Should you be aspiring to become Cisco accredited, but you haven't worked with routers or network switches, it's likely you'll need the Cisco CCNA qualification. This will provide you with knowledge and skills to work with routers. The internet is constructed from huge numbers of routers, and big organisations with various different locations also need routers to connect their computer networks.
Getting this qualification will most likely see you working for national or international companies that have multiple departments and sites, but still need contact. The other possibility is working for an internet service provider. This specialised skill set is highly paid.
You should get a bespoke training program that takes you on a progressive path to make sure you've got the appropriate skills and knowledge prior to embarking on the Cisco skills.
An area that's often missed by trainees thinking about a course is 'training segmentation'. Basically, this means how the program is broken down into parts for timed release to you, which can make a dramatic difference to where you end up.
Many companies enrol you into a 2 or 3 year study programme, and drop-ship the materials to you piecemeal as you pass each exam. This sounds reasonable until you consider the following:
What if you don't finish all the sections or exams? Maybe the prescribed order won't suit you? Without any fault on your part, you may go a little slower and consequently not get all your materials.
The ideal circumstances are to get all the training materials sent to your home before you even start; the complete package! Thus avoiding any future problems that could impede your capacity to get everything done.
Qualifications from the commercial sector are now, very visibly, beginning to replace the more academic tracks into the IT industry - but why is this?
With a growing demand for specific technological expertise, the IT sector has of necessity moved to specialist courses that can only come from the vendors - that is companies like Microsoft, CISCO, Adobe and CompTIA. This often comes in at a fraction of the cost and time.
Clearly, a necessary portion of closely linked detail needs to be learned, but focused specifics in the particular job function gives a commercially educated student a huge edge.
If an employer knows what work they need doing, then all it takes is an advert for a person with the appropriate exam numbers. The syllabuses are set to meet an exact requirement and don't change between schools (as academic syllabuses often do).
Looking at the myriad of choice out there, does it really shock us that a large percentage of students have no idea which career they will follow.
Consequently, without any know-how of IT in the workplace, how could you possibly know what a particular IT employee actually does day-to-day? Let alone decide on what training route is the most likely for success.
Usually, the way to come at this quandary correctly flows from an in-depth talk over some important points:
* Your individual personality as well as your interests - what kind of work-related things you like and dislike.
* Is your focus to get qualified because of a specific reason - for example, is it your goal to work based from home (working for yourself?)?
* What salary and timescale needs you have?
* Considering all that IT covers, it's important to be able to absorb how they differ.
* The level of commitment and effort you'll have available to spend on obtaining your certification.
For the majority of us, getting to the bottom of all these ideas requires a good chat with an advisor who can explain things properly. And not just the certifications - but also the commercial requirements of industry too.
One interesting way that training providers make a lot more is via an 'exam inclusive' package and offering an exam guarantee. It looks impressive, but is it really:
We all know that we're still being charged for it - it's obviously already in the gross price invoiced by the training provider. Certainly, it's not a freebie - and it's insulting that we're supposed to think it is!
It's well known in the industry that when students fund their relevant examinations, when they're ready to take them and not before, there's a much better chance they'll qualify each time - because they'll be conscious of their investment in themselves and will therefore apply themselves appropriately.
Shouldn't you be looking to hold on to your money and pay for the exam when you're ready, not to pay the fees marked up by a training college, and to take it closer to home - rather than in some remote centre?
A surprising number of questionable training providers secure big margins because they're getting paid for examinations upfront and banking on the fact that many won't be taken.
You should fully understand that re-takes through training companies who offer an 'Exam Guarantee' are monitored with tight restrictions. You will be required to do mock exams till you've proven conclusively that you can pass.
Paying maybe a thousand pounds extra on 'Exam Guarantees' is remiss - when hard work, commitment and the right preparation via exam simulations is actually the key to your success.