Certification Advice Needed

Infoseeka72Infoseeka72 Posts: 16Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all,
First i just wanna say this is a great site, I probably have learned more about the IT field here than i have in school lol. Anywayz i'm currently a college student getting ready to graduate and am having trouble picking a cert path. I have been studying for my A+ and plan on taking it within the next few weeks, hoping to land an entry level help desk job before i graduate or this summer. My problem is where to go after, I have taken networking classes and cant decide between the net+ route or ccent/ccna route. The problem lies in what I know and dont know lol. I looked at the pdf on the site for the ccna and i was suprised at what i recognized, we went over the Osi model layers, wireless standards, switches/routers, physical/logical buses etc. needless to say this confused me more and had me thinking about just going CCNA. What path do you guys recommend for someone who isn't a complete newb at networking aspects??

I know some will say take them all, but as I stated im in college and money isnt exactly running out of my pockets. So basically i guess im asking the most beneficial/cost efficient cert. The only reason im taking the A+ is because I read its basically required for an entry level job.

Thanks in advance for the help guys...

Comments

  • dbrinkdbrink Posts: 180Member
    I would definitely skip the Network+ and do the CCENT/CCNA to get a good baseline on networking if money is an issue.
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  • lordylordy Posts: 632Member
    Skip Network+ and go for CCNA directly. It's a tough one but definitely worth it.
    Working on CCNP: [X] SWITCH --- [ ] ROUTE --- [ ] TSHOOT
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  • danstardanstar Posts: 136Member
    I say CCNA! It's more in-depth about networking than the Net+ or whatever+ they have out there. Seen the modules and it's a more different thing. You can survive the Network+ with no real time routing commands, simulators blah blah but that's not applicable to CCNA.
    Speaking from what I've read online and no, I'm not CCNA certified :D
    Preparing for CCNA Certification :study:
    Up Next: CCNP
    Onto the Next: CCNA Voice
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  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Posts: 1,460Member
    I agree with others in recommending that you skip any CompTIA certifications. To me the CompTIA certifications, unless strictly required for a job, are a waste of time and can really only teach somebody who is completely new to networking/computers.

    I also agree that CCNA is a great place to start. That's where I started, even though I ended up going a different certification route then came back around and picked up the CCNA after I had picked up a few Juniper certs. However, what I learned studying the CCNA really helped my career get started.

    I'd also recommend checking out some Juniper certification, specifically the fast track program (https://learningportal.juniper.net/juniper/user_fasttrack_home.aspx ). Juniper is really good about providing study material for free and paying for your certification (sometimes it's a 50% voucher, and other times they'll have a 100% voucher promotion going on).
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  • Infoseeka72Infoseeka72 Posts: 16Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies guys, so just to be clear I should save the money i would spend taking the A+ and just focus on the CCNA?
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Posts: 1,459Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would take the A+ and the CCNA if you can afford it. If you can only afford one, get the CCNA.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • danstardanstar Posts: 136Member
    Thanks for the replies guys, so just to be clear I should save the money i would spend taking the A+ and just focus on the CCNA?
    Yes, because mostly everything in A+ is covered in CCNA. So save yourself some money
    Preparing for CCNA Certification :study:
    Up Next: CCNP
    Onto the Next: CCNA Voice
    And Umm: CCNP Voice
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Study the Net+ but don't take it. It'll prolly just be a quick review of what you learned in school.
    Then go straight to ccent/ccna.
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  • KeenerKeener Posts: 146Member
    For the most part, I agree with only getting the CCNA cert. However, time permitting, I would study the other material.

    How much time do you have before you graduate? The CCNA would be better for your resume, but the entire body of knowledge would be better for you as a person/tech. As long as you have the time to study it all. Just only take the CCNA exam.
    Pain is only temporary. No matter how bad it gets, it always ends!
  • Infoseeka72Infoseeka72 Posts: 16Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am graduating this summer, it was going to be May, but I decided not to rush with no experience. I understand what you guys are saying about studying the other stuff too since the CCNA is really only for Cisco devices and doesn't cover all the bases for networking in general so ill keep that in mind. How important is a home lab when preparing for the CCNA? Since I wont be taking the A+ i'll have more money to invest towards this.

