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  1. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #1

    Default I hate quitting early, but...

    I feel like I should abandon the CCNA route right now to pursue a couple certs that are much more pertinent to my current position in the organization I work for.

    I am working on the CCNA because its the most interesting subject to me, but it will not help me as much as if I were to get the MCTS: 70-680/685/686 & a Citrix desktop support cert. Those certs would help me do my job better as well as help me move up here.

    Purpose of the thread? I want others opinions. I started the CCNA study before I got hired here. Since hiring in, I see how learning the ins & outs of Win 7 could be very useful and if I were to learn the Citrix side of our support it would be even better since 90% of the users (~4000) use Citrix in some form or another and no other tech has any knowledge of it.

    About two years ago I forced my self to start finishing things I started, and its only been good things since then. I hate the idea of quitting the CCNA, but this seems like as good a reason as any.


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    #2
    It's a good idea to focus on certifications that apply to your current work, you gain (and your employer) more value by adding experience to that knowledge. However, consider what your goals are. Do you like what you're doing? Would you rather work in telecom? Is there an opportunity for you to get hands on with Cisco gear at your current employer?

    General knowledge is always good also... I would probably continue the CCNA but stop there (i.e. don't aim for CCNP, CCIE) if you're not going to work in telecom. That'll give you a better understanding of how things work (at the foundation level) and help you when troubleshooting or discussing with the telecom team (speak their language).

    Good luck!

    Marc
    Last edited by networker050184; 03-14-2014 at 01:05 PM.
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  4. Senior Member stryder144's Avatar
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    #3
    While you have already started your CCNA studies, and I can fully appreciate the fact that you want to finish what you've started, the 70-680 cert will provide you with a potential immediate career boost. If your company is anything like mine, you can alert your HR folks and your manager to the fact that you have added to your skillset through the successful completion of that exam. Then, you can roll back into studying for the CCENT and knock it out. Doing so will give you the emotional boost of having taken a step forward and completing something that you've started in the past. This will really give you a sense of accomplishment and the energy to move closer to your other goals. Next, complete the 70-685 or 70-686 exam. Once you've done that, you're an MCSA: Windows 7. Again, huge boost to the ego and a dash of extra enthusiasm will follow (alert the boss and HR to your new status as an MCSA)! Following that exam, study for and take the CCNA exam. You will feel the elation of having accomplished one of your goals (CCNA: R&S). That should give you further confidence and allow you to reach the next goal, which would be a Citrix cert.

    Assuming you spend one month on each exam, you should have everything taken care of by, say, the end of August. I don't know when your yearly review is, but adding MCSA: Windows 7, CCNA, and a Citrix cert to your list of accomplishments should impress your manager and set you up for future success.

    Good luck!
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  5. Senior Member aftereffector's Avatar
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    #4
    I started on CCNA Voice but bailed to focus on CISSP, which will directly impact my career (Voice was just for personal edification as I don't know much about call managers). I will take up Voice and several other certs that I abandoned after I finish my CISSP studies, but it is more important to me to focus on a relevant topic than something that I'm taking just for personal benefit. I would advise you to follow the path that gives you the best ROI - whether that is MCTS/Citrix to benefit your current job or CCNA to prepare you for another position; and whatever you choose, don't feel that you are "quitting", just reprioritizing. I haven't quit my Voice studies, I just put them on hold for a few months
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  6. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #5
    How far along are you in your CCNA studies? Are you close to being at a Network+ or CCENT level? If you have gained enough general knowledge to at least understand TCP/IP basics, maybe you can go ahead and certify there (N+ or CCENT), and then start working on the other certs that you mentioned. Unlike CCNA, where you will forget many of the topics and commands if you are not working on routers and switches, your day to day job in desktop support will reinforce what you pick up with the entry level network certs like N+. You can always pick CCNA back up later.

    Just my two cents.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    @--chris--,

    How close are you to taking the CCNA? Are you looking for a new job or do you plan on being at your current job for at least another year? If you are close to taking the CCNA or want to leave soon, then I would continue with it.

