How to get started?

petesnookpetesnook Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi. Don't know if this is the right place for this type of question - apologies if not.

Having spent 20 years as a mainframe programmer, I felt like a change and decided that networking sounded like a good thing to get into...everyone has networks, right, and I've always been more of a 'teckie'.

I bought books, simulators etc, and started studying for the CCNA certification. I found it quite difficult at first (not a fast learner these days!), but was gonna push myself and stick with it.

I started looking at what sort of jobs were around, to try and get an idea as to how I might get some experience once I'd passed...looking at what was on JobServe etc (UK).

I realise that a certification is nothing without experience to back it up, and was fully prepared to start as a junior, trainee or whatever, but what concerns me is that every job advert I've seen doesn't only want CCNA, but a whole load of other stuff (particularly Microsoft), plus 'at least 6 months experience' etc.

I thought about maybe doing something like going direct to companies which use Cisco and volunteering some time for free, just to get some real-world experience. I've emailed a few agencies who were looking for network staff for advice and suggestions, but not had one reply.

Basically, at this point, I have no idea whether achieving the CCNA is going to get me anywhere. I've got a bit disillusioned because of this, and wondered if I was being very naiive in even contemplating getting into this field.

Would appreciate any comments or advice.


  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Anything that can expand your knowledge on something will help you and is not a waste of time because knowledge is power. Are you going to get some MS certs?

    You'll find something. I'm having a hard time finding work in IT too. Still keep looking and trying to volunteer somewhere.
    WIP : | CISSP [2018] | CISA [2018] | CAPM [2018] | eCPPT [2018] | CRISC [2019] | TORFL (TRKI) B1 | Learning: | Russian | Farsi |
    *****You can fail a test a bunch of times but what matters is that if you fail to give up or not*****
  • tha_dubtha_dub Member Posts: 262
    I think what you will find is that an entry level job that doesn't actually require a ccna might be a good starting point. There are lots of entry level jobs in fact that require a lot less. You will likely find that some of these employers will at least give you an interview based on the ccna because it's not really an entry level cert like say an A+ or Net+. That being said at the entry level a lot of employers are asking for A+. They are looking for basic PC software and hardware troubleshooting skills.

    I'd recommend an A+ and CCNA (especially if you've already put in a bunch of study time) You might have to fix home PC's at the local computer shop for pennies but that will give you the 6 months experience you need. Also a lot of the smaller PC shops have contracts to support small office networks which would be a natural step up.

  • abefromanabefroman Banned Posts: 278
    Do A+, Network+, Security+, then CCNA, then do Linux+ and one more more Microsoft Certs.
  • tha_dubtha_dub Member Posts: 262
    abefroman wrote: »
    Do A+, Network+, Security+, then CCNA, then do Linux+ and one more more Microsoft Certs.

    I don't really agree with this...... Per my previous post the A+ will get you a job and allow you to put experience on your resume. Obviously you are interested in cisco and routing/switching so the CCNA makes perfect sense.

    However that being said you probably should just do an A+ and start looking for work while studying for the CCNA. After you get your feet wet you will have a much better idea which way you'd like to go in the industry. While the Net+, security+, and Linux+ are good certs to have it is a big time commitment when you may not decide to pursue any of those tracks in the future. The net+ isn't a bad idea to get before CCNA since there is a ton of overlap with ICND1 but again not a perquisite.
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