If Cisco training is your aspiration, and you’ve not yet worked with routers or network switches, you should first attempt CCNA certification. This will provide you with knowledge and skills to work with routers. The internet is made up of hundreds of thousands of routers, and large commercial ventures with many locations also need routers to allow their networks to keep in touch.
It’s very probable you’ll get a job with an internet service provider or a big organisation which is located on multiple sites but still wants secure internal data communication. These jobs are well paid and in demand.
Getting your Cisco CCNA is perfectly sufficient to start with; don’t be cajoled into attempting your CCNP. Once you’ve got a few years experience behind you, you will have a feel for whether you need to train up to this level. If so, your experience will serve as the background you require to take on your CCNP – which is quite a hard qualification to acquire – and mustn’t be entered into casually.
One thing you must always insist on is 24×7 round-the-clock support with trained professional instructors and mentors. Too many companies only seem to want to help while they’re in the office (9am till 6pm, Monday till Friday usually) and nothing at the weekends.
Never buy certification programs which can only support trainees through a message system after 6-9pm in the evening and during weekends. Trainers will give you every excuse in the book why you don’t need this. The bottom line is – support is required when it’s required – not when it’s convenient for them.
We recommend that you search for training programs that have multiple support offices across multiple time-zones. Each one should be integrated to give a single entry point together with access round-the-clock, when you want it, with no fuss.
Never make do with a lower level of service. Direct-access 24×7 support is the only way to go when it comes to IT study. Maybe late-evening study is not your thing; often though, we’re working when traditional support if offered.
Beginning with the idea that it makes sense to home-in on the employment that excites us first, before we can even mull over which development program fulfils our needs, how can we choose the right direction?
Because without any solid background in computing, how should we possibly understand what someone in a particular job does?
Arriving at a well-informed resolution really only appears from a methodical analysis of several shifting key points:
* Personalities play an important part – what things get your juices flowing, and what are the areas that put a frown on your face.
* What time-frame are you looking at for your training?
* How highly do you rate salary – is it the most important thing, or is job satisfaction higher up on your priority-list?
* Understanding what the main IT roles and markets are – and what makes them different.
* Taking a cold, hard look at the level of commitment, time and effort you can give.
To be honest, it’s obvious that the only real way to investigate these matters tends to be through a good talk with an advisor or professional who has years of experience in IT (as well as it’s commercial requirements.)
Commercial certification is now, undoubtedly, beginning to replace the traditional academic paths into IT – but why is this?
As we require increasingly more effective technological know-how, the IT sector has moved to the specialised core-skills learning only available through the vendors themselves – in other words companies such as Microsoft, CISCO, Adobe and CompTIA. This frequently provides reductions in both cost and time.
Many degrees, for example, become confusing because of a lot of background study – with much too broad a syllabus. Students are then prevented from getting enough core and in-depth understanding on a specific area.
What if you were an employer – and you required somebody who had very specific skills. What is easier: Trawl through loads of academic qualifications from several applicants, trying to establish what they know and which vocational skills they’ve acquired, or choose particular accreditations that specifically match what you’re looking for, and make your short-list from that. Your interviews are then about personal suitability – rather than on the depth of their technical knowledge.
A study programme must provide a nationally accepted exam as an end-result – and not some unimportant ‘in-house’ diploma – fit only for filing away and forgetting.
All the major commercial players like Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe or CompTIA all have nationally recognised proficiency programmes. Huge conglomerates such as these will make your CV stand-out.