Realistic jobs and salary for the CCNA?

aglo1984aglo1984 Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi, I am preparing to study for my ICND1 and ICND2 exams to get my CCNA qualification. I don't have any IT qualifications and I was hoping this could get my career kick started as I've been out of work for nearly 5 years due to family reasons. I was with some mates today who are in the IT sector and they basically said that it was pointless doing the cert as I wouldn't get a job with the cert. They said if I was lucky I would could get a help desk job with about £15000 pa and it will never increase until I do a Microsoft cert and my aim of a salary in £20,000 region ( willing to take less to get experienced though) was never going to be achievable with the CCNA. I feel really down because of this as I want to be successful at learning the CCNA material and go onto providing for my family but if i'm wasting my time as according to my mates I am then I really don't know where to go from here. I'm not looking for a quick fix and I am willing to learn the ropes etc but if there is no hope in earning £20,000 or above then I really need to think of a new plan.

My plan was to do the whole CCNA in 6-8 months and then if I am successful I may try and do the CCNP over the next 9-18 months. Were those realistic time scales bases on the average person?

If anyone can give me estimated Jobs with salaries and what the situation is regarding the importance of the CCNA in today's sector it would be a great help to know if I should do this cert. Also if it's worth while what are the realistic time scales for the average person with no experience to learn the CCNA and CCNP certs based on 20 - 25 hours study per week?

Thanks for reading and any help is much appreciated (especially on the jobs and salary situation in the UK and if the cert is still important)

Comments

  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I can't give you salary quotes but I can give you some advice. Do the certs that you think will benefit you the most. You can ask for advice but its down to you. You want the CCNA, go for it! A lot of people here will support you if you try to get the CCNA the right way. It'll take you as much time as you need to learn the material. Not everyone uses microsoft and not everyone uses Cisco. People use linux and Juniper gear.
    Booya!!
    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*****
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    +1 on what James said

    Can't help with UK salary or job situation.
    Though from a quick search it looks like there are quite a few ccna jobs going (more in London area)

    Self study of ccna/ccnp is possible if you are motivated enough.
    Make sure to set goals , set a time line and stick to it.

    Are you prepared to travel for work ?
    Done any googling of ccna jobs yourself ?

    Don't know how realistic any of these links are
    (I'm in Sydney Australia , originally from London moved here when I was 5 ,34 years ago)

    Ccna Jobs from Technojobs.co.uk - UK and Overseas Vacancies

    Ccna Jobs, Jobs in Ccna - UK jobs - CV-library.co.uk

    CCNA Jobs, Average Salary for CCNA Qualifications

    1st Line Network Support Analyst Job in Hertfordshire, England Salary: Negotiable - GradCentral
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • lon21lon21 Posts: 201Member
    From my experience and speaking to my peers, cert will get you into the interview. What companies really want is experience, but that can only come with time.

    If you have no experience in IT depending on your age, then you will need to start from the bottom. i.e. evening course, CCNA or Microsoft. A 1st line Helpdesk job would be good, and then while working training at home to aid your work.

    When looking for 1st Support Jobs you will need some work of experience or qualification to help you get the job. As your starting of, I would not worry about the salary at this stage depending on your circumstance. While you work you will find your salary will increase as you move up the ladder.

    Once you've got about 1 years experience under you belt you can move to above 2nd line start at about £22K. But at this time you will need to have CCNA.

    But all this depends on the market at the time.
  • djfunzdjfunz Posts: 307Member
    I've been studying for the ICND1 right now for about 1 1/2 months every day and I think it's achievable in the time span you mentioned. The big difference though is that you don't have any base certs. I also started with no experience and began with the CompTIA A+ material. Lots of good things to learn in there. Then I moved on to the Network + studies and learned a lot of great things as well. I never took the Net + exam because it's too expensive over here in Europe but I plan too when I'm back in the States. My point is, I think you should start with some of CompTIA's certs first. There is a lot of core information in the outline that has to be understood first. The CCNA although entry level for Cisco, is still very complex and it helps to already have an understanding of the basic concepts beforehand.

