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- Bob Simon
August 14, 2008, 10:02 pm
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I'm over 50 and I don't take tests as well as I used to. Several
years ago I failed 640-801by 2%. I knew the material well but I could
only finish about 2/3 of the exam when I ran out of time.
I wonder if now that Cisco has broken the test up into two pieces if
you folks think it might be easier to finish in the alloted time.
I feel that if you know the material, it is easier to take one test than to
take two tests. I encourage you, if you feel that you know all of the
material, to take the traditional single CCNA exam.
Go to Cisco's website, go to Training & Events, then the link for the CCNA
exam in the middle of the page. This information is shown:
640-802 CCNA 90 Minutes (50-60 questions)
640-822 ICND1 90 Minutes (50-60 questions)
640-816 ICND2 90 Minutes (50-60 questions)
Looks like you have two ways to get the CCNA. If the difficulty is sitting
for the whole test length, just go do it once and schedule yourself for
640-802. If you were within 2% of the passing score, you might as well
re-learn some of the material and try again.
is there any benefit of taking one exam versus to?
Is taking the first CCNA exam make a person eligible for
If a person has a degree in Computer Information System (knows
academic level programming) but have no industrial experience, is
CCNA certification enough to look for internship? Does one needs A+
certs? Also, I heard that having MCSA and CCNA both will make one able
to find a job? Is that so?
BENEFITS OF CCNA TEST OPTIONS
There is a cost savings by taking the single CCNA exam instead of taking the
two part ICND exams. Each test is still $150 USD and they contain the same
number of questions. It is less expensive to take the single test for the
CCNA at $150 USD instead of a total of $300 USD for the two ICND exams for
the same CCNA title.
Internships are offered by companies using their own guidelines for
considering candidates. It is not a standard that having a CCNA makes a
person a better candidate for an intern position.
A college degree always helps. The only exception is that if you have a PhD
and want to work for minimum wage, the hiring manager might ask if the job
is really right for you. A computer related degree helps you, but does not
mean you are locked into that career field. I have worked in the
information technology (IT) field under managers with bachelor degrees in
history, art, and various engineering degrees. When you apply for a job,
the degree itself, no matter what it is in, makes you better than a
candidate without a degree.
A college degree demonstates achievement but also means that you passed
classes in basic math, communication, written comprehension, and possibly
basic business courses. This combination of basic business understanding
along with a demonstration of achievement benefits you.
CERTIFICATIONS FOR YOUR RESUME
It is a simply concept in resume writing: show what is pertinant to the job,
not a lot about other things unrelated to the job. It shows hiring managers
that the skills for the job are what you do the best, no matter how much
resume paper you use to demonstrate it.
If you are intending on working in the data networking field, specifically
with Cisco systems, do not pursue the A+ and Network+ certifications.
Concentrate on the certifications for the job that you want. If you had a
valid Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) certification and
perhaps one or two jobs showing a year in the field, you would probably get
hired with those credentials alone.
If you are intending on being an all-around technican for Windows servers,
Cisco data networking devices, and PCs, then get a combination of Microsoft
certifications (perhaps a MCSA) and Cisco certifications (perhaps a CCNA and
If you want someone to tell you what to do, then finish your degree (no
matter what it is in), study only for data networking certifications
(Cisco/Juniper/Nortel), work for a year or two anywhere in the IT industry,
then get a job in data or voice networking. It pays better and is less of a
headache than PC and server work because data and voice engineers are harder
to find than PC and server engineers.
August 18, 2008, 10:24 pm
Thanks so much for the explanation. This is the first time I get some
useful information about the specifics of Cisco. It helps me to get
some idea what route I should focus on.
I'd like to respond to what you wrote by addressing your last
paragraph. BTW, I feel very encouraged to stick to this field if the
age (and being a female) is an issue. I hardly look over 30 but I am a
little over 40s spending most of my 30s being sick ( for being at the
wrong place) though successfully obtained a degree during that time.
(I did a master's in Computer Info systems because it's just easier
that way since my undergrad was from another country and I didn't want
to have to take undergrad courses such as US history, US government,
etc. to meet the requirement plus do transcript evaluation to get
credit for math, etc. (I read history and stuff on my own as a hobby
and would find it annoying to have to study.) Coming from a non IT-
undergrad degree, I had to take a lot of foundation courses such as
two programming languages, data structures and database (though the
professor of that course was terrible and I didn't learn the data
structure part much while I was able to compensate for the database
part by taking a grad course I had to take plus an oracle class I took
at a community college).
I am so grateful of the way you explained about "the data networking
field" versus "all-around technician for Windows servers,
Cisco data networking devices, and PCs". I definitely would like to
avoid being a technician person. Frankly, if I were not too
traumatized mentally after physically recovered form the effects of
mold exacerbated by my breast surgery, I would have started certs in
Cisco earlier. Well, there were other issues in the family making me
to try to leave the state, feeligng desperate to stick to what I knew
htough not too skillful, i.e.programming.
