Earning a Cisco certification can improve your career in the IT industry. Each certification requires a high level of planning and training. Here are some ways that you can prepare for the exam and seek professional help when needed.
Set Goals for Yourself
This is an essential step to becoming Cisco certified. Many times, procrastination is the reason why most individuals fail. Another reason for failing these exams is a lack of planning on the individual’s part.
Make sure you have the time and dedication to your studies. Don’t lose sight of your short-term and long-term goals. Create a roadmap to get an idea of where you want to see yourself.
As Cisco specializations get tougher, you should map out what you’d like to accomplish within the year. Try to stick your plan as much as possible. The first step would be the achieve the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certification. This is a great step to becoming a Cisco professional and can lead you to other opportunities.
Join a Cisco Boot Camp
A Cisco Boot Camp is a highly concentrated and condensed training course that you can take directly from a training company. Traditional boot camps often last one to three weeks, but there are no standard requirements.
They were given the name boot camps because they work like a military boot camp in which you receive a large amount of training in a short period of time. Keep in mind that the format of a Cisco Boot Camp will run longer than the hours for a standard class.
Use a Variety of Study Materials
Most students don’t do well because they didn’t take advantage of the study materials that are provided to them. There are a large number of workbooks and textbooks available. It can be overwhelming when you’re just starting out but keep your study materials limited to one or two books to start.
You should also take advantage of the online Cisco community. Use a combination of books, message boards, and websites to increase your chances of success. Studying for your Cisco certification should become your full-time job.
There is a wealth of information out there. The Cisco community is welcoming and friendly to everyone, including newcomers. Join a Cisco User Group and get advice from people who passed the certification exam. Absorb as much information as possible and remember that it may take time to understand a concept.
Take Practice Tests
You should take advantage of the practice tests that are available on the internet. You should spend a mix of 40% reading and 60% practicing on your tests and labs. This is a winning combination to becoming Cisco certified.
If you’re obtaining the CCNA, there are various simulation programs available online for practice. This will allow you to get some experience, even if you don’t have access to real Cisco devices. Keep in mind that no amount of practice will prepare you for working on a real device.
The best idea is to get your hands-on real devices and set up a lab inside your home. While this can be an additional expense, you can buy used equipment online. Using a combination of online practice tests and real-life labs can help you pass certification.
Don’t Forget the Basics
This is an important step for anyone who’s planning to become Cisco certified. You should learn the core concepts such as subnetting, which is something that engineers use on a daily basis. If you don’t understand this concept, you won’t be able to perform your job. You may have to re-take the test or re-learn the concepts you previously studied.
Earning your Cisco certification can take a lot of time and dedication. It’s important that you keep track of your goals and your progress as you go along. As you advance throughout your career, you’ll realize that the time spent preparing for your new career was worth it.