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Is CCNA/CCNP worth it?

BobBuilder
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Is getting Cisco certification worth it? It costs a couple thousand for courses and like the study materials are only largely relevant to Cisco products, and with networking devices getting so easy to setup, unlike the old days, it is still worth it to get Cisco certification? Heck, I know some teenagers who know how to configure Cisco products. Will market demand for Cisco certification fall?

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Most other brands have a very similar CLI syntax to cisco so it is the defacto go-to certification to get your feet wet in the network admin fields. I work as a network engineer and I don't have my CCENT/CCNA or any cisco cert. It is good to give you a foundation to build upon and get your foot in the door if you're not already working in that capacity. Its also a good idea to get them long term as you may end up finding a new job you want to do elsewhere in the field as the "Network Administrator" title is very vague and covers a vast wide range of services and products. 

 

In the long run, start with CCENT/CCNA as for the tests it costs 150$ each. There is tons of free resources to use and study with out there from labs, to practice tests. Make use of GNS3 and build virtual networks in a sandbox and explore the different things you can do from BGP, OSPF, MPLS etc... 

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4 minutes ago, Skiiwee29 said:

Most other brands have a very similar CLI syntax to cisco so it is the defacto go-to certification to get your feet wet in the network admin fields. I work as a network engineer and I don't have my CCENT/CCNA or any cisco cert. It is good to give you a foundation to build upon and get your foot in the door if you're not already working in that capacity. Its also a good idea to get them long term as you may end up finding a new job you want to do elsewhere in the field as the "Network Administrator" title is very vague and covers a vast wide range of services and products. 

 

In the long run, start with CCENT/CCNA as for the tests it costs 150$ each. There is tons of free resources to use and study with out there from labs, to practice tests. Make use of GNS3 and build virtual networks in a sandbox and explore the different things you can do from BGP, OSPF, MPLS etc... 

Hi, thanks for sharing, do you know how easy is it to self study for CCENT/CCNA? or should I just stick to courses? I'm just really afraid that I'll lose discipline in a couple of months and get lazy if I self study. I'm keen to learn, but just haven't done any self studying to this level.

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13 minutes ago, Aloau said:

Is getting Cisco certification worth it? It costs a couple thousand for courses and like the study materials are only largely relevant to Cisco products, and with networking devices getting so easy to setup, unlike the old days, it is still worth it to get Cisco certification? Heck, I know some teenagers who know how to configure Cisco products. Will market demand for Cisco certification fall?

As someone who has there ccna....im 18 and have found some use for it from time to time. as the comment above me has said, its good to get your foot in the door.

The test are pretty hard (with a 85%fail rate for the ccent and 95% for ccna) and its up to you really. If your really interested in networking id say go for it!

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Just now, Blu3Jay said:

As someone who has there ccna....im 18 and have found some use for it from time to time. as the comment above me has said, its good to get your foot in the door.

The test are pretty hard (with a 85%fail rate for the ccent and 95% for ccna) and its up to you really. If your really interested in networking id say go for it!

thanks for sharing your opinion, did you self study or did you follow something like a course?

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3 minutes ago, Aloau said:

Hi, thanks for sharing, do you know how easy is it to self study for CCENT/CCNA? or should I just stick to courses? I'm just really afraid that I'll lose discipline in a couple of months and get lazy if I self study. I'm keen to learn, but just haven't done any self studying to this level.

Its all about having the discipline to stick to it. You could also see if there are local study groups in your area working on studying and practicing it as well. If not, maybe you could start one and get a few people together for a few hours a week to study and learn together. 

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2 minutes ago, Aloau said:

thanks for sharing your opinion, did you self study or did you follow something like a course?

A good mix of both id say, but the material they give you is mostly the only thing you really need to study. I never had anyone to study with.

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Is CCIE still a thing? When I still did certifications those guys could basically pick whatever salary they wanted. Much like a Master CNE gave you a green card :)

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24 minutes ago, Aloau said:

easy is it to self study

Everyone studies differently.

 

You must look inwards to see how you learn best.

