Starting CCIE at 19

Element926Element926 Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
A few months ago I passed my CCNP and decided to take a break from studying - well not completely I just completed half of the Advanced Routing and Switching Field Specialist certification. But this free time allowed me to gather some real world experience and enjoy my high school graduation.

My boss is now pushing me towards working on the CCIE while in college. I'm inclined to agree with him and hopefully I can study around my colleges courses (I won't be working during this time).

A rough sketch of my CCIE timeline:

September 2010 - Creation of CCIE blog to keep myself motivated and share my journey.

September 2010 to March 2011 - Watch CBT Nuggets CCIE course w/ labs, while also going line by line down the R&S blue print to both go over the concepts of a specific technology as well as using Microsoft OneNote to create configuration guides. This will be used later for when I start working on labs.

April 2011 - July 2011 - Start to get very granular with my studying and preparing to take the written exam, hopefully pass it by August 2011.

To be continued...but likely purchase network equipment for a home lab or at college use the Cisco Academy equipment as well as renting rack time and simulators. Add to my OneNotes for configuration as needed. No plans as to when I would take the lab, no reason to look that far ahead - but likely within the next year and a half.

Feedback welcomed!

Comments

  • Warsh1pWarsh1p Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sounds exciting.

    I am young as well. But would never have the time between school and social life to pull something like this off in a year. Plus I am not interested in Networking.

    Good luck!
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  • Element926Element926 Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would imagine one of the biggest challenges with the CCIE is that you have to balance a social life (or try) and study intensively. I'll be pledging to a frat next year - I realize I might not reach my desired date, but if I plan accordingly maybe it won't be that far off.
  • CCIEWANNABECCIEWANNABE Banned Posts: 465
    Element926 wrote: »
    I would imagine one of the biggest challenges with the CCIE is that you have to balance a social life (or try) and study intensively. I'll be pledging to a frat next year - I realize I might not reach my desired date, but if I plan accordingly maybe it won't be that far off.

    No such thing as a social life while studying for the CCIE. Just google it! been "labbing" since last September and have no idea what is going on anymore. But, at this point I could care less. Good luck and keep us updated.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Element926 wrote: »
    A few months ago I passed my CCNP and decided to take a break from studying - well not completely I just completed half of the Advanced Routing and Switching Field Specialist certification. But this free time allowed me to gather some real world experience and enjoy my high school graduation.

    My boss is now pushing me towards working on the CCIE while in college. I'm inclined to agree with him and hopefully I can study around my colleges courses (I won't be working during this time).

    A rough sketch of my CCIE timeline:

    September 2010 - Creation of CCIE blog to keep myself motivated and share my journey.

    September 2010 to March 2011 - Watch CBT Nuggets CCIE course w/ labs, while also going line by line down the R&S blue print to both go over the concepts of a specific technology as well as using Microsoft OneNote to create configuration guides. This will be used later for when I start working on labs.

    April 2011 - July 2011 - Start to get very granular with my studying and preparing to take the written exam, excepted to pass it by August 2011.

    To be continued...but likely purchase network equipment for a home lab or at college use the Cisco Academy equipment as well as renting rack time and simulators. Add to my OneNotes for configuration as needed. No plans as to when I would take the lab, no reason to look that far ahead - but likely within the next year and a half.

    Feedback welcomed!

    Sounds like a good plan. For those of us maxed out at work and at home the virtue of patience is needed both within yourself and with those nearest and dearest around you..as the process takes time to complete. Aside from the occasional evening after work I try to steal time from the family at weekends to get my CCIE study stuff done. If your boss is supportive then take every advantage to study as *much* as you can on works time and on the works dollar. If you are doing Cisco at College then rack up study hours there.

    Those are the best hours of the day to do it when you are refreshed. Trust me, its just no good trying to get up for this at the end of a busy working day in the field when you are beat. You will still need some evening and weekend game time but it's nice for that not to be the only option!

    Regardless of the 'bandwidth' you have to do study on any given day the important thing is to be very regular in your studies or you will get tail drop in your knowledge. You need to be getting around all the technologies and back to them again in a relatively short period of time, rinse and repeat.

