I really want to be a CCNP but....

mitch179mitch179 Member Posts: 50 ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm not sure if this is the right place to be posting this but I'm in a bit of a bind.

I currently work as a sys admin for a fairly large government entity and I work with servers day in day out, that's what I'm employed to do, I don't get to touch the networking side at all which gets a little annoying as networking is my true passion in IT (feels weird to say that). I really want to break back into networking, I enjoy what I do and I'm lucky to have such a good job but I really miss scrolling through configs and bashing my head against the keyboard when I can't figure out why I can't get packets from A to B :P

My issue is this, am I wasting my time trying to get my CCNP? The driver behind it for me is the hope that if I'm seen to be working toward this goal (and hopefully achieving it) that the networking team will possibly take me on at some point. I also just want to conquer the CCNP as I love a challenge and like I said I miss playing with Cisco gear.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated :)


  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    mitch179 wrote: »
    My issue is this, am I wasting my time trying to get my CCNP? The driver behind it for me is the hope that if I'm seen to be working toward this goal (and hopefully achieving it) that the networking team will possibly take me on at some point.
    Yes, as with most who aren't already in networking, a CCNP would largely be wasted effort.

    First, you already have your CCNA, which is sufficient for someone looking to fill an entry-level networking position or an admin role with light networking duties. Experience is what you most need now to improve your abilities.

    Second, a CCNP without the experience to back it up isn't going to do much to convince teams looking for intermediate or expert engineers to hire you. If your networking team isn't willing to give you opportunities now even when you volunteer to work extra hours unpaid, have you considered hybrid sys/network admin positions at smaller companies?
  • mitch179mitch179 Member Posts: 50 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your reply, I've had a hybrid role / jack of all trades jobs before this one which provided me a good mix of networking and server technologies. I really wanted to break out of that small company stuff and get a specialised role in a large enterprise which I've done but I just find I want to work on networking gear and the server stuff just isn't really challenging me enough at the moment. Also long term I want to be a network engineer.

    I think I've only just come to this realisation since I've been silo'd into the one thing icon_sad.gif
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Have you considered CCNA specializations? While they're also entry level, they show you're investing in yourself in that domain, and would make you stand out better vs. a vanilla CCNA. Also, do you have a networking-focused resume out there?

    Just a couple more ideas. Good luck, mate, with however you choose to proceed. :)
  • boobobobobobboobobobobob Member Posts: 118
    Would getting your CCNP get you a pay raise or allow you to transition into a more network related role? Or if you get your CCNP do you plan to move to another company?

    If the answer to any of these are yes, then getting your CCNP would probably be benefitial - expecially if it's more satisfying work for you in the long run.
  • mitch179mitch179 Member Posts: 50 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It would certainly help my chances in transitioning to a networking role where I am now, according to one of the guys I was talking to at work.

    It's definitely where I want to be, I think I'll get cracking on it, thanks for the opinions.
  • boobobobobobboobobobobob Member Posts: 118
    GL! I'm also working on my NP :D
  • amb1s1amb1s1 Member Posts: 408
    Do you know anybody from the Network department? Do you have access to talk with them? In my case I was working as helpdesk and I was able to talk to the engineers. I create a plan to get into networking and the plan was simple get into the network department, start been friend with them and show them my passion to network. Then, I was very close with that department to the point that they gave me just show access to look around(with my manager and everybody approval) after a while I started getting calls for help and within 2 years I was an network engineer in my previews job. So get your networking on and start talking with people within the network department and show them that you are passion about it.
    David G.
    http://gomezd.com <
    My Tshoot test Blog
  • PCHoldmannPCHoldmann Member Posts: 450
    Since you said you were already talking to someone in the network department, you are on the right track. Get in touch with one of the managers there, and see what they would want to see. They may be willing to take you on without the CCNP next time they have an open position, or they may want to see the CCNP, or at least progress towards it.

    In either case, you will have a better idea what is expected, and have opened a door.

    Once you have made that contact, try to keep some communications open.

    Either way, the CCNP is not going to guarantee you anything, but it certainly isn't going to hurt your chances.
    There's no place like ^$
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  • dmcneil330dmcneil330 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Here is my 2 cents. If you want to become CCNP certified...just do it. Even if it doesn't directly help now, you never know what the future will hold. Certifications are a lot like tools in a belt. Nice to have even if you don't need it. Also, there is something to be said of pursuing your passions. If you really enjoy networking then dive in and do it on the side even if you don't get paid for it immediately. Investing in your passions is really good for you psychologically. View just like any other hobby. So I say go for it regardless of the long-term benefits if you enjoy it.
  • NutsyNutsy Member Posts: 136

    I haven't read everyone's comments so if this sounds redundant to someone else's, my apologies. You transitioning yourself into a networking roll is all about how you are going to position, or "sell," yourself. Go ahead and get the CCNP. That will set you apart from a wanna-be. Second, I would sell your self as a datacenter expert. You know VMware, and can call "BS" on the server team since you have plenty of server experience. Also, you could position yourself as someone to help/work/fix your organizations NMS systems. Most network teams run the NMS systems but usually put it on terrible hardware. NMS is usually a major pain point. (Not everywhere but most places.)

    If you are transitioning within a company, survey the landscape and know if you are going to have some superior block it, don't try. You will just burn a bridge in the process. Just leave. Oh yeah, when you are selling yourself to an inside department try to find out what they are having problems with and position yourself as someone who can solve that issue. (Don't promise anything you are not 100% certain you can deliver on.) In essence, try to create a "win-win."

    Brass tax even if you are light on networking experience, have the CCNP, plus all your VMWare/Server experience, I would hire you. A networking team needs your skills. Remember: no one is a perfect candidate. If you are a "perfect" fit you are overqualified.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    dmcneil330 wrote: »
    If you want to become CCNP certified...just do it..... View just like any other hobby. So I say go for it regardless of the long-term benefits if you enjoy it.
    Yeah - icon_thumright.gif - I'm with you.

    I've always wanted to get the CCNP myself. I have no reason to get it but I'm planning to do it anyways just because I think I can get it.

    Sometimes it's not worth over thinking it. icon_wink.gif
  • mitch179mitch179 Member Posts: 50 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone, your replies have got me pumped up and I've started studying route, I think I'll sit the exam in a few months so long as I can get a good study routine going. Hopefully I can at least complete route and switch this year :D
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