Should I wait for CCNP?

MonkerzMonkerz Member Posts: 842
I just got my CCNA and I am wanting to start up CCNP, but it has been suggested by my boss that I wait a year or so.

I can see where he is coming from, CCNP is just a piece of paper if I do not have the experience to back it up.

Long story short, I was an on-site support technician (basically help desk) for three years. Four months ago, a network engineer position came available within my company, which I applied for and landed the job. So I have 4 months experience in networking.

Do you think I should wait? The objectives I've see for CCNP:Route seem like they'd help me a lot when it comes to our enterprise network.

Maybe I should casually study for it and wait till I have some experience before taking the exams.

What do you think?

Comments

  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    Monkerz wrote: »
    I just got my CCNA and I am wanting to start up CCNP, but it has been suggested by my boss that I wait a year or so.

    I can see where he is coming from, CCNP is just a piece of paper if I do not have the experience to back it up.

    Long story short, I was an on-site support technician (basically help desk) for three years. Four months ago, a network engineer position came available within my company, which I applied for and landed the job. So I have 4 months experience in networking.

    Do you think I should wait? The objectives I've see for CCNP:Route seem like they'd help me a lot when it comes to our enterprise network.

    Maybe I should casually study for it and wait till I have some experience before taking the exams.

    What do you think?


    Go for it you may have kids or other things that may make it hard. Get that piece of paper. If you need to brush up before a new job comes along nothing is stopping you from opening up a book. Get it while u have the motivation. You see my CCIE counter seems to be stuck at 10. Things come outta nowhere sometimes to slow you down.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • creamy_stewcreamy_stew Member Posts: 406 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Monkerz wrote: »
    I just got my CCNA and I am wanting to start up CCNP, but it has been suggested by my boss that I wait a year or so.

    I can see where he is coming from, CCNP is just a piece of paper if I do not have the experience to back it up.

    Long story short, I was an on-site support technician (basically help desk) for three years. Four months ago, a network engineer position came available within my company, which I applied for and landed the job. So I have 4 months experience in networking.

    Do you think I should wait? The objectives I've see for CCNP:Route seem like they'd help me a lot when it comes to our enterprise network.

    Maybe I should casually study for it and wait till I have some experience before taking the exams.

    What do you think?

    I say you still study ROUTE an hour a day. If you want to study more on your own time, read up on stuff you've encountered in your own network.

    You have a job and an opportunity to grow. Use it!
    Itchy... Tasty!
    [X] DCICN
    [X] IINS

    [ ] CCDA
    [ ] DCICT
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    If it takes you a year to earn your CCNP, and you start now, you'll have 1 year and 4 month of experience when you get it.

    If you prefer to listen to your boss, get Doyle's Routing TCP/IP volumes and start working through those. If your boss asks, point to the CCIE on the book and tell him there aren't any prerequisites to go for the CCIE (other than passing the CCIE Written exam to be able to schedule the CCIE Lab exam). :D

    But seriously, Doyle is a "Good Read" if you're going to make networking a career -- so you may as well start now. And a lot of what you learn (treat it like a warm up for your CCNP studies if you want) will be useful for the CCNP.

    There really should be an updated Cisco LAN Switching book (Clark, Hamilton from 1999 I think) -- or better newer book. But the Cisco Docs are also good to peruse for work and Cisco Professional studies -- and the Cisco Switch Configuration Documentation is pretty good for the specific switches.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    go for it... if you were just doing help desk I would say wait on it, but since you are in networking now, it can only help right?
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
  • BroadcastStormBroadcastStorm Member Posts: 496
    Hey just says a year cause some of the stuff won't materialize until you have hands on experience on production environment, I would still go for it, but get real labs, later on you will realize oh that's what it's for icon_twisted.gificon_study.gif

    Don't you have to start Switch first how many locations do you have? get the one that will help your job the most.
  • UndyUndy Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Why wait? I found the BSCI to be fun because I labbed (if that is a word) the living crud out of it. I went into it not knowing a thing about BGP. I did tons of labs to really see what was happening. And it all worked out when a project came up with multihoming.

    I guess what I am saying is don't let anyone tell you to wait on learning something new. You will find that what you learn is only going to help you when you really need it. Let's be real, anyone can look up how to configure something, but understanding the concepts of what you are trying to accomplish is the key.

    Good luck!
  • ibcritnibcritn Member Posts: 340
    I think you should do it. I never understood why people think you should limit your knowledge.
    CISSP | GCIH | CEH | CNDA | LPT | ECSA | CCENT | MCTS | A+ | Net+ | Sec+

    Next Up: Linux+/RHCSA, GCIA
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Member Posts: 1,501 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You definitely have the network knowledge and you have experience to back it up. Go for it!

