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I have about four years of IT experience and would now like to explore Cisco certifications

I've been working in IT for the last four years, working my day job as the jack-of-all-trades for a small real estate company, while also running a small break-fix business catering to residential customers. Most of my IT experience is as a sys admin and desktop support. I've got general knowledge of networking (Network+ Cert), but would like to enter the Cisco arena. My company utilizes Cisco gear (Catalyst 3500 series switches, PIX 506e, VPN Concentrator 3000), but I have no experience working with them. What do you suggest as a good starting point? Jump right into getting my CCNA?
You are the quintessential Cisco Security Specialist or Professional candidate. By pursuing the Cisco security track, you can be certified as a Cisco PIX Firewall Specialist in which you learn about your PIX 506e, a Cisco VPN Specialist in which you learn about the VPN 3000 Concentrator, or go for the grand prize and get your CCSP which entails 2 more exams on top of the 2 specialist certifications. The only speed bump is that you must have your CCNA as a prerequisite for these certifications; so, eat your CCNA dinner first and you can have your Cisco Security desert afterwards.
This was last published in April 2005

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