Online Self Study - No sims/kit and lots of £££

So I managed to convince work to put me through ICND1 + 2, there were a few providers out there offering online courses. I opted for one without doing too much research, mainly because there wasn't that much info out there about online self study courses when it came to Cisco stuff!

It did cost a fair whack of money but because they could easily draw up a PO and push it through I had a much easier time of approval than purchasing each bit one by one (books off Amazon, sims or kit and expensive practice tests)

Now I've discovered that the online course at £700 doesn't contain any simulators or anything! I mean...what! All that money for basically a bunch of videos?! As far as I can see it is all question based, well the 'lab' section is, and I thought it was common knowledge you couldn't pass any sort of CISCO cert without either hands on or sim experience!

Anyway I bought Odom's library because the new coursework isn't out until October with this company, and I'm in a bit of a panic at the moment. They offer a 'guaranteed pass' but how can they if they don't offer this? What, just throw a load of command references at you and hope you remember it?

I think I'm going to go out and buy at least ONE router to practice basics on, or maybe even the Sims that Wendell recommends on the CISCO Press site. Just really frustrated they had to spend all this money, wish I'd have just went down the 1 book + kit/sims route. Blah!

/rantover

p.s the quality of the videos is really good though, Tom Carpenter really does know what he is talking about. Maybe using them as a (very expensive!) compliment to the book will see me through.

Comments

  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    Let me ask, why do you want a course for your CCNA? We can help you out all you need for that. Packet Tracer is brilliant for the CCNA level and you can design and lab to your hearts content.

    Do NOT buy any equipment. Don't waste your money...save equipment purchases for CCNP and CCIE and even then there are ways around it.
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • Magic JohnsonMagic Johnson Member Posts: 414
    To be my company's network go-to guy, currently we use a hopeless 3rd party. I love it too which is why it is pretty painless studying for it. Very interesting. I can't get packet tracer because I'm not part of the CISCO learning academy?

    I can't exactly go to work and ask for MORE money they'll simply reply with 'well we just spent on this course now you want more?!' I'm just so annoyed they offered it as a pass guarantee and bigged up and there aren't even any sims!
  • kanecainkanecain Member Posts: 186
    I agree. A course may help some, but CCNA is extremely doable with just Packet Tracer or GNS3, and lots of book study.
    WGU - Bachelors of Science - Information Security
    Start Date: Jan. 1st, 2012
    Courses:
    Done!!!
  • SerpenteSerpente Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I bought lab equipment, but I only use it sometimes. Most of the time I use GNS3 to simulate networks because it's convenient. I use my lab when I need to do stuff with switches which GNS3 doesn't really do switches. Honestly though, while lab/sim experience is great for the real world and will help you to really understand how to use and Navigate cisco software, it's not impossible to pass without it. I wouldn't recommend it if you seriously want to learn the IOS properly, but I sometimes just open up a text editor and practice my configuration in there. It's not going to help with troubleshooting, but it can help you to learn the commands and configuration order.

    I haven't used packet tracer, but I can vouch for GNS3. It's great; just like using real hardware, and best of all it's free - you just need to get yourself an ISO.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You'd be better off buying some routers/switches, safari books subscription and using the free training videos at INE.com. Way cheaper than $700 and useable past your CCNA studies.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,775 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I just started using packet tracer 6 and I like the way it shows you some of the info.
    I have also downloaded and installed GNS3. Once you get an IOS image working it seems great. (you have to be creative and find this for yourself)
    It took me two days to figure out how to get my first router setup in GNS3 but after that you should be good to go.

    Good luck with your studies. There are cheap and expensive ways to do everything. I usually split the difference and try to learn from at least two sources. I'm just starting off in networking but my goal is CCNA in the spring.

    Jon
  • Magic JohnsonMagic Johnson Member Posts: 414
    I got my ios image and GNS3, just creating some labs now! And packet tracer, good for switching but not so great for routing?

    So anyway my 100-101 and 200-101 coursework has been put back AGAIN now to December! I have asked my boss if he can have a rant and see if we can get the money back, hopefully if we do I can invest in the Boson netsim and practice exams.

    Furious with myself I didn't investigate this before choosing them. A lesson to be learnt here folks!
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    That depends on what you mean by great for routing, but I'd be surprised if it doesn't support the very limited range of features that you need for the CCNA.
  • PCSPrestonPCSPreston Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 127
    lab lab lab. Get the equipment and then use packet tracer. GO GO! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Magic JohnsonMagic Johnson Member Posts: 414
    I got my refund because of the delay. :)

    Question is: Boson netsim + practice exams or Cisco press? Can't go with real kit as work paying for it.
  • jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 911 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Packet tracer and some books will be all you need. No need to take a class or rent equipment unless you have 0 experience and am intimidated by the materials.

