CCNA Certification or Study Abroad? (college undergrad)

Let me give a scenario and see if you guys can help me out.

I'm 21 years old, college undergrad (junior) at University of North Carolina Greensboro. I'm an ISOM (Information Systems / Operations Management) major with a current GPA of 2.75.

I was planning on Studying Abroad in Mannheim Germany (University of Mannheim) in the Fall of 2011. Now I am having second thoughts on if I really want to go through with this or not.

If I don't go Study Abroad, I could work on acquiring my CCNA or CCENT certification in hopes of landing a career at Cisco Systems after graduation. With my Dad working for Cisco, I could possibly get a foot in the door and at least have an interview after college.

With that being said, should I go through with the Study Abroad or work on my certification? If I didn't Study Abroad, I could focus on bringing my GPA up to above a 3.0....since I could take those classes at my home university and they would actually COUNT towards my GPA versus just being a pass/fail grade.

Hoping to acquire some good feedback from all you IT professionals that are out in the REAL world.

Comments

  • howiehandleshowiehandles Member Posts: 148
    Let me give a scenario and see if you guys can help me out.

    I'm 21 years old, college undergrad (junior) at University of North Carolina Greensboro. I'm an ISOM (Information Systems / Operations Management) major with a current GPA of 2.75.

    I was planning on Studying Abroad in Mannheim Germany (University of Mannheim) in the Fall of 2011. Now I am having second thoughts on if I really want to go through with this or not.

    If I don't go Study Abroad, I could work on acquiring my CCNA or CCENT certification in hopes of landing a career at Cisco Systems after graduation. With my Dad working for Cisco, I could possibly get a foot in the door and at least have an interview after college.

    With that being said, should I go through with the Study Abroad or work on my certification? If I didn't Study Abroad, I could focus on bringing my GPA up to above a 3.0....since I could take those classes at my home university and they would actually COUNT towards my GPA versus just being a pass/fail grade.

    Hoping to acquire some good feedback from all you IT professionals that are out in the REAL world.

    For me, I would love to study abroad. You never know what direction that could take you, and the memories would last you forever. You can still study for your CCNA over there as well. Travel is a great learning experience.
  • okplayaokplaya Member Posts: 199
    I'd study abroad. Clearly it's something you're interested in doing. What's the significance in bringing your GPA up at this point?
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'd study abroad and do the CCNA at the same time. You could knock out the CCNA with a few months of studying in the evenings.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • steve13adsteve13ad Member Posts: 398
    Pack your bags! You can pick up your CCNA when you come back
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 1,941 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd study abroad and do the CCNA at the same time. You could knock out the CCNA with a few months of studying in the evenings.

    what this man said. You can always study for the CCNA anywhere, anyplace, anytime. You can also study lets say 50% of the exam while your abroad. icon_thumright.gif
    2020 Goals:
    Courses: VHL (3 month pass)
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  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Dude, this is a no brainer. Go to Germany!!! Don't even think about the CCNA until you get back. Go over there, study hard but enjoy yourself. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you.
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you can speak German, then by all means study abroad and pursue the CCNA in your spare time. If you don't speak German, then I would stay where you are and study the CCNA. Trying to pick up another language while studying and also doing the CCNA would be a step too far in my opinion.
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    Ahhh I kind of realized this was going to be the response.

    My parents are really pushing me to do the study abroad, and the funny part is I already have everything set to go and leave in August.

    I am just having second thoughts now as my girl friend dosen't particulary want me going overseas and being away from her for 4+ months, and I kind of don't want to do it either.

    I feel like my reasonings for going to Study Abroad are also different than many other students. Instead of wanting to go to gain cultural knowledge, foreign experience, etc. the only reasons I am wanting to go are to:

    1. Knock out my foreign language requirements AND
    2. Help differentiate myself more on my Resume.

    With that being said, if Study Abroad dosen't Significantly help differentiate me I don't feel like it's worth the hassle to go through. Some people love studying in new places and meeting new people, but I'm afraid I'm going for the wrong reasons.