  • cisco_certscisco_certs Member Posts: 119
    do it! Dont let anybody tell you shouldnt do what you want. IMO the point of learning CCNP or any certification is to learn theory then apply it. Its funny how people like your boss wants you to have experience first. I think his jealous that you will surpass him.

    Put it this way.... all engineers, doctors, etc goes to school to learn theory and do small labs that doesn't even compare to real world then they go to the field when they graduate.
  • MonkerzMonkerz Member Posts: 842
    Thank you for all your replies! I have already purchased the Nuggets for 642-902 as well as the official cert text from Cisco Press. I really enjoy expanding my knowledge of networking. Especially in areas I feel I am weak.

    What's funny is, driving to the test center to take my CCNA exam. I thought to myself, "man, I wish I had studied a bit more OSPF, EIGRP and IPv6 material." Wish was granted when I cracked my ROUTE text. I think I will really enjoy this exam.

    I plan on studying for CCNP very thoroughly. Christmas traveling is rough on me and my fiancé so, I will resume studies Jan 2nd. Thanks guys, for the words of encouragement!
  • VAHokie56VAHokie56 Member Posts: 783
    I am in almost your exact situation man and I think we both got our CCNA's around the same time as well . I have started studying for the CCNP SWITCH. I figured why not? Its what I do all day anyways. Also after I passed the CCNA and got off work I had no idea what to do with myself at home lol I was like man I should be studying! good luck with ROUTE!
    .ιlι..ιlι.
    CISCO
    "A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut without a hole, is a Danish" - Ty Webb
    Reading:NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching: Next-Generation Data Center Architectures
  • MonkerzMonkerz Member Posts: 842
    Thank you! Good luck with SWITCH!
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,205 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Good job on pursuing your goals.

    Never let anyone convince you are not ready to study! LOL this dude is a pure hater trying to tell you not to study. icon_thumright.gif
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2021 Goals
    Courses: eLearnSecurity - PTXv2 (complete), SANS 699: Purple Team Tactics (completed), PentesterLabs Pro (ongoing)
    Certs: eCPTXv2, AZ-500, SC-200 (fail 1st attempt), EnCE, Splunk Core Power User
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    1. Get experience.
    2. Get certified.

    Thats the way I think it should go. If you are getting the experience then go for it.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • kidfrykidfry Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'd certainly buy into the fact that the NP is 'just a peice of paper' if one were to **** the exam. However, if the NP is truly earned through diligent study/hard-working experience etc, it should be viewed as a very respected credential. Hardly just-a-piece-o-paper, IMO.

    If you have the time and resources to pursuit the exam, by all means, go for it. Get all you can, wherever you can, when you can. haha ;)

    GLHF,
  • XtendXtend Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    i think you should go for it, don't think at the CCNP cert as just "one more certificate", or "a piece of paper" but a way to get more knowledge. I rly don't think that ppl do these exams just to have a piece of paper to put in their CV, they do it to learn new stuff, and to be good at their jobsicon_wink.gif
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Monkerz wrote: »
    I just got my CCNA and I am wanting to start up CCNP, but it has been suggested by my boss that I wait a year or so.

    You should always work on the certifications that help you get that first job, do better at your current job, or help you keep your job.

    Has your boss suggested any other certifications or course of study? Or do they just want you to get familiar with your new enterprise network and focus on that?

    People who mix up lab routers (while working on their non-work studies during work downtime) with production routers have suffered TJEE -- traumatic job ending event.

    Then you work on the certification that help you get your next job.

    It is possible your boss sees your wanting to go for the CCNP as you already thinking about your next job -- rather than focusing on the job you've had for 4 months (plus a couple weeks now).

    If you're in a large organization your boss may have other people in the job queue ahead of you -- and your CCNP next year could cause some issues or bad feelings when that CCNA who currently has 9 months of network experience gets the promotion over you (with a CCNP and 5 months less experience) -- or you get considered for the job over that person.

    If you did leave after a year with your CCNP you probably would have enough experience (because of working on an enterprise sized network) to be viable out in the job market, but then that could skew some of your manager's metrics for employee retention -- and set them back a year with either having to bring up some new young talent from the bullpen or look to make a deal for a veteran network engineer -- who may want more money and may or may not have your potential.

    Ultimately it's your career and you need to do what maximizes your career opportunities. Right now the job experience of working on an enterprise network is the best thing you've got going.