    Thanks for the juniper link also Aldur, seems very interesting especially the 50-100% vouchers, I hadn't considered anything outside of CompTIA and Cisco up until now.
  • danstardanstar Posts: 136Member
    I am graduating this summer, it was going to be May, but I decided not to rush with no experience. I understand what you guys are saying about studying the other stuff too since the CCNA is really only for Cisco devices and doesn't cover all the bases for networking in general so ill keep that in mind. How important is a home lab when preparing for the CCNA? Since I wont be taking the A+ i'll have more money to invest towards this.

    Thanks for the juniper link also Aldur, seems very interesting especially the 50-100% vouchers, I hadn't considered anything outside of CompTIA and Cisco up until now.

    Very Important.. as this will help you a lot.. mostly with router basics, command configs and all. I know some people read and cram but what good would it do to pass the exam and have the cert and not be able to work on a router in real time? And thank God, we have Packet Tracer and GNS3. That alone is enough for whatever lab practice you want for your CCNA level.. so you might wanna download those and check it out. It's just like accessing a router physically.
    Preparing for CCNA Certification :study:
    Up Next: CCNP
    Onto the Next: CCNA Voice
    And Umm: CCNP Voice
  • W StewartW Stewart Posts: 794Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    danstar wrote: »
    Yes, because mostly everything in A+ is covered in CCNA. So save yourself some money


    What? The CCNA doesn't mention anything about RAID or SCSI or Floppy drives or processor sockets or computer hardware in general. Or task manager or anything windows related. Are you sure you're not talking about Network+?
    Being a sys admin sucks but I love it
  • W StewartW Stewart Posts: 794Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies guys, so just to be clear I should save the money i would spend taking the A+ and just focus on the CCNA?


    It all depends on what kinds of opportunities are available or will become available in your area. If you already have a decent amount of knowledge in relation to computer hardware and operating systems then you don't necessarily need to pay for the A+ exam unless it seems like a lot of entry level jobs in your area are requiring it. The best thing you can do to get a job in IT outside of learning as much as you possibly can about technology is learning as much as you possibly can about the market in your area. If you see a fairly decent amount of entry level networking jobs in your area then you may not want to bother with the A+ but the first thing you have to do is get your foot in the door.
    Being a sys admin sucks but I love it
  • XyroXyro Posts: 623Member
    ...Since I wont be taking the A+...

    I wouldn't so easily dismiss the A+. You've been studying for it, you planned to take it, & it's a great entry-level cert required in many entry-level and/or help desk jobs (at least in my area).

    The track I would recommend for you is:
    A+
    CCENT
    CCNA

    Once you get the A+ it will open up the help desk jobs for you. The $ to then pursue the CCENT & CCNA should then no longer be a problem.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    CCNA opens up doors all the time.

    There have been many threads on this forum that reinforce that. Once a person get's the NA opportunities suddly begin to appear.
  • Infoseeka72Infoseeka72 Posts: 16Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good points on both sides. I've seen the A+ required for some helpdesk jobs and the CCNA for sys admin type roles which is where I would like to be, but they also ask for experience outside of the occasional entry level postings. My thinking though is that I should be able to get the same entry level jobs that require an A+ with a CCNA right??......
  • danstardanstar Posts: 136Member
    Good points on both sides. I've seen the A+ required for some helpdesk jobs and the CCNA for sys admin type roles which is where I would like to be, but they also ask for experience outside of the occasional entry level postings. My thinking though is that I should be able to get the same entry level jobs that require an A+ with a CCNA right??......
    Right! And don't worry, you'll get some entry level job that will get you experience in the near future. Just do whatever you're lucky to get this time around, and also make sure the pay is worth it.
    Preparing for CCNA Certification :study:
    Up Next: CCNP
    Onto the Next: CCNA Voice
    And Umm: CCNP Voice
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