Is CCNP my next logical next step?

Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey all,

I've been lurking on here for a long time and this is my first post. I know people asked similar questions every which way but I think its time for me to give my version of the question ;). Let me give my background I currently have my ccna and I'm the only cisco technician/engineer (depending on the time of day I can be referred to either) that works at my place. If the ccna was a contract to get you to do all thats covered in the exam I'd say I fulfilled my obligations in creating a pretty nifty branch topology. In my work environment I created my own opportunities made suggestions to change the network to a cisco core, cisco voip through sip trunks, cisco firewall, vpn's using any connect and I've implemented each and technology in my office. My topology is 1 asa, 1 isr g1 running cme running cue, layer 3 catalyst switch, 2 layer 2 switches, cisco Access point.

While implementing all of that was the highlight at my job there is nothing else left to do thats exciting. My network runs itself I look at the ASA logs to see if anything interesting is going on but get excited when we get new hires to add there ephone profiles. I don't do any phone tech support since thats not what we do and when we do have a problem they just come out and tell me. My actual job is testing network equipment and I'm the highest on the totem pole on the tech side which isn't that high since its only ten people working here.

My question is the CCNP my next logical step. I quickly outgrew my position here and want to start looking for junior network engineer positions. It will be 2 years in January. I looked at plenty of junior network engineer jobs and they require knowledge of bgp and mpls which I have no clue. That is why I want to start my ccnp studies which also includes the old ine ccip mpls series to hone my skills. Many people on here say they'll question someone having a ccnp and no experience. I do understand that but while I may not have the experience supporting different sites will my experience be enough for a junior network engineer position? If my resume listed what I mentioned up top would you network heavy hitters give my resume a second look?

Sorry for the long post but thank you for giving the time to read it. :)

Comments

  • tjh87tjh87 Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would definitely say the CCNP is the next logical step. Also, if you have maxed out your potential at your current position, definitely start looking elsewhere. You'll begin to lose those skills if you aren't actively using them. I think your experience probably lines up fairly well with a Jr. Engineer/Admin. While the network you built/support is fairly small, it definitely gave you experience and shows a foundation. Start looking for a vertical move in positions while studying for your CCNP. 2 years experience with those technologies, coupled with a CCNA should allow you to move up some. Studying for your CCNP will also help your progression.
    2013 Goals: /COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000]x[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd CCNP, [ ] CCDA, [ ] VCA-DCV
    2014 Goals: [ ] CCDP, [ ] CCNA Security
    , [ ] CCNP Security
    2015 Goals: [ ] Finish BS in CIS,
    [ ] CCIE R&S Written
    2016 Goals:
    [ ] CCIE R&S
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'd say it would be a good progression, but as you seem to realize getting some more experience is going to be what makes that CCNP useful. My advice would be to start studying towards the NP exams and start looking for a new job at the same time. You have a couple years of solid low level experience and I wouldn't think you'd have much problem moving into a mid level role.

    As far as MPLS, I wouldn't worry about diving too deep there right now unless you are trying to work for a service provider.

    Good luck!
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @networker so how deep in mpls would you recommend? What concepts are a general need to know for a junior guy? I don't have any specific environment in mind I'll work anywhere that takes me. It's all the same to me wouldn't mind to go in either direction if its service provider, voice, security, or r&s. Just looking for some place to keep me challenged I'll learn whatever I need to get the job done.
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @tj In response what you said in another thread about upgrading IOS's not sure if it makes a difference but I also create cisco hardware bundles SEC/K9, VSEC, HSEC and of all that of that good stuff and that entails upgrading ios's and installing any associated cards.
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Bump^ My original 2 posts took a day to be approved by the admin so not sure if this thread was updated as unread with my 2 new posts
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    For MPLS just get a basic understanding for the enterprise. You will likely never touch anything MPLS enabled there. When most of these enterprise jobs state MPLS they usually mean you use an MPLS service from a provider as your VPN connectivity. This will all be controlled by the provider so you don't need ot get into the nitty gritty.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    For MPLS just get a basic understanding for the enterprise. You will likely never touch anything MPLS enabled there. When most of these enterprise jobs state MPLS they usually mean you use an MPLS service from a provider as your VPN connectivity. This will all be controlled by the provider so you don't need ot get into the nitty gritty.