    Milage varies on this but roughly expect 3 hours + a day study on average to clear inside 12 months. For 1 -2 hours a day study on average you are looking at 2 - 4 years. By way of an example I have clocked approx 1300 hours over three and and a bit years so just over 1 hour a day average. With life getting in the way there have been periods of much more than 1 hour a day, and other days with zero.

    Weekends are where the CCIE lab is won so cancel dates and WoW subscriptions.

    Good luck!
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,272 ■■■■■■■■■□
    CCIE>College Degree

    I wouldn't bother with college/university at the moment if i was your age and my goal was CCIE. College is only going to cut into 75% of your study/lab time. Spend a year or two to achieve your CCIE. If the CCIE doesnt pan out, you will be 21 , still very young and can go back to college and still graduate very young, no problem. If you happen to obtain your CCIE by age 21, i wouldnt bother with college and the heavy student loans you will end up with.
    Certs: CISSP, EnCE, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, SPLK-1002, SC-200, SC-300, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2022 Goals:
    Certs: EnCE (cert obtained), SC-300 (cert obtained), AZ-500 (in progress)
    Course: BC Security - Empire Operations 1 (completed), Zero Point Security - CRTO (course completed), BHIS - Active Defense & Cyber Deception (completed)
  • sides14sides14 Member Posts: 113
    Regardless of what people tell you, get your college degree. It might not seem necessary while you are working in the trenches, but later in life, it will be invaluable. The longer you go by not getting your degree, the harder it will be in the future. For the next two years it is CCIE studies, then it could be work commitments, then it could be family. Before you know it, you are in your thirties and wondering where the time went.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    sides14 wrote: »
    Regardless of what people tell you, get your college degree. It might not seem necessary while you are working in the trenches, but later in life, it will be invaluable. The longer you go by not getting your degree, the harder it will be in the future. For the next two years it is CCIE studies, then it could be work commitments, then it could be family. Before you know it, you are in your thirties and wondering where the time went.

    I would launch the degree as well. With elapsed time you are more likely to complete the degree than a CCIE where drop out rate is high. You can still move the CCIE preparations along while you do the college degree. At 19 time is on your side :)
  • a543047a543047 Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    You should definitely finish your degree first. I'm going back to school at 26 to finish my Bachelor's but already have a CCIE. Although my certification has opened up a lot of opportunities it still does not replace a degree. A CCIE would hold more weight than a degree at Cisco but if you're looking for anything government related a degree is usually a requirement for an interview. The have nots will always say that it doesn't really matter whether it is about a degree or a certain certification. Do not listen to them!
    CCIE #22769
    Routing and Switching
    Service Provider
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    a543047 wrote: »
    You should definitely finish your degree first. I'm going back to school at 26 to finish my Bachelor's but already have a CCIE. Although my certification has opened up a lot of opportunities it still does not replace a degree. A CCIE would hold more weight than a degree at Cisco but if you're looking for anything government related a degree is usually a requirement for an interview. The have nots will always say that it doesn't really matter whether it is about a degree or a certain certification. Do not listen to them!

    What my learned colleague said. Some good advice right there.
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Gotta reiterate some helpful advice. Finish your degree. There's absolutely no reason to not have one. Save yourself some interview and potential job headaches and just do it. You'll thank yourself later. Plenty of time in your life to study for the CCIE.
  • CChNCChN Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    chrisone wrote: »
    CCIE>College Degree

    I wouldn't bother with college/university at the moment if i was your age and my goal was CCIE. College is only going to cut into 75% of your study/lab time. Spend a year or two to achieve your CCIE. If the CCIE doesnt pan out, you will be 21 , still very young and can go back to college and still graduate very young, no problem. If you happen to obtain your CCIE by age 21, i wouldnt bother with college and the heavy student loans you will end up with.


    Yes, sell your soul to the vendor.
    RFCs: the other, other, white meat.
  • chmorinchmorin Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Or you can roll like me at 19 working on my CCNP and CCVP and be in college while studying. I'll have both NP and VP by the time i get my degree and be started on IE studies. To me, that is the smartest way to spend 4 years of my time.

