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  1. Junior Member
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    Default losing my NOC job in 4 weeks - cramming for CCNA/CCENT? exam

    Hello all,

    Long time reader of posts, first time poster.

    I was told as with 5 others that we are losing our jobs in 4 weeks - sad to say, they might not give severance pkgs, so they say.........

    Anyhoo, I took my job for granted and didn't get any certs while I was here. Being that I work midnight to 8 a.m. I have a lot of down time.

    Do you guys think it is possible, and I know it depends on the individual, to get this down in 4 weeks. I am talking about the CCENT/NET exam.

    sorry if I confused you all...

    Thanks to all the guru gods in advance.

    AT in Texas
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  3. Member
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    #2
    Depends what you did on a daily basis. Do you have a lot of experience at the CLI prompt? If so, you're in good shape for the sims, which are worth the most. Though, with the CCENT, I think you may not have sims, come to think of it. A month seems doable if that were the case. But consistent book study. If you decide to go for your CCNA instead, probably more like two months. If you don't have much experience with CLI on switches and/or routers, I'd say 3-4 months of real consistent study. Maybe longer.
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  4. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #3
    I think it is possible, but like you said it all depends on the individual. I only studied for my CCNA for about a little over a month. I wasn't starting from scratch though, I already had a little over five years working with Cisco equipment. It all really depends on how familliar you are with the topics prior to starting your studies. If you allready know how to configure the technologies and just need to brush up on the theory then it is possible, but I wouldn't recomend rushing it and wasting the money. Especially if things are going to get tight financialy for you. Your experience should be enough to get you another similar job even with out the certification.
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    Default cli

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Lieb
    Depends what you did on a daily basis. Do you have a lot of experience at the CLI prompt? If so, you're in good shape for the sims, which are worth the most. Though, with the CCENT, I think you may not have sims, come to think of it. A month seems doable if that were the case. But consistent book study. If you decide to go for your CCNA instead, probably more like two months. If you don't have much experience with CLI on switches and/or routers, I'd say 3-4 months of real consistent study. Maybe longer.

    familiar with cli and just messing around with our test environment....nothing that I am doing on a daily basis though.

    so to say I work on Cisco gear IOS etc..no, I don't

    No sims for the CCENT?

    AT
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  6. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #5
    If you don't work with it on a daily basis then you might have trouble trying to cram for it. Cisco exams are not easy and cramming won't help you much.
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    #6

    Default CCNA/CCENT

    Quote Originally Posted by networker050184
    If you don't work with it on a daily basis then you might have trouble trying to cram for it. Cisco exams are not easy and cramming won't help you much.
    Looks like this might take a while - I guess i will dig in and learn it....

    Thanks guys
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  8. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #7
    I'd suggest you get the Cisco press books and start reading. If your head is spinning after the first couple chapters you probably won't make it in a month. Also get some equipment to practice with.
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    Default RE: ccna/ccent

    Quote Originally Posted by networker050184
    I'd suggest you get the Cisco press books and start reading. If your head is spinning after the first couple chapters you probably won't make it in a month. Also get some equipment to practice with.
    Equipment, I will only have access to in 4 weeks. I can't buy routers etc...$$ flow will be tight. What about the Boson sims>?
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  10. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #9
    I hate sims personally. Nothing worse than banging your head against the wall for an hour then realizing its just a bug in the sim. Look into dynamips for the routers, but you will have to try to get your hands on some switches. Try ebay for some cheap ones.
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    How many years experiance do you have?
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  12. Senior Member LOkrasa's Avatar
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    #11
    If you take off 4 weeks and not do anything but study 12 hours/day. Get some lab exp as well during those 4 weeks and I dont see why you couldnt pass it.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    im sure u can make it in 4 week and u dont need 12 hours a day unless u learn slow, try to finish the books in 2 weeks reading 3-5 hours per day then review the last 2 weeks i have packet tracer 4.1 it may help u a lil to do some labs, the labs i had on the test were real easy notting about MODERATED or MODERATED not even MODERATED so u dont be afraid u can pass it
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  14. Senior Member Crunchyhippo's Avatar
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    #13
    Well, unfortunately a CCNA cert isn't the interview-ticket I hoped it would be, though overall it's helpful to have. I still have yet to get a single interview request since getting mine, and I also went through the Cisco Networking Academy. I'm looking to add more certs to my resume, which might make a solo-cert resume more attractive. But since you have a lot of experience, I think it'll more than make up for a lack of certification. I think employers still look at everyday working experience much more favorably than a CCNA certification. Send out those resumes and I'm sure you'll get some positive responses.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Agreed. The certs are awesome and they will help you. Experiance is probably the best thing. I got my cert and i still didn't know anything. You really need to have real experiance as most of the networking stuff you learn is in a closet or data center...not in a book.
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  16. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #15
    ilcram read the NDA before you go giving information out about the exam.

    If you have the CCNA and no experience its not really going to help you to much getting a networking job. Just remeber there are plenty of experienced indiviuals out there with the CCNA as well. The CCNA is not a meal ticket like a lot of people make it out to be. It is a good compliment to some good experience. That is why so many people stress experience.
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  17. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #16

    Default Re: losing my NOC job in 4 weeks - cramming for CCNA/CCENT?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexinTX
    Do you guys think it is possible, and I know it depends on the individual, to get this down in 4 weeks. I am talking about the CCENT/NET exam.
    Sure -- if you're motivated, dedicated, and have a sufficient amount of neurons and time you can spare for studying.

