The third time turned out to be the charm. After three attempts (each trip to a testing center is about 2.5 to 3 hours round trip) I finally passed with a score of 916! The score isn’t *official *yet as Cisco has to analyze the “…exam responses for consistency.” So It’ll take seven days or so before my results are official, but three tries, $750, and 9 hours of driving later, I finally did it!!!
Plus I got a code for up to 40% off of CCNP study materials from Cisco Press.
I’ve always been interested in networking but ended up on the software side instead. Unfortunately, there are no reputable certification programs for what I do, so I have to work that much harder to differentiate myself from all the morons out there.
When I graduated from high school back in c1ou9ghc9oug2h* I wanted to become a programmer, but never had the time or money to go to college full time. It’s a shame because back then I could have gotten away with an associate’s degree.
Fast forward to two years ago. I get laid off, and get on the trade act program which pays for two years of school and I get extended unemployment. Hooray, I have the time and money; only now, most computer related fields require a bachelor’s degree. I really wanted to get a degree that was computer related, so I took networking because I can get a decent job with an associate’s degree. But if I could, I would have gone for programming instead.
Programming is one of those disciplines where you don’t actually need to have a degree to be competent, as long as you are willing to learn a lot on your own. I’ve been doing this stuff for ten years and never obtained a degree, largely because my college experience was suffocatingly depressing.
I know many people who have started in unrelated fields in smaller, more flexible companies, where they were able to learn on the job and gradually assume responsibility for programming projects.
so maybe I still have a shot. Of course, to be honest, the only thing that puts me off about being a programmer is “crunch time”. But then again, with networking, somewhere down the road I could face getting calls at 3:00am or having to come in on holidays to upgrade, or make changes to a network, so maybe crunch time wouldn’t be so bad comparatively speaking.
Many congratulations! For our tech staff I pretty much won’t even look at a CV unless it has at least a CCNA on it.
Quick story – I had a guy who worked for me for 2 yrs, great guy, had a CCNA. He took ages and ages to get his CCNP (lots and lots of studying, taking each section slowly and with lots of time inbetween). Eventually he passed.
When he left us last year he was on $65k AUD (around $50k USD); his new job pays him over $90k AUD (around $70k USD).
Yup, I have my CCNA now and next month I’ll have my associate’s degree. I’m now ready to either be a gofer or work at a help desk. And after getting some experience, I’ll eventually get to move on and actually do some IT work :D.
Assuming you’re a native English speaker with an American accent, you won’t be on the help desk for long. (Half joking)
Seriously though, I’ll offer some completely unsolicited advice: When you’re sending out CVs and going for interviews, research the company. I can’t tell you how many retards I’ve seen who say, “So what does your company do exactly?” I tell them, “We do exactly what’s on our website.” When someone comes in and knows what we do, and has ideas on how their particular skills can aid us, that’s very impressive.
I also like cover letters, though I’ve heard mixed feelings on that one from others (some don’t even bother reading them). To me a good cover letter, particularly from a weaker applicant (ie, one with not as much experience as we’d like) can make the difference between getting an interview and not.
And when you do get your first IT job, I would encourage you to find a mentor. A good mentor can help a lot with your job advancement.