    If you want to start your studies for the CCNP -- go ahead. But use the "Vegas Rule" and pretend your Boss is a bear.

    Don't whack your boss with a stick (since we're pretending they are a bear) by letting them know you're studying for the CCNP exams.

    Use the Vegas Rule to cover your CCNP studies -- the CCNP exams you are studying and preparing for at home stay at home. Use your knowledge at work if it helps you advance -- but don't "show off" and call attention at work to any of the exams you are preparing for or pass.

    But at your 6 month mark -- and maybe again around 9 months -- ask your boss how you're doing and what they think you should be studying. But odds are it will take you more than 1-1/2 months (or even 4-1/2 months) to prepare for your first CCNP exam -- so try to get your boss on board with your CCNP plan before you're ready for that first exam. That also helps if your work will reimburse your exam fee or books for study.

    And remember, the co-worker who is your friend today could be the person you need to crush tomorrow for that promotion (or bonus or last donut in that endless meeting). And a co-worker angry that you got the last donut could tell your boss that you've been working on the CCNP against their suggestion and you could wind up being the person in charge of your groups TPS reports (and become one of the many people with the job title network engineer who never gets to touch a network and couldn't network their way out of a paper bag). You then end up trapped in a soul sucking job with no chance of getting out because no one else would pay you your current salary based on your actual job experience. :D

    And you've got to keep us updated -- you're living the dream of getting out of the help desk and into a great opportunity.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • MonkerzMonkerz Member Posts: 842
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Has your boss suggested any other certifications or course of study? Or do they just want you to get familiar with your new enterprise network and focus on that?
    He hasn't suggested any other certifications or course of study. He does want me more familiar with our network, which is one of the reasons why I am pursuing CCNP. Objectives for CCNA only get me so far with our network. Some of the technology we use, I am just now learning in my CCNP studies. Luckily our Senior Network Engineer has taken me under his wing. The high level overview CCNA gives you is just not enough. Im sure you know what I mean.
    mikej412 wrote: »
    People who mix up lab routers (while working on their non-work studies during work downtime) with production routers have suffered TJEE -- traumatic job ending event.
    My lab is in a segregated area all by it's self. The actual data center is very large with areas grouped by operation. (i.e. Exchange, Intranet, VPN, VoIP, DMZ, Network Core Equipment, Edge equipment, infrastructure monitoring, etc...)
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Then you work on the certification that help you get your next job.

    It is possible your boss sees your wanting to go for the CCNP as you already thinking about your next job -- rather than focusing on the job you've had for 4 months (plus a couple weeks now).
    My boss is actually a very understanding. He knows I am more than grateful for the opportunity he gave me. He sat down with me and explained that he wasn't afraid of me leaving, he only mentioned holding off because he didn't want me to screw myself as many other have by acquiring certification without prior experience and being classified by employers as overqualified.

    He also knows I am not going anywhere. This is the job I have been waiting for, for some time now! They would have to fire me to get rid of me.
    mikej412 wrote: »
    If you're in a large organization your boss may have other people in the job queue ahead of you -- and your CCNP next year could cause some issues or bad feelings when that CCNA who currently has 9 months of network experience gets the promotion over you (with a CCNP and 5 months less experience) -- or you get considered for the job over that person.

    If you did leave after a year with your CCNP you probably would have enough experience (because of working on an enterprise sized network) to be viable out in the job market, but then that could skew some of your manager's metrics for employee retention -- and set them back a year with either having to bring up some new young talent from the bullpen or look to make a deal for a veteran network engineer -- who may want more money and may or may not have your potential.
    For being as large as we are, our IT department is considered very understaffed in the eyes of others. But, we have some of the brightest guys I have ever met. I am the lowest man in my department, but that doesn't discourage me whatsoever. I am extremely happy where I am and never would have thought I would get to where I am today. My boss knows I am not going anywhere.
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Ultimately it's your career and you need to do what maximizes your career opportunities. Right now the job experience of working on an enterprise network is the best thing you've got going.

    If you want to start your studies for the CCNP -- go ahead. But use the "Vegas Rule" and pretend your Boss is a bear.

    Don't whack your boss with a stick (since we're pretending they are a bear) by letting them know you're studying for the CCNP exams.

    Use the Vegas Rule to cover your CCNP studies -- the CCNP exams you are studying and preparing for at home stay at home. Use your knowledge at work if it helps you advance -- but don't "show off" and call attention at work to any of the exams you are preparing for or pass.

