I feel like a "paper CCNA"

tdeantdean Member Posts: 520
Not b/c of anything I've done, i studied hard, did lab after lab. i have both a home network and i use GNS3, however, i don't know a thing about "Cisco jobs" or the responsibilities of one. I've pretty much been alone at every job I've ever had. i don't have any idea what is involved, or what they do. how many static routes can you set up? how often do people really need to reconfigure switching? or routes? i'm not even sure what questions to ask and here i am set to take the CCNA: Security in a week or so. Anyone else in the same boat?

Comments

  • aldousaldous Member Posts: 105
    I've felt the same way in the past as i was doing the certs alongside university without realworld experience. However i dont think thats what makes a paper ccna that would be purely learning and regurgitating the facts (or dumping) without learning the concepts.

    you cant remember everything and you wont use everythng you learn in the day to day running of a network but learning the concepts and workings of anything will always help you.
  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Member Posts: 885
    are you looking to move into a more cisco focused job role and are worried about not having that "real world" experience?
    WIP: IPS exam
  • tha_dubtha_dub Member Posts: 262
    I don't know that there are a ton of, "paper" Cisco certs out there. I can tell you right now if I didn't understand the material I would never have passed the icnd1. Unlike a lot of other certs out there Cisco certs require that you do more than just memorize facts and questions to pass.

    That being said the real skills/money are in troubleshooting rather than initial configuration. This applies across pretty much the entire IT sector.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    tdean wrote: »
    i'm not even sure what questions to ask
    How about "What book should I read?"

    And several people here would probably answer Network Warrior
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think the stuff you’re worried about is the intangible stuff like how to react to certain situations. You can lab configurations and setups all day long but it’s very difficult to simulate troubleshooting, designing, planning, politicking with co workers, etc. Do you have any experience working directly with the gear? If not, I suggest you look for a Jr. Admin role. You might also want to get a low-level MS cert (or at least familiarize yourself with AD and small MS deployments) and take a job as a sysadmin at a small company.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • tdeantdean Member Posts: 520
    are you looking to move into a more cisco focused job role and are worried about not having that "real world" experience?
    exactly. like i said, i've never been around places where we had to do anything except add a vlan or something. i just have no idea what would be expected, i get anxious thinking i'd be at a job or interview and i'd have no idea what to do and it would be embarrassing.

    mike, i will check that out, from the description its pretty much what im looking for!
  • tdeantdean Member Posts: 520
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    I think the stuff you’re worried about is the intangible stuff like how to react to certain situations. You can lab configurations and setups all day long but it’s very difficult to simulate troubleshooting, designing, planning, politicking with co workers, etc. Do you have any experience working directly with the gear? If not, I suggest you look for a Jr. Admin role. You might also want to get a low-level MS cert (or at least familiarize yourself with AD and small MS deployments) and take a job as a sysadmin at a small company.
    Paul,
    yes, this is what im getting at. I have 8-10 years admin experience. i've been the sole tech presence on site at all of them and i've never had to touch a router until i started my CCNA studies. maybe the fact i've never had anyone to work with or rely on is whats worrying me. i dont know how normal that is. i've been trying to move away from the traditional "net admin" jobs b/c they are drying up. i hope to move into security, rather than admin at some point.
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,209 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think you are looking at more experienced or senior positions, which require a skill level far superior than a CCNA. The CCNA is a great exam for INTRO into the cisco world, but what your describing is nothing introductory about it. Those jobs require at least 4 years minimum job experience and at least a professional level routing and switching, security certifications. There is no such thing as a network engineer position based solely on routing and switching, you will have to at least know some security as well. So my advice would be to get your CCNA security and follow up with a CCNP, then the CCSP. Trust me after your CCNP and 2 years experience you will feel comfortable in the cisco environment to the point of not feeling like a paper tech. Also with the knowledge of a CCNP you will also make it easier on yourself to obtain any other professional level cert like the CCSP. It takes time and you will have to get a jr network admin position doing grunt work and layer2 stuff before you start touching L3 and production equipment. Its the normal process of learning and gaining experience. icon_thumright.gif
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2021 Goals
    Courses: eLearnSecurity - PTXv2 (complete), SANS 699: Purple Team Tactics (completed), PentesterLabs Pro (ongoing)
    Certs: eCPTXv2, AZ-500, SC-200 (fail 1st attempt), EnCE, Splunk Core Power User
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    How about "What book should I read?"

    And several people here would probably answer Network Warrior
    .


    Great read...
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Member Posts: 1,376 ■■■■■■■□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    How about "What book should I read?"