When you say anywhere in the IT industry, can you give me some
specific what kind of work I should look for especially with my
degree 5 years old though I kept myself not getting away from the
I tried doing internship (in IT helpdesk) at a state agency because I
needed $$ and I lasted 2 months. No problem with my performance but
problems with the environment I was in: Two of the students were fine
but the two two guys were acting bossy - one was a former classmate
at the community college I am taking classes and other had just
graduated with a degree in Geography but had been working there for a
while. The first guy had been there for two years and was not moving
onto taking classes at the university level - he has ADT - and
treating me like he was my superior while the other one would play
music at his desk and yet would find fault with my accepting a cell
phone calls. Needless to say, didn't take it pointed out his hypocrisy
unlike the other two brothers where were Computer Science students.
The boss was never around btw. Also, I could tell that I wasn't going
to learn much there anyway.
Frankly, I don't want to be that kind of environment and so I am not
interested in an internship with state agency anymore though I am
desperate for some $$ to survive. Beside, most state agency probably
would not want me anyway because of my computer degree seeing me as a
someone who would not stay there for long. I could skip my computer
degree on the resume and just write down things I know but I am not
sure it is wise if they rate the pay based on transcripts
Signed up for substitute teaching - I also have a master's in a non It
field though science - and trying to sign up with another district so
that I when I try for unpaid internship, I will have flexible
I am glad to hear the scarcity of data and voice engineers but one
question: Is my being a female a potential obstacle? What about age?
I guess, after I start my Cisco classes - starts next week - and learn
more about the related key words, I should put them on the resume as
learned those topics, removing stuff that shows my programming
languages I know and the software testing tools I was trained a little
bit in, etc. May be I should even leave out my other master degree
(it's hard core science where I wrote a thesis) since it is unrelated
to what I seek unless writing thesis would be seen as a related
skill. But then, I did a lot of projects in CIS degree and I am very
good with documenting.
Well, my goal is to find some work once I get CCNA (combined with my
degree in computer info systems which is from a good university) but
I am willing to do unpaid intern to get my foot in the door. I guess,
I need to have a CCNA, not just the first part of it, to even find an
internship, right? I'll just take the one exam since I am too tight
with money anyway and also will need to move right after I take Cisco
classes level 1 and 2 this fall so that I will be situated before the
next semester starts for Cisco level 3 and 4.
Again, thanks a lot for the info. I would like to get your opinion on
the question I asked about being a female and age issue plus some
specifics what I should look for in IT industry in the beginning
stage. Thanks a lot.
On Mon, 18 Aug 2008 11:40:55 -0400, "Scott Perry"
Scott, your post was helpful to me as well. I start my first
networking course tonight. I plan to take the CCENT at the end of
that (late Dec., early Jan.).
The next set of courses then goes from Jan-April. I'm not sure I want
to wait that long to go for my CCNA. I'm thinking these first courses
will get my feet wet and get me started. I'll probably try to
self-study and fast-track to get the CCNA sooner than April.
I'm just finishing my first course here:
I took the first course in the Information Security program.
They gave me a hard sell on getting a grad certificate in InfoSec (6
courses = $12,000), then pursuing the Master's Degree. I've been
waffling, because I'm not so sure a grad cert is going to be worth the
paper it's printed on.
Instead, I'm thinking of going with the degree, with a concentration
in InfoSec (4 courses for the concentration). Do you think the
Network & Communications Management program is a good way to go?
What I really want to do is get a job with tuition reimbursement and
go from there. I really need a paycheck and some benefits, and I'm at
a loss for good advice on what to do.
I have an EE degree, and am totally unable to find an engineering job
so far, because I've been out of the field for 11 years.
Ok, reply to both/all following:
Tech schools offering certificates suck. They cost about as much as college
tuition and leave you with a certificate that nobody really recognizes.
Colleges with classes accepted by other colleges are the way to go. Find
out what other colleges will accept transfering of classes and credits. DO
NOT ask the tech school this question - ask another university if the accept
credit from where you are considering.
If your local university does not accept classes and credits from the
technical school you are considering, then do not waste any money. That
includes places like ITT Technical Institute, TechSkills, and anywhere that
takes your money for classes that do not count towards a university degree.
You can get a single certification class at a college without being a degree
If you have a college degree that another college would recognize, then you
are doing good. I do not care what it is in or how old it is. A bachelor
degree is good no matter what it is in. A masters degree is better, no
matter what it is in. I don't care if you have a 4 year degree in art
appreciation, you will get a job in the IT/MIS industry if you have
certifications and some experience. I got hired as a network engineer
several times with a high school diploma and a Cisco plaque. Point made.
