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Thread: CCNP or bust.

  1. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    Default CCNP or bust.

    I've actually posted a similar topic in the past, but I'm back again.

    I've been having somewhat of a dilemma lately and I wanted to get the input of you fine people.

    I've been "studying" for my CCNP for a while now. As in, I've been studying for BCMSN for a year, on and off. It would be the first exam I've sat for the CCNP and I know the new format is getting ready to go into full effect.

    My dilemma is this - I don't deal with routing at work. Out of all the networks I've worked on since I began this job, I've worked with nothing that is actually on the BSCI/ROUTE exam. Aside from putting the occasional static route in place, I've never worked with a network large enough to need routing protocols, let alone in the detail that the CCNP requires. That's not to say that I won't eventually, just that right now and for the foreseeable future, I doubt it.

    With that said, everything that was on BCMSN, I could apply directly to work. I was (and still am) in the thick of switched networks, VLANs, VoIP deployments, layer 3 switching, etc. That seems to be where most of my work is done, both internally and for other clients.

    Right now, I'm just torn. I know it's a good career move to get my CCNP and I genuinely want the knowledge. It's just that I don't want to be one of the CCNP's who has no experience working with the material that's actually on the exam. Let's say I get my CCNP in a year, but don't move on to work with routing in that much depth. I'm concerned the knowledge would begin to slip, kind of like my CCNA level routing knowledge has. I worry about having an interview, telling them I'm a CCNP, then having to break the news that "well, I haven't actually worked in those environments, but I passed the exam and know the material".

    It feels kind of silly to abandon the whole thing now, given the fact that all I require to sit (and hopefully pass) BCMSN is a little devoted study time to review. I've paid for the practice exams, study material and devoted a lot of time to it. However, I know what's on the horizon after that and it's not pretty. I'm not worried about it being tough, as I know it will be. I just worry about it being practical right now.

    Now I'm just wondering what I should do. Take BCMSN to renew my CCNA, then study for another cert? Keep on with my CCNP? Use BCMSN for another certification, if possible?

    Just looking for some information from folks who have possibly been in my shoes before.

    Thanks!
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  3. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #2
    I'd keep going for the CCNP. For me its kind of the opposite of your situation. I work in a 90/10 routed to switched environment so I don't really play with many switching technologies. When I do its usually provider focused switching stuff rather than the enterprise stuff that is covered in the BCMSN like DAI and DHCP snooping etc. I still learned a lot from it and it has helped me on the job for that rare time I have to go mess with that. Just be prepared to have a lot harder time with the BSCI/ROUTE since you don't have your real world experience to fall back on. I wouldn't let that discourage you from going all the way through with the cert though.

    On the subject of employers, just explain it to them like you did in this post. That wasn't your main job function, but it is something you have a good grasp of and when needed can implement the technologies.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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  4. Senior Member Nuul's Avatar
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    #3
    I agree with networker. In an interview break it down for them just like you did here. You know the material and you've proved it by passing all the required tests to call yourself a CCNP.
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  5. coffee all day everyday. nicklauscombs's Avatar
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    #4
    agreed, the CCNP covers a whole lot of ground. there will be plenty of topics that are new that you may never use at your current job. however if you want the CCNP go for it, your next job might use the material you learned in your studies.
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  6. Certified Beer Judge Cyanic's Avatar
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    #5
    Some obtain a certification to learn the technology and to get their foot in the door for potential jobs. Others have the skills but want/need the recognition. IMO either way is fine and valid and you should not feel guilty for getting it even though you may not have hands on skills in a certain area, even if that area is a majority of the certification.

    All a certification says is that at a particular time you could pass a test.
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