    And several people here would probably answer Network Warrior

    Mike is right - Fantastic book. Lots of real life examples of things that you may already know as well as items that, while not required for the CCNA, are necessary for the real world.
    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Member Posts: 885
    tdean wrote: »
    exactly. like i said, i've never been around places where we had to do anything except add a vlan or something. i just have no idea what would be expected, i get anxious thinking i'd be at a job or interview and i'd have no idea what to do and it would be embarrassing.

    mike, i will check that out, from the description its pretty much what im looking for!

    definitely pick up network warrior, one of the best reads.
    WIP: IPS exam
  • tdeantdean Member Posts: 520
    chrisone wrote: »
    I think you are looking at more experienced or senior positions, which require a skill level far superior than a CCNA. The CCNA is a great exam for INTRO into the cisco world, but what your describing is nothing introductory about it. Those jobs require at least 4 years minimum job experience and at least a professional level routing and switching, security certifications. There is no such thing as a network engineer position based solely on routing and switching, you will have to at least know some security as well. So my advice would be to get your CCNA security and follow up with a CCNP, then the CCSP. Trust me after your CCNP and 2 years experience you will feel comfortable in the cisco environment to the point of not feeling like a paper tech. Also with the knowledge of a CCNP you will also make it easier on yourself to obtain any other professional level cert like the CCSP. It takes time and you will have to get a jr network admin position doing grunt work and layer2 stuff before you start touching L3 and production equipment. Its the normal process of learning and gaining experience. icon_thumright.gif

    Unfortunately, i am 45 years old and unemployed right now. i was hoping to find a "quick fix" for my directionless career. lol. i had kind of planned on the ccna: voice after sec, at least to get a job. hmmm, the CCNP, huh... part of the reason i shy away from this stuff is b/c i dont have to resources to properly study and its difficult when i have questions. is the NP as brutal as i have heard?
  • PashPash Member Posts: 1,600 ■■■■■□□□□□
    You will only feel like a paper CCNA if you go that route.

    If you really want to learn the technology and learn it well you will become valuable in the industry.

    How often do changes to your network need to be made? - Is in part answer to your question. You will make changes to many network devices over an average working year. It is common. Static routes icon_surprised.gif. Avoid them if you can warrant not using them, ie if you have a lot of networks to provide routes for.

    The CCNP is a recognised networking professional certification. It is as hard as any recognised professional certification. If you revise properly and dedicate your time to it, you can do it.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,209 ■■■■■■■■■□
    tdean wrote: »
    Unfortunately, i am 45 years old and unemployed right now. i was hoping to find a "quick fix" for my directionless career. lol. i had kind of planned on the ccna: voice after sec, at least to get a job. hmmm, the CCNP, huh... part of the reason i shy away from this stuff is b/c i dont have to resources to properly study and its difficult when i have questions. is the NP as brutal as i have heard?

    Well cisco made it a tad bit easier, to obtain the CCNP. They striped out a lot of technologies that the previous CCNP had covered. Now the CCNP is strictly routing, switching, and troubleshooting. You shouldn't have any problem obtaining your ccnp in 8 to 12 months. However, going the network engineer route you will have to know cisco firewalls and you will at least have to study the firewall portion of everyday life installation/maintenance/troubleshoot. You dont have to get a CCSP to learn and be knowledgeable in cisco firewalls, but perhaps at least a Cisco Firewall Specialist cert will be more than enough to cover this technology. You can also pick up a couple ASA firewall books and just study and master that technology after your CCNP, you dont have to get a cert.

    I myself have been working with ASA/PIX all models for the past 3 years. I am comfortable working with them, i know the majority of daily installation/maintenance/troubleshooting/designing , i am no expert pro but good enough to have my employers feel confident in me. The only thing that itches me is that on my resume, aside from the work experience with ASA/PIX's i dont have a cert to back it up. I am sure there is more to ASA's and cisco firewalls than what i currently know, that i do not doubt, but not having the paper really bothers me and i hate not having a security cert on my resume. icon_lol.gif I might be a little over stressed in my own personal goals but this is how i personally feel.
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2021 Goals
    Courses: eLearnSecurity - PTXv2 (complete), SANS 699: Purple Team Tactics (completed), PentesterLabs Pro (ongoing)
    Certs: eCPTXv2, AZ-500, SC-200 (fail 1st attempt), EnCE, Splunk Core Power User
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    pitviper wrote: »
    Mike is right - Fantastic book. Lots of real life examples of things that you may already know as well as items that, while not required for the CCNA, are necessary for the real world.

    How valuable is this for someone like myself, I'm not too interested in the Cisco route (although CCNA is something I would like to do in the next 1-2 years), but I am working for the MCSE and MCITP type stuff.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    I find that even if you're not going into networking, knowing how the network works even at a high level is still better than not having it. I like being versed in several different areas. I find it makes me a better technician overall and helps me find resolutions to problems faster than people who pigeon-hole themselves into just one aspect. So yes, I think giving that book a read would certainly do you no harm.
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