Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cisco Retraining Revealed

By Jason Kendall

If Cisco training is your aspiration, but you've no practical experience with network switches or routers, we'd recommend taking the CCNA training. This educates you in the necessary skills to set up and maintain routers. The internet is constructed from huge numbers of routers, and big organisations with many locations also utilise routers to keep their networks in touch.

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. We'd recommend you find training that also includes basic networking skills (maybe the CompTIA Network+, possibly with A+ as well) before getting going with CCNA. Some providers offer this as a career track.

Qualifying up to the CCNA level is what you should be aiming for - at this stage avoid being tempted to do the CCNP for now. Get a couple of years experience behind you first, then you can decide if CCNP is something you want to do. If it is, you'll have significantly improved your chances of success - as your experience will help you greatly.

The somewhat scary thought of finding your first computer related job can be made easier because some trainers offer a Job Placement Assistance service. The fact of the matter is it isn't a complex operation to secure your first job - assuming you're well trained and qualified; because there's still a great need for IT skills in the UK today.

However, don't wait till you've qualified before polishing up your CV. Right at the beginning of your training, mark down what you're doing and get promoting!

Getting onto the 'maybe' pile of CV's is more than not being known. Many junior positions are offered to trainees in the early stages of their course.

The top companies to help you land that job are most often independent and specialised local recruitment services. Because they only get paid when they place you, they'll work that much harder to get a result.

Just ensure you don't invest a great deal of time on your training course, and then do nothing more and imagine someone else is miraculously going to find you a job. Stand up for yourself and get on with the job. Put as much resource into getting a good job as it took to get qualified.

Many training providers only provide support available from 9-6 (office hours) and sometimes later on specific days; It's rare to find someone who offers late evening or full weekend cover.

Never buy training that only supports you through a call-centre messaging system after 6-9pm in the evening and during weekends. Training schools will always try to hide the importance of this issue. But, no matter how they put it - you need support when you need support - not as-and-when it's suitable for their staff.

The best trainers incorporate three or four individual support centres around the globe in several time-zones. An online system provides an interactive interface to seamlessly link them all, at any time you choose, there is always help at hand, without any contact issues or hassle.

If you accept anything less than direct-access 24x7 support, you'll very quickly realise that you've made a mistake. You might not want to use the service late at night, but you're bound to use weekends, early mornings or late evenings.

Be alert that all qualifications you're studying for will be recognised by employers and are the most recent versions. Training companies own certificates are generally useless.

Unless the accreditation comes from a company like Microsoft, CompTIA, Adobe or Cisco, then it's likely it won't be commercially viable - as it'll be an unknown commodity.

Students looking to begin an Information Technology career normally don't know which route to consider, or what area to get certified in.

How can most of us possibly understand the day-to-day realities of any IT job if we've never been there? Maybe we don't know someone who works in that sector anyway.

Reflection on many issues is important if you need to expose the right answer for you:

* Personality factors as well as your interests - what working tasks you like and dislike.

* Are you aiming to accomplish a key aspiration - like being your own boss someday?

* How highly do you rate salary - is it of prime importance, or does job satisfaction rate higher up on the priority-scale?

* Some students don't fully understand the amount of work demanded to gain all the necessary accreditation.

* It makes sense to take in what is different for the myriad of training options.

To be honest, you'll find the only real way to research these issues is via a conversation with someone who understands the IT industry (and more importantly it's commercial needs.)

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