    But at your 6 month mark -- and maybe again around 9 months -- ask your boss how you're doing and what they think you should be studying. But odds are it will take you more than 1-1/2 months (or even 4-1/2 months) to prepare for your first CCNP exam -- so try to get your boss on board with your CCNP plan before you're ready for that first exam. That also helps if your work will reimburse your exam fee or books for study.
    Every day he walks past my cube asking what I have learned today, but that was mostly during CCNA studies.

    He has already told me to give him enough time to get it approved and my exams will be on the company's tab.
    mikej412 wrote: »
    And remember, the co-worker who is your friend today could be the person you need to crush tomorrow for that promotion (or bonus or last donut in that endless meeting). And a co-worker angry that you got the last donut could tell your boss that you've been working on the CCNP against their suggestion and you could wind up being the person in charge of your groups TPS reports (and become one of the many people with the job title network engineer who never gets to touch a network and couldn't network their way out of a paper bag). You then end up trapped in a soul sucking job with no chance of getting out because no one else would pay you your current salary based on your actual job experience. :D

    And you've got to keep us updated -- you're living the dream of getting out of the help desk and into a great opportunity.

    If ya'll want to hear about it, I will be more than happy to post any and all updates.

    I do like to thoroughly study a subject before testing on it, so it will probably 5 or 6 months before I sit for 642-902. EIGRP, OSPF, BGP are featured in this series and understanding everything about these will drastically help me in day to day activities.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    *smack* <-- palm against forehead

    Network Warrior!!

    Unless you read it back in your help desk days to keep your dream alive, you should read Network Warrior. icon_lol.gif

    Then get Doyle, work on your CCNP, and learn as much as you can at work.

    Seriously -- the more info you give us, the better this sounds. Just make sure you always give the Senior Network Engineer the first shot at the last donut when you're in meetings. icon_lol.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • SrAtechieSrAtechie Member Posts: 150 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I just want to add that just because you obtain the certification, it doesn't mean you have to advertise it. I know of a guy I worked with who went straight from CCNA to CCNP. He only had a year and a half of qualifiable networking experience under his belt when he earned his CCNP (he acquired his CCNA while he was a helpdesk monkey) so when he applied for positions, he did not put it on his resume. However, when he went to interviews, the intimate knowledge he picked up during his studies helped him out on some of the tougher ones (the ones that want CCNP-level knowledge, but at CCNA prices) He ended up getting a better job that paid about the same as what he was making with us, but the experience he's picking up will easily add more money to his salary requirements in a few years.

    It kinda reminds me of what my first networking mentor always used to say. "Doing things the right way pays dividends. Sometimes in ways you never expect." So if you study for your CCNP the right way (which it looks like you are) then you're picking up valuable experience in the process. And that experience will pay dividends either way. I've been studying for the switch exam for a few months now, and I can honestly say that although I'm not doing NP-level work where I'm currently employed, that information has come in handy a few times when folks higher up on the food chain have come around sniffing for information.
    Working on: Linux+, CCNP:Switch
  • MonkerzMonkerz Member Posts: 842
    mikej412 wrote: »
    *smack* <-- palm against forehead

    Network Warrior!!

    Unless you read it back in your help desk days to keep your dream alive, you should read Network Warrior. icon_lol.gif

    Then get Doyle, work on your CCNP, and learn as much as you can at work.

    Seriously -- the more info you give us, the better this sounds. Just make sure you always give the Senior Network Engineer the first shot at the last donut when you're in meetings. icon_lol.gif

    I haven't read it yet, but I did request it as a x-mas present. I think my fiance got me a kindle with it loaded on it. (not suppose to know icon_thumright.gif )

    If not, I plan on purchasing it.

    Senior Engineer would refuse the last donut, maybe a tofu dog or something. He is on an extreme health kick at the moment. Also very irritable, we keep threaten we are going to hold him down and force feed him a steak. Kind of reminds me of the Snickers commercial, "Mike, you turn into a diva when you're hungry, eat a Snickers!" LMAO But on a serious note, I have all the respect in the world for him. The man is as dedicated as they come. He is the reason I got this job, he put his name on the line for me. Here is the story behind that, http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/56567-department-opening.html
  • NetwurkNetwurk Member Posts: 1,155 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Try out the site Safari Books Online

    I have the $9.99 per month plan which helped me immensely with both CCNA and CCNP:BCMSN (SWITCH).

    They have almost every Cisco Press and O'Reilly book and recently added Sybex to the mix.

    I have hardcover copies of books like Cisco Cookbook and the CCNP:ROUTE Official Certification Guide, but I've read books like the recently mentioned Network Warrior on Safari.

    Good luck with your studies!

    :)
Sign In or Register to comment.