Cisco Network Academy?

IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from mPasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
I'm on a posting frenzy today. :)

I was checking out Cisco Networking Academy online today and I noticed the community college across the street from my house is offering CCNP courses that are part of the official Cisco Networking Academy. I'm interested in going since a boot camp for the CCNP usually costs upwards of $5,000+ but going through a community college, the class is only about $180. Since the class follows the official Cisco Networking Academy course and labbing is included, I'm seriously considering enrolling in the class. Has anyone else had any experience taking the Cisco Networking Academy CCNP courses? Would you say it's worth it or should I stick to buying a better homelab and self-study?

Thanks for the feedback!
BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
Blog: www.network-node.com

Comments

  • kj0kj0 Member Posts: 767
    Definitely a posting frenzy I see, and you cleaned up your Certs and sig too.. ;)


    I can't really say much for the course itself, but, are you more of a self learner or do you prefer to be in a classroom environment? I personally prefer to be in a classroom with someone to tell me what to do to keep motivated. I do know people though who can't stand having someone over their shoulder and and find it easier to do it all on their own.

    However, $180 in Aussie would be more of a tutor session in someone's garage. University of Queensland (Very prestigious) is $5,000 for a 3 day MS course/boot camp. - that's expensive compared to a 6month Engineering Degree is only $3,500.
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
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  • 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 figured I needed to clean it up since my list was getting a bit long. :)

    I'm 50/50 on class learning vs. self study. It depends on what's going on in my life and what work is like. When I was doing my undergrad degree, I had a LOT of free time to study both at work and at home. Nowadays, my work life is a bit more crazy so self-study is a little more difficult. As far as teachers, It depends on the teacher. The CISSP bootcamp I went to had an AMAZING teacher and I felt it really solidified some of the topics I was weak in. This class looks fairly easy. I'd physically go in one night a week and do some hybrid online work with videos and interactive labs. I was more curious if anyone actually went through the Cisco Networking Academy courses here and if they think it's worth the time/effort over self-study
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    Is that $180 for the entire CCNP? Indeed the quality of a course depends a lot on the teacher, but at that rate I'd get it just for the study material, labbing opportunity, PT, and the semester tests. I've never seen the CNA CCNP courses up close but the CNA CCNA material is pretty good. For the CCNP you'll probably have to do self-study regardless, might as well take the class in addition. And even if the teacher isn't great, you still might be able to learn from and network with other students.
  • 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
    You're right. $180 isn't much to worry about. It's more of the time commitment I worry about. I submitted the application to the college today just to take the course. After I give the class a shot, I'll write up a review for other people considering network academy.

    If anyone else on here is interested in seeing if the courses are available near them, check this out: Cisco Networking Academy - Locate Academy and Class/es
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A review would be excellent - Thanks Iris
  • MickQMickQ Member Posts: 628 ■■■■□□□□□□
    From my experience in my PGDip, it's following the CCNP CNA, but whereas with the previous 4 part CCNP there was online material, now with the 3 part CCNP it's just the FLG series of books.
    I'm not sure what their labbing would consist of, but in my case it was remote access to a Netlabs system.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I personally loved the Cisco Network Academy. I took it for CCNA. I had ZERO knowledge of networking prior to entering the first day of class. I loved it. Taught me a ton. I had a CCENT before the classes were finished and shortly after had my CCNA. I firmly believe it is what got me in the door with my job as a level 1 network engineer now. I too have also thought about taking a course on CCNP too because sometimes I need a little bit of a push to keep my studies in line. Thanks for the info Iris!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
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  • fiftyofiftyo Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Another benefit might being eligible for a voucher if you score ≥75% on the final exams. Atleast this applies for the ccna classes.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,736 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Cool! From what I can see that are not that many academies that offer the CCNP classes. I wonder why? My local college only offers the classes that are aligned to the CCNA.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • jdancerjdancer Member Posts: 482 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Just a heads up, your Cisco Network Academy experience will be greatly influenced by the type of the instructor you get. I am sure you have experienced great and not so great instructors in your academic career. I plan on sitting in for my CCNP studies once I'm done with CCNA:S, CCNA:V, and CCNA:W. Why not for $120 at my local community college for each course and get a discount voucher? No brainer.
  • jdancerjdancer Member Posts: 482 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Cool! From what I can see that are not that many academies that offer the CCNP classes. I wonder why? My local college only offers the classes that are aligned to the CCNA.

    Several things are needed. Your local academy has to request to teach CCNP courses but also have instructors who have their CCNP and CCAI certifications. You may want to ask your local academy if they have plans to offer CCNP academy classes.
  • NavyITNavyIT Member Posts: 171
    +1 to what jdancer said.

