Cisco recently released a new version of its CCENT ICND1 exam, and CBT Nuggets trainer Jeremy Cioara took the opportunity to create an all-new course aligned to the new exam.
The CCENT certification is the first step for many IT professionals looking to develop a career in networking, but also serves as a stepping stone toward other Cisco certification paths as well. Beginning with the foundations of cabling, network diagrams, and components, Jeremy’s new Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 course guides learners through network concepts and configurations that sustain nearly every organization in the world.
We asked Jeremy about his new course and how learners can get more out of their training experience.
Q: Why should companies train their IT professionals in Cisco Routing and Switching? What value does it bring?
Everything uses the network. Everything. It doesn’t matter which IT career path you choose (development, systems administration, windows, Linux, or AWS), you’re using the network to accomplish your objectives. If you don’t understand how the network works, you’ll always have a knowledge gap in the decisions you make. Thus, you may stop troubleshooting because of a “perceived” network issue. Or you may overspend your budget because of unnecessary network improvements. I could go on and on here, but at the end of the day, the network is pervasive in all realms of IT.
Which leads me to the value Cisco Routing and Switching brings: You. Will. Understand. (Improper grammar intended). ICND1 is perhaps the most valuable course anyone can take in their IT career. It not only introduces you to the concepts of network technology (similar to CompTIA’s Network+), but takes the next step and gives you an understanding of how things are implemented. Of course, ICND1 is Cisco-centric on equipment selections, but because Cisco is the industry leader, every other network company makes their commands and functionality mirror that of Cisco. Thus, by learning Cisco concepts, design, and configuration, you’re really learning the premise of how all networks function.
In the end, by taking ICND1 and completing the CCENT certification, your staff will be able to:