    Have you consider taking the CCENT, completing the MS and Citrix exams you mentioned, and then coming back to CCNA?
    Last edited by ajs1976; 03-14-2014 at 12:52 PM.
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    #7
    I agree with what others have said, if you are close to your CCENT/Net+ level of knowledge then getting that couldn't hurt you since those concepts are something that will help you down the line and don't generally require you to remember specific configuration commands etc. But as others have said, it is also wise to align your certification pursuits with your actual job role and what will be the most applicable and useful to you in the real world.
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  9. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #8
    I am one chapter away from finishing Lammies 100-101 book, I have completed about 20% of the Chris Bryant videos and feel like I am close to N+ but need more time to be ready for the CCENT. I just got Odom's book and read bits here and there while waiting for tickets at work. I have a good grasp on the OSI model, TCP/IP interaction with it and how things are moved around a network but I cant focus 100% on the study portion because I am also in school full time working on two 300 level classes while trying to stay on the deans list.

    Realistically, I think I can get one big (CCNA/MCSA) cert done this year. I can only take the summer off because of financial aid and I cant reduce my workload any more in school for the same reason. I am not complaining, I am learning cool stuff in my school work but its the reason I am not further along in the CCENT work.

    I do like the idea of completing the CCENT like its been suggested, maybe set the goal of finishing it by June 31st then finishing the MCTS by Nov 1 and work towards the other MCTS (for MCSA) by Feb 1 with my review on Feb 28 next year. I never considered desktop as a place to make a good living, but the internal guys here start at $27/hour w/good benefits. Its definitely something to work towards...I don't plan on making a career out of desktop but two or three years here would not bother me either.

    I wanted to go into networking, but I may have arrived at that in a naive state because honestly this is my first real IT job. I have been exposed to so many different things here (we have about 400 people in IT here) that I know networking may not be my end game. At this point I am thinking a broad base of knowledge for the first few years then maybe I will come across something that I am really good and I will focus on that.


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  10. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by --chris-- View Post
    I wanted to go into networking, but I may have arrived at that in a naive state because honestly this is my first real IT job. I have been exposed to so many different things here (we have about 400 people in IT here) that I know networking may not be my end game. At this point I am thinking a broad base of knowledge for the first few years then maybe I will come across something that I am really good and I will focus on that.
    This is something more people should realize. Get it, get some exposure, then set out your longer term goals when you can make an informed decision.

    Good luck!
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    #10
    It's called baseline goal setting. If you set to vacation to the Carribean and a tropical storm comes through several days, you have to reassess the situation, maybe consider going to another vacation spot. Or maybe you are a biology student but after second semester you decide you like Accounting. Should you continue to get you Biology degree? I believe you need to consistently reassess your position and what skills you would like to enhance and in the way of certification which ones you want to high light or capture. I've never understood the concept of getting a CCNA when you want to be more of a systems guy or System Engineer or being a Network Admin or Engineer and getting the MCSE. Why not focus directly on your craft, like getting an MCSE or a RedHat Unix cert? I believe the certifications should align with A where you are at and B where you want to go. If there is a delta in that formula a certification loses major value.
    Last edited by N2IT; 03-14-2014 at 01:39 PM.
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  12. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by N2IT View Post
    It's called baseline goal setting. If you set to vacation to the Carribean and a tropical storm comes through several days, you have to reassess the situation, maybe consider going to another vacation spot. Or maybe you are a biology student but after second semester you decide you like Accounting. Should you continue to get you Biology degree? I believe you need to consistently reassess your position and what skills you would like to enhance and in the way of certification which ones you want to high light or capture. I've never understood the concept of getting a CCNA when you want to be more of a systems guy or System Engineer or being a Network Admin or Engineer and getting the MCSE. Why not focus directly on your craft, like getting an MCSE or a RedHat Unix cert? I believe the certifications should align with A where you are at and B where you want to go. If there is a delta in that formula a certification loses major value.
    Great perspective to place on this situation. Thanks for the clarity.


