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CCNA Certifications

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hey i had a question, i currently have my Network+ and A+ Certifications, and im getting my Security+ Certification soon. I want to go ahead and get my CCNA Certification so i can start working hopefully...what recommendations do you have in the best way of studying for this exam? what material would be beneficial? anyone have expierence with the TestOut software(i get a discount with them)?

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If you have to ask, you aren't ready for it. ;) CompTIA certifications are a joke, the CCNA is a beast.

 

Sure, you'll need study guides and comprehensive books... but you will also need hands on experience with real equipment. Plan on dropping a ton of money if you pursue it.

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Try using several sources to study from since usually only using one typically doesn't cut it for most people.

 

I'd also suggest getting a Business Cisco grade router to practice on since most Cisco exams have simulator type questions.

Edited by fire_storm

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If you have to ask, you aren't ready for it. ;) CompTIA certifications are a joke, the CCNA is a beast.

 

Sure, you'll need study guides and comprehensive books... but you will also need hands on experience with real equipment. Plan on dropping a ton of money if you pursue it.

 

 

CompTIA exams are what they are. It might give you a 1 up on another candidate with similar qualifications. They are not worth much w/out experience. I wont relay on them getting you a job by themselves, but they are a nice footnote on a resume.

 

 

If your serious about the CCNA you might wan't to look into taking some classes. It is very long process, requiring multiple tests. I have studied the first few parts of it, and I still don't feel confident enough to take the first part.

 

BTW for those whom don't know starting Jan 1st 2011, the following CompTIA exams will require you to renew every three years: Network+, A+, & Security+. I am trying to get my A+ done right now, something I have been wanting to do for years... I am a little annoyed because the guy at my testing center signed me up for the old exams (2007) and not the new ones (2009).... So I gotta figure out what to do now, since I passed the first part of the 2007 exam...

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I would see if you could get your hands on a program called Packet Tracer. I got it through school so I have no idea the cost but I imagine it would be many times cheaper than trying to get your hands on any Cisco equipment. It allows you to set up switches, hubs, routers, computers, printers, etc. into a network and then program each piece of equipment virtually, identical to how you would do it if you had the physical equipment. Anything you can do with physical equipment you can do with Packet Tracer. It was invaluable for me to get a practical grasp on subnetting and VLANs.

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I would see if you could get your hands on a program called Packet Tracer. I got it through school so I have no idea the cost but I imagine it would be many times cheaper than trying to get your hands on any Cisco equipment. It allows you to set up switches, hubs, routers, computers, printers, etc. into a network and then program each piece of equipment virtually, identical to how you would do it if you had the physical equipment. Anything you can do with physical equipment you can do with Packet Tracer. It was invaluable for me to get a practical grasp on subnetting and VLANs.

 

Wonderful program, but you need to be in the Cisco Academy program to even get your hands on it.

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hey guys, i'm taking CCNA 2 in college, and i'll tell you right now that you REALLY have to pay attention. there is just so much stuff. for me, the somewhat tricky part is VLSM (subnetting), but with practice one could do it in their sleep. the best way to study would be definitely from a paper book, however i study from Networking Academy on my computer, and it's somewhat tricky (can't highlight my monitor, can i?)

for CCNA 1 - pay attention to the OSI model, and VLSM, network cabling, router commands, they are pretty much the key points, but do read everything.

CCNA 2 - pay attention router commands (not a reprint), EIGRP and OSPF protocols, as they are more used now, you will learn about RIP and RIPv2, but thats just to give you an idea how protocols work, once you know RIP, you can forget about it.

Finally, as my professor says, packet tracer sucks, its...ok, but its not the real thing. NDG has a very nice product that my school uses, i can access real routers from home / school, as long as a i book a time slot, the only virtual aspect of it are the computers, they are vmware images, check it out - http://www.netdevgroup.com/products/ae/. And now off to school to study for CCNA 2 final exam :D

Edited by SuppA-SnipA

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Wonderful program, but you need to be in the Cisco Academy program to even get your hands on it.