    I can vouch for that, you just need to be able to understand the terminology that you'll get thrown at you. Generally I've always been given managed routers so you really don't even get to see the config of the "CE" ends. I've been thinking about this, and I am wondering about trying to get into a full blown service provider long term (Luckily there are one or two around where I live..)
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @networker So basically how to establish a mpls connection from the provider?
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    As gorebrush said, learn the terminology, know how it works etc. Be able to understand how or where an issue can occur, but you don't need to learn RSVP-TE or anything like that. Nothing special to learn about establishing a connection to the provider. Whether you have MPLS or not it will be mostly the same from your side. You might use an IGP or BGP to exchange routes but that's about it.

    I thought the old ISCW material gave a good primer on MPLS. You can probably find the old book for that exam relatively cheap these days.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Great thanks for the insight networker
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    One more thing to add. I know you both mentioned applying while working through the ccnp. Theres no guarantee I would immediately find employment due to availability and so forth, it may be a lengthy process. Lets say hypothetically I still haven't found work and just finished my ccnp. Would it be viewed negatively if I listed it on my resume. If it is will it better to keep it off the resume and mention it in the interview.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    No I don't think so. You are working in the field and have your CCNA. The CCNP is a natural progression from there.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • tjh87tjh87 Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Definitely put it on your resume if you get it. It certainly won't hurt you. If anything comes up in an interview about why your experience doesn't necessarily line up with the CCNP, just explain that you were looking for a position to use those skills. Use it as a motivational factor for progressing your career. The only time people tend to question the validity of a pro level cert like that is when the candidate has zero experience. You won't have that problem. I'm sure you will also learn things in your studies that could help improve your current network. If you have some play room with the changes you can make, you could always optimize the network while you are still employed there. If nothing else, it will give you practice in a production environment and it is something else you put on the resume.
    2013 Goals: /COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000]x[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd CCNP, [ ] CCDA, [ ] VCA-DCV
    2014 Goals: [ ] CCDP, [ ] CCNA Security
    , [ ] CCNP Security
    2015 Goals: [ ] Finish BS in CIS,
    [ ] CCIE R&S Written
    2016 Goals:
    [ ] CCIE R&S
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    You guys are awesome for addressing my concerns. What would you recommend is the best material to study with as far as CBT's and books. Through a colleague of mine I'm borrowing his INE, Cbtnuggets, Trainsignal ccnp videos not sure which is the best series to dedicate my time too. I have the FLG and lab book for route.
  • tjh87tjh87 Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The CBT Nuggets for CCNP are awesome in my opinion. I can't speak to any of the other video vendors. I used Nuggets as my primary source of learning. The labs that Jeremy conducts with GNS3 in the ROUTE videos are more than enough to prepare you for that exam. I also skimmed the OCG. My job for the past 4 years has dealt directly with CCNP level switching and routing, so I probably didn't spend as much time studying or reading as most.
    2013 Goals: /COLOR][COLOR=#ff0000]x[/COLOR][COLOR=#0000cd CCNP, [ ] CCDA, [ ] VCA-DCV
    2014 Goals: [ ] CCDP, [ ] CCNA Security
    , [ ] CCNP Security
    2015 Goals: [ ] Finish BS in CIS,
    [ ] CCIE R&S Written
    2016 Goals:
    [ ] CCIE R&S
  • Route->ThisRoute->This Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I do agree with how learning the ccnp material will help fine tune my network. I was looking into the ccnp switch material some time ago and read up on layer 3 switching. Sure enough I upgraded the ios on my switch, configured intervlan routing, and removed router on a stick except for the voice network of course.
  • nevermorenevermore Member Posts: 39 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree that Jeremy from CBT Nuggets does a great job teaching the material and the labs he does are very insightful as well. icon_thumright.gif
    Obtained:
    • CISSP/ISSAP/ISSMP, CISM, GISP, CEH
    • M.S. Information Security and Assurance Norwich University
    • B.S. Cybersecurity UMUC
    In Queue: PMP, CCSP, CRISC



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