    If you have a networking background, even if it isn't Cisco, you could even possibly get the CCNA in that time. But you'd have to focus and not let the layoff affect your concentration towards your studies.

    Boson is adequate if you follow their labs. Most of the problems occur when you try something that isn't part of their lab -- then you waste time finding the bugs in their software. But try to get hands on practice with the real hardware in your work lab/test environment.

    Good Luck!
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  18. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #17

    Default Re: losing my NOC job in 4 weeks - cramming for CCNA/CCENT?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexinTX
    Hello all,

    Long time reader of posts, first time poster.

    I was told as with 5 others that we are losing our jobs in 4 weeks - sad to say, they might not give severance pkgs, so they say.........

    Anyhoo, I took my job for granted and didn't get any certs while I was here. Being that I work midnight to 8 a.m. I have a lot of down time.

    Do you guys think it is possible, and I know it depends on the individual, to get this down in 4 weeks. I am talking about the CCENT/NET exam.

    sorry if I confused you all...

    Thanks to all the guru gods in advance.

    AT in Texas
    The point is that learning Cisco or networking for that matter is a very long term thing but you can start anytime!

    I cleared the CCNA the first time I attempted it in a couple of months with Lammle's book in 1999 and I had no access to cisco routers then or prior experience with cisco command line.

    Cisco was a new thing that I wanted to learn more about. I may have been able to pass sooner if my study schedule had been more aggressive and I had used some practice software like boson or I had experience but I didn't. I did a lot of reading during that period and paid attention to everything in the book. Without access to equipment there was a lot to get my head around but I managed it. I did however have to knuckle down.

    We only had one little cisco router in shop at that time as we used 3Com Netstack and Netbuilder switches and routers. Before I changed jobs I found a decomissioned 2501 router in the store room and with my bosses permission took it home. This was akin to finding gold in an abandoned mine as these things went for over 400 dollars back then.

    I spent a good deal of time playing with it. Back then, buying even a 2501 low on flash and dram on ebay was a considerable expense. By the time I changed jobs I was reading CCO technology guides in preparation for the CCNP and a career in cisco. I spent a week revising my CCNA commands and playing with the router at home each day in the week inbetween leaving my old job and starting my new job.

    That was time well spent as less than two weeks into the new job I was surrounded by 2900XL switches and had to amend the ACL on the company perimeter router with little or no help!

    In my new job I acquired hands on experience with cisco R&S and worked hard on my CCNP. After a year I relocated the whole site, designed a new server room and four story LAN, designed a WAN linking Nottingham, London and New York offices and was redesigning firewalls, DMZ, DNS, and IP schemes for our offices. A year later I was doing BGP peering for my company working hand in glove with designers at Worldcom and establishing a Local Internet Registry for my company.

    It took me a couple of years before I could scrape enough spare cash together to finace a four router home lab, a 2520 frame switch, a couple of 2503's offering BRI isdn and the router I acquired from my previous job. I still have these devices in my home lab. The cisco terminal server and Octal cable came in at nearly 900 dollars! So I got a cheaper Xyplex instead (which I still use) and the 2503 set me back over 700 dollars!

    Now it's 2007, I have never stopped working in the networking industry and I'm preparing for my CCIE lab exam. The main thing with cisco or network engineering for that matter is you really need to look at it as a long term thing. If you can't see yourself working with cisco for at least 5 years down the line it probably isn't for you so treat the CCNA in the same vein. It will take as long as it takes you to get it, but the main thing is that what the CCNA introduces you to you need to put into practice in a lab.

    Money may be tight but 2500 series routers honestly are going for a song on ebay these days. 30 dollars sometimes and I still find these devices useful for my CCIE preparations. It's an investment in your future so if you are serious about cisco I advise you to buy at least a couple of routers as soon as possible.

    Remember that when I started, those were heady days in the IT industry with real shortages in skills like cisco. Today there is much more awareness about what is expected from a network professional in terms of skills and experience because people like myself have come through and got on, and there have been numerous trends in network infrastructure the last 10 years. So you need to work harder than ever on your skills. In terms of quality the competition isn't any stiffer than when I started because in those days there were a lot of bright, technically inclined people working with the scarce resources I had to make do with to get an education and get ahead, but there are many more people an employer can choose from today now that so many people have the CCNA. They even teach it at schools now.

    You do however have experience in a NOC. That is important. Many book learned CCNA's after the telco crash in the early 2000's were desparate to get a floor sweeping job in a NOC but the companies were not hiring. Emphasis your NOC exposure in your CV and interviews and explain that having had a taste of cisco in the context of a data centre you now aspire to become a network engineer.


    Welcome to the journey...it changed my life
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  19. Senior Member Crunchyhippo's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by networker050184
    ilcram read the NDA before you go giving information out about the exam.

    If you have the CCNA and no experience its not really going to help you to much getting a networking job. Just remeber there are plenty of experienced indiviuals out there with the CCNA as well. The CCNA is not a meal ticket like a lot of people make it out to be. It is a good compliment to some good experience. That is why so many people stress experience.
    Right. For example, having a CCNP with zero experience might get you a job fairly quickly (albeit at a much lower salary), but a CCNA and no experience - well, you may have to volunteer a bit somewhere and get some hands-on experience with an employer that you can add to your resume later on. I certainly wish you the best. Sad to say, but education with no experience is almost as bad as no education and no experience.
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