Step 2: Get CCNA And CCNP Certified

Learn why it is important to get CCNA and CCNP certified. Cisco certifications are basically just pieces of paper that “validate” that you have certain skills. I say validate loosely because there are people who are referred to as paper certs because they passed the exam by downloading the latest questions/answers and don’t actually know what they’re doing. That said, there are plenty of people who have legitimately earned the designation and so it still has value. Employers do look for this on your resume, and often have it as a requirement that they expect applicants to have.

I got my CCNA before I graduated, so that I would have that on my resume for when I applied for my first job. I got my CCNP within my first year of working so I could apply for more intermediate roles and get an increase in pay right away.

 

Certification Information

 

Visit this URL for Cisco’s certification overview page:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/certifications.html

Take the exams in the following order:

  1. Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
    1. 100-101 ICND1
  2. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
    1. 200-101 ICND2
  3. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
    1. 300-115 SWITCH
    2. 300-101 ROUTE
    3. 300-135 TSHOOT

 

How To Prepare For The Exams

 

There are probably a million ways to prepare for these exams, and even more resources available online. The way I prepared for them was:

  1. Watch CBT Nuggets
  2. Find practice labs online and do them with Packet Tracer or GNS3
  3. Find and complete practice exams online

There are CBT Nugget video series for every exam, so it’s perfect for preparation. In case you missed it, I have more information about CBT Nuggets and Packet tracer in the previous step. If you understand the concepts and know how to configure them you’ll be able to answer most of the questions easily. From there it’s just doing practice exams to test your readiness and reveal your weaknesses.

To continue on about the next step, click here.