

    Run through the list of 50 or 100 top/biggest/best to work for local companies and see what they have -- which may direct you back to their "preferred vendor" employment/temp agency. Check your local school districts and local government (if they still have some budget) and see if they have openings. If you're in a large city you may have to track down the individual departments who may have their own web sites and job listings.

    Not sure what the military is paying now a days, but they are usually hiring. :D We have a few guys around here currently serving -- and we may also have a contractor or two hanging around here while they are "over there."
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • determinedgermandeterminedgerman Posts: 168Member
    In 2003 I worked for SBC as a contractor and the only experience they wanted was the CCNA. It started ad $45000 and after 18 months I was taken over as employee ...
    Look for big companies that are hiring ... I was one of 20 people that got hired at that time ... I haven't been looking for entry level jobs but I think down here in the DFW area you could find an entry level job with CCNA for 30K even in this economy IMHO!
  • gouki2005gouki2005 Posts: 197Member
    In 2003 I worked for SBC as a contractor and the only experience they wanted was the CCNA. It started ad $45000 and after 18 months I was taken over as employee ...
    Look for big companies that are hiring ... I was one of 20 people that got hired at that time ... I haven't been looking for entry level jobs but I think down here in the DFW area you could find an entry level job with CCNA for 30K even in this economy IMHO!
    back there was a really good time
  • SuperRed95SuperRed95 Posts: 13Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Ok I am gonna keep it short and simple. Will CCNA open doors for good jobs? I don't ask much 30k/yr would be swell. With no previous experience. I wanna know if I am wasting my time. Will employers, at least, give me an entry job if I bring CCNA?

    I obtained my CCNA in March. The day I passed was the day I updated my resume and started looking for jobs, even the entry ones. I started to get calls and landed a NOC job about 2.5 weeks later. Even though NOC jobs are considered entry level it's way more than 30k which I don't mind at all for now. I'm just gonna work hard and see where it takes me.

    Before I got my CCNA, it was so difficult to get noticed by employers so I agree that by getting this cert, you will get more attention. But once you get the interview, you gotta show them what ya made of to land the job!

    So I would definitely recommend anyone who likes networking and is having a hard time to land a job to get the entry level CCNA cert. You will definitey get more bites once you have it on your resume!
  • CCNAbusterCCNAbuster Posts: 3Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ok then how does anyone get experience without CCNA in this field?

    -wanna get experience, no CCNA? bye!
    -wanna get CCNA, no experience bye!

    how does anyone start in this field?
  • CCNAbusterCCNAbuster Posts: 3Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    With the current state of most job markets?

    No.

    You'd be competing against out of work people who have experience. If your only motivation in obtaining a CCNA is for financial reasons, you're making a bad choice.

    Then why do so many people want to be CCNA?
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Ok then how does anyone get experience without CCNA in this field?
    It doesn't take much in the way of knowledge or experience to get a rack 'n stack job or driving a delivery van/truck for a business partner/VAR/distributor. But if you do have some skills and knowledge you may get greater opportunities.

    Other people may try help desk or desk side support. But you have to find a company that has room for internal growth and opportunities to move up, otherwise that year or two you spend supporting users on MS Office applications won't really count for much when you try to get a Cisco networking job next.

    You can hunt and peck contract jobs and hope you impress someone so that you get greater opportunities -- or find a company that wants to hire you on full time that has some growth opportunities.

    If you luck out you may stumble on a NOC job -- and if you're lucky you may get some work time to study, which could help advance your career. etc., etc., etc. ....
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Then why do so many people want to be CCNA?
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Then why do so many people want to be CCNA?

    Short answer, because they think it will make them alot of money. And once upon a time, that was true. This was before a large industry cropped up around enabling people to **** on certification exams, which put alot of CCNA's in the work force who were utter morons, and devalued the certification just through dilution and causing employers to not look so highly upon it.

    This is why I say that if money is your only motivation for pursuing a CCNA, you're more likely than not going to be sorely disappointed. Being a network guy is a career choice, and something you have to commit to. Networks have become the lifeblood of more and more companies, and those companies are loathe to let inexperienced folks get their paws on the pipes. Ten years ago, if your email was down for a few hours, it was no big deal, you picked up a telephone, or found a fax machine, or whatever. These days? Heads will roll. There are now companies that can measure every minute of their downtime in seven digits of lost revenue.

    I never wanted to be a CCNA. I've always wanted to be a CCIE. The CCNA is just one step down that path.

    As Mike mentioned, there are several plans of attack. Finding local Cisco partners is probably going to be your most likely way, since they have to maintain certain levels of folks with certification to keep their partner status. My CCNA got me such a job with a Cisco reseller, and it was for about $26k a year, which was not much more than I was making working full time for Wal-Mart while I was in school.

