Struggling with N+

JumboManJumboMan Junior MemberMember Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
For some reason I can't get into it, I completed my A+ in October and enjoyed it overall as I've tinkered with PC hardware since being a boy.

N+ though, I've been taking notes off Professor Messer, I've only completed Section 1 - Network Concepts, but struggling. Maybe it's because networking is new to me and I don't have any real world practical knowledge of it, apart from the usual home network/router setup and configuring. The majority of what I've studied so far isn't familiar to me, and there is a huge amount of
acronyms, which you have to know.

I think I'd much prefer to have some network experience in a job before taking this any further. What I'm most interested in is the physical cable laying and setting up, configuring and troubleshooting networks and devices.

I was toying between N+ or a Microsoft OS cert to help get a job, I have more experience with OS so maybe I should go down that route...?


  • FloOzFloOz Network Consultant Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Studying something new is bound to be overwhelming to anyone. I had those same feelings with the N+. I am gonna be honest, I found the N+ harder then the CCENT. I felt that the N+ had a ton more information to learn, which is a good thing because it builds your foundation on networking concepts. You just gotta push through it. It gets much more "fun" when you begin studying cisco and actually get to configure stuff hands on.
  • DarrilDarril Registered Member Member Posts: 1,588
    I can't pinpoint the issue for you, but great that you realize there is something going on.

    However, if you're finding Network+ difficult, you'll might find some of the Microsoft certs more difficult. The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Networking (Microsoft Windows Networking Essentials) is a good introductory Microsoft cert on networking but it is more focused on building a foundation of knowledge rather being an OS cert.

    It's also possible that because so much of it is new to you, you might just need to change your focus for a while If you plan on doing the Security+ in the future, you might like to pursue that. In some ways, you'll find that it is easier than the Network+ exam and your studies with Network+ might have helped you lay a foundation for the Security+.

    Hope this helps.
  • JumboManJumboMan Junior Member Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think the reason I'm struggling to take it in, well the networks concept part as that's all I've done, is because I've had very little practical exposure to it. There appears to be very little practical or hardware elements to it, but maybe this will come later on, all I've covered so far is lots of protocols and new terms to remember, but these things don't physically exist. I'm not really sure if networks are my thing, I enjoy working most at hardware and OS level.

    Having said that if I could land a role where I can learn on the job, I know I'd take it in far better, I'm not a fan of learning out of books solely, real world practical experience is where I work best.
  • CiscodianCiscodian Junior Member Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Practical experience is no good without theory as Chris Bryant (CCIE) always says. I've know loads of blokes who could build PCs, setup networks but they didn't understand the theory and as a result they had limited skills and could not understand those deeper implications. For example had a guy in my last job (15 years as a field tech..lot more than me) who made a pigs ear to configure ospf as he had non contigious areas. He couldn't understand why routes were not being learnt. I had to tell him about virtual links and show him how to configure it.That issue was caused because of a lack of understanding about how ospf works basically. I'm not saying you're like this. No no no. Just demonstrating how important theory can be in the long term even for those that been doing it for donkeys.
    I'd suggest watching train signals network+ series. I used this solely but a few people i know who are virgin new to networking also used it and passed. He keeps it simple but does explain stuff in a enjoyable way.
  • JumboManJumboMan Junior Member Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□

    I agree theory is important, I just find it easier to learn and remember theory if I'm actively using it day to day in a work environment, makes it easier for me to understand and relate concepts to the real world. I'm confident I could pass Network+ but I fear I may forget it quickly if I'm not using that knowledge in a practical industry environment, plus I'm not convinced I have enough interest in this area of IT yet. Maybe I should begin studying the next section which concentrates on Installation and configuration. I'm sure I'll enjoy this section more, but I wanted to get the Network Concepts part nailed first as it's probably going to be important throughout the whole course.

    Thanks for your posts everyone.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    JumboMan wrote: »

    I think I'd much prefer to have some network experience in a job before taking this any further. What I'm most interested in is the physical cable laying and setting up, configuring and troubleshooting networks and devices.

    I was toying between N+ or a Microsoft OS cert to help get a job, I have more experience with OS so maybe I should go down that route...?

    I think you are wise for seeking out more experience before moving forward. There are MS exams available that likely match your skillset better and until you can get some hands-on you may prefer this route.

    Any of the desktop exams from MS would be a good start. Likewise, if you have some server experience, you could take one or two of these. Plus the office exams are available (need to confirm that they did not retire these???) but if you stick with exams that highlight things you know, you'll find you'll need more review rather than full-on-study and many exams are geared toward candidates WITH experience (though, reading a number of responses, it seems there are plenty of people who put the exam before their experience and it shows int he work place).

    You can set up a lab for some practice, but then branch out and volunteer with smaller networks or look for some job shadow opportunities...they are out there, but you may need to be creative.
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • glenn_33glenn_33 Senior Member Saint Petersburg, FLMember Posts: 113 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I can definitely see how the N+ is a little tougher to get into. When I was studying for it I had a few months experience doing basic help desk work. It does cover a lot and I guess that's because it's vendor neutral. Just take your time with it. I'm a very slow learner myself so It took me about 4-5 months before I was comfortable with the material. I ended up passing on my first try though. If I can do it, anyone can do it!
  • Kopite_21Kopite_21 Senior Member Member Posts: 194 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Never give up. Keep trying you'll get there in the end!
  • snunez889snunez889 Senior Member Member Posts: 238 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Keep reading. Don't just focus on one section, read thur the entire book. then use other resources to go over some of the other stuff you didn't get
  • bardsleybbardsleyb Junior Member Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I agree it can be difficult, as I am finding in my CCNA studies, but I found that tinkering with networking components really helps. I love this stuff though, so if you just cannot get into it because it's just not your cup of tea, then there isn't much that can be done about it I guess. I am buying my and building my own home lab from scratch when i get back into the states and I cannot wait! I wish you all the best in your studies and good luck buddy!
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