Thread: CCNA-CCIE's: What's it like?
July 18th, 2006, 04:50 PM #1
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- Jul 2006
CCNA-CCIE's: What's it like?
Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I need to know. What's it like to be a CCNA? CCNP? CCIE?
I love computers and am driven by the idea of setting up and maintaining large networks. I feel awestruck when I stand in front of a large server rack sending hundreds of cat5's up in the ceiling.
I've spent the last 6 years in front of a monitor designing websites and it's already taking it's toll on this 22 year old's back, posture, and wrists. I'm really looking to get away from sitting down for 40 hours a week.
This is why I need to know. What's your job like? How much do you get paid? What's a typical day at the office like? How many hours do you typically work per week? Anything you like/don't like about working in networking?
I'm currently working towards an Associates in networking, a CCNA and hope to persue a CCNP after that and if I like it enough, push for a CCIE. Any particularly good/bad points about this strategy? Your opinion is very valuable to me. Please let me know.
July 18th, 2006, 09:12 PM #2
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- Oct 2001
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How much hands on work do you have when it comes to networking. Iím talking about real life stuff not whatever you do in class.
When you do network management stuff you try to set it up so that you can manage everything from your seat. CCNA is just a certification to help you understand how to setup Cisco routers/network knowledge.
I am a CCNA but mainly work with 3com edge switches and Cisco core devices. I am currently working towards my CCDA then the CCNP.
I manage 55 sites, I do a lot of switch replacement (old switch going bad, im doing a lot of testing with our Cisco Catalyst 4503 switches, etc) You have your good days and your have your bad days. Some days you sit around and do research other days you are going nonstop until the day is over with. Depends on your hardware, your ISP, who you work for, the abilities of those you are supporting. Pay all depends on who you go with. I work for a school district the pay is nice for my age so I canít complain. I know I could make more elsewhere but im learning a lot and building my base up before I head out into the big world.
I would try to start getting your feet into the networking side ASAP. Going to jobs with just a ccna and no real life experience wonít get you very far. Intern, volunteer, do whatever it takes to build your resume up so when you sit down to interview you can say I have worked in the field.
Focus on getting your CCNA first and see how you like it. I suggest the CCDA as its abit boring but it goes into the designing aspect and gives you the bigger picture when it comes to networks and how they connect. CCNA/CCDA would be a good foundation for you to say okay i would like to go for my CCNP
July 19th, 2006, 10:22 AM #3
I am a CCNP/CCDA and a typical day begins with me reading syslogs and checking monitoring systems. I work for a regional ISP and have 65 small to medium size customer ranging from DSL connections to multiple T1's at single locations. I then check bandwidth usage for the top talkers and my main office. I review any intrusion detection alerts that may have come in during the night and take the appropriate actions to deal with them. Daily work on actual routers/switches is minimal after design, deployment and initial testing, unless or actually until there is an issue. Most of the issues I have seen are related to circuits and not hardware but hardware failure can and does occur.
For me, skills and experience in Unix, Linux and Windows networking and overall familiarity with the OSes are essential. This way I am not surprised or stumped by any workstation that I am sitting at.
As far as salary, just like any other career you will make more as you stick with it and gain experience. Gone are the days when you could make a lot of money right out of the gate with just certs. I agree with GroundZero, get some experience under your belt even if you have to do it for nothing. There are probably some places to do this in your area. I worked at a church to get some initial hands on.
Another recommendation, learn to be able to communicate complex ideas in simple terms. This skill will help you in many ways and many situations. Many C level executives don't speak in technological terms and being able to make your point/needs clear will make your life much easier.
Good luck in your studies and feel free to ask any questions you may have!
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