If Cisco training is your aspiration, but you haven’t worked with routers or network switches, you should start with a CCNA course. This will give you skills for setting up and maintaining routers. The internet is made up of hundreds of thousands of routers, and big organisations with various different locations also need routers to connect their computer networks.
Because routers are linked to networks, look for a program that covers networking fundamentals (maybe the CompTIA Network+, possibly with A+ as well) before you start a CCNA. You must have an understanding of the basics before you commence any Cisco training or you may encounter problems. Once qualified and looking for work, companies will expect good networking skills in addition to the CCNA.
Qualifying up to the CCNA level is the right level in this instance – don’t be cajoled into attempting your CCNP straight away. Once you’ve worked for a few years you will know if this next level is for you. Should that be the case, you’ll be in a better position to pass then – as your experience will help you greatly.
A lot of training companies are still using one of the most out-dated training concepts – classroom lessons. Usually touted as a major benefit, following a chat with most students who’ve had to attend a couple, you’ll find them listing some or most of these problems:
* Loads of travelling – frequent journeys and usually over 100 miles a pop.
* Weekday only access to events can be usual, and with 2-3 days to book off work, this is usually problematic for most working students.
* Let’s not disregard the lost holiday days. Usually we’re lucky to have 20 days holiday per year. If half of that is used up on workshops, then it doesn’t leave much for us and our families.
* Workshops usually end up bloated with students.
* Maybe you like to work at a somewhat more suitable pace – rather than be dictated to by the rest of the class. Sometimes this causes classic classroom tension.
* The cost of travel – driving to and from the training centre and of course over-night bed and breakfast can cost a lot each time you attend. If you only assumed a basic 5-10 workshops costing around 35 pounds for one over-night room, plus forty pounds for petrol and food at 15.00, that equates to four to nine hundred pounds of hidden costs on top.
* The majority of attendees want their training to remain private so as to avoid any come-back in their work.
* Surely, all of us at some time have avoided asking a question, because we didn’t want to look stupid?
* Where students have to occasionally work elsewhere in the country for several days at a time, imagine the increased difficulty in getting to the requisite events, as time becomes even more scarce.
The perfect situation is watching a pre-filmed lesson – giving you the opportunity of instructor-led coaching at any time of day. If anything comes up, utilise the 24×7 Support (that should come with any technical program.) Don’t forget, if your PC is a notebook PC, study isn’t restricted to the home or office. Repeat any modules if you need to – doing something over will help you remember it. And there’s no need to take notes – everything is already done for you already. Quite simply: You save on money, time, hassle and avoid killing more trees.
Getting your first commercial position sometimes feels easier to handle with the help of a Job Placement Assistance facility. The need for this feature can be bigged up out of proportion though – it isn’t unusual for companies marketing departments to make it sound harder than it is. The fact of the matter is, the massive skills shortage in Great Britain is the reason you’ll find a job.
Bring your CV up to date as soon as possible however (advice can be sought on this via your provider). Don’t delay until you’ve qualified. Quite often, you’ll land your initial job whilst you’re still studying (even in the early stages). If your course details aren’t on your CV (and it’s not being looked at by employers) then you’re not even going to be known about! The most efficient companies to help you land that job are generally specialised and independent recruitment consultants. As they’re keen to place you to receive their commission, they have more incentive to get on with it.
Do be sure that you don’t conscientiously work through your course materials, then call a halt and imagine someone else is miraculously going to find you a job. Stop procrastinating and make your own enquiries. Invest the same resource into finding your first job as you did to gain the skills.