    However, sometimes money is an issue. WGU has gotten rid of that for me though. I suggest it if you are having money problems.
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
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  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    +10 for what chmorin just said.
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  • ipconfig.allipconfig.all Banned Posts: 428
    Looks like you a are doing really well, a degree will help you out in the long run so it is worth getting. However experience is really important if you are going to get your CCIE try and get as much work experience that is related to your studies because you need experience to back up your quals in MOST cases and in some cases employers want quals to back up your experience.
  • billscott92787billscott92787 Member Posts: 933
    I'm 23 years old, married, and we have three kids. Our 3rd was just born two months ago. With what I've experienced, the best goal is to get the degree and your CCIE while in college, when you get out, you will be unstoppable. I'm 5 courses away from getting my degree, I have some work field experience, and CCNP, working toward CCIE. The best thing you can do is get some internship work or an actual networking job. Because if you don't your going to have a more difficult time coming into the field or you'll get low balled pay wise with no experience. So I'd recommend college, CCIE studies, and trying to fit some contracting work or something in there as well.


    Since you are single and have no kids, you'll have plenty of time to have fun, study, work, and do it all. I work a full time job, go to college full time, and as I said I'm married and have three kids. I help out my wife a lot around the house, and even have time to spend with the kids on the weekends. My ultimate secret is the fact that when I work, I work during the day 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. I get up at 5:00 AM every morning to study for 2 - 1/2 hours during the week everyday, and then Saturday and Sunday, I normally still get up at 5 AM, and I have until about 9-10 AM (4-5) hours to study while everyone in the house is still asleep. This has worked for me to get my CCNA and my CCNP. It's all what you make of it and what you do to make it work to achieve your goals and fit your schedule. I pretty much have no social life outside of my wife and kids anyway, so I already know that for the next year, I'm going to have no life, studying for the CCIE exam. Which is fine with me, because the end reward will be worthwhile. My 2nd recommendation is just forget the frat and other people for a year, give up your life, and the outcome is going to be worth it. Once you're done, you'll have plenty of time to relax and have fun.
  • burbankmarcburbankmarc Member Posts: 460
    While working hard, and achieving your goals are great you cannot discount the whole "college experience". The social life, the frats, etc.. cannot be duplicated at any other time of your life. Don't get overly wrapped up in it and throw your future away, but enjoy it for what it is.

    Sure, try to do both, but if you find it too overwhelming then oh well, you're 19, you may have to wait until your 23 like grandpa billscott before you get your CCIE. icon_lol.gif
  • billscott92787billscott92787 Member Posts: 933
    While working hard, and achieving your goals are great you cannot discount the whole "college experience". The social life, the frats, etc.. cannot be duplicated at any other time of your life. Don't get overly wrapped up in it and throw your future away, but enjoy it for what it is.

    Sure, try to do both, but if you find it too overwhelming then oh well, you're 19, you may have to wait until your 23 like grandpa billscott before you get your CCIE. icon_lol.gif



    LOL! I needed that laugh. Or like my one friend that I work with said when I was telling him about my dad being an alcoholic previously now sober for 4-6 years, his response was, "Well that's good with your 20 kids and all." LMAO. icon_lol.gif
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Definitely have to repeat the calls to do your degree.

    The degree is really your base qualification for any job nowadays.

    My only regret during my university time was wasting my time drinking beer and playing games when I could *easily* have managed a few MCP exams while doing uni at the same time.

    Although to be honest, I did the MCSE within 2 years of leaving University and it was no real detriment to my career.

    I'm 27 now, getting married at the end of the year and to be fair with all the certifications I've amassed, I probably couldnt have done it any quicker.

    Have achieved

    2.1 BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology
    MCP
    MCSA
    MCSA: Messaging 2003
    MCSE 2003
    MCTS: Vista
    MCTS: Exchange 2007
    CCNA
    CCNP (ONT is July 19th)

    Will probably go straight at CCIE next as well.

