CCNP really worth it for me - 2+ years of experience.

RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+.Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
I've been wrestling with a few things lately, and it's been having a toll on my studies. I made this thread on the cisco forums, but thought this would be best made here.

I'm not in a position to use my NP knowledge. Heck, not even the NA knowledge. However, from what i've heard of others - you'll need a NP to be considered an "engineer". Which is fine, I love this stuff.

My formal schooling: AS from a community college (I worked during my teenage years for schooling).



My experience revolves around things not networking. The most networking i've been allowed to do is to help connect the Barracuda and troubleshoot it when it died. I've worked on swapping raid controller cards. I've had to re-wire cubicles a few times, troubleshoot ethernet cabling that don't work over the drop ceiling.

Mostly though my position comes down to nuking and paving computers when they become virus ridden. Political power struggles (Early case of paranoia here). Keeping old P4 computers up and running. Making sure the backup Generator runs, restarting the security server. Write up documentation [Excel, Visio, Word,...] for everything and everything [I can't remember everything], troubleshooting computer issues, report what I find, track down evil doers with multiple login attempts. Tracking base-line information for computers. As you can see, nothing really switch or router, or anything beyond the cubicle ethernet.

I've been thinking that going through the CCNP studies, for the most part isn't going to help. I'd really like to get a career using my knowledge. At the very least, something so I can get in the thick of things. It excites me. My current career doesn't pay me anything for increasing education and just seems to be frowned upon - I'd be paying out of pocket for everything. I don't earn that much :)



After seeing another thread who has numerous CCNP certifications but not a lot of experience it hit home. I was trying to get into his shoes. I didn't want to be in his shoes, wondering if his certifications are worthless. All his knowledge might be for nothing.
In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

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Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    The way I see it there is nothing gained from getting certified in a technology you have no experience with. Not including entry level certifications of course.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • xbuzzxbuzz Member Posts: 122
    I read that thread too. I think 2+ years of experience that you have, is alot different than a guy who has done 3xCCNP with only 6 months experience.

    If you're not learning much in your job, then you might as well learn about the area you want to get into in your spare time. People say CCNP, without experience, is useless, but I totally disagree. Alot of people would never have gotten their current jobs without their certs. If you have no experience in an area, certs are ALL you have, and it shows you are motivated about your career choice etc.

    Don't let anyone hold you back from the career choices you want, if an extra cert means you have a greater chance at working in a job that you want, they go for it. It's HR and the companies job to take your experience into account, not yours.
  • xbuzzxbuzz Member Posts: 122
    The way I see it there is nothing gained from getting certified in a technology you have no experience with. Not including entry level certifications of course.

    So you are recruiting 2 people with absolutely zero experience. Both have equal aptitude and passion for the role. One has CCNA and the other has CCNP and both in a technical interview perform perfect on both their areas of knowledge. You're saying you would hire the person with the CCNA?
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Rogue. When I started out, I grabbed all my CompTIAs and MCSE up really quickly but ended up losing the majority of the knowledge because I didn't use it in my practical work experience. I love networking as well and I picked up the CCNA as part of my degree program but I previously held back from getting my NP because I wasn't working in a situation where I would use it. Knowledge is lost when not used.

    For anyone who is thinking about getting their CCNP or any other advanced networking certifications without the experience to back it up, I would recommend picking up a copy of Network Warrior. I soaked up the CCNA material when I was studying for the test but once I picked up NW, it REALLY hit home how much I didn't know about networking. There is so much you'll run into in the real world that just isn't covered on that test and getting more certifications without the experience is going to be a disadvantage if your future employer sees those initials after your name and has a greater expectation of your skills than you are able to deliver.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    xbuzz wrote: »
    So you are recruiting 2 people with absolutely zero experience. Both have equal aptitude and passion for the role. One has CCNA and the other has CCNP and both in a technical interview perform perfect on both their areas of knowledge. You're saying you would hire the person with the CCNA?

