I have CCNA, Beng in telecoms and four years in telecom installations, mainly cabling. I am fourty and badly need to do something now before it is to late, i mean a couple of more years and accordingly to some people they will right me off becouse there are a lot's of young gays out there with the same certs. What should I do? If you now of any good agencies or cold colling techniques. Please show me the light? Should I do CCNP ?
In which case, hit them with an anti-discrimination suit. Its illegal to employ people on the basis of age or sexual orientation. :)
CCNA is an entry level cert. On its own, its not worth very much. You could move on to CCNP as one route, then look at CCDA/DP as a bit of a differentiator. However, no cert (even the covetted CCIE) is a sure-fire way to career joy.
The only possible exception is that CISSP is going to be sort after for the next couple of years, but without any demostratable IT security experience, it may take you a bit longer to land that one.
Don't you think that is a *very* dangerous approach, especially when it comes to issues of infosec? It would seem that having a sense of "uneasiness" or comprehending a lack of knowledge is much better than being lulled into a false sense of security proficiency. I'd think those who believe they are knowledgeable when in fact they're potentially incompetent are the ones that will take a company down or cause it to make the headlines!
Its like a drivers license. You need one. It doesn't make you a master, but if there are two people with equal experience, the paper cert could break the deadlock.
The exact same argument can be levelled against CCNA, CCNP or any other Cisco cert, with the exception of the CCIE (and none of this "CCIE Written" bullshit). If you are rub
At least your mate studied the books for three months. He could have spent three nights cramming the TestKing answers and got the paper cert that way.
But that's not the point.
The point is that Security is the current Y2K, and for every job requiring intimate knowledge of BGP 4+. there are a hundred requiring security, and the ratio of practitioners is a lot less. COOs, CEOs and quite a few CIOs don't know the difference between CISSP and CCIE (Security), but do know that they have to employ somebody to secure their network before the nasty hackers sell their confidential business IP to their rivals.
Just because I pass a cert exam doesn't mean I'm qualified. This individual is being tasked with security direction for a company that houses people's financial records. Would you want someone unqualified with final authority in matters pertaining to the safety of your financial info?
I think Cisco certs are a bit different. You have to demonstrate, tangibly, your mastery of the material. I had more respect for the CISSP than I do now, simply because you couldn't pull that stuff in a Cisco cert context (study for a couple of months with little to no previous experience), especially at the CCIE level.
You're assuming the person is incompetent. I'm arguing that if you know your stuff, get the stupid cert to help you land a job. Almost all certifications are stupid by design. Certs try to boil down what the company and resellers think is important and will dish it up in an exam. No certification - non military ones anyway :) - is immune from this.
Conversely, just because you have a cert, does not mean you are *not* qualified. Double negative for emphasis!
Of course not. But again, you're assuming the person with a cert is incompetent and I'm saying that may not be the case. We are actually on the same sheet of music.
They are not.
No, not really.
Sure you can. With the explosion of CCIE training tailored to help you pass the exams, this is no longer the case. It hasn't been for quite some time.
And before someone butts in with the usual non sequitur, I hold just about every IT cert there is so I know of what I speak. Not because I needed them or even wanted them, but because it benefited my employers. You see, one of the *real* reasons for cert is so that the company can say "we have 110,000 CERTIFIED people to help you." This makes buyers feel warm and fuzzy about support. Of course it doesn't follow what certified == experienced, but companies didn't care.
Very few people know this, but Novell used to make people come to Provo to take hands on tests. This was late 80's as I recall. Then the market exploded, Paper CNE became a house hold name in the TI industry, and MS followed suit.
I'll credit Cisco for trying to keep a check on it by mandating the hands on tests. But it too has been watered down.
I'd really like to hear some more of your thoughts on your last statement. Not that I've drank too much of the Cisco Kool-Aid, but having invested a fair amount of my own money and time into Cisco certs and being at a small crossroads in my networking career, I'd like to know your observations on a couple of things:
First - your thoughts on the key ingredients to the successful future of a network engineer (not a guy bucking for management, but someone who loves and has passion for network tech as a whole), and...
Second - the importance of certifications relating to the above.
We have all heard ad-nausium the arguments, pro and con, for certs. However, your charge that Cisco is becoming watered down is pretty bold, considering the lengths their willing to go to in order to preserve the marketability of the test. I understand the concept of certification marketing, however, there's got to be more value than simply giving a customer warm-fuzzies. I guess that if that's what it takes to make a buck, then most business types would say the means justify the ends. I, however, don't wish to spend limited time and funds on something that has a historical context of failure. Other's claim education (more degrees) are the key. Some claim all of the above. Some claim that a network engineer should consider themselves a relic, go get an MBA, and stop leaching off of society.
I'm glad to hear that you've stayed away from the Kool-aid! :)
Very simple. Learn the technology inside and out. Learn it to learn it. Not to pass a test. For example, you don't have to read "Inside Cisco IOS Software Architecture" to pass any Cisco exams. But it's a good book to read because it goes into the depths of some obscure topics (although it's -the book is- showing its age). Alex Zinin's book is another good example. Here's the difference between an engineer and a tech. It boils down to one more layer of abstraction. A tech will know that that a default gateway is always represented as
0.0.0.0 with a netmask of 0.0.0.0. An engineer will know exactly why it's referenced that way. A tech will know how to read "sho ip ospf neigh" An engineer will know how to use the OSPF database to troubleshoot a problem. Or what problems may lead to what issues during the OSPF process (of coming up/forming an adjacency). Know so much that you become the "GOTO guy" in your office. A tech may keep typing commands until it works and then will walk away (knob turning) but an engineer will go directly to the (most likely) source of the problem.
google my posts on this topic. I haven't wavered. Experience is good. Experience with certification is almost always better. When you build up a relationship, no one will care that you have XYZ cert. But having that XYZ cert may land you one more client so why not? Of course, if your business is booming, it becomes a matter of diminishing returns. You're already overbooked with clients so why bother?
When they removed some key aspects of CCIE exam, I knew they were on the decline. When they don't think about using relative scoring to pass candidates, they don't care about certifying top notch people. By that I mean, pass the top X percent of the people who took the exam that month. We already do that for admission to college do we not? Or do what PEs and CPAs do. Even after you pass the exam, you have to be sponsored for one/two years.
You forgot to expand on that sentence. Giving customers warm and fuzzies so the resellers can make money.
A good degree is more important than any cert. A degree with certs is better. A degree with certs and experience can be the differentiator. It sure sounds like you're on the right track though. Reading your posts, it sounds like you know what you want.