This is America. Employers will not care if you are male or female.
However, they will care if you bring too much of your personal life into the
workplace. Get things worked out and put some faith into the EEOC.
Here is my recipe:
1) go to library
2) check out any of the following:
- Cisco Press CCNA by Wendel Odom
- Exam Cram Cisco CCNA book
- Sybex or any other Cisco CCNA book
3) read the entire book
4) post messages online asking for clarification on topics
5) THEN look into getting practice tests, lab equipment, or GNS3
6) schedule CCNA exam through Vue testing and take test
7) repeat step #3 through #5 until successful
8) apply for a data networking job and get hired
9) plan vacation
Total cost, if done correctly: $150
Please note that these steps need to be followed in order. Please do not
ask how to get hired before reading an entire CCNA exam guide or asking
about exams after the CCNA like the CCNP, CCSP, CCVP, or CCIE without first
passing the CCNA. If you have no Cisco certfications, then you need to get
your CCNA or move to a different career field.
People! You need to do your research! Get a book! Begin your research!
First, thanks for such pertinent and useful info.
As the , I heard about unpaid internship and I to search for that
once I get my CCNA.
It's being worked out: Though it took trial and failure these past 4
years, I have successfully cut umbilical chord with oldest sister as
of late last year; was just feeling extremely bad about not giving
myself priority and wasted my time doing things for her (big and
Thanks. I think that I should leave out my previous master's degree
from the resume for IT job and may be Bachelor degree (in the same
field as of that MS degree) as well since I finished my BS at 20.
Thanks. I'll follow this recipe religiously.
Got the message. First get CCNA.
I started my Cisco course at my local community college last night. I
love it. The material is online, and it's the official Cisco Network
Academy courseware. There's a 2-hour lecture, followed by labs. The
lab is a room full of Cisco switches and routers.
Plus we get a 70% discount on the exams.
My only problem is the pace. The semester only covers up through
CCENT. I wish it was twice as fast, because I can't wait until next
April to get a paycheck. So I guess once I get a feel for things,
I'll have to self-study and move ahead of the class.
But it's a good start. Wish I'd done it a year ago.
Congratulations, Mitch! I am very glad to hear that you have combined
training, college credit, and certification all into one option. I hope
that you will consider eventually getting an associates degree or
transfering the general classes from there to a four year college or
university. The tuition at community colleges is usually cheaper but
maintain all acreditation for transfer of classes to larger schools. There
is no waste of your time and money if you want to continue.
Ask many questions about "how" or "why" things work in your class. Get the
best understanding of how the lower layer protocols of the OSI operate as
best as you can. Networking deals with OSI layer 4 and below, so learn why
ethernet and TCP/IP work the way that they do. Good luck learning IP
address subnetting - just remember to multiply and divide by 2 and you are
I am curious as to what equipment the college offers in its labs. Cisco
2500 series routers and Cisco 1900 series switches are old, outdated, and
not anywhere reputable in the business environment. I hope they are
offering at least Cisco 2600 series routers and Cisco Catalyst 2900 series
switches or better.
The CCENT is a new certification title below the CCNA. If the CCENT is just
one test and the CCNA can be taken as just one test, I always thought that a
person who had hands-on time, even in a lab, should just go for the CCNA.
Think about that as the class draws to a close. You might consider
scheduling yourself for the 640-802 CCNA instead of the 640-822 ICND for the
CCENT. They cost the same, have the same number of questions, and build off
of the same general topics. A practice CCNA test from the back of a Cisco
CCNA book at the library will help show you if you are ready. Every major
library has at least a few Cisco books, even those from Cisco press printed
in Indianapolis, IN. See how well you do without paying a practice test
Since I already have an engineering degree, if I want to get the
associate's in IT, I'd just have to take an accounting course. I have
all the other gen ed.
I saw stacks of 2600's, and some others that the prof said were
I can't wait to understand all of this stuff. I wish I could just
cram it all in.
That's what I'm thinking. I'm chomping at the bit, and I think the
course is going to follow a "no child left behind" pace. :-)
The agreement that Cisco Networking Academies (which have to be
not-for-profit organisations) have with Cisco is that academies are not to
compete directly with Cisco Learning Partners, commercial businesses - hence
the longer time periods.
Also which stream of Academy courses are you doing - CCNA Exploration or
Be aware that only the first first two Discovery courses, "Networking for
Home and Small Businesses" and "Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or
ISP" map to the requirements of ICND1/CCENT. And then courses 3 and 4,
"Introducing Routing and Switching in the Enterprise" and "Designing and
Supporting Computer Networks" map to ICND 2.
The Exploration courses -
Routing Protocols and Concepts
LAN Switching and Wireless
Accessing the WAN
are technology based and only directly match the requirements of the 640-802
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