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MrCraig
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Post subject: CCNA recertification
Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:22 am
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Hello folks,

I am a year away from the CCNA expiration date, and while there is still plenty of time, I started looking at the recertification and narrowed things down to 3 options:

1. ICND2.
Advantages:
* Cheap
* Easy (no new material to learn beyond what is already learned)
Disadvantages:
*No progress in certification

2. CCNA concentration
Advantages:
* Additional certificate
* Medium amount of learning (as it's still NA level)
Disadvantages:
* More expensive than the other options
* Staying at CCNA level

3. One of the CCNP exams
Advantages:
* Climbing "up" on the "certification ladder"
* Cheap
Disadvantages:
* More efforts required
* Triggers the CCNP timer (3 years to complete)
* (this one is specific to me) Risk of starting it too early and becoming paper CCNP as I deal with Cisco equipment on a rather basic level at the moment


So I am wondering...

Re #2: Do CCNA concentrations (particularly CCNA: Security and CCNA: Service Provider) hold any value at all? Is having "CCNA, CCNA: SP" on the resume any better than just "CCNA"?

Re #3: How unwise is it to start CCNP track at this point? I have ~5 years of experience in system administration + 2 years of tech.support prior to that, plus a degree in CS, network administration. Primary duties are on server support side of things with little exposure to advanced networking. I have not yet decided whether to focus on a particular area, and what it would be - I'm choosing between networking, virtualization, and security...

Your opinions and suggestions on the matter are greatly appreciated.
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horndog
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Post subject:
Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:42 am
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You can only answer that question.

Is the CCNP the route you want to take you should probably research the requirements and see if that is the route.
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MrCraig
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:02 am
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horndog wrote:
You can only answer that question.

The decision which route to take afterall, yes. But I was hoping to get opinions on (a) CCNA concentrations and (b) whether the timing is good for me to start CCNP...
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Headhunter
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:35 am
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SP is nice to have if you work with the ONS's but if you aren't working for a service provider then..... better off with voice or security
And at the end of the day it is your decision.... and having a specialization on CCNA is still more then CCNA.
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MrCraig
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:28 am
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Headhunter wrote:
SP is nice to have if you work with the ONS's but if you aren't working for a service provider then..... better off with voice or security
And at the end of the day it is your decision.... and having a specialization on CCNA is still more then CCNA.

Thanks, that's the kind of comment I wanted to hear... So according to you, there is some recognition of specializations out there on the job market, that's good to know
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MrCraig
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:38 am
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horndog wrote:

Is the CCNP the route you want to take you should probably research the requirements and see if that is the route.

Btw, I've done the research on CCNP prior to posting, so I have a good idea about the certfication itself. It's just that reading discussions like this one leads to doubt and hesitation...
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horndog
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:10 pm
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Do you have a specialization you would like to stick with? Voice, wireless, security, R&S, etc?

You could get re-certified and get CCNA+ one of the above.

Then once that is done, continue to go down that path.
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MrCraig
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:54 pm
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horndog wrote:
Do you have a specialization you would like to stick with? Voice, wireless, security, R&S, etc?

As said in the initial post, security, SP, and possibly, R&S look appealing to me, but none of them have yet been chosen as a career focus.

horndog wrote:

You could get re-certified and get CCNA+ one of the above.

Then once that is done, continue to go down that path.

Yes, I know I could
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MrCraig
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Post subject:
Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:50 pm
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To bring a closure to this topic, let me say that I have decided not to pursue CCNP at this point, until (and if ever) my career focus will start shifting towards network engineering.

As for CCNA renewal, as per HeadHunter's suggestion, I will go for CCNA:S, as a more versatile (comparing to CCNA:SPO) specialization.

Thanks for the comments guys!
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horndog
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Post subject:
Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:53 am
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Doesn't it seem to be the hardest question to answer is which path and which certification?

It is a harder question if you are not 100% than any test question you will ever see.
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kidvelvet
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Post subject:
Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:14 pm
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The first thought that came to my head was this:

What are you doing currently?

It would make sense to follow a path that can either be paid for by your current employer. If you currently use your CCNA in your job and you plan on going forward with networking as a career, then I would go CCNP and get the boss to pay. If you are using the CCNA as a way to round out your knowledge in systems administration or engineering (in other words, you work mainly with servers), then I would just recert the CCNA with a current CCNA. I would not do voice or security unless either your current role uses it or you really want to simply learn for learning's sake. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Does that help at all?
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MrCraig
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Post subject:
Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:17 am
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kidvelvet wrote:

Does that help at all?

Yes, quite certainly, thank you.

kidvelvet wrote:
What are you doing currently?
...
If you are using the CCNA as a way to round out your knowledge in systems administration or engineering (in other words, you work mainly with servers)...

This is exactly my case. I support the company's computer system from A to Z, including servers and network. The network structure is very simple and little reconfiguration is ever needed for the 2-3 Cisco routers, so my job is mostly focused on taking care of the 30-40 VMware/Windows/Citrix/Linux servers and other sysadmin stuff (DNS, mail routing, traffic monitoring)...

And I kind of already settled on not pursuing CCNP at this point. Next spring or summer (CCNA is due for recerting in the fall '11) I am planning to go for CCNA:Security.

Cheers!
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