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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by N2IT View Post
    It's called baseline goal setting. If you set to vacation to the Carribean and a tropical storm comes through several days, you have to reassess the situation, maybe consider going to another vacation spot. Or maybe you are a biology student but after second semester you decide you like Accounting. Should you continue to get you Biology degree? I believe you need to consistently reassess your position and what skills you would like to enhance and in the way of certification which ones you want to high light or capture. I've never understood the concept of getting a CCNA when you want to be more of a systems guy or System Engineer or being a Network Admin or Engineer and getting the MCSE. Why not focus directly on your craft, like getting an MCSE or a RedHat Unix cert? I believe the certifications should align with A where you are at and B where you want to go. If there is a delta in that formula a certification loses major value.
    I agree with this almost entirely, only objection being that he should focus on what he wants to be, not what he is.

    Sounds like you are abandoning future hopes for immediate impact with the current company. Do you want to be a windows and citrix guy? If so, absolutely drop CCNA and focus on what you want to be good at. If you want to be a networking guy though, continue your Cisco studies while being adequate at your current position and look to move to a net admin job once you acheived the CCNA.

    But yes, once you figure out what you want to do... focus on that. Getting ICND1 then windows then ICND2 then windows then citrix is the recipe for someone who makes average money because they are average at a broad scope of things. Figure out what you want, focus and get good at that and make good money, not average money... and actually enjoy your job. Just the theory I follow anyway and its worked for me.
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  14. Senior Member cyberguypr's Avatar
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    #13
    Absolutely. A few years ago my plan was to do CCNA and possibly go a bit deeper into networking. Mid-way through my studies for CCENT I got pulled in a different direction. I finished my CCENT but lost all traction to continue down that path. I have so many thing lined up that given the how scarce time is, I just don't see myself over going back to Cisco.

    The key here is to be dynamic and realize that no matter what your goals are they can take a 180 degree at any time, even in directions you never imagined.
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  15. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberguypr View Post
    Absolutely. A few years ago my plan was to do CCNA and possibly go a bit deeper into networking. Mid-way through my studies for CCENT I got pulled in a different direction. I finished my CCENT but lost all traction to continue down that path. I have so many thing lined up that given the how scarce time is, I just don't see myself over going back to Cisco.

    The key here is to be dynamic and realize that no matter what your goals are they can take a 180 degree at any time, even in directions you never imagined.
    It was hard for me to determine if being dynamic also meant bailing on a goal, but now I can see its not bailing on the goal its changing the goal.


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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Chris,
    I think it's fine to abandon your Cisco studies without concern for quitting early as long as you follow through on the 70-680 and Citrix certifications. If you can do that, you won't have that 'quitting early' feeling following you around. Best of luck!
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberguypr View Post
    Absolutely. A few years ago my plan was to do CCNA and possibly go a bit deeper into networking. Mid-way through my studies for CCENT I got pulled in a different direction. I finished my CCENT but lost all traction to continue down that path. I have so many thing lined up that given the how scarce time is, I just don't see myself over going back to Cisco.

    The key here is to be dynamic and realize that no matter what your goals are they can take a 180 degree at any time, even in directions you never imagined.
    This is spot on... Just ask my B.S. degree in Biology... LOL
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  18. Senior Member omi2123's Avatar
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    #17
    chris, having CCNA in ur resume makes a impression no matter where u go....it will give u a very in-depth knowledge bout sub-netting, make u familier with cisco switch & routers & protocols and how they work & troubleshoot....don't quit now...u will regret it down the road....most of the certs has some sort of networking involved & knowledge of CCNA always gives u the boost in that matter......just bite the bullet & finish it....
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  19. Data Network Engineer filkenjitsu's Avatar
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    #18
    I moved onto Service Provider from SWITCH because of relevancy. I am enjoying my studies much more now!
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