    And as Mike also mentioned, NOC jobs are another good entry point, and they don't even necessarily have to be network NOC positions, but for a NOC position, you'll likely need to possess other skills in addition to CCNA level knowledge. For example, to work in my NOC, if you didn't have some measurable competency with some form of Unix, you would not be likely to be hired, as we use alot of open source software, even in our networking operations (loadbalancers, firewalls, monitoring and troubleshooting tools... none of which Cisco covers in the CCNA material).

    And finally, if you can't get a job directly as a network guy, try to find something that bumps up close against it, and look for opportunities to change over. For example, I started with my current company as a linux system administrator. When I got the job, I hadn't touched any form of unix in about three years, but I knew enough to be dangerous. I was hired for two reasons - I had a current employee in my corner assuring management that whatever I didn't know, I'd learn *really* quick, and because I had a very strong background in networking. For whatever reason, linux sysadmins start to become stupid when it comes to the network and can't troubleshoot something as simple as packet loss. At that time the company had one network guy, and the president was very unhappy with having to rely on one person. So I was hired with the understanding that I would eventually grow into a network engineering role. It took a little longer than I wanted, and I had to do some nudging and reminding, but eventually, it did take place. And while I certainly don't make big bucks, I'm ok with that. This job will show that I have measurable experience in operating and maintaining a high speed, highly available network when I go to seek my next job after I obtain my CCIE. Besides my current job, I also do a fair of bit of side contracting/consulting jobs that have come to me through people I've met over the years.

    A career in network is gradual growth. Passing exams is not enough, you have to seek out the opportunities, even in places you might not expect, while making and maintaining contacts that can help you out either now, or in the future. You have to be constantly educating yourself on the tools and tricks of the trade. There is no point where you're really 'done', there is *always* something new to learn.
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Then why do so many people want to be CCNA?

    I want to obtain the CCNA because I like to learn and cisco was what I started with in learning networking back in highschool. Also, it'll put me ahead of my classmates. I'm not doing it for the money. I think thats how some people get lost. Anyways I see alot of job postings for CCNA and asking with experience. I also see job postings asking for the CCNA but its not required. Don't forget that you can volunteer and the best thing is that you can't get fired. Maybe you can find an internship somewhere...
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  • CiskHoCiskHo Posts: 188Member
    My opinion is that having the CCNA will get your resume looked at. But once they realize you have no OTJ experience the employer will likely say "next". My suggestion is to get certified, then look for an entry level position in the tech fields. The market is tough right now (and likely will be for the next 2-3 years) so try to up your game by continuing your studies and increasing your cert level. That way you will be prepared for when people start hiring again.
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  • ilcram19-2ilcram19-2 Posts: 436Banned
    my opinion is that you will be wasting time either way, you should think about things on the long run, ccna wont give you much but it will open doors the thing is that all that stuff you should know no matter how tough the test or certification are keeping yourself update is what you should be thinking about specially with new technologies merging now days the standards are alot higher now just ccna knowledge wont cut it
  • StupporedStuppored Posts: 150Member
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Then why do so many people want to be CCNA?

    I want to be CCNA for the exact reason of: I do not have a gun pointed at my head right now. No wife, no girlfriend, no accidents, no mortgage. It hurts that much more with all those extra pressures on top. So I am attempting to get as much certification on that side that I can while working in an IT role.

    Right now I'm doing CCNA. Next I'm thinking MCSE as I have 3 years to hit the CCNP after. After that, hopefully CCIE. Your goal is to be well versed so you can use it when you need to if that situation arises.

    You can record your CCNA progress in a notebook as well as a log of the hours you put into it. If you do get yourself into an interview and you have the opportunity to present to them what you did and how you did it, what your motivations were etc... a chance to be real with them so they can see you're determined... it can work towards your advantage.

    I've already spent over 200 hours doing the CCENT alone. I'm going back and forth between 4 resources and demoing in a lab, so understandably, comparing the information one book misses and another one has and taking notes and trying to make it sink in is a time demanding process. I bet I could just skim through everything quick and just take the exam and pass, but I would rather know all angles to the core than whiz through and feel like a moron when something is asked about something I didn't look over too closely. So if you're going to do it, don't bother doing it half assed.
  • VAHokie56VAHokie56 Posts: 783Member
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.

    This is awesome...icon_thumright.gif
    .ιlι..ιlι.
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  • KaminskyKaminsky Posts: 1,235Member
    It may seem like the profession is hard to get into but it's not really. Like any career (notice I didn't say job), you have to start from the bottom and work up over years. There are some things that help you get jobs like previous/similar experience, certifications or formal education but you will still be starting at the bottom. As other have said, nobody in their right mind will let a novice get their hands on critical infrastructure because they could be out of a job too when it all goes horribly wrong. This stuff is not easy and takes a long time to learn. That's why they say it is a profession. You wouldn't expect an unqualified and untested new starter do the accounts for your company and the same is true of other professions.

