Getting your Cisco CCNA Certification is perfectly sufficient to start with; don’t be pushed into attempting your CCNP. After gaining experience in the working environment, you will have a feel for if it’s relevant for you to have this next level up. If so, your experience will serve as the background you need to master your CCNP – which is quite a hard qualification to acquire – and mustn’t be entered into casually.
Most network administrators and engineers are going to spend a lot more time troubleshooting than installing. That’s just the way it is. And to troubleshoot effectively, you’ve got to know what’s going on at all layers of the OSI model, not just layers 2 and 3.
As someone who’s done a lot of hiring and conducted a great many job interviews, I can tell you that the ability to troubleshoot is the number one quality I look for. That’s why I tell CCNA and CCNP candidates that they’ve got to get all the hands-on practice they can while I understand the importance of theory, the only way to develop troubleshooting ability is to work on the real deal. No simulator program
is going to teach you how to troubleshoot.
Additionally, the only way to truly develop your troubleshooting abilities is to know what’s going on over the entire network, not just the routers and switches. Troubleshooting always starts at Layer 1 if you don’t find a problem at the Physical layer, and everything’s fine with your routers and switches, how are you going to continue troubleshooting if you don’t know what the next steps are as data moves closer to the end user?
There are several training options available for CCNA Exams preparation, such as self-study via books, instructor based training (boot camp style), video training, simulation exams etc. From my own experience when studying for my Cisco exams, and also from discussions with other certified colleagues, one of the best ways to study for CCNA is using a CCNA Training package. Especially when you combine a video training package with exam practice questions, you will have a complete preparation method for passing…