    I have give or take a weeks time to either continue with the Study Abroad or pull out and work on a certification as well as bring up my GPA.

    I would really hate to graduate college with a sub 3.0 GPA as I feel it would be very detrimental to me when looking for a job in IT.

    Welcome to all feedback..and thanks for your opinions guys! Wish I would have a few people to say "f*ck study abroad, employers just look at it as a big party", then it would make it a lot easier to back out and not feel like i'm quitting or taking the easy way out.
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    If you can speak German, then by all means study abroad and pursue the CCNA in your spare time. If you don't speak German, then I would stay where you are and study the CCNA. Trying to pick up another language while studying and also doing the CCNA would be a step too far in my opinion.

    Forgot to say in the title that while I'm working on my CCNA, I'm splitting it up and doing the two tests separately. So you could say I'm working towards my CCENT for now, CCNA is a long-term goal.

    Should I focus on A+ or Net+ before I do the CCENT?
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    If you can speak German, then by all means study abroad and pursue the CCNA in your spare time. If you don't speak German, then I would stay where you are and study the CCNA. Trying to pick up another language while studying and also doing the CCNA would be a step too far in my opinion.


    From my understanding of Germany, there are alot of folks over there that do speak English. I would imagine this would be true if you're in a metro-area, like Berlin or Munich.

    To the OP if I were both you and your age, I would totally do a study abroad in Germany. Especially during a fall semester....Oktoberfest!! :D Beer and Frauliens over CCNA........yeah no brainers!

    (In seriousness, you have time for Cisco....you might not have time for a well rounded opportunity a study abroad program in Europe provides.)
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    FWIW, all the 4 classes I would be taking over there would be taught in English. Except for my foreign language German course, which would be taught in German.
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I don't want to give you advice regarding your gf, but really I wouldn't use "her" as a reason to not go. What happens if you decide to stay and then she breaks up with you/you break up with her? I really feel that spending a semester overseas would do you good. Europe is such an amazing place, full of history. You can get a Eurorail pass and take an overnight train and you are in a new country. And being a student you can stay/get discounts in hostels, where you will meet people from all over the world.

    As for your GPA, when I graduated years ago I don't recall any job asking for my GPA. And I didn't have a 3.0!
    CISSP | CISM | ACSS | ACIS | MCSA:2008 | MCITP:SA | MCSE:Security | MCSA:Security | Security + | MCTS
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    Ok, so taking everything out of the picture what would you think employers hiring grads fresh out of college are looking for?

    Study Abroad experience on a resume?

    or

    IT certifications like CCENT/A+/Net+/CCNA etc?
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Ok, so taking everything out of the picture what would you think employers hiring grads fresh out of college are looking for?

    Study Abroad experience on a resume?

    or

    IT certifications like CCENT/A+/Net+/CCNA etc?
    Both. If you can do both then do both. A+, N+ and CCENT wouldn't take that much time to do...
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    Go Study Abroad.

    3rd reason: Beer

    The CCNA will be there when you get back.

    What's your GPA in just your major courses? That's the work-a-round a lot of people use on a "new graduate" resume -- the preemptive "Major GPA" to hopefully avoid the mentioning the actual GPA (especially if you Minored in Beer).
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    Ok, so taking everything out of the picture what would you think employers hiring grads fresh out of college are looking for?

    Study Abroad experience on a resume?

    or

    IT certifications like CCENT/A+/Net+/CCNA etc?

    Put it this way....

    I see two resumes in front me. All are identical in every way except one has done a study abroad program in another country. The one who has not has a slightly higher GPA.

    If I were a hiring manager, I'd lean more toward the guy who studied abroad. Having an understanding of a different culture in your background yells volumes to companies looking for ways to introduce "diversity." (HR would view you as less of a headache in that regard...even if you don't personally give a ---- about diversity, on paper it looks like you are well rounded.)