    I went through the Networking Academy with an in-person delivery method for my CCENT and for the last half of CCNA I did an online only delivery method. I learned so much more via the in-person method, as I had a great instructor. The online method for me was very distant and relied heavily on how much you wanted to study. The hybrid option you are talking about seems like a good balance between both. I just prefer to learn in a classroom setting (even though it takes longer) because I get competitive with peers and it is much more engaging. Overall, I'd say the Network Academy program that Cisco has is pretty solid.
    A.S. - Computer Networking: Cisco
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  • 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 signed up for both the CCNP:Switch and CCNP:TSHOOT classes at Pasadena City College. Unfortunately, CCNP:Route was not available this semester so I couldn't sign up. There are still about 15 class seats available per class so if anyone locally would like to sign up, it's pretty cheap: $46/per credit x 4 credits per class + $50 for the book. Compared to a $5,000 - 8,000 CCNP bootcamp, it's a steal. Plus it's part of the Cisco Networking Academy so Packet Tracer 6 Beta - Here I come!
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • f0rgiv3nf0rgiv3n Connection Overlord Member Posts: 598 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Wow that is incredibly cheap! Let us know how it goes!
  • spd3432spd3432 Member Posts: 224
    I signed up for both the CCNP:Switch and CCNP:TSHOOT classes at Pasadena City College. Unfortunately, CCNP:Route was not available this semester so I couldn't sign up. There are still about 15 class seats available per class so if anyone locally would like to sign up, it's pretty cheap: $46/per credit x 4 credits per class + $50 for the book. Compared to a $5,000 - 8,000 CCNP bootcamp, it's a steal. Plus it's part of the Cisco Networking Academy so Packet Tracer 6 Beta - Here I come!

    Even cheaper for me -- Mira Costa College (in Oceanside) offers the CCNP (Route and Switch -- no TShoot) and the CCNA courses as non-credit vocational. Cost is $.50 per night (parking fee) for any night I either attend class or use the lab. Enrollment for spring 2013 opened yesterday for Switch (Route is in the fall). They're also doing CCNA:S this term. The instructor uses the powerpoints put together by Rick Graziani from Cabrillo College.
    ----CCNP goal----
    Route [ ] Studying
    Switch [ ] Next
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  • sides14sides14 Member Posts: 113
    The only issue that I ever had with the Network Academy was the CNT-140 (Introduction Course). The class is definitely geared towards the new entrant into networking, but it was a pre-req for moving on to the other classes. I took the classes at Mount San Jacinto College in CA and it was very convenient. We were allowed to use the lab on weekends for additional study. If you have the option, take the course credit classes because they help towards an associate degree.
  • 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 don't know if you were gearing that response towards me or not. I already have a B.S. so credit hours are irrelevant but these two CCNP classes I picked up will count for 8 credits towards a degree I have no interest in pursuing ;)
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, CISSP, CASP, SEC+, Pentest+, CYSA+, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CISM, VCP 6.7 San DiegoRegistered Users, Member Posts: 861 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm a CCNP V5 and V6 instructor. The disparity in course materials between CCNA Exp/Disc and CCNP is pretty great. The other courses (CCNA, IT Essentials and CCNA Security) have a book, online component integrated with activities, labs and practice tests plus Packet Tracer 5.3/6 (whenever it comes out officially) and lab equipment, power points and a multitude of instructor generated content.

    CCNP is simply power point presentations, Cisco Press FLG and a lab book. It really requires the student to have drive and motivation. It also requires a good instructor. If they don't understand, then you probably won't understand.

    Packet Tracer is okay for CCNP. It really is missing a lot of commands. You're much better with lab equipment and Netlab.

    And the Route and Switch are definitely the ones to enroll into.
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    I'm a CCNP V5 and V6 instructor. The disparity in course materials between CCNA Exp/Disc and CCNP is pretty great. The other courses (CCNA, IT Essentials and CCNA Security) have a book, online component integrated with activities, labs and practice tests plus Packet Tracer 5.3/6 (whenever it comes out officially) and lab equipment, power points and a multitude of instructor generated content.

    CCNP is simply power point presentations, Cisco Press FLG and a lab book. It really requires the student to have drive and motivation. It also requires a good instructor. If they don't understand, then you probably won't understand.

    Packet Tracer is okay for CCNP. It really is missing a lot of commands. You're much better with lab equipment and Netlab.

    And the Route and Switch are definitely the ones to enroll into.

    +1 if the instructor doenst' know how to use BGP/OSFP/EIGRP to solve real problems the class is pretty much worthless. I sat in on a BGP for service providers class a few years ago and the instructor never worked as a cisco engineer in his career
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  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I really wish there was one conveniently located in my area icon_sad.gif
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • 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'm starting my SWITCH class tomorrow. I bought the books this evening. I doubt I'll take the test right after the class because I'll still want to read the CiscoPress book series I bought but I'm excited to start diving in
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • dorkydorky Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I will go to PCC website to find out if they have these CCNP classes in Spring semester. PCC is not too far from my location neither . Hope you will write review about your classes @Iris.
  • goldenlightgoldenlight Member Posts: 378
    Going on the experience of CCNA

    Once you are in the netAcademy, you are a member for life. The cool thing is when your ready to re certifiy the Net Academy is refreshed. Not sure how long it takes them to refresh the content. The interactive Packet Tracer labs help you understand the concepts throughout the course.
    The Only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it keep looking. Don't settle - Steve Jobs
  • 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've been in the CCNP Switch class for a few weeks now so an update/review is in order.

