There are a lot of questions regarding Cisco Certifications these days; some people are certified, some people have found their way to a class, and you? Still thinking only about it? It’s pretty easy to do something about it.
I am writing this because if you can’t afford the school, there is actually possible to get Certified for something between $100 and $200 depending on where you are in the world.
If you *are* Cisco certified but have a friend who wants join that club, give them a tip about this article, it might just get them to do it!
Why should I get certified?
For one thing; if you are on the look for work it will be positive for anyone you would like to work with, that may be someone who wants to hire you or someone who wants you to do freelance work. A Cisco CCNA or CCNP Certification is something you can use to show that you have at least enough basic training to be able to take of the (sometimes mind boggling) Cisco certification exams.
If you are applying for a technical job, a CCNA/CCNP will always be a little push further up the line of applicants who are not certified.
That said, a lot of employers requires CCNA or CCNP to apply for a job, just do a job search and you will see a bunch of job positions that would be available for applications that you may not be able to apply for today. Only because they require that level of certification which should be no problem for you to achieve!
And most of all, because if you’re a bit good at what you do; the test should be peanuts!
The title “Cisco Certified Network Associate” is achieved by completing the 640-802 CCNA exam OR by completingBOTH 640-822 ICND1 exam AND the 640-816 exam.
There used to be some sites online where I used to do free practice exams before the actual exam to see how I was performing while studying for the Cisco certification. The ones I used have started to take money for their tests, and I cannot recommend any good sites for this right now. If you know of a place, please leave a comment and if it’s “worthy” (good) I will include it in the article and refer to you.
UPDATE: @FadeToBright recommended this site for taking Practice Tests and jdmurray recommends this forum for discussing Cisco certifications. Thanks!
For training material, I can recommend this book
CCNA Official Exam Certification Library (CCNA Exam 640-802) (Exam Certification Guide)
It covers everything you ever need to know, and also Cisco Press have nice quality books which are mostly written by CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) certified people.
Emulated Cisco Routers
There is a project called dynamips that actually emulates the cisco hardware and makes it possible to run IOS images on a PC. To get a feel of the configuration interface and set up simple scenarios it should prove perfect. You need an IOS image to run on it.
You should also have a look at dynagen, which is a GUI frontend for dynamips.
You can run quagga also to set up simple practice scenarios, if you do not run the zebra daemon quagga will not update your routing table and you can run it without thinking about it.
So with the books, the tools and the practice tests (that I was hoping will show up in comments) you should be on your way to the certification.
So when your scores are coming up to acceptable levels and you are starting to feel ready for the test, where should you go?
You can locate your nearest academy here, they should be able to do an examination. Or you can locate your nearest Person VUE test center, which are authorized to do cisco certification examinations.