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Which CCNA certification to start with?

Which CCNA certification to start with?

Which CCNA certification to start with?

First off, my apologies if this sounds ignorant, as I am learning about Cisco certs. Very soon I will be starting CCNA after I finish with my CompTIA A+ Cert, and I want to know where to start. And I do know they have a CCENT, but I would prefer to start at CCNA. I have noticed in each of the certs like CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, they each have categories. Like Routing and Switching(seems to be the most popular), Security, and VOIP.

From what I have understood on the CCNA, you are supposed to start with CCNA Routing and Switching. Before I buy any books and labs, I want to make sure I am getting started on the right path. So if I have made an error on here on how I have described something, please show me the correct way so I can better understand this.

Also from my research, when you take the CCNA test, you can either take the one big test, and if you pass, get the CCNA cert, or you can take the two test, and if you pass, get both CCENT and CCNA. Is this correct?

My ultimate goal is to obtain A+, CCNA(with CCENT if possible on the test lol), CCNP(which I know requires a year of networking experience before you can take it), CCIE (once again from what I have researched requires 5 years of networking experience in order to take it), and then CCAR. I know CCNA is the first step along the path. I just want to know which one, unless there is only one, and I have researched wrong.

Thank you for any help/suggestions,
Jason Schoon

There is a point in wisdom and knowledge that when you reach it, you exceed what is considered possible - Jason Schoon

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

Been awhile since I looked at the CCNA levels, but I honestly think you can't go wrong with having a foundation in the Routing and Switching no matter which track you ulitately want to go down. I have both Routing and Switch as well as Voice certifications, and one of the things that I think really helped me on the voice side was having that background in just understanding how to configure the IOS for the routers/switches/gateways.

You are correct on the 1vs2 test options. IMO Cisco has done a good job of building their certs so you work up. Starting at the CCNA levels to get the foundation of an area of study, then on to the NP for a more indepth dive, onto the expert level for just that.

There are no requirements for experience to take any of the exams, however, that doesn't mean experience doesn't aide in the process. I strongly recommend getting hands on some equipment to practice with. There are simulators out there as well, but there is some benefit in having the live gear to really know what you are working with and seeing the physical aspects of the equipment as well.

This site has been an excellent resource over the years, but also check out Ciscopress material, Books by Todd Lammle, and the Cisco Learning Center.

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

Well I honestly want to get them all. Routing and Switching, Security, and VOIP. I know it will be a hard road but it is something I want to do. I am glad to know there are no requirements for taking any of them. That is awesome. Granted I know I still have to study my butt off as I have seen quite a few post about the test being very hard lol.

As for the equipment, I actually have already worked with some of it. I do contract work at times for companies, though mostly low end. Simply instaling and/or upgrading computers and/or networks. So I am not new to the area, but I do know I have a lot to learn.

Todd Lammle I am familiar with. Definitely my passion to get into all of this and more. And sorry about the delayed reply. Been a bit busy lately lol.

Thanks very much for the information!

There is a point in wisdom and knowledge that when you reach it, you exceed what is considered possible - Jason Schoon

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

You can just take CCNA R&S but you need at least CCENT to go for others such as Voice.

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

Well my plan is to start out and take the ccna routing and switching, but take the two test part so I can get ccent and ccna. Then conquer the other ccnas. Then once I have those, go for ccnp, then ccie, and eventually ccar. Long road ahead as it will take a lot of time but it is what I am after. I figure I will probably be zombie like once I am done lol.

There is a point in wisdom and knowledge that when you reach it, you exceed what is considered possible - Jason Schoon

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

That will work then. Once you have CCENT you can take any of the CCNA exams. Then can start with CCNP. Good luck. You do have a long road ahead and a lot of money to spend.

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

The two exam path to CCNA is 100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) then 200-101 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2) When you have passed both these exams you have a CCNA however for those that don't want to do the two exams, there is the single exam path 200-120 CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices. Either path gets you a CCNA. However for those not interested in the routing and switching side of things, you can apparently just do the ICND1 (CCENT) then do the CCNA Voice.

So if you want to hold CCNAs in multiple streams, the path with the least exams is the 200-120. It is however a little harder.

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

What I want to do is start at CCNA routing and switching. Not ccent, but ccna routing and switching. I want to take the two part test so if I pass I get both the ccent and ccna routing and switch certs. Then I want to obtain the rest of the ccna certs , voip, and the others. Then do the same with ccnp, ccie, and eventually ccar. My goal is to obtain all of them. I know it's a very long road but that is what I have in mind.

There is a point in wisdom and knowledge that when you reach it, you exceed what is considered possible - Jason Schoon

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

You don't seem to fully understand the certification track! The CCENT is the ICND1 exam. If you do this then you only need to do the ICND2 exam to achieve a CCNA! If you do the single CCNA exam then you have also covered the CCENT and don't need the exam. These exams can expire if you don't keep them current or take a higher level exam, the higher level exam renews the lower level ones so they are not like badges, you don't hold them all, you simply hold the highest one you have achieved in the track that exam is in!

RE: Which CCNA certification to start with?

Since you have no real Cisco experience it seems, I would not suggest that you try the composite CCNA exam. There will probably be too much information for you to remember. Take the two exam option. The ICND1 and the CCENT exams are one in the same. It is confusing how they use two names for what in essence is the same exam.

By doing that, you only have to learn about half of the composite CCNA exam topics. Then you can take the ICND2 exam second. Once you pass that second exam, you have your CCNA certification.

Once you get there, then you can worry about CCNP, CCIE and the like :)

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