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  1. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #26
    Quote Originally Posted by joelsfood View Post
    I did CCNA RS from scratch in one week, as a systems guy with minimal network experience, but I was also studyint 8 hours per day, had lab setup, etc.
    GTFO! one week? that is insane.
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by joelsfood View Post
    I did CCNA RS from scratch in one week, as a systems guy with minimal network experience, but I was also studyint 8 hours per day, had lab setup, etc.

    I think I averaged 2-3 months per CCNPC test, using the equipment every day and with 3 years of UCS experience under my belt. Coming from a true 0 to CCNP is not a quick game. Of course, if you have a good memory, you can dump it in a few days. It'll show up quick once you start getting jobs/assignments though
    There's maybe a dump for the test but there is none for the interview or as a network engineer. If you are going for a CCNP job you can bet at the interview that one guy in front of you has a CCIE.
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    #28
    I agree with Iristheangel on this one. It's possible to get it in 3 years but will you have a true understanding of the information, probably not. I did my CCNA R&S while in college but I also did my other certs while in college because I had good study habits from studying 24/7 for college classes.

    Network+ and CCNA R&S can be done in a 6 month timeframe. You would have to use the CCNA in 60 days book to pass in that amount of time. Network+ could be done in 2 months if you study for 2-3hrs a day.

    Once you get your CCNA, start looking for experience in Networking because having a CCNP with no networking experience can be a huge problem.
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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    @Networker and Hurricane - Great responses.

    @Networker - I have no doubt you could have kicked the CCNP exams - especially route - in a month. It's your wheelhouse for sure and you have a lot of experience to bank on.

    @Hurricane - I feel you. I did lab the CCNA a lot but that's sort of how I had to learn it and put it together. I think I could have passed that one without as much labbing. For the CCNP, I had about a year of experience in networking when I started it. It took me about a year to finish the whole thing off. Switch I felt was easier just given what I was doing on our existing LAN at work and it still took 3 months because there was a lot of stuff I wasn't configuring at the time at work (FHRPs, Private VLANs, etc). Route was a LOT more difficult for me. I think Danielh and I commiserated on that between his CCNP thread and my own. I had to rely on multiple books and videos to really get the content to click. The CCNP requires you to understand not only how to configure on thing at a time but how to configure the different aspects together with some light troubleshooting - this kind of understanding can't be accomplished without labbing which is why people end up building labs or picking out their favorite simulator for the CCNP exams. By the time you get to the TSHOOT exam, if you've passed Switch and Route the good ol' fashioned way, it's a breeze. If not, you're hosed.
    I started this job in April, and it's a good place to learn but I was finishing my WGU degree and was not able to study for CCNP until end of November. Honestly, some of the stuff would be hard to grasp without having a job in the field and having someone like my boss to answer questions. I remember I read a few chapters of the CCNP route book the week I started here lol, and I would read stuff like route redistribution and think no one actually does that. Then I realized we do it, realized why we do it, how it is done, etc. Seeing is believing honestly. And honestly, I hate being unsure of stuff - I like to know what I am talking about. So it only makes sense to give 100% effort to studying and labbing.

    I am using CBT nuggets + OCG for the CCNP Route. I never do anything with switching, so I feel like that might be harder actually but I hope not lol. They had me start with IOS upgrades here while I just learned the environment and technology, then I started doing the primary MPLS circuit migrations from T1 to Ethernet, as well as the backup internet links, which evolved into troubleshooting down circuits, traffic analysis, diagrams, working with vendors, etc. Now I am working on correcting out DMVPN environment and I just relocated an office and have the next brand new office opening. It's just a process and it really involves starting from the bottom, getting good with that stuff, and moving up.

    I think labbing is important for a career but even just for studying. I rarely do anything right the first time and often have to use debug commands now - which I never did before. But from doing it wrong on the lab, I remember it a lot more. It's cool to debug EIGRP and OSPF and ISAKMP and all those things and see the logs to actually see what is happening.
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    #30
    It's possible to get it in one month with exam level understanding of the information. It takes about 200 hours of study for one exam, if you do that 1-3 hours a day for most of a year or 10 hours a day for 20 days. It's up to you in the end, those 20 days will be tortuous but you will get there in the end. 600 (3 x 200) hours of study for 2 hours per day is 300 days or nearly a year. Say you have ten days a month to study at 3 hours per day that's 360 hours per year. So two years approx. I know its a bad example but you get the idea. Some people also eat certifications for breakfast, one guy I know did 8 in one year. Lots of MS ones and no cheating.
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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by kMastaFlash View Post
    I agree with Iristheangel on this one. It's possible to get it in 3 years but will you have a true understanding of the information, probably not. I did my CCNA R&S while in college but I also did my other certs while in college because I had good study habits from studying 24/7 for college classes.

