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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default CCNA/CCNP - Is it possible to self Study?

    Hi
    I'm a Math. teacher and I'm not very lucky in this career regarding scarce of high paying schools and abundance of careless troublesome students so I decided to change my career path from teaching math to IT as a Cisco Certified Technician. My main question is:

    Assuming that I have the self abilities to study by myself and I have the dedication of time and effort, Is it possible for me to study for the CCNA and then the CCNP Without attending courses in a Cisco training institute (just sitting for the final exams) by e.g. adopting one of the video training series by CBT Nuggets or any similar company that offers video based training?

    The reason behind this is to save money and time as attending classes tend to cost a lot of money (Not to mention the exams themselves!) and several weeks (24 weeks for CCNA and another 24 weeks for CCNP) but I'm not really sure if the degree of complexity of the CCNA/CCNP require me to attend classes or not necessarily.

    Another a little off topic question: Does high paying companies prioritize recruiting Cisco certified technicians who passed the study courses + the Cisco exams rather than the guys who just passed the Cisco exams by themselves without attending courses or it both guys have the same equal opportunities as long as they passed the exams successfully?

    Thank you in advance for your prompt advice and sorry for the long questions.
    Last edited by magoood; 12-25-2009 at 08:02 PM.
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  3. Member
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    #2
    Yes you can. I'm sure it's going to be recommended that you get a software Sim and some hardware for your goals, but overall it's very possible. Most folks on this site are self starters (pick up a book and go).

    As to the second part of your question... HR folks and recruiters don't put much weight on how / where you got Cisco certified, just that you have it and it's current.

    Best of luck.. If you put your mind to it, it can be done!
    Last edited by joe48184; 12-25-2009 at 08:36 PM.
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  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    Can't speak for the CCNP but self study for CCNA is certainly do-able. I did a 5 day course for the CCNA which sadly was very poor so in effect I self studied for it. Also self studied for my CCNA-V and currently working on CCNA-S. After that I intend to give the CCNP a go as well.

    The video courses (CBTNuggets and Trainsignal) are excellent but must form a part of a more complete study plan. Two sets of books are typically recommended, Wendel Odom's ICND1 & ICND2 books and Todd Lammle's Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide. Both very good. Also expect to need to do other research on some concepts if you are new to networking, wikipedia is good.

    It's worth looking for a couple of routers and switches (2600xm series rouuters and 2950 switches are a good balance of price and features).
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  5. Senior Member ColbyG's Avatar
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    #4
    Self study for the NA is cake. Self study for the NP is tough, but possible. Getting the NA and finding a job to gain some experience will help greatly with the NP.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Does high paying companies prioritize recruiting Cisco certified technicians who passed the study courses
    No, no one will care how you obtain the certificate -- but they will care that you actually know the material that you were certified on. Passing the exam is 100% achievable without attending a class, but be sure to get every exposure to the technology that you can. One of the nice things about the classes is that they should have physical hardware for you to get hands-on with. Look into a simulator/emulator such as dynamips if you are self studying, which will allow you to build some necessary command line experience.

    Previous work with some form related technology will be helpful and make the material more meaningful as you are learning it, but again it is not strictly necessary. You may also wish to look into some of the CompTIA certifications at least for a guided approach to learning the technology, even if you do not wish to sit for the exams.

    Be sure to check out the CCNA FAQ sticky if you haven't already for other resource suggestions. The Sybex book by Todd Lammel is generally considered to be a good choice of text to accompany videos or classes.

    My advice would be to focus on the CCNA for now and look into the possibility of the CCNP when you are ready. That is a good start. There have been many discussions about obtaining mid-high level certifications (like the CCNP) without work experience to back it up. Instead of me starting another discussion here here, I'd recommend you do a search for something like "CCNP experience".

    Good luck in your studies.
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  7. Junior Member
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    #6
    I just obtained my CCNA 100% by myself. Here's what I recommend.

    1. Obtain a good book. I read the Cisco Press ICDN1 ICDN2 books. I have a safaribooks account. I pay about $20 bucks a month for access to thousands and thousands of tech books online. If you dont need all this you can just buy the books from the books store.

