Updated: Jan 2
Recently, people often ask me how is the future of network engineers, whether learning CCNA is valuable, and how to learn how to prepare for the exam. Then I sum up the learning experience and share it with those who are struggling or helpless.
How is the future of network engineers?
Many friends who have just graduated often worry that network engineers will become a sunset industry. Such worries are common in today’s impetuous society. Everyone wants to make quick money, and they all want to be at the forefront of the times. The most basic network knowledge should be the cornerstone you need to lay the most. Based on this cornerstone, you can expand to other fields, security, software-defined networking, network automation, and so on. The development prospects of any industry are not good for those who do not want to make progress. Otherwise, for people who keep learning, any industry has a bright future. There is no declining industry, only incompetent people. Therefore, the future of a network engineer depends on his personal ability.
Is the CCNA certificate still valuable?
“Cisco is not working anymore”, “Cisco is going downhill”, “Cisco will be overtaken by Huawei.” How many of you actually know the industry, how many of you have read Cisco’s financial reports, how many of you have compared products on the market. Objectively, Cisco’s position in the market is not what it used to be, but the situation is not so bad as people have said. Why do I still recommend you to learn CCNA? Because it has the longest history, the most complete data, and the most complete community. Remember, we need to learn network basics with this vendor certification, not just a few configuration commands. Different vendors have different configurations, but the network works the same way. Learning Cisco makes it easy to take over other vendors’ devices.
Can CCNA be obtained through self-study?
Both self-study and training courses have their own advantages and disadvantages. In the beginning, I chose self-study because of the shortage of funds and didn't want to spend too much money. And online training was not as popular as it is today. In today's era when online training and offline training are so popular, we are still recommended to participate in the training.
Self-study or training class?
First of all, there are three types of learning methods.
1. Self-study by reading
2. Face-to-face training courses
3. Online training courses
When I was learning CCNA, I just read books and taught myself. The advantage of this is to save money and not be in a hurry. The disadvantage is that if you don't understand something, you can't get help in time. You can only rely on search engines or community posts. But the efficiency is too low.
The advantage of a face-to-face training course is that if you have a teacher, you can ask questions at any time. And in these training courses, equipment that is used to configure is available. The bad thing is that it costs a lot of money, and the courses of training classes are often very short and urgent.
Self-study online training should be the best option right now, combining the advantages of the other two approaches. It is very important to choose a good online training course, you should pay attention to the following points:
· Course lecturers are very important. Don’t choose the course if the lecturer speaks without logic.
· Can you ask questions at any time? Don’t choose the course if you cannot ask them questions.
· Whether the theory is combined with practice. Don’t choose it if they only talk about theory without providing experiments.
I will say something about the experimental environment. There is no need to use real equipment for the learning of routing and switching. The virtual environment can meet all the requirements from CCNA to CCIE exams. And the important thing is that the training course should provide a pre-configured experimental environment for everyone to practice. Only by doing more experiments can you thoroughly master theoretical knowledge.
How to teach yourself?
The most important thing about your attitude. Learning CCNA is to master network knowledge, not just for a certificate. Impetuousness is the greatest enemy of success. If you are new to the Internet, there are many things you cannot understand. The best way to learn is:
· Read the book. And don’t just read one book, find a few more books which refer to them. A book often has its focus. You should depend on the latest books, especially for novices, you cannot tell which technologies have been eliminated.
· Watch the teaching video and ponder every word the teacher said. It is impossible to put all the content into the teaching video. And what the teacher has mentioned in the video must be the most important.
· Use Baidu, Google. Some simple questions can be answered with search engines in few minutes.
· Ask the teacher, the more you ask, the better. The more you ask, the more you think.
· Do experiments and do it over and over again to form muscle memory.
· Summarize the knowledge points, don't read the summary and mind map made by others. Only what you do is best for you.
The above is just some of my personal opinions on the industry and CCNA learning. I hope this information is useful to everyone.
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