    Network+ and CCNA R&S can be done in a 6 month timeframe. You would have to use the CCNA in 60 days book to pass in that amount of time. Network+ could be done in 2 months if you study for 2-3hrs a day.

    Once you get your CCNA, start looking for experience in Networking because having a CCNP with no networking experience can be a huge problem.
    When I do get my CCNA, will it be hard for me to find a networking job with no networking experience? I currently have a desktop support position right now and I will have been here for 2 years in March.
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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by hurricane1091 View Post
    I started this job in April, and it's a good place to learn but I was finishing my WGU degree and was not able to study for CCNP until end of November. Honestly, some of the stuff would be hard to grasp without having a job in the field and having someone like my boss to answer questions. I remember I read a few chapters of the CCNP route book the week I started here lol, and I would read stuff like route redistribution and think no one actually does that. Then I realized we do it, realized why we do it, how it is done, etc. Seeing is believing honestly. And honestly, I hate being unsure of stuff - I like to know what I am talking about. So it only makes sense to give 100% effort to studying and labbing.

    I am using CBT nuggets + OCG for the CCNP Route. I never do anything with switching, so I feel like that might be harder actually but I hope not lol. They had me start with IOS upgrades here while I just learned the environment and technology, then I started doing the primary MPLS circuit migrations from T1 to Ethernet, as well as the backup internet links, which evolved into troubleshooting down circuits, traffic analysis, diagrams, working with vendors, etc. Now I am working on correcting out DMVPN environment and I just relocated an office and have the next brand new office opening. It's just a process and it really involves starting from the bottom, getting good with that stuff, and moving up.

    I think labbing is important for a career but even just for studying. I rarely do anything right the first time and often have to use debug commands now - which I never did before. But from doing it wrong on the lab, I remember it a lot more. It's cool to debug EIGRP and OSPF and ISAKMP and all those things and see the logs to actually see what is happening.
    IPEC configuration is covered as a Packet tracer lab at CCNA level and is a basic example. Don't know if I can post the lab here for you. MPLS is CCIE as far as I understand and so is DMVPN. There is just the show command in the Route book. As far as I know CSR1000v routers can be used to setup a MPLS network for labing on the cheap. Its 2GB of memory per Router and you need a good Processor as well. Never done a debug on a live network, they banned that.
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  9. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalJay View Post
    When I do get my CCNA, will it be hard for me to find a networking job with no networking experience? I currently have a desktop support position right now and I will have been here for 2 years in March.
    That's a hard one to tell you. It really depends on the need in your area. CCNA is considered an entry level exam so it's not frowned upon to show up with zero networking experience to interview for a job with it. Here in the US and I'm fairly sure in Canada as well, it really depends on geography. If you're in a technology hub with a lot of IT, you have a much higher chance. It really depends on where you live and are you willing to relocate?
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    #34
    Here was my path to the CCNP. I started the process around January 2010.



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    #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverymoon View Post
    I passed by just memorizing the steps from the book and the materiel. Labs really did not add to the experience but if the lab covers more than the books its of value to me. The stuff is so simple and there are videoes that you can watch on youtube. It's not important to do labs, this is from a guy who went far beyond the CCNP labs and built a VM server (CSR 1000v routers) and 4 physical switches (3560's). I have a tacacs+ACS server and a Radius server. 802.1x with Windows 2012 as a server and the port with a Windows Vista VM. I have 6 x 2900 series routers for the serial links for the frame relay. You really don't need it and its a waste of money. It took months to work out and setup. It's not needed and the time is better spend studying the material and watching instructors showing you how its done.

    Example:- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rIMXjv3AqYXbkv
    Let me take this from another angle. The OP doesn't have any experience and they've blankly stated that in post 1 so what you're saying is that the OP, never touching ANY of this technology before, should go ahead and not lab as they progress from a entry level networking exam to a professional level networking exam?