    Years and years ago now, IT was considered a major meal ticket. You just had to know a bit about it and blag the rest. The profession has become mainstream now and the salaries you hear about are long gone.

    I got my first break (after many, many unsuccessful attempts) working on a helpdesk for a few years at rediculously low pay. I now pay more in tax than I was getting paid back then. The good thing about that job though was I was keen and learned everything I could and eventually started to rise up. It is daunting at the start (like any career profession) but you just got to keep trying and eventually you get that first break and keep your backside on the seat for 2 years.
    Kam.
  • HardDiskHardDisk Posts: 62Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    .... Don't forget that you can volunteer and the best thing is that you can't get fired. Maybe you can find an internship somewhere...

    Can someone clarify this idea of volunteering with a new CCNA cert in hand? Does the downtown Rescue Mission need help designing and implementing their internetwork? Logic leads one to believe that letting a newbie loose near a network system is dangerous regardless of whether they are paid or not.

    Considering that I've been self studying for almost two years now I would jump at the chance to be involved with an internetwork system on any level. Where do I sign up?

    HardDisk
  • chmorinchmorin Posts: 1,446Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.

    This is now in my signature!

    HardDisk, as mikej had said before you really need to try and jump into an entry level or contract position so you can gain experience and have the chance of moving up. That is how most people do it.
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    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • tha_dubtha_dub Posts: 262Member
    Get an A+ and or Net+ and find an entry job fixing PC's at best buy or wherever. The pay stinks but the experience counts more. Plus you will probably have spare time to study for ccna while getting paid like crap so you won't feel so bad. Also the net+ has tons of overlap with the ICND1 so it's not really wasted time.

    A lot of people here look down on A+ and Net+ because they aren't that difficult but they do count and a lot of entry level IT jobs require them. It's how I got started and also how I moved up. My first real Networking job I got because of my A+ and they told me so after. There were two of us in the running at the end and I had an A+ he didn't.

    Keep working on it you'll get there if you put the effort in.
  • notgoing2failnotgoing2fail Posts: 1,138Member
    Everyone has their POV on what it means to be a CCNA so I'll put in my 2 cents...

    Being in the IT industry for 10 years, I've ran into many competent and incompetent individuals. I remember about 7 years ago my former employer were looking to higher a CCNA.

    Three CCNA's walked in the door, two females believe it or not and 1 male.

    I kid you not, the 2 females didn't seem to have a clue about Cisco. Now keep in mind I was a programmer back then, but I was also a junior network admin so I still knew my way around Cisco equipment...
    Almost all of their questions were salary related....neither wanted to know how our network was structured....it was mind boggling to say the least...

    Now the 3rd one, the male, asked all the right questions and you could just tell he was a geek. So who do you think we hired?

    Now I know, this sounds like female bashing, it's not, I'm just saying how it was, if it were 2 males and one female, I would have said the same thing...

    Experience is extremely important and I'm playing catch up as fast as I can, but I think at the very least you need your CCNA and maybe even some side specialty certs to get looked at. If you really are experienced, then what's the problem? Why not have CCNA, CCNP, etc etc..

    If you want to go against the wind and not have any certs, then so be it, but as soon as you get laid off, you're going to have to really work hard and explain why you're so experience with no certs....
  • Howling MonkeyHowling Monkey Posts: 48Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would think most look at the CCNA as a stepping stone, a CCNP or CCIE at least they would get your foot in the door for some pretty cool jobs.

    Then you would be making the extra cash to cover the cost of your ninja classes.
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  • abefromanabefroman Posts: 278Banned
    CCNAbuster wrote: »
    Ok I am gonna keep it short and simple. Will CCNA open doors for good jobs? I don't ask much 30k/yr would be swell. With no previous experience. I wanna know if I am wasting my time. Will employers, at least, give me an entry job if I bring CCNA?

    It depends where your at, and what else you know.

    In a major urban area you should be able to easily ranking in $30 even at a helpdesk job, at a company that does something with cisco, IE. a hosting company, any company with a datacenter, or large office.
    Next certs:
    CCNA 99.9999999999999999999999999999999% Ready

    There are /31 types of people in this world, those who understand subnetting, and those who don't
  • abefromanabefroman Posts: 278Banned
    ilcram19-2 wrote: »
    my opinion is that you will be wasting time either way, you should think about things on the long run, ccna wont give you much but it will open doors the thing is that all that stuff you should know no matter how tough the test or certification are keeping yourself update is what you should be thinking about specially with new technologies merging now days the standards are alot higher now just ccna knowledge wont cut it

    Waste of time?

    If your in IT the company you work for is probably going to use switches and/or routers, and those are likely to be Cisco, so I wouldn't call the CCNA a waste of time.
    Next certs:
    CCNA 99.9999999999999999999999999999999% Ready

    There are /31 types of people in this world, those who understand subnetting, and those who don't
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