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You could probably train a monkey to configure a switch. 

What would probably need a bit more genetic engineering is getting them to revamp an existing infrastructure, security, routing blah blah blah blah blah

 

If it's just something for your ego, or so you can setup your router at home, then yes, it's a waste of money. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER 

Everything i say is my own opinion. So if you disagree with what I post, you are wrong. 

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Which specialty are you considering? I'll be picking up my CCNA Datacenter certificate next year since I mostly work with the compute side of Cisco (UCS), I don't have a need for it but it'll make my manager happy and it doesn't cost me anything. :)

-KuJoe

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Just now, KuJoe said:

Which specialty are you considering? I'll be picking up my CCNA Datacenter certificate next year since I mostly work with the compute side of Cisco (UCS), I don't have a need for it but it'll make my manager happy and it's free. :)

Probably wireless?

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I used to work with a bunch of engineers with these sorts of certifications for a national Telco that was based in my local area doing TSQL work that would track their performance and report that data to VP level.

 

From going through the IT job searching process (in closely related fields) it definitely helps to have certifications as a lot of the recruiters who you will interface with will not have much experience or knowledge of what if anything tech means. You will find some people with experience but generally they are hired for their people sussing skills.

 

I've gone the route of not getting any certifications and it just means that you have to be willing to do more work in the job interview and be careful to not do anything that would be equivalent to a red flag and or not project the stereotypical for the IT/engineering fields lack of social skill so you can show that you can work well with others.

 

IMHO it's definitely not great that most job descriptions read like a recipe, because after a while a lot of certifications become meaningless and the companies who make the certifications like to make money esp. 'renewing' certificates such that its more like a subscription.

 

I have found though that the CISCO certifications are requested in a lot of jobs and that does deter some from applying, so anything that you can do to pad your resume will make it easier for you to get past the first level of interviews and be picked up by the resume scanning that your potential employer will do.

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I like the lab part about the CCIE. Hard to just read braindumps when you are being judged on lab results :)

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I find this an interesting question. My day job isn't IT but it does involve network activity at times. Work put me though the CompTIA Network+ course but I understand that is considered like an "intro to networking" level and not really serious. However, the part of work I'm in is looking to get people up to CCNA, as a different part of work already has everyone at that level or higher. So I guess the part I'm in is not wanting to be left behind.

 

Some have already started on the course, the one they're on is a mix of online and self-learning. One person doing it is already networking familiar, the other is my manager, so a mix of practical skill levels there :) Even the guy who is already well versed in networking in general is finding it slower going to cover the details than he expected. Will have to see what the outcome is.

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3 hours ago, Aloau said:

Is getting Cisco certification worth it? It costs a couple thousand for courses and like the study materials are only largely relevant to Cisco products, and with networking devices getting so easy to setup, unlike the old days, it is still worth it to get Cisco certification? Heck, I know some teenagers who know how to configure Cisco products. Will market demand for Cisco certification fall?

Let me introduce you to the world of SDA/SDWAN, SD Data Center/ACI, Next Gen security, etc. where everything is abstracted behind a GUI in most cases and not always well documented or understood by the people implementing them at the customer site. Sure it's one thing to stand something up from a template configuration or follow a script to configure something, but it's a completely different ballpark to support that stuff when things go wrong and you need to know the intricacies of protocol interaction, decoding logs, tracing through the topology down to the ASIC level etc. or to stand up a brand new site, technology, etc. that the company you work for has no pre-defined script for and that you're on the hook for learning, implementing, and figuring things out along the way.

 

Yes you can script things but if you don't know what you're doing when you don't have those scripts and tools, not knowing how things interact and how you could possibly break something is far greater and much more difficult than you might think. In most cases just calling tech support for the product in question and getting it resolved while your boss is screaming down your neck how much money they are losing because blah blah blah isn't working just doesn't cut it, you need to be able to figure things out and debug them properly along the way, know what you can and can't do to not break anything else, know how to work around that issue so things are working to some degree, and being able to point the blame, if it's a vendor issue, at the right vendor because most places have multiple vendors and solutions for everything they do and you need to know the right people to call.