    As I've said, do this man! Cisco will still be here when you get back! Also remember...if it's in a different area code...it doesn't count! icon_cool.gificon_lol.gif (Especially if she's not your wife....lol)
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Go Study Abroad.

    3rd reason: Beer

    The CCNA will be there when you get back.

    What's your GPA in just your major courses? That's the work-a-round a lot of people use on a "new graduate" resume -- the preemptive "Major GPA" to hopefully avoid the mentioning the actual GPA (especially if you Minored in Beer).

    GPA in just my major courses is around 3.0-3.2 range?

    And I don't really drink so beer isn't a big reason for me wanting to go Germany. icon_twisted.gif
  • okplayaokplaya Member Posts: 199
    GPA is only good when you're doing coops/internships. And while we're on the topic, that is what employers will be looking for so you should really try to do one before you graduate. Once you're out of college they really don't give a crap about a GPA. I graduated summa cum laude with a 3.99 and I don't even think they look that far down on my resume.

    Studying abroad is a great experience, and you really shouldn't make excuses because you're not sure what to expect over there. In fact, that should motivate you - the adventure! At the end of the day though, it is your choice. Keep in mind, 1 semester away from home will zoom by. Before you know it you'll be back in the states.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    Let me give a scenario and see if you guys can help me out.

    I'm 21 years old, college undergrad (junior) at University of North Carolina Greensboro. I'm an ISOM (Information Systems / Operations Management) major with a current GPA of 2.75.

    I was planning on Studying Abroad in Mannheim Germany (University of Mannheim) in the Fall of 2011. Now I am having second thoughts on if I really want to go through with this or not.

    If I don't go Study Abroad, I could work on acquiring my CCNA or CCENT certification in hopes of landing a career at Cisco Systems after graduation. With my Dad working for Cisco, I could possibly get a foot in the door and at least have an interview after college.

    With that being said, should I go through with the Study Abroad or work on my certification? If I didn't Study Abroad, I could focus on bringing my GPA up to above a 3.0....since I could take those classes at my home university and they would actually COUNT towards my GPA versus just being a pass/fail grade.

    Hoping to acquire some good feedback from all you IT professionals that are out in the REAL world.

    Americans are Europeans living in denial. You have a bankrolled opportunity to live and study in Germany and a dad that works at Cisco. Forget the GPA, far too many people are hung up on that. Pack your bags and come across the pond. The experience will be life changing for you and for the better. If your girlfriend understands, cool. If she doesn't come anyway. You will be way hotter to her when you return as you will be worldly and changed for the better by the experience in terms of your confidence. Germany is full of chicks anyway.
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    Ok I'm going to go through with it....since no one could come up with any cons to not go.
    icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Good luck, I lived in Germany for a while and loved it... and I would rather hire someone who has the gumption to go abroad for a while than someone who just has a cert...
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • videguyvideguy Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    It looks like it has been many times and many ways by others, but I will chime in anyway. Go abroad, you may not have another opportunity like that again. Cisco will still be here and you can still become a CCNA when you get back. You will always have a great experience to look back on.
    Bachelors of Science in Information Technology - Database Administration Concentration
    Summa Cum Laude - April 2011







    The only difference between brilliance and stupidity is that brilliance has limits.
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    Although I created another thread in this section...just wanted to say less than 50 days until I'm back in the US of A.

    Thanks for pushing me to go over here guys! I feel it was worth it even if I haven't gotten as much CCENT studying done as I would have hoped for. The classes over here are no joke! lol
  • tearofstearofs Member Posts: 112
    Just saying, all the blonde chick ....
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    tearofs wrote: »
    Just saying, all the blonde chick ....

    What?? lol
  • powerfoolpowerfool CISSP, MCSE Member Posts: 1,637 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Study abroad.
    AZ-300 [x] AZ-301 [x]
    2019 Goals: Azure Architect
  • ciscoman2012ciscoman2012 Member Posts: 313
    Ohh I see....study a broad. icon_cheers.gif
  • ericqballericqball Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Bro, Goto school abroad and do your ccna under some few months.... I fink the both counts.
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