    I started the class in the beginning of January at Pasadena City College and I have to say I like it so far. As an above poster stated, the instruction mostly uses lectures and powerpoints to teach the core concepts of the CCNP Switch exam. The lectures have been fairly interesting so far but it's the tip of the ice compared to the book content. The CiscoPress CCNP Switch class uses a slightly different book than the normal CiscoPress CCNP series. The book is broken down into 7 chapters which correspond with the powerpoints and material being taught that week. The school also provides a virtual lab to complete assignments every week that usually involve various scenarios and variations of L3 and L2 switches. Those have been pretty helpful for hands-on that I didn't already receive at work. I don't know if every class has this option but our class has a lot of hardware laying around that can be used for labbing on or off class hours so that's a nice advantage to having to self-study and buy equipment on your own if you don't want to. Here's the cover of the book for the class:


    The book has been a pretty easy read and it goes at a nice pace. It definitely reminds me of why I love networking so much :) The class is 7 weeks long and involves an hands-on final at the end of it. I've been reading the regular CiscoPress CCNP Switch book along with the class and it's pretty useful reinforcement. I'd say that both books are excellently written but the regular CiscoPress book has a tad more information in it. Here's the cover for that book:



    One of the things I was worried about when I went into this class was the idea that I should be reviewing the CCNA material before I even started embarking on my CCNP journey. I didn't have extensive networking experience before the last year and took my CCNA back in 2011 so I was a little worried that I should be reviewing. I even went as far as buying the Todd Lammle book but after working on this for a few weeks now and working in the field for the last 8 months, I would say it's definitely not necessary. The CCNP Switch has reviewed much of the CCNA-level material and goes into deeper detail. I think if you remember at least 40% of the CCNA material, you'll remember the rest by the time you're done with the CCNP because it goes into great detail and reviews so much of it.

    As far as my job is concerned, this has definitely given me a leg up. I don't think it's wise for your retention and because of skill fade to embark on the CCNP before you're actually working with the material. If I was working on this before I ever touched a 6500 series switch, I don't think I'd ask many of the questions I have been asking at work or remember it all past the exam date. But since I've been working in the field, I can compare the configs I did 5 months ago to the ones I'm rolling out these days, I collapsed our core switches yesterday, configured SVIs on all of them, configured HRSP, and *knew* what I was doing because I just learned about it a week ago. I'm asking the infrastruture architect why we're doing things a certain way based on Cisco best practices and finding alternate scenarios that don't just fit in the the bubble of "best practices" because of other factors. It's pretty exciting for a network geek like myself :)

    To sum this up: This class was definitely worth the money I put into it but one should never rely on just the class alone. It's a combination of self-study, labbing, lectures and practical work experience that will give you the foundational knowledge to make you a true networking professional - not the credentials you get from taking a test. If you set out to get a certification, do it because you want to learn the material and because the knowledge will directly help your career path.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yeah, I've definitely noticed the "Reviewing" of CCNA within the ROUTE books. That's not really a problem, I think. I find it's a good example of how that what you've learned in CCNA is still very much relevant in the CCNP. It's a good to see that the lessons aren't just watered down, and the theory is still the same. It's still hill climb, but it's not like I've read and learned CCNA, jumped off the cliff and had to start on a 90 degree slope all over.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, CISSP, CASP, SEC+, Pentest+, CYSA+, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CISM, VCP 6.7 San DiegoRegistered Users, Member Posts: 861 ■■■■■□□□□□
    The Cisco Network Academy portfolio of classes (IT Essentials/A+, CCNA Expo/Disco, CCNA Security and CCNP R&S) all use different texts than the standard certification kits. The books are a great one stop shop to teach the learner everything in a sort of microcosm, so they don't have to as in say CCIE go read other books on a topic. The FLG are excellent. I'd recommend them for anyone's library.

    And CCNP V5 didnt use FLG since there was shock wave/Flash based curriculum with activities and tests. Unlike V4, they went away from text books with a fully developed curriculum.

    With V6, they wanted to cut down on costs since the demographics and class attendance for CCNP were low, so the middle road was to develop the lab book and FLG. Again, everyone's mileage will vary due to the instructor and the learners motivation.

    My only advice is to invest in Boson and review the cert kit. Also, the Command Guides are decent.

    And for god's sake don't use Packet Tracer. Use GNS3 or a lab. I'll say Packet Tracer 6 is an improvement but it still has a lot of unsupported commands and it will never behave like real equipment like GNS3 or the other "program."
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