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Cisco CCNA Computer Training Described
By   Jason Kendall

If you think Cisco training might be for you, and you've no practical experience with network switches or routers, initially you should go for CCNA certification. This will provide you with knowledge and skills to work with routers. Vast numbers of routers make up the internet, and large commercial ventures with various different locations also need routers to allow their networks of computers to communicate.

It's vital that you already know a good deal about how computer networks operate and function, as networks are connected to routers. If not, it's likely you'll run into difficulties. Better to find training that also includes the basics (CompTIA Network+ as an example - maybe with the A+ as well) before getting going with CCNA. You may find training companies will put such a package together for you.

Getting your Cisco CCNA is what you should be aiming for - at this stage avoid being tempted to do the CCNP straight away. Once you've worked for a few years you will have a feel for if you need to train up to this level. If it is, you'll have significantly improved your chances of success - as your working knowledge will put everything into perspective.

It's quite a normal occurrence for students not to check on something of absolutely vital importance - how their company segments the training materials, and into what particular chunks. Most companies will sell you a program typically taking 1-3 years, and courier the materials in pieces as you complete each exam. If you think this sound logical, then consider this: Students often discover that the company's usual training route isn't as suitable as another. They might find it's more expedient to use an alternative order of study. And what happens if they don't finish in the allotted time?

To be in the best situation you would have every piece of your study pack packed off to you right at the start; every single thing! This way, nothing can happen down the line which could affect your ability to finish.

You should remember: a course itself or an accreditation isn't what this is about; the particular job that you want to end up in is. Far too many training organisations completely prioritise the piece of paper. Imagine training for just one year and then end up doing a job for a lifetime. Ensure you avoid the fatal error of opting for what may seem to be a program of interest to you and then spend decades in something you don't even enjoy!

You must also consider your leanings around earning potential, career development, and whether you intend to be quite ambitious. You need to know what industry expects from you, what particular certifications are required and how to develop your experience. Obtain help from an experienced industry advisor that understands the sector you wish to join, and who can give you 'A day in the life of' outline of what kinds of tasks you'll be undertaking with each working day. It's good sense to discover if this is the right course of action for you well before you start on any retraining programme. After all, what is the reason in kicking off your training and then find you've gone the wrong way entirely.

Be watchful that any accreditations you're studying for are recognised by industry and are up-to-date. 'In-house' certificates are not normally useful in gaining employment. From a commercial standpoint, only the big-boys like Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe or CompTIA (for example) will get you into the interview seat. Nothing else makes the grade.

Many trainers provide piles of reference manuals and workbooks. This can be very boring and not a very good way of studying effectively. Years of research and study has repeatedly shown that connecting physically with our study, will more likely produce memories that are deeper and longer-lasting.

Locate a program where you'll receive a library of DVD-ROM's - you'll begin by watching videos of instructors demonstrating the skills, with the facility to use virtual lab's to practice your new skills. It's imperative to see the type of training provided by the company you're considering. They have to utilise instructor-led video demonstrations with virtual practice-labs.

Purely on-line training should be avoided. Physical CD or DVD ROM materials are preferable where offered, enabling them to be used at your convenience - and not be totally reliant on your internet connection always being 'up' and available.

(C) Jason Kendall. Look at LearningLolly.com for in-depth career advice. Click Here or Cisco Courses.

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