    Another thing to consider is this: Yes, it does take time to set up and work on a lab. Sometimes it costs money. Are you taking the exam for letters after your name or are you looking to be a better engineer? If being a better engineer who is competitive and highly compensated is the goal, getting a lab and getting your hands dirty is important in the process. If you're looking to just get letters after your name, it won't matter to you whether you lab or not or cheat or not or whatever.

    To the OP: A legitimate CCNA and CCNP are highly desired in certain parts of the US. I'm sure the same is true for Canada. I would highly encourage you to dive deep in and get your hands dirty. Don't cut corners and work your butt off. It'll show in a technical interview and you'll have the opportunities you desire. I also think if you put your mind to it and work your butt off, you'll get the CCNA and CCNP in under a year or so. Just focus on what will make you the best engineer in the process.
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    #36
    To answer the OP question both the CCNA and CCNP plus CCNA security are one year part time courses on the Open University. CCNA Routing and Switching Full Time runs for 24 weeks. source: Cisco Professional and Short Courses - London Metropolitan University

    The CCNP course runs full time for 28 weeks for 252 hours. source http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/media/london-metropolitan-university/london-met-documents/faculties/faculty-of-life-sciences-and-computing/courses/cisco/CCNP-Full-time-R&S-February-2016-Start_v1.pdf
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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverymoon View Post
    IPEC configuration is covered as a Packet tracer lab at CCNA level and is a basic example. Don't know if I can post the lab here for you. MPLS is CCIE as far as I understand and so is DMVPN. There is just the show command in the Route book. As far as I know CSR1000v routers can be used to setup a MPLS network for labing on the cheap. Its 2GB of memory per Router and you need a good Processor as well. Never done a debug on a live network, they banned that.
    Hello,

    Yes, DMVPN is beyond the scope of the CCNP - but I've got an extensive lab set up and did a lot of reading on it. As for the MPLS, I have not set it up but my boss has offered to sit down with my and do it after I get done with the CCNP.

    IPSec is also covered in CCNA - my point was that you really need to understand things from the beginning. Doing debug stuff (in a lab) really helps you see what is going on. DMVPN is a CCIE level topic, you need ISAKMP and IPSec. Which, by the time you've gotten to doing DMVPN, should have labbed or gotten paid to do.

    To each their own, but if I asked someone what DMVPN was and all they said was "it dynamically creates tunnels" I would want them to be able to expand upon that. Labbing stuff just makes you comfortable.

    As for getting a job with the CCNA, I got my job with 2 CCNAs + other certs + I started going back to school again. I was fortunate though being able to skip NOC type roles though and only having to do a year on the help desk.
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    #38
    IPSec is not covered completely on CCNA R&S (guess you have done security) they tell you about it on netacad and have an example lab but that's it. Its not an exam topic for the CCNA R&S. Used to be on the old CCNP Route book at the back, latest few chapters but is gone now and no longer an exam topic. DMVPN on CCNP Route is 4.2 Describe DMVPN (single hub).

    MPLS lab try ospf first,

    mpls ldp autoconfig area x

    You can setup four CSR1000v Routers in VMware workstation and do your DMVPN lab. 8Gb of RAM needed.
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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    That's a hard one to tell you. It really depends on the need in your area. CCNA is considered an entry level exam so it's not frowned upon to show up with zero networking experience to interview for a job with it. Here in the US and I'm fairly sure in Canada as well, it really depends on geography. If you're in a technology hub with a lot of IT, you have a much higher chance. It really depends on where you live and are you willing to relocate?
    I'm in a pretty small city, far East coast. I'm lucky that I landed a desktop support job with the provincial government. I was thinking since government jobs go with internal employees first, I can keep my eye on the look out, but nobody really moves around much and I don't want to wait years to move to a new position.

    With that being said, what are the layoffs like in the networking field? I'm very safe with this job and will only get terminated if I mess up pretty bad. I would be willing to relocate though if the experience and pay is right.
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    #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverymoon View Post
    IPSec is not covered completely on CCNA R&S (guess you have done security) they tell you about it on netacad and have an example lab but that's it. Its not an exam topic for the CCNA R&S. Used to be on the old CCNP Route book at the back, latest few chapters but is gone now and no longer an exam topic. DMVPN on CCNP Route is 4.2 Describe DMVPN (single hub).

