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  1. Senior Member
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    Mar 2013
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    Germany
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    A/L/N/P/S+, CCNA R/S, CCNA Security, VCP5-DCV
    #1

    Default "Experienced" Sysadmin seeks CCNA

    Greetings everyone,

    I've been doing IT for about 16 years now, but somehow I've managed to get away with not having any industry certifications (or a college degree for that matter). I suppose my experience means something, but it's very broad and unfocused, so it usually deters potential employers looking for a specialist in a particular field from even considering me.

    I've found that I want to specialize a little more, since I've done a little bit of everything. I've done application development and quality assurance, telecom support, Windows/Linux/VMware system administration, and I've dabbled in security.

    I've just never bothered to finish my Computer Science degree or to acquire any certifications. This poses a problem as the truly senior level positions require specialization and credentials, both of which I'm lacking in. What I'd like to do is refocus in networking, especially since my current position has me tasked as our team's networking guy (as one of the four or so different hats I wear).

    At any rate, the first cert on the list is a CCNA. I'm not sure if I'll take the ICND1 and ICND2 separately, but I'd like to knock them both out in the next month or so. I've been studying a fair bit and have acquired a few bits of equipment to build out a home lab with. I have three Cisco 1841s, two 2960s, and a 3550. Additionally, I have a 2511 access server for management and two ESXi hosts with 14 NICs between them to build all of the virtual infrastructure I can dream up. I've configured one 1841 as my home router to see if I could get basic routing, ACLs, and NATing to work.

    Anyhow, I thought I'd participate in some posts on this board to help keep focused and motivated while hopefully helping others do the same!
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  3. xnx
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    Cisco n00b xnx's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    BSc IT & CSc, CCNA R&S, CCNP R&S + Other vendor certs..
    #2
    Opposite situation here, nearly have my degree and did my CCENT in a month but I have no real world experience minus wiring a home with CAT6 and setting up SOHO networks.
    Hoping I can get 'any' related job as soon as I get my degree and my CCNA
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  4. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
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    Certifications
    A+, CCNA
    #3
    Welcome to the forum. Lots of good information here and of course a little motivation.

    With 16 years experience i don't think you will have any problems grasping the material.

    Good Luck!
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  5. Senior Member Magic Johnson's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Location
    Scotland
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    411

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    CCENT, CCNA
    #4
    I would do them separately mate, purely because this will be your first professional exam. You might have all the knowledge (or at least some of it) already but the hardest part for me was figuring out studying, revising and implementing the knowledge I learned. It took me about 3 months to get the CCENT (despite working in IT for 4 years) because I had no clue, absolutely no clue what the best methods or practices were for me, personally (learning wise).

    It took a while to find myself, if you will. I feel if I'd tried to do the whole thing in a oner I'd be sitting here in a huff or probably given up. Passing the CCENT is almost verification you are doing it right.
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  6. Random Member docrice's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Bay Area, CA
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    1,687

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    GSEC, GCFW, GCIA, GCIH, GWAPT, GAWN, GPEN, GCFE, GCFA, GMON, OSWP, SFCP, SnortCP, Sec+; expired: CCNA (R&S, Security, Wireless), WCNA
    #5
    The CCNA was my first certification, and I took it after being in the industry about ten years. That said, I had gone to a bootcamp where I learned a lot but not everything was new to me since I had already several years of experience working with basic switching and routing. I did the single exam. Ultimately, you'll have to decide whether doing it in two steps or just one is more comfortable for you.
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