    Then get something in Helpdesk where you have the opportunity to move up in the company say NOC for instance while you're studying for the CCNA. This way you can get some experience in IT. Just my .02
    WGU Progress - B.S. IT - Completed
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    I shouldn't feel so down. I found it hard to get a start myself when I finished University with a Masters degree and had no IT experience years back. But then I didnt have the benefit of places like this that could offer advice to help my job searching.

    A 20K job is doable inside 18 months if you do the following:

    1. Complete the CCNA
    2. Get the sort of experience you need a long the way

    2 is the clincher because the CCNA and all the CCXP certs are very accessible to average people with a decent study ethic. Many people out there with those qualifications. I wouldn't divert into microsoft qualifications as this isnt the type of work you want to do. You need to knock on as many doors as possible to get some experience either as a part time unpaid untern, or part time low paid. If you are unemployed talk to the job centre to see what opportunities they have with local firms for this sort of thing and make sure your benefit entitlements are not adversely affected. Shoot for fulltime work by all means, but if thats difficult to land, then for the moment approach companies from the point of view of how many hours could they give you. You have to get some experience on your CV and IT shops have lots of tasks these days they can manage out to an inexperienced self starter who applies themselves. Eveb a few hours each week working for different companies adds up, teaches you how the industry works, looks better on your CV, makes you more likely to be called in for a job elsewhere or even taken on by the people you work for. But, when you get these small jobs, you have to shine, and you need to be constantly looking for more of them to fill up your week and be able to let one go that isn't offering you as much experience in favour of a new one that will. You are going to have to put a lot of work in to find and harvest these opportunities but they are out there. Attitude is important because lots of people want a break right now as the economy continues to tank.

    Beyond that, its a couple of days with the yellow pages to find all the computer and comms shops in the region. Make a list. Get an ordinance survey map and start sticking pins on it when you send them a letter asking for parttime/fulltime self starter work. Make telephone calls. Send emails to the company website by all means but this is usually a blackhole. List the major companies. Dress up, get in the car, walk to reception with the CV and politely ask if you can talk to someone in HR either for a chat about opportunities or to arrange a time at their convience to do so. Shake hands, smile, leave the CV. Stick and ad in the local paper. Have a personal website that people will visit, it should be on your CV, any letters you write, and business cards. Put up posters advertising your services on boards around the town. Libraries, supermarkets,..any place that has lots of people looking at the boards. In your communications, dont pass yourself off as an expert, but as someone flexible who wants experience. If you can drive, be sure to mention that. Once you have some form in terms of work experience it makes you much more employable. One thing to concentrate on are any firms that do hosting and have a datacentre. They will have a NOC and always need grunts to work unsocial shifts. Other firms that do comms and cabling, or telephony specialist shops. Look at the next 12 months as your foundation year by the end of which you are an established IT professional with prospects.
  • aglo1984aglo1984 Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi, thanks for all the replies! I think last night I was maybe a little tipsy when I wrote my original post icon_redface.gif icon_lol.gif. I am looking for a longer term goal of achieving my certs and I don't just want to "get" the CCNA & CCNP, I want to learn it all and be the best I can be. When I say long term I'm realistically aiming to be in the 20K-30K bracket in the next 5+years as I know I have to be realistic with time for study and the way the job market is etc. I have considered moving to get what I want and even to the point that I would move countries to get where I want but I have to find a good way to get experience first and I'm more than willing to start at the bottom to get the experience and then keep applying for the positions I want until I get in.