    I would probably be suspect of an CCNP without any sort of experience. The first word that comes to my mind would be "dumper." That's not saying everyone who gets that certification without experience are braindumping but I've been disappointed more times than I've been impressed.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • xbuzzxbuzz Member Posts: 122
    Surely someone that goes for a technical interview would be caught out fairly quickly if they had dumped the CCNP?

    With home labs and rack rentals these days, getting CCNP legitimately without experience on a production network is hardly impossible. Even getting CCIE without production experience is possible these days, and if a hiring process can't weed out the dumpers from everyone else without the need for speculation like "oh he has a ccnp with no experience, he must be a dumper" then I think it's the hiring process that needs changing.

    edit: Also, how would it be possible to prove if the person is a dumper or not, wouldn't the technical interview weed them out, or would someone with CCNP with no experience not even make it that far in the recruitment process because of being labeled a "dumper"?
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    xbuzz wrote: »
    Surely someone that goes for a technical interview would be caught out fairly quickly if they had dumped the CCNP?

    It doesn't matter how fast they are caught. People still do it ALL the time because not all companies give technical interviews and they eventually get a job somewhere (only to be kicked to the curb quickly). At my new job, I'm in charge of pre-screening candidates for tier I engineer positions underneath me. They don't need experience but they need to understand concepts. 95% of the people I get can't tell me the difference between NAT and PAT (with CCNA/CCNP on their resumes) or what a FSMO role is (MCSE/MCITP:EA on their resumes). I don't think the questions I ask are difficult at all for someone advertising CCNA/CCNP/MCSE/etc , they should understand these things and can explain them to me.

    As I said, not all the CCNPs without experience are dumpers but there are enough of them out there that they leave a bad taste in an employer's mouth when they pick up a resume with 10 certifications listed and no experience. I'll always give them a call just to screen them but I'm yet to ask one of these no-experience-whiz-kids in for an interview because they can't back up their knowledge
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Im in the same boat I still do want to get my ccnp r&s as i know the studying/lab time will get me to another level of understanding and getting the ccnp would be a huge sense of acheivement for myself. But am turned off to getting my ccnp r&s figured whats the point if i'm just going to forget it as i do not do ccnp level work. I figured i'd change gears to get the ccnp voice since thats what i will be doing at my job and will be supporting.
  • xbuzzxbuzz Member Posts: 122
    Thanks Iris for clearing that up. I think dmarcisco has a good point. I guess if you get CCNP RS even legitimately, but you have no experience and aren't getting any experience in your current job, you will just forget most of the stuff. So someone who might not have dumped, but did his CCNP 3-4 months ago, but did nothing since, would look like a dumper since they would have forgotten alot of it.

    I know myself, after CCENT I had to take a break from studying for a few months, when I went back to study for the CCNA I had forgotten alot and definitely would have failed an interview on the CCENT material.

    So I guess if you have CCNP or other certs, without experience, make sure to keep the material fresh in your mind, and lab frequently, otherwise the CCNP means nothing, if you have forgotten everything throughout the course, and if you have CCNP, but don't know the material currently, it's best to keep if off your resume.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    xbuzz wrote: »
    So you are recruiting 2 people with absolutely zero experience. Both have equal aptitude and passion for the role. One has CCNA and the other has CCNP and both in a technical interview perform perfect on both their areas of knowledge. You're saying you would hire the person with the CCNA?

    I'm saying at that point it would have zero impact on my decision. If they are completely the same technically what does a piece of paper matter?
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • xbuzzxbuzz Member Posts: 122
    I didn't word my scenario correctly, sorry. I mean that each of them performed perfect on each of their levels of certification i.e. the CCNA answered all questions on CCNA level topics correctly, and the CCNP answered all questions on CCNP and CCNA level topics correctly.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I think you are making up unrealistic hypothetical situations that would never happen. If someone has no experience and CCNP I probably wouldn't interview them at all. I would think one of two things: 1. dumped it or 2. they are going to bail for the first higher level position that comes along. No one wants to hire either of these people.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    I dont know OP, if one has a CCNP and cant post experience on their resume to boot then the odds of them even getting an interview are pretty slim.
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think you are making up unrealistic hypothetical situations that would never happen. If someone has no experience and CCNP I probably wouldn't interview them at all. I would think one of two things: 1. dumped it or 2. they are going to bail for the first higher level position that comes along. No one wants to hire either of these people.