 

You know I was kind of wondering that when I googled it. Its to bad, it really is a great program.

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Guest ajmatson

As good as packet tracer is nothing beats a hands on Lab, You can pick up a couple of 2600 series routers and 2950 switches from evilbay for fairly cheap. If you plan to go past CCNA to voice or security or even your CCNP you need routers that support at least 12.4T IOS for all of the features. The 2600XM (Extended Memory series) or some 1700 and 1800 series will have enough memory for the IOS. As far as books I would look into the Sybex books as I have the best experience with them. I also use material developed by other students and CCIE's that have taken the material. I have a lab book in PDF format that can be distributed per the author that I will find and post for you.

 

Any other questions ask away :)

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If you have to ask, you aren't ready for it. ;) CompTIA certifications are a joke, the CCNA is a beast.

 

Sure, you'll need study guides and comprehensive books... but you will also need hands on experience with real equipment. Plan on dropping a ton of money if you pursue it.

 

I was always under the impression that CCNA is in-between Net+ and Security+ as far as value/getting a job. I studied for both CCNA and Net+ (in 2008) and they were extremely similar in material. I never took the CCNA test, but I did take Net+ and it was moderately easy. I took Security+ later the same year and it was moderately difficult. It definitely wasn't a joke, but it wasn't terribly hard either (1.5 months of studying on my own got me an 830/900, while that isn't outstanding I still passed). If the CCNA test is similar to the Net+, Security+ is far more difficult. I pretty much took the Net+ without any real studying.

 

As far as study guides, CCNA is probably a lot easier to find free material for. I sincerely doubt you'll have to drop ANY money to get to a passable knowledge level.

 

A couple friends of mine have used Pass4Sure for Security+ and found it VERY useful. Not sure how valuable their CCNA prep stuff is, but if their Security+ is that good, then I would guess their CCNA material is as good or better.

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If you have to ask, you aren't ready for it. ;) CompTIA certifications are a joke, the CCNA is a beast.

 

Sure, you'll need study guides and comprehensive books... but you will also need hands on experience with real equipment. Plan on dropping a ton of money if you pursue it.

 

Not all CompTIA certs are a joke. The Network+ and Server+ are decent and are a good starting point, however in comparison to MCITP or CCNA yes they don't even contend.

 

As AJ said nothing compares to a physical lab for learning cisco. Also remember that if you are looking to get into a network admin/engineer type job that just learning Cisco is not enough. Having fluent knowledge of server environments and other network hardware/software such as UTM products, Juniper, Sonicwall, Untangle, and many others. Just remember that the world of networking is extremely vast and does not rely solely on Cisco.

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I was always under the impression that CCNA is in-between Net+ and Security+ as far as value/getting a job. I studied for both CCNA and Net+ (in 2008) and they were extremely similar in material. I never took the CCNA test, but I did take Net+ and it was moderately easy. I took Security+ later the same year and it was moderately difficult. It definitely wasn't a joke, but it wasn't terribly hard either (1.5 months of studying on my own got me an 830/900, while that isn't outstanding I still passed). If the CCNA test is similar to the Net+, Security+ is far more difficult. I pretty much took the Net+ without any real studying.

 

The CCNA is much harder then the Net+ or Security+.

 

Part of the problem why Comptia exams don't have much value is because most of them only teach broad concepts behind how something works they tend not to get into specifics. There nice to get because a lot of the concepts you learn will be built apon in other types of exams. However there not like Cisco or Microsoft exams were in theory anyways if you study well for there exams you shouldn't have much problems actual when it comes time to use those skills in the real world.

 

There's also the fact that Comptia exams typically represent lower paying jobs which is why a lot of people don't like to get into them. Just look at the A+ 15 years ago repairing computers was good money but over time as computers have gotten better and more reliable someone who fixes computer's today typically only makes $15-$20 dollars an hour unlike 15 years ago were they probably made about $30-$40 or more.

Edited by fire_storm

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