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Looking to get CCNA certified. Any recommendations on a training course or boot camp?

Not sure if these exist, but a course that lets you test at the end to get the CCNA (All inclusive) would be preferred.

**Please advise if this thread should be under a different discussion board.

  • Global Knowledge classes are great, but can be pricey.  For self paced on-line classes, try and look for Chris Bryant's CCNA all in one boot camp.  Excellent, and Udemy often offers sales where you can pick it up for $10

  • Price wouldn't be an extreme inhibitor, as my company will pay for it. Although, it would make things easier if the training and test were all in one bang. I am aware of Global knowledge and as far as I can see, testing is separate from their courses.

    Am I wrong to assume Cisco prefers the test separate and that is why it isn't found anywhere?

  • I used CED Solutions out of Atlanta ( Their certification classes include an exam voucher. You can take the test at the end of the class or use it later on. You can also do their classes online - however I recommend the in-class setting. You get more interaction with the instructor.  Also included with their class is lunch. They either take you out or bring food in for everyone.

  • For CCNA, get some books, GNS3, and maybe buy an old switch off ebay.  Save the money on courses - if you're slightly technical, you don't need the courses.  If you want to do videos, and you're going the Cisco route, I highly recommend - you can do their entire video courses (and there's a lot of them) for about $100/month.  A competitor of theirs is - about the same - really a coin toss between the two.  Cisco also has official training from them you can get videos online.  Both INE and IPexperts have some free content on youtube.

  • When I got my CCNA I took a Net+ class before. The Net+ class and certification literally laid the ground work for an introduction to networking including subnetting. When I got to the subnetting and VLSM portion in the CCNA class it was a heck of a lot easier on me learning the material. On my CCNA exam I had to troubleshoot ACL's, subnetting, VLANs, RIP routing lab and resetting a forgotten password. Hope this helps.

  • We use a tool called CBT Nuggets that our company buys licensing for.  I think it's around $1200 per license, but offers much more than just CCNA. Take a look here:  Online IT Training Videos, IT Certification Training | CBT Nuggets

  • Howtonetwork is a good site that has Cisco certification training. They also have several books including "Cisco CCNA in 60 Days". has various Cisco online training courses as well.

    The prices on both training sites in really good.

    Having a home lab (ebay, etc.) is definitely a big help no matter what training you are taking.

  • As others have mentioned.

    Udemy, INE, CBT, Cisco Press, and Cisco Learning Network ($11.00/month) are great for self-learning.

    If you're going to look for more structure Global Knowledge is useful, but if you've little to no knowledge of CCNA level topics it may be tough to cram all of it in your head over the 5 class days.

    Really you shouldn't be basing your choice on if they provide an exam voucher in the end, but what you'll get out of it.  I got a voucher from GK, but even the all in 5 days wasn't enough for me to 'get' it enough to pass the exam (More time and more attention got me CCNA, Net+ and a couple others).

    In my opinion, what you should be looking for is something that complements your learning style.  If your company is willing to pay for GK, don't turn them down.  Just supplement it with something that will allow you to go at your pace.  The Chris Bryant videos on Udemy are worth it.

    And if you have a Network guy at your current job with experience and patience, I'd start picking their brain now.  I learned the most from the old guys that really enjoyed it.  And now I'm one.

  • I use to get test examples which I hear are similar questions to what's actually on the test. Aside from that I use the books from Cisco Press.

  • Hey Josh,

    I wanted to ask the question as to your need for a CCNA?  I understand it is a great base level certification for networking and I myself am a CCNA (working on my CCNP), but why not go for your JNCIA and take advantage of all the free labs and resources available via GNS3?  I haven't yet taken the plunge into Juniper certs as I work in an all Cisco Environment but it is on my education track for future studies.  There are a few reasons for me suggesting Juniper which I have listed below.

    • Junos is not cluttered with loads of dated protocols and commands (i.e. it's more of a modern NOS v.s. IOS).  It was very confusing for me early on attempting my CCNA, in just dealing with the vast array of irrelevant options available at the command line.
    • It is freely downloadable and works across a multitude of platforms especially now that they have dis-aggregated their OS from the hardware.
    • It has a built in python API as well as support for other scripting and management technologies that better lend itself to future network automation
    • You will be able to avoid more non-standards based protocols and focus on the layer 2 and 3 protocols that will be used across other vendors like HP, Brocade, Cisco, etc... (i.e. not having to learn EIGRP)

    I'm not saying you shouldn't go for your CCNA but make sure you consider the advantages and disadvantages, especially if your the one paying the bill for training materials and certs.

    FYI... I'm in no way an expert with Juniper technologies so if anyone would like to post corrections where I may be off base it would be much appreciated.

    Best of luck in your studies.

    EDIT... - I guess I should have read through the whole discussion!  I'd say since your company is paying for it and price is not an issue have them send you to one of those $5,000 boot camps for a week or two. emoticons_happy.png