/ranting stuff (not to discourage you but inform :) )

 

 

On topic, why do you want to get certifications? For a job or career in networking or just something to do/out of boredom? If you don't care about the technology and topics being discussed then it's completely pointless to go that far. What interests you the most? Data Center, Routing & Switching, Security, Wireless, Voice/Video (collaboration), Service Provider? I'm sure there are some I'm forgetting but pick a high level area that interests you the most and that you'll probably pursue for a long time. Route & Switch is the base fundamental for probably 99% of things so getting at least a CCENT or CCNA in that is a good start but look at other technologies and tracks and see where you might want to go.

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On 12/21/2018 at 5:40 AM, Lurick said:

Let me introduce you to the world of SDA/SDWAN, SD Data Center/ACI, Next Gen security, etc. where everything is abstracted behind a GUI in most cases and not always well documented or understood by the people implementing them at the customer site. Sure it's one thing to stand something up from a template configuration or follow a script to configure something, but it's a completely different ballpark to support that stuff when things go wrong and you need to know the intricacies of protocol interaction, decoding logs, tracing through the topology down to the ASIC level etc. or to stand up a brand new site, technology, etc. that the company you work for has no pre-defined script for and that you're on the hook for learning, implementing, and figuring things out along the way.

 

Yes you can script things but if you don't know what you're doing when you don't have those scripts and tools, not knowing how things interact and how you could possibly break something is far greater and much more difficult than you might think. In most cases just calling tech support for the product in question and getting it resolved while your boss is screaming down your neck how much money they are losing because blah blah blah isn't working just doesn't cut it, you need to be able to figure things out and debug them properly along the way, know what you can and can't do to not break anything else, know how to work around that issue so things are working to some degree, and being able to point the blame, if it's a vendor issue, at the right vendor because most places have multiple vendors and solutions for everything they do and you need to know the right people to call.

/ranting stuff (not to discourage you but inform :) )

 

 

On topic, why do you want to get certifications? For a job or career in networking or just something to do/out of boredom? If you don't care about the technology and topics being discussed then it's completely pointless to go that far. What interests you the most? Data Center, Routing & Switching, Security, Wireless, Voice/Video (collaboration), Service Provider? I'm sure there are some I'm forgetting but pick a high level area that interests you the most and that you'll probably pursue for a long time. Route & Switch is the base fundamental for probably 99% of things so getting at least a CCENT or CCNA in that is a good start but look at other technologies and tracks and see where you might want to go.

Thanks, you really got me thinking there. Just wanted to ask, if I were to go down this Network Engineering path, is getting Cisco’s certifications the best choice, or are there other certifications by other vendors used in the industry that I haven’t heard of?

 

To answer your questions, my interests are slightly leaning towards Wireless atm, and primarily getting these to find a job...

 

Since I already know which path I would be probably be taking, would it still be wise to go straight into CCNA Wireless or will getting up to a CCNA or CCNP in R&S first be more wise in terms on marketing myself to employers?

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1 minute ago, Aloau said:

Thanks, you really got me thinking there. Just wanted to ask, if I were to go down this Network Engineering path, is getting Cisco’s certifications the best choice, or are there other certifications by other vendors used in the industry that I haven’t heard of?

 

To answer your questions, my interests are slightly leaning towards Wireless atm, and primarily getting these to find a job...

 

Since I already know which path I would be probably be taking, would it still be wise to go straight into CCNA Wireless or will getting up to a CCNA or CCNP in R&S first be more wise in terms on marketing myself to employers?

I would definitely say Cisco certs hold a good bit of weight in the market still. Having certs from other vendors can help but obviously costs more time. A Cisco cert can definitely help you get past some of the red tape with getting an interview and whatnot. I would suggest going CCNA R&S first, at the least, to give you the core competency since it's the backbone for just about everything else and then go CCNA wireless and see if you still enjoy that route after completing the cert as a checkpoint to see if you are still on the path you enjoy most.

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