    2. You MUST have access to a good simulator. This will give you hands on access to labs and the Cisco IOS. I used the Boson simulator www.boson.com

    3. You must crame and memorize and understand the key points. When reading through the cisco press books you will see "key points". These will likely be on the test. You should take notes on these and to cram before the test. You can also obtain the test syllabus from the cisco website.

    4. I recommend taking notes using an online flash card maker. I used flashcardmachine.com . Here i made flashcards that would allow me to go over the key points electronically.

    Good luck!
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    lol being a math teacher will probably give you a edge to a very important topic: subnetting. so without any experience you do have advanced math skills, which will come into play learning subnetting.

    Also a book I rarely seen brought up is the 31 days until my ccna book.

    I don't think I ever seen that one mentioned on here. Anyone recommend it?
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  9. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #8
    Most definitely a HELL YEAH! you can definitely obtain both by self study. The whole concept of the cisco press "Self-Study" book is for you to do a Self-Study. However to reinforce concepts you will need hours of lab and self practice.

    I did both CCNA and CCNP self study, but i was working in a networking field and had lots of hands on practice. Also my employer paid for one Global Knowledge class for the BSCI (Routing) course. To be honest with you i had studied the entire self-study BSCI book from cisco press and then took this course. The Course was great but to be honest it was all review for me and the labs they provided were identical to the labs in the BSCI self study book. Exactly identical to the I's and T's!

    I myself personally only like to learn this stuff by myself, with lab practice, figuring out your own problems, then resorting to a friend(s)/forums for some additional help.

    I dont see how anyone except for the backing of an employer would pay 2-3,500 grand per class for the CCNP course. I think you have to put in more of your own hard work to figure out the material, which will pay off in the long run. It will teach you to figure out situations on your own, because in the real world you cannot raise your hand for the answer lol

    CCNP courses > 10grand ..... lol wow

    If it makes you feel better a lot of people get their CCIE with loads of self study reading/lab hours, lab materials purchased from some provider (Videos/Lab books), forums, study groups (which is a bunch of self study folks).
    Last edited by chrisone; 12-26-2009 at 03:08 PM.
    2017 Goals: Dark Side OPS: Custom Pentesting (complete), eCPPT (in progress), LFCS (in progress), OSCP
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    Yeah not only that but the classes can be designed around the idea that this is not the only thing your currently studying. So if the Cisco classes 1-4(assuming your going the Network Academy)are all your currently working on,, and don't have anything else going on aside from your job, the classes could go very slow for you. I'm on CCNA-3(3.1 material, old I know) next semester, on break right now and only been studing it for a few days here and there and already have a good grasp on a good portion of what this class is gonna have. And I got all 1900 points(a A) in CCNA-2 and I barely needed to study the last couple months of it cause I already did study mostly everything, accesslist orders is all I need a better grasp of really. And I do have other classes.. though have nothing else going on away fropm school/work, and 100% free weekends

    But yeah unless you want a degree in it, you don't really have to do the classes, cbt nuggets and a good book, will do it. However, if your in the classes then you can use packet tracer, which you have to be in the classes to legally use it.
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  11. TAC Engineer
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    #10
    Absolutely yes. I have done CCNA, CCNP and CCIE with self-study (years on simulators, books, and later with real HW). If you need help with some tricky points, just use community around here and you'll get as deep explanation as you want.

    For the start you just need Odom's INTRO and ICND book, dont rush into buying too much stuff, certifications change often anyway. Simulators to use which I recommend are for sure GNS3, and possibly Cisco's Packet Tracer. You should be ok with those to get your CCNA certification and also for most of the CCNP exams (dont waste your money to buy too much from start, but buy as you progress)

    For the HW which you'll need post another question when you'll have CCNA, now lets go and study

    Most important thing is to enjoy the study, dont rush, dont skip, even when you fail move on, its not an easy road but its definitely worth the time ! For a motivation you can still find my post around here about passing CCNA
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    if you go to udemy.com there are some free courses for ccna and for subnetting. also from time to time you can get other courses on sale.
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  13. Junior Member
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    #12
    I registered for that course for $15, it's highly rated.
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  14. Senior Member yoba222's Avatar
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    #13
    I don't think Udemy existed yet in 2009.
    Working on: Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Sander Van Vugt
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