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Can I take the CCNA as a first step towards my networking career?

David Minutella suggests how to break into the networking field in this Q&A.

I would like to break into networking by taking the CCNA. I prefer hands on training but wondered where I could gain this experience. I have no background knowledge.
-- Manjit
Manjit,
Getting into the networking field is definitely an uphill battle from scratch, but not impossible by any means. However, with no networking experience, the CCNA may be a giant first step. You might want to consider taking a intermediate course such as CompTIA's Network+ which will discuss the basic networking fundamentals. Once you have that knowledge under your belt, you can tackle the CCNA. My other recommendation is to take some training with hands-on access to the equipment such as the courses we offer at the Training Camp. There you can even handle the equipment (some providers only have virtual access to the equipment). Finally, there are some excellent software simulators,such as Boson NetSim, to practice on configurations while you are preparing for (or after) the exam.
This was last published in April 2007

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