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  1. Senior Member 2URGSE's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Is the CCDA worth the time?

    I passed the CCNA on 12/24/2012. I took a small break and now I want to move on.

    I got the Cisco CCDA book and started reading it. The book just throws TONS AND TONS of info at the reader, seems a bit vague to me.

    There is a lot of stress on data center technologies, VPN, wireless, Core layer stuff.

    Sadly I am not using any of this stuff in my present job, heck I'm barely using my CCNA.

    I wanted to pursue another certification in case I change jobs some day and I wanted to have something else on the resume.

    2. The other certification I started reading about was the CCNA-Voice, which I will need new routers and Cisco phones as well.

    3. I was looking into the VMware


    I guess I am looking for some direction.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    CCDA is great for insomniacs, but in the real work....it gives you the 10,000m view of network design, and you really need CCNP SWITCH level knowledge (highly recommended anyway).

    Personally I'd say that CCNA:Voice and/or CCNA:Security (preferably both) would better round out your skills and prepare you for for the future.

    From my limited understanding of the VMware world, you actually need to attend the course before sitting the exam.

    Hope this helps.
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  4. Member The IT Guy's Avatar
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    #3
    The CCDA was very helpful for me as a deployment engineer and working towards the CCDP. I have particular interest in network design because my role is to plan, design, and deploy new sites. If you are deciding between CCDA, CCNA Voice, or VCP, I would probably recommend Voice or VMware as they seem more marketable than the CCDA in some circles. It will ultimately depend on your personal and/or professional interest. Preview the study materials and decide which topic interest you the most.

    The CCDA is great but only as an admission ticket to the CCDP because the DA only skims the surface of its rather broad exam topics "inch deep mile wide" concept. IMO, the Cisco Design Zone is a great resource for free design information and far more valuable than my CCDA certificate as it applies to my role.
    Last edited by The IT Guy; 04-16-2013 at 02:20 AM.
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  5. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #4
    Sadly CCDA is needed before reaching CCDP, which is where the good stuff is at. However i felt CCDA was for more experienced engineers, which is why a level of CCNP switching is required. I honestly feel you need the full CCNP skill level to understand the concepts.

    i would jump into ccnp r/s if i were you. 3 exams you should be able to knock out within 8-10months.
    Last edited by chrisone; 04-16-2013 at 03:57 AM.
    2017 Goals: Dark Side OPS: Custom Pentesting (complete), SpecterOps: PowerShell Adversary Tactics (completed), eCPPT (2nd attempt), LFCS (4th attempt )
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  6. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #5
    Firstly, I think anything that increases your knowledge of your chosen field of study is worth doing. Let me also say that I, personally, was required to pass the CCDA within 60 days of starting a contract-to-hire position to keep my job. That was the motivating factor that made me pursue that certification. I am not (currently) pursuing a design job. After having completed it though, I can honestly say that it offers a very eclectic/broad collection of knowledge. It exposes you to a little bit of several cert. tracks/technologies. If you do desire a Cisco-centered networking career, I would def. say this cert is worth doing. I have seen some engineers that are very 'silo-ed' in their career. This exam can give you a small taste of several tracks. See which chapters you like the best and then potentially explore other tracks. For example, the CCDA taught me that Wireless does not excite me near as much as Data Center or Voice. Just my 2 cents. Hope this helps.

    P.S., I agree with everyone who advised doing CCNP Switch before CCDA.
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  7. Senior Member 2URGSE's Avatar
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    #6
    Thanks guys, this is why I like this forum!

    I will shift over to the CCNA-Voice and start researching the CCNP switching.

    Thanks again!
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  8. Senior Member 2URGSE's Avatar
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    #7
    Should I start with the CCNP Routing?
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    OK I'll answer this from my perspective in two parts.

    1. You asked "Is the CCDA worth the time?"

    The answer to this is yes. It may be dry and a lot of reading, but the answer is still yes.

    The fact that it covers DC/WLAN/Security etc is a positive as opposed to negative.

    2. The other way to answer this questions is, it depends on what you want to do.

    There is no point in pursuing the CCNA Voice in my opinion unless you're a) working with CUCM/Unity on a daily basis b) you want to specialise in voice.

    Voice is a massive subject area and "knowing a bit" doesn't really help anyone in the real world unless you're committed to being a voice expert. It's a concentration/ specialist area so requires commitment to CCNP Voice to make it worthwhile, unless you're in an advisory role or presales role where you only need to skim the surface. Either of those types of job a CCNA Voice would be good for if you didn't plan to pursue CCNP Voice etc.

    It doesn't seem to me like either of these apply to you at this stage of your career and you're mentioning VMWare.

    Attempting the CCDA is possible to achieve without the CCNP switch and this is not imperative pre-requisite. I passed the CCDA with 8 months of self study about a year after I passed CCNA. I do agree that if I had my CCNP and a bit more deployment experience at the time it would have been easier and I probably wouldn't have failed it once before passing.

    If you want to go down the design route, then I'd say start preparing for it now. I've just passed the CCDP 5 years after passing the DA mainly due to work commitments and being busy / on off study but I think it's been worth it, given how my career has progressed. Having the CCDA and CCNA opened the door for me into working for a global outsourcer where I gained most of my niche skills (load balancing, SSL, firewalls, IDS, IPS etc), then moved on to solution architecture which I'm doing now.

    If you're going to stick with the Cisco track I'd suggest you probably do the CCDA if you're not getting much hands on. Don't be overawed by the content of the book as it is worthwhile and it will take time to get to grips with the Cisco slant on solution design even if you are an experienced network designer.

    Also not many people probably know this but although the CCDA is a 640 associate exam, it actually renews your CCNA for 3 years. Kind of a side note but useful to know.
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  10. Senior Member 2URGSE's Avatar
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    #9
    I can sell my CCDA book on Amazon and start the CCNP track.

    I am not sure if I will get into the voice side of things in my career, but I thought it would be nice to pursue. I have not worked and not working with CU right now, although I deal with VoIP conversions on the front end side.

    The main issue right now is that I am not getting the hands-on, so it's hard to say where my career is going to go. With the CCNA voice and modifying my existing lab, at least I can get a feel for the front/back end of things.

    I really like to work with the equipment, it's hard just to read some book.....it's really dry.
    Last edited by 2URGSE; 04-16-2013 at 10:35 PM.
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