How much time do you think it will take me to pass the CCNA?

I can only devote about 2 hrs a day to study. I have some residual knowledge from a former lifetime and would estimate if I took it now, I'd make about a 600-650. I would like to have some confidence of making at least a 900.

Since I've not touched an actual Cisco device in 2 1/2 years, companies are understandably not especially interested in me currently, so I think a CCNA would be helpful. Also I am sure they wonder why I've not worked in over a year - I had to take off to care for my babies, who came 14 weeks early, spent 4 months in the NICU, and could not go to day care till they were cleared recently. But prospective employers don't know that - and if I tell them, I am sure they will be privately thinking I am only going to get pregnant again and take another year off (I'm not - two is plenty for me.)

I realize you can only guess at how long it will take, but you can help me set a goal - thanks!
OK, I confess, I do have one certification. I am an ACIA - Arcsight Certified Integrator/Administrator. But it's awarded for attending the class. Woot. And while it's a fine skill to have, my interests lay elsewhere.

Comments

  • bermovickbermovick Member Posts: 1,135 ■■■■□□□□□□
    At a VERY rough guess, I'd guess ... ~4-5 months?

    There's really waaay too many variables, but I had around 2-3 times the amount of studying time available, and both ICND1 & ICND2 took me about 4-6 weeks (each).

    Of course I came in with little background (other than hooking up home networks), so your background may make up for having less time available, so you may be able to knock them out quicker.
    Latest Completed: CISSP

    Current goal: Dunno
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Since I've not touched an actual Cisco device in 2 1/2 years
    How much did you touch them back then -- and what kind?

    It might be worth the extra trip to the exam center to take the 2 exam option. If you've got subnetting down and still have some configuration skills you should be able knock out the ICND1 for the CCENT in under a month.

    If someone has evenings and weekends to devote to the CCNA -- and the motivation & dedication & a minimum number of brain cells required -- then the CCNA in a month is possible. With just 2 hours a day, it's probably easier to nail the CCENT (and see if that interests any prospective employers) and then target ICND2 study for the next 2 months.

    Adjust that estimate based on your studies and how well you think you've covered the topics in the exam blueprints.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • SubnettingGoddessSubnettingGoddess Member Posts: 108
    6509 switches, 7304 routers and some other forgotten router, PIXs, ASAs, TACACS, Content Engine, VPN concentrator...

    At one point I was almost singlehandedly managing the network for a midsized civilian federal agency (contract transition - fun times) - but I was mostly simply keeping things running, keeping customers happy, and fixing what was broken. So the things that did NOT break...ospf,spanning tree etc...I never really spent time with. I did a huge firewall migration when one of our divisions moved virtual data centers and was able to figure out how to translate the cryptic config files for our ancient Symantec Enterprise Firewalls into ASA configs. It's just all been a while!

    I feel like if I only have the CCENT it tells them I did not feel capable of getting the CCNA. What are your thoughts?
    OK, I confess, I do have one certification. I am an ACIA - Arcsight Certified Integrator/Administrator. But it's awarded for attending the class. Woot. And while it's a fine skill to have, my interests lay elsewhere.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    Sounds to me as if you have quite a solid background as it is.

    Certainly a lot more than what I had of Cisco before I attempted the CCNA and I managed to clear it in 3 months (I went the single exam route) however, I did have a lot more time on my hands than yourself - but if you can subnet us all under the table, well you should have a good start already!
  • SubnettingGoddessSubnettingGoddess Member Posts: 108
    SephStorm wrote: »
    wow, love your name and certlist... :)

    Hey...it's all I've got. icon_redface.gif I may not have much but that, I know cold.
    OK, I confess, I do have one certification. I am an ACIA - Arcsight Certified Integrator/Administrator. But it's awarded for attending the class. Woot. And while it's a fine skill to have, my interests lay elsewhere.
  • SubnettingGoddessSubnettingGoddess Member Posts: 108
    Only problem now Gorebrush is that motherhood has reduced me to a drooling idiot. But I am going to give it my best!

    I actually do have one certification but it doesn't exactly count - it's Arcsight Admin/Integrator and you get it for attending the class.
    OK, I confess, I do have one certification. I am an ACIA - Arcsight Certified Integrator/Administrator. But it's awarded for attending the class. Woot. And while it's a fine skill to have, my interests lay elsewhere.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    I think the best advice I could give you is not to try and do too much too quickly in case you suddenly feel intimidated by it - but I'm sure you would pick it up again relatively quickly
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I feel like if I only have the CCENT it tells them I did not feel capable of getting the CCNA. What are your thoughts?
    Other than the extra trip to the test center, there is no cost difference (like there was in the old days) between the 1 exam option and the 2 exam option -- so the CCENT is your first step towards the CCNA and future Cisco Certifications, not your only step.

    And you can always leave the lower level certification off your resume if you don't think you need (or want) your resume to hit when HR plays resume keyword bingo.

    If the Cisco CCENT & your experience gets your resume pulled for a look, you can always mention that you're working towards the CCNA in your cover letter.

    But the key thing would be to get back in the Cisco game working with Cisco equipment on a day to day basis.

