I was studying for the CCNA about 3-4 years ago now, read all the stuff over a few times. But never really got to take the test. At the moment I want to do the CCNA now (been reading the material on this site, may I say its EXCELLENT!), but am finding it hard to get motivated enough to start reading those big books and some of those really long boring parts. I have a pretty good understanding of networking etc (obviously) but cant remember things like subnetting (looks sooo boring, fall asleep almost all the time) and the routing protocols. (Probably cos I haven’t used them for 3-4 years)
Has anyone out there done a CCNA bootcamp ?
Or the Cisco network academy?
The academy go’s for a year right? I really don’t think I need to study for a year though.
Saw some prices for bootcamps …. $5000.!!!! And that for 1 week!
Saw another one for 2 weeks $6,600.
Seems rather expensive!
I want to get more into Network Security. Im really interested in it.
Is the CCSP a really good pathway?
A lot of positions seem to want ppl with more experience with the more different manufacturers etc. (the good old. Need experience for the position, but you need the position for experience.)
Any suggestions here?
I took the Cisco academy a couple of years ago and got a lot out of it (you do get out what you put in). If all you have already done is read about it and didn't have any actual hands on experience, I would suggest going for the academy.
While boot camps are OK, they are intense and you will tend to forget what they teach you as it is a lot of information crammed into you in such a short time. I don't know about you, but whenever I take that type of seminar, my my mind tends to shut down at about the middle to end of day 3. Boot camps would be fine for someone who already has a good grasp of the basics and needs to really supplement what they already know.
There is another alternative if you cannot afford to sit through a Cisco Bootcamp and this something I've done throughout my certifications. Because motivation is part of the problem and it's most probably because reading big text books can get quite boring, you could invest on a few cisco routers which you can pick up from ebay, creating your own small lab at home at a minimum cost.
Two Cisco 1600 routers will a serial interface will set you back around 250-300 dollars which its really not that much. By yourself a serial back-to-back cable (x-over) and you have yourself a small WAN which you can play with! Then, all of a sudden those big boring books start to change to a very interesting lab exercise book that you can learn from!
Think about it for a moment and you will see that it's not a bad idea at all, and considering the bargains you can pick up from Ebay, you won't regret it ! I myself picked up a neat 2600 series router for 600 euros ( around 850 US) for which I was quoted 4000 euros here in Greece!!!
One more thing, if you're interested in a career in security then a vendor specific cert is not really such a hot idea.. the CCSP shows that you are trained to secure Cisco solutions -- thats a very useful thing to have if you design network infrastructure based on Cisco equipment or you have an admin job with Cisco infrastructure.. but for a standalone security career you need a standalone cert.
The CISSP comes to mind -- but it requires 2-3 years work ex in the security field.. after you get it though its usually easy to get a job. The GIAC certifications (
) are really really good.. I'm looking at doing one now myself.. and their top level cert the GSEC is probably the hardest cert in the world -- at present only two people in the world have completed it.. and one guy said that each part of it was harder than his entire physics doctorate.
Remember that security is a specialisation -- just like network design -- you need to have the other stuff well under your belt first.