    Yea its a tough predicament. Idk.. if that was me i dont think i'll even post the ccnp on the resume, in the interview i'll just seem like a kick ass ccna. I'd say higher the guy with the ironed tie :p
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    Who wears ties to interviews? ;) actually I think i wore a tie once -
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    What do you wear to interviews? Bowtie? lol sorry couldnt type that without chuckling.
  • xbuzzxbuzz Member Posts: 122
    I'm not trying to get you to bite networker. I'm just trying to figure out what the mindset of recruiters is. I have the option of being in this situation pretty soon myself, so the scenario is definitely not an unrealistic hypothesis to me.
  • mguymguy Member Posts: 167 ■■■□□□□□□□
    How about a person with CCNP for a CCNA position?

    Also, let's define "experience" is that "work experience"? Studying for any technology will give you "experience" but not just "work experience".

    If experience was king, then ALL FORMS of education will be useless. Advanced Physics degree? Forget it kid, you need experience. Nursing? Forget it mami, you need experience.
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    mguy wrote: »
    Forget it mami, you need experience.

    lol after reading that i imaged the next sentence to be sorry time to kick rocks
  • mguymguy Member Posts: 167 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think you are making up unrealistic hypothetical situations that would never happen. If someone has no experience and CCNP I probably wouldn't interview them at all. I would think one of two things: 1. dumped it or 2. they are going to bail for the first higher level position that comes along. No one wants to hire either of these people.
    Then you are not a good talent scout.

    A person had put-in time and energy into developing their knowledge base -- doesn't that show initiative?

    How the hell are you going to pass CCNP just using just ****? Either one, those **** are really good, or two, you have acquired knowledge enough to say that you've learned using these so-called **** -- enough to pass cisco's minimum level knowledge.
  • mguymguy Member Posts: 167 ■■■□□□□□□□
    To all those thinking about this bullsh*t experience or no-experience dilemma,

    Realize..

    #1 You're already in the industry. Yes, test-takers, you are already in!

    #2 Your knowledge has a half-life. The moment you stop your knowledge will atrophy. Passed CCNA no job? Well you will lose all your info if you don't go CCNP. You really don't have a choice but proceed if your goal is success.

    #3 Nobody starts with experience. That is almost an oxymoron. "experienced beginner" lol.

    #4 With luck you will get a boss or interviewer who also came from the same situation, and had a similar success mind-set, enough to realize that a person with a CCNP with no experience is a force to reckon with.

    Now enough wasting time and go back studying! icon_thumright.gif
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    mguy wrote: »
    How the hell are you going to pass CCNP just using just ****? Either one, those **** are really good, or two, you have acquired knowledge enough to say that you've learned using these so-called **** -- enough to pass cisco's minimum level knowledge.

    Sadly, there are hundreds of sites out there dedicated to providing free **** and have all the scenario questions mapped out in screenshots with the answer for you. Memorizing the questions and solutions to the problems does not a CCNP make.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Are braindumps really that intelligent? Better yet, are people using braindumps that wide spread?

    I question because I've heard that cisco pretty much tries to do what they can to make sure it's not dumpable. And no, I'm not looking to **** my next test.

    I agree that memorizing questions and solutions do not make an NP. As such, there's reasons behind why the answer is the correct one... Someone with just the memorizing probably wouldn't know.