    Good luck with whatever you do and however you choose to tackle it, but get the degree out the way while you are young - it will help you much more when you are older and looking for management jobs (if that's what tickles your fancy, of course)
  • apd123apd123 Member Posts: 171
    How many hours per week do you expect to put towards CCIE studies while in school? I was a CCIE at 25 my recommendation would be to not forget to enjoy life while you push to achieve. Good luck with whatever happens I am sure you will do fine.
  • NuulNuul Member Posts: 158
    a543047 wrote: »
    The have nots will always say that it doesn't really matter whether it is about a degree or a certain certification. Do not listen to them!

    Very true. I'm getting the door slammed on me a lot right now for lack of a degree and I have 12 years experience plus multiple vendor certs. To be honest, there is nothing I'm going to learn by going back to school but I'm doing it anyway. Full time job + full time student + CCIE study = I never sleep.
  • Element926Element926 Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all of the feedback. If this makes a difference here is my priority list for college:

    1) Complete my degree
    2) Enjoy every moment, that I'm not working towards my degree.
    3) Study for the CCIE lab

    Many of you may say you can't get your CCIE without having a strict study schedule. And you may be right...but just because my scheduled study day gets blocked by going out - doesn't mean I can't go back the next day and make up for it in my downtime. I'm extremely motivated and diligent in completing my work.

    At the end of the day if I have my CCNP and a solid degree. By studying for the CCIE I will only reinforce my knowledge and I can jump on the lab as soon as college ends. Anyways first comes first I plan on reading through the Cisco press book and watch the CBT nugget series for the written. I hear its the easy part, so I'd rather not waste my time on it and give myself more time to work on the lab.
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Element926 wrote: »
    Thanks for all of the feedback. If this makes a difference here is my priority list for college:

    1) Complete my degree
    2) Enjoy every moment, that I'm not working towards my degree.
    3) Study for the CCIE lab

    Many of you may say you can't get your CCIE without having a strict study schedule. And you may be right...but just because my scheduled study day gets blocked by going out - doesn't mean I can't go back the next day and make up for it in my downtime. I'm extremely motivated and diligent in completing my work.

    At the end of the day if I have my CCNP and a solid degree. By studying for the CCIE I will only reinforce my knowledge and I can jump on the lab as soon as college ends. Anyways first comes first I plan on reading through the Cisco press book and watch the CBT nugget series for the written. I hear its the easy part, so I'd rather not waste my time on it and give myself more time to work on the lab.


    Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. You'll do fine. When I was your age [Oh Lord..........] I not only broke into IT [and to be honest, I wasn't even trying], but did college as well. Then mommy and daddy decided to retire and move out of state, so I was stuck with a full time job and later no degree, but that was pretty much my fault. Basically enjoyed my youth too much while trying to keep a job. Now I have to go to WGU to finish what I had started 15 years ago.

    The only thing I can tell you is that no matter what you do, find balance. I did the "frat" thing (and if you pledge the right fraternity, you'll stop saying "frat"...lol) the ladies department was never really my problem. Now that I grew up, I now have my own priorities.

    Enjoy your youth, as you're going to find that as you got older, you're not going to be able to stomach what you did in your early 20s (I promise). It just won't be cute anymore. A CCNP and a degree will definitely take you farther than a CCIE and no degree.

    The hardest part about college won't be the assignments, or exams, or even studying. The hardest part will just be showing up to your classes. If you can just do that, everything else will fall into place.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Element926 wrote: »
    Thanks for all of the feedback. If this makes a difference here is my priority list for college:

    1) Complete my degree
    2) Enjoy every moment, that I'm not working towards my degree.
    3) Study for the CCIE lab

    Many of you may say you can't get your CCIE without having a strict study schedule. And you may be right...but just because my scheduled study day gets blocked by going out - doesn't mean I can't go back the next day and make up for it in my downtime. I'm extremely motivated and diligent in completing my work.

    At the end of the day if I have my CCNP and a solid degree. By studying for the CCIE I will only reinforce my knowledge and I can jump on the lab as soon as college ends. Anyways first comes first I plan on reading through the Cisco press book and watch the CBT nugget series for the written. I hear its the easy part, so I'd rather not waste my time on it and give myself more time to work on the lab.

    How are your studies going?
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