I am enrolled in the Cisco networking academy which will start in 60 days. My computer background is mainly trial and error, with some basic computer classes thrown in for good measure. I have purchased "CCNA Jumpstart" thru Sybex Network Press to get some background. Do you have any other suggestions for aspiring CCNA's?
The networking academy will certainly give you most of what you need to get your feet wet from a Cisco standpoint. The Sybex book is a good book to get you started actually, and I recommend it as a great warm-up. If you would like to ramp up a little more in the meantime, however, you might want to look into some Network+ exam books as well since those are great for some vendor-free networking terminology and concepts.
In addition, I always recommend getting some access to the equipment to kinesthetically reinforce the concepts you pick up during the academy. Boson is coming out with a new version of their NetSim product which matches closer to the new exam objectives.
Speaking of the new exams, if you are looking to get certified, I recommend doing the two-step approach to the CCNA by taking the ICND1 and ICND2 exams. That way, you will get your CCENT certification after the first test, and then your CCNA after the second. When it comes close to test time, I am going to be biased and recommend the Exam Prep 2, Revision 2 that is coming out in January.
This was first published in September 2007