    I paid about $80 for my 3 books and Packet Tracer is available from Cisco.

    The exam cost me $295 which I got refunded from my employer for passing. The VA is also refunding me the $295 so I actually made about $215 from taking the CCNA exam lol!
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
  • JoseJimenezJoseJimenez Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Serpente wrote: »
    I bought lab equipment, but I only use it sometimes. Most of the time I use GNS3 to simulate networks because it's convenient. I use my lab when I need to do stuff with switches which GNS3 doesn't really do switches. Honestly though, while lab/sim experience is great for the real world and will help you to really understand how to use and Navigate cisco software, it's not impossible to pass without it. I wouldn't recommend it if you seriously want to learn the IOS properly, but I sometimes just open up a text editor and practice my configuration in there. It's not going to help with troubleshooting, but it can help you to learn the commands and configuration order.

    I haven't used packet tracer, but I can vouch for GNS3. It's great; just like using real hardware, and best of all it's free - you just need to get yourself an ISO.

    I also went the middle road :).
    Bought couple of 2950s from eBay and Sun HappyMeal Quad FastEthernet card ... I'm emulating the routers and connecting them with real switches.
    I don't even use GNS3, just Dynamips + Dynagen CLI and VPCS with tap interfaces for PC emulation.
  • Magic JohnsonMagic Johnson Member Posts: 414
    jvrlopez wrote: »
    Packet tracer and some books will be all you need. No need to take a class or rent equipment unless you have 0 experience and am intimidated by the materials.

    I paid about $80 for my 3 books and Packet Tracer is available from Cisco.

    The exam cost me $295 which I got refunded from my employer for passing. The VA is also refunding me the $295 so I actually made about $215 from taking the CCNA exam lol!

    This is the problem, I'm afraid! This is my first ever exam since about 6 years ago in college which pales in comparison. I don't want to skimp and take my chances I really want to do it properly and cover all my bases.
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    This is the problem, I'm afraid! This is my first ever exam since about 6 years ago in college which pales in comparison. I don't want to skimp and take my chances I really want to do it properly and cover all my bases.

    Again, Official Cert Guides + PacketTracer = ALL YOU NEED
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • TBickleTBickle Member Posts: 110
    Official Cert Guides, CBT Nuggets, and Packet Tracer/Boson Simulator is all you need. SRSLY

    HOWEVER,

    If you have never touched actual equipment, I would actually encourage you to just drop 400 dollars and buy a CCNA cert kit. Think about it? This is your NOW career and possibly future career. What's 400 dollars for a skillset that's going to potentially last you throughout your working career? It's nothing.
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Sometimes having the equipment makes it "click". If you can land a few routers and switches you can practice most topics up through CCNA.
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Unless your company is paying for it, then go for CBT nuggets, but 99$ a month for an individual is quite hmmm expensive. Try Udemy, Chris Bryants videos are really good and affordable compared to cbt nuggets
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • Params7Params7 Member Posts: 254
    One of my co-workers was considering going to an institute to get the CCNA, payment around 5-6k per semester. I shook my head. I was able to achieve icnd1 after a month of reading. my labbing was just in the free trial sim i got with Odom's book LOL but im considering purchasing a full featured sim for icnd2.
  • Magic JohnsonMagic Johnson Member Posts: 414
    Again, Official Cert Guides + PacketTracer = ALL YOU NEED

    Yep, I have both! I did get the Boson netsim paid for me though, so I'm going to use that for some lab ideas and incorporate that in to my packet tracer stuff.
    TBickle wrote: »
    Official Cert Guides, CBT Nuggets, and Packet Tracer/Boson Simulator is all you need. SRSLY

    HOWEVER,

    If you have never touched actual equipment, I would actually encourage you to just drop 400 dollars and buy a CCNA cert kit. Think about it? This is your NOW career and possibly future career. What's 400 dollars for a skillset that's going to potentially last you throughout your working career? It's nothing.

    See I can't mate, I have other financial commitments there's no way I can justify forking out of my own pocket for any equipment (at this time) but down the line I'd love to create my own lab, not even for certification purposes but for fun really.

    Thanks guys. :)
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