    I'm thinking along the lines that every ~6 months to refresh my knowledge, atleast go over the notes such so I don't appear to be a dumper while in the midst of an interview :)

    Edit #2: Brilliant has been read as it's a good word and are associated with "magnificent" or "wonderful". My poor choice of words. I've replaced it with "Intelligent" in hopes to convey my overall disbelief that they capable of having people pass with little knowledge. Yes, I used an online dictionary for those two terms - freedictionary.com
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    I wouldn't call them brilliant but yes, they are that detailed. It's a factor of a lot of things: Most of the lower and mid-level certifications have a very small question pool that they draw from so for a person that wants to ****, memorizing the answer for 50-100 questions per a test isn't that difficult. Plus there's the wide-spread issue where a lot of these boot camps, school classes, etc hand out the brain **** as a "study guide" because the instructor wants to boost his/her pass rate. A lot of these newbie kids attending some bootcamp or three week long CCNA class have no idea that they're being handed brain **** until they walk into the test and recognize all the answers.

    There are some exams that simply cannot be braindumped such as the offensive security track, CCIE, CISSP, etc and when someone sees those on your resume, you mean business but the reality is that you're not going to easily get any of those certifications without years of experience/study time.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • mguymguy Member Posts: 167 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sadly, there are hundreds of sites out there dedicated to providing free **** and have all the scenario questions mapped out in screenshots with the answer for you. Memorizing the questions and solutions to the problems does not a CCNP make.

    I disagree.

    BDumps doesn't make a networker, but rather it makes a cisco certified professional.

    To learn networking then you will need to have a real networking job.

    I've never seen a brain ****, the Boson software I use could be a brain **** (sure acts like it), but I can't imagine not being able to learn anything from brain ****, unless you actively try not to learn.

    The problem is not the brain-dumpers, but cisco exams being non-brain **** resistant. But what test on this earth is not brain-**** resistant? Any knowledge can actually be brain dumped. Learning on the other hand is another thing (but that's on the job anyways).
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    The Bison software you use is not repeating the questions word-for-word that are on the exam. They give you a basis to test your knowledge off of but they don't give you the questions and answers that you will receive on the exam. You still had to read and study in order to pass the exam if you use the Bison tests as a tool but using ****, you just got used to the same questions over and over again.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Ok this thread is not about using ****. Lets not turn it into a discussion about them.

    **** are bad mkay? End of discussion.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    dmarcisco:

    Sometimes..

  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    The way I see it there is nothing gained from getting certified in a technology you have no experience with. Not including entry level certifications of course.

    Listen to this man ^ . He probably has the most experience here when it comes to networking and cisco.

    Reality is you will get destroyed having an NP without experience. First things first, you need a networking experience. Experience means you have full time job supporting a live network.

    Expect to be grilled in an interview with NA. Engineers/ Interviewers expects you to know the in and out of CCNA book and CCNP books (if you have CCNP). You should ask yourself if you really understand the CCNA book before you jump into CCNP.

    Ask yourself these CCNA open ended qs:
    How does a router work?
    How does a switch work?
    How does vlan works?
    Whats the difference between ISL and dot1q? Whats the engineering behind it? not just its cisco proprietory or not.
    Explain to me how OSPF works?
    Explain to me how STP works?
    Explain the engineering behind those syntax.
  • mguymguy Member Posts: 167 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The Bison software you use is not repeating the questions word-for-word that are on the exam. They give you a basis to test your knowledge off of but they don't give you the questions and answers that you will receive on the exam. You still had to read and study in order to pass the exam if you use the Bison tests as a tool but using ****, you just got used to the same questions over and over again.

    No more brain **** discussion.

    but it can't be word-for-word bc cisco updates its test periodically. the only difference that boson has is that "show answers" functionality.

    To OP: go for CCNP, don't use brain-****.

    To OP: don't worry about these recruiters raising flags when you submit your resume. it's part of their process. just remember on that interview, take that flag down and tear it to shreds with your knowledge (and charisma). :D
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