Doing the CCNA Certification Exam With No Experience? You May Get Your Head Bitten Off!

Bridget J. Sims

Thinking of sitting for the CCNA certification exam but have no real world experience? Beware what you say in forums. This has been a hot topic on more than one occasion. There are those that will bit your head off if you innocently ask and those that will bit the heads off those that bite your head off! So what should you do? Let’s look at both arguments..

Go for it!! these are their arguments..

  • Knowledge is never a bad thing
  • It’s a catch 22. You don’t certify – you don’t get the job. You show you are overqualified, you don’t get the job anyway.
  • I know of a lot of people have used the CCNA to make a career change
  • You are free to study for the CCNA certification exam and you are free to try and get a job out of it. Neither will be easy but it has been done before.

Don’t even attempt it!! these are their arguments..

  • You should have at least a year experience with Cisco kits before doing the exam
  • It can work against you in the interview if you are showing you have certs way above your experience
  • You should start with the A+, Network+, MCDST then get real world experience then attempt other exams.
  • Look into the CCENT first before doing the CCNA certification exam
  • Don’t do the CCENT first because even that is advanced for a beginner. Go for your network+ first after you complete your A+
  • I don’t know of anyone that has gotten their first job with just the CCNA certification exam cert.

Confused yet??? I would be if I were a newbie. Here is a few more points to consider and perhaps clear things up a bit…

  1. Certs teach you new technologies. Learning is always a good thing. If you want to do a cert, go or it
  2. we choose what we write on our resumes. If you think you have a cert that will go against you for a particular job, then don’t write you have it!!
  3. listen to those above your experience but always use your own judgment.
  4. its true that getting a higher cert most times will work against you in an interview if you don’t have the experience. Especially when you are going for an entry job. It can show you are overqualified and employers won’t feel confident that you will stay with them too long. But on the other hand, its shows you are proactive and seeking to learn new things. Use your judgement what you will say in the interview.
  5. I wouldn’t just jump straight into a high cert before doing any of the basic knowledge ones first.
  6. If you are set on doing a particular cert which is way above your experience level, well you can always try for it and if you find that you can’t do it, leave it for later.
  7. You can always reword your resume to state that you just love a particular technology and hence that’s why you did the cert but you have no any real world experience as yet.
  8. truth is, its hard to gain experience in a company so you can get the cert later.
  9. Getting certified in a particular technology is fine if you just love it. But going for a higher cert thinking you will make lots of money is just naive thinking

So use your own judgment. Don’t go overboard with certs but at the same time, don’t feel restricted in what you should or shouldn’t learn.

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