    My biggest problem just now is knowing how many hours I should study for the CCNA. I have a fair bit of time on my hands just now as I am a stay at home dad, so I can devote 25hrs per week uninterrupted study if I shuffle the things I need to do around ( I could manage 30+ hrs if I used weekends too). I am a focus driven person so I prefer to set a deadline and then budget my time to do what is needed that way I keep on top of things. So I was thinking that summer 2012 was my hazy deadline but I'm not sure if that is a good deadline based on 25hrs per week study and if its too much/little time to prepare and take it all in in great detail? I have the todd lammle CCNA book, CBT Nuggets and I also ordered the new Wendel Odom book. I have also set up a lab consisting on 2 2600 series routers & 2900 series switches (can't remember the exact models just now) to get hands on experience so I know what the real thing feels like and I maybe doing a small course in January which is tutor based which will help if I need it.

    Once again thanks for all the comments and support!:D
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    aglo1984 wrote: »
    Hi, thanks for all the replies! I think last night I was maybe a little tipsy when I wrote my original post icon_redface.gif icon_lol.gif. I am looking for a longer term goal of achieving my certs and I don't just want to "get" the CCNA & CCNP, I want to learn it all and be the best I can be. When I say long term I'm realistically aiming to be in the 20K-30K bracket in the next 5+years as I know I have to be realistic with time for study and the way the job market is etc. I have considered moving to get what I want and even to the point that I would move countries to get where I want but I have to find a good way to get experience first and I'm more than willing to start at the bottom to get the experience and then keep applying for the positions I want until I get in.

    My biggest problem just now is knowing how many hours I should study for the CCNA. I have a fair bit of time on my hands just now as I am a stay at home dad, so I can devote 25hrs per week uninterrupted study if I shuffle the things I need to do around ( I could manage 30+ hrs if I used weekends too). I am a focus driven person so I prefer to set a deadline and then budget my time to do what is needed that way I keep on top of things. So I was thinking that summer 2012 was my hazy deadline but I'm not sure if that is a good deadline based on 25hrs per week study and if its too much/little time to prepare and take it all in in great detail? I have the todd lammle CCNA book, CBT Nuggets and I also ordered the new Wendel Odom book. I have also set up a lab consisting on 2 2600 series routers & 2900 series switches (can't remember the exact models just now) to get hands on experience so I know what the real thing feels like and I maybe doing a small course in January which is tutor based which will help if I need it.

    Once again thanks for all the comments and support!:D

    You have plenty of time on your hands to study at the moment so make the most of it. Next summer is realistic for the CCNA. Learning at home and passing exams isn't an issue, with enough elapsed hours you will become a CCNA. Your primarly focus right now should be spending many hours each week hunting down work opportunities, full time, part time or voluntary.
  • aquillaaquilla Posts: 148Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hi aglo1984.

    I'm in the UK (West Sussex) and thought I'd share my experience. I gained my CCNA in 2007 through self-study whilst working in a non-IT related job. It then took me the next 9 months to actually get a job. I got plenty of interviews with the CCNA on my resume, however experience was the key.

    In July 2008 I got lucky with a company who could see my potential and took me on as a 1st line network engineer. Starting salary at the time was £17000. Within 6 months I proved myself and got a trial as a 2nd line network engineer (now doing shift work). Because this was a trial I didn't get a payrise as such, but got the unsociable hours / shift work allowence which knocked my salary up to around £24000.

    I am now fully installed as a 2nd line network engineer earning £30000.

    With regards to certs, I am studying for my CCNP at the moment. Don't go overboard and get too many certs too soon. Although I am only CCNA qualified, people around work know that I know more than just "the basics". Get the CCNA, then get in a job and get some experience - it will help cement what you've learnt and give you a good base for the CCNP (or whatever you choose).

    I am in a slightly privileged position as the company I work for do IT and Network support for about 100 different customers (UK and International) meaning I get to work on some nice gear occasionally (from the 800 series routers right up to the Catalyst 4500 with TenGigabit Ethernet cards).

    Edit: I haven't checked the jobs market recently, but I know when we've been hiring recently it's an employer's market. We end up with a fair share of applicants and we can then take our pick.
    Regards,

    CCNA R&S; CCNP R&S
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