    MPLS lab try ospf first,

    mpls ldp autoconfig area x

    You can setup four CSR1000v Routers in VMware workstation and do your DMVPN lab. 8Gb of RAM needed.

    I have just 2811s for the DMVPN lab and a 3650 switch acting as "the cloud".
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  17. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #41
    The layoffs depend on the company. I tend to read the financials on a company and try to investigate the environment (glassdoor, yelp if they have a customer-facing front, check if I have mutual contacts on Linkedin at the company, etc).
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    #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    The layoffs depend on the company. I tend to read the financials on a company and try to investigate the environment (glassdoor, yelp if they have a customer-facing front, check if I have mutual contacts on Linkedin at the company, etc).
    Thanks for the advice
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    #43
    Interesting thread indeed.

    I agree with a lot of the comments here, however getting a CCNA in 3 days after your CCENT.....Interesting.

    My personal experience is this:

    I worked doing server and desktop support at a few local schools gaining the helpdesk experience, whilst here I hated it so I decided to grab a CCNA which took about 9 months or so. A day before my ICND2 exam I had an interview for a Network Engineer role which I was keen to get. I secured my CCNA and then got the job all in the same week (it was an amazing week ). I then studied for my CCNP:Switch for 2 and a half months, bagged that whilst learning loads at work. I am now onto NP:Route and going fairly slow to try and learn as much as I can.

    Still loads to learn! The grind continues...
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    #44
    Wow. Amazing story, Simrid. Glad it worked out and props to you
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    #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    Wow. Amazing story, Simrid. Glad it worked out and props to you
    Thanks Iris, been reading your CCIE DC thread - Very interesting.

    After I have my CCNP:R&S I will probably look at either CCDP or CCNP:Security. The orginal goal was to be a CCNP by the age of 22, looking like i'll be getting my CCNP:R&S this year - 2 years before the orginal target. Maybe CCNP:Security by the age of 22 now? Figured security would be great as I work with ASA's everyday.

    Not sure i'll ever be ready to do an IE certification though - A completely different beast.
    Last edited by Simrid; 01-28-2016 at 05:26 PM.
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    #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Simrid View Post
    Interesting thread indeed.

    I agree with a lot of the comments here, however getting a CCNA in 3 days after your CCENT.....Interesting.

    My personal experience is this:

    I worked doing server and desktop support at a few local schools gaining the helpdesk experience, whilst here I hated it so I decided to grab a CCNA which took about 9 months or so. A day before my ICND2 exam I had an interview for a Network Engineer role which I was keen to get. I secured my CCNA and then got the job all in the same week (it was an amazing week ). I then studied for my CCNP:Switch for 2 and a half months, bagged that whilst learning loads at work. I am now onto NP:Route and going fairly slow to try and learn as much as I can.

    Still loads to learn! The grind continues...
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  23. xnx
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    #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Simrid View Post
    Thanks Iris, been reading your CCIE DC thread - Very interesting.

    After I have my CCNP:R&S I will probably look at either CCDP or CCNP:Security. The orginal goal was to be a CCNP by the age of 22, looking like i'll be getting my CCNP:R&S this year - 2 years before the orginal target. Maybe CCNP:Security by the age of 22 now? Figured security would be great as I work with ASA's everyday.

    Not sure i'll ever be ready to do an IE certification though - A completely different beast.
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    #48
    CCNP is worthless without experience, I'm currently getting certs for other vendors my company requires and then doing T-Shoot, by which time i'll have near a year in a actual NE role.
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    #49
    realistically, from 0.
    CCNA will take about 4-6 months, that's with you studying 2hr per day at least 5 days a week ( book and lab time included)
    CCNP, each exam would take about 6 months each. ( lab time is a must for everything)

    for me about 2 yrs from back when there were 4 tests. I had a few years of working experience to go with it also.
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    #50
    Quote Originally Posted by keenon View Post
    realistically, from 0.
    CCNA will take about 4-6 months, that's with you studying 2hr per day at least 5 days a week ( book and lab time included)
    CCNP, each exam would take about 6 months each. ( lab time is a must for everything)

    for me about 2 yrs from back when there were 4 tests. I had a few years of working experience to go with it also.
    These time lines are good and is roughly what it took me.. although I was at university whilst doing my CCNA.
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