    The CCENT give you a quicker and hopefully easily attainable goal that moves you along towards your stated (and real) goal of the CCNA.
    6509 switches, 7304 routers and some other forgotten router, PIXs, ASAs, TACACS, Content Engine, VPN concentrator...
    Okay -- sounds like you got game. If you wanted to go for the CCNP too, I'd say you could finish that before the end of 2011.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • SubnettingGoddessSubnettingGoddess Member Posts: 108
    Thanks Mike...I have a tiny bit of game! Like I said, my brain is mush. I am actually researching supplements now to improve memory...how sad is that? I actually have gotten a bit intimidated looking back into it and doing the sims on NetworkSims (which I got because it also has PIX and ASA) not that what I've done so far has been difficult but there are SO MANY of them...maybe I will take your advice and break it up into two tests.
    OK, I confess, I do have one certification. I am an ACIA - Arcsight Certified Integrator/Administrator. But it's awarded for attending the class. Woot. And while it's a fine skill to have, my interests lay elsewhere.
  • AlexMRAlexMR Member Posts: 275
    OP,

    250 hours of study/practice sounds like the best estimate to get to CCNA level from 0, or close to 0.

    Some people can do it a lot less and some need a little more, but based on some research I did back when I was doing the CCNA, and my actual experience, I can tell you the 250 hours estimate is a sound one. Of course, this is to actually learn the material and pass the exam. You can have a different approach, a very common one, of wanting to pass the exam above learning the material properly and you can do it (without cheating) faster than grasping the exams objective conceptually...


    Good luck.
    Training/Studying for....CCNP (BSCI) and some MS.
  • tearofstearofs Member Posts: 112
    It took me 4 months to get my CCNA, from nothing to pass. I went for the 2 tests route btw.
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Took me 3 months and I had zero experience with Cisco devices. Two test route.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I just took the CCNA after studying for about a month. It was a lot easier than I was expecting. 2 hours of study per night is actually a decent amount of time assuming you're devoting the entire 2 hours to study and it's not 30 mins of study and 90 mins of looking up at the TV.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • greenland888greenland888 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I passed CCNA exam last week. It took me four months to prepare for the exam. I studied more than two hours each day, sometimes the whole day on weekend. I hold a couple of IT certificates, RHCE,CISSP,SCSA,MySQL etc. I felt CCNA exam is not easy. I suggest you leave more time for CCNA study, probably two steps path is better.
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    SG, you sould hit up ebay and build a small home lab to get back into the groove. You can get away with a 3 x router and 3 x switch topology for under $300.
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Member Posts: 1,501 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Overall took me 9 months; I was studying for five different certs at the same time so I was on and off Cisco for quite a bit. I went through the Cisco Net Aacademy for reinforcement and used Nuggets to self-study for about 3 months to go from 0 to knowing at least some CCENT knowledge. Different strokes for different folks I'd say; it just depends on how fast you pick up the material during those 2 hours a day. My advice would be probably to study specifics for an hour and lab for the other hour that way you're getting acquainted with equipment again and eventually the testing process. You have tons of advanced experience so this probably won't be too bad :P

  • SubnettingGoddessSubnettingGoddess Member Posts: 108
    Seriously, I was the dutch boy with his finger plugging the dyke. I learned a LOT but there is still some I am missing. Or I studied it in the past and forgot - like SAP/SNAP. I am kinda all over the place with my knowledge. So, like my ever so humble user name suggests, I am great with subnetting. ACLs, no problem. STP and VTP, what I used to know is now mostly history. I am going to target 5 weeks, I think, and see if I am ready then.
    OK, I confess, I do have one certification. I am an ACIA - Arcsight Certified Integrator/Administrator. But it's awarded for attending the class. Woot. And while it's a fine skill to have, my interests lay elsewhere.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Seriously, I was the dutch boy with his finger plugging the dyke. I learned a LOT but there is still some I am missing. Or I studied it in the past and forgot - like SAP/SNAP. I am kinda all over the place with my knowledge. So, like my ever so humble user name suggests, I am great with subnetting. ACLs, no problem. STP and VTP, what I used to know is now mostly history. I am going to target 5 weeks, I think, and see if I am ready then.

    Routing protocols, subnetting and some STP/VTP will pretty much do the trick. There's a lot more gimme easy questions than I expected.

    Hard to give an example here without breaking NDA, but just knowing something simple like the difference between x-over and straight through cable or knowing what an SSID is or how fast 802.11g speeds are will get you an easy answer more often than you'd think.

    I was even surprised at how much easier the sims were than I thought they were going to be. On one of them, I made the change real quick and hit submit. Then afterwards I had this feeling of dread like "hell it couldn't have been that easy, right? There had to be more to it". Of course you can't go back to previous questions, but my score suggests I was probably right.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • bermovickbermovick Member Posts: 1,135 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Also, that you used to know about STP/VTP means you just need to refresh, which will take quite a bit less than learning it from scratch.
    Latest Completed: CISSP

    Current goal: Dunno
  • SelfmadeSelfmade Member Posts: 268
    I'm going to differentate on my answer, "How long is it going to take", the answer isn't the same for everyone.

    You're ready when you know it, when you think you can take the exam and pass, because the test is either you know it or you don't.
    It's not important to add reptutation points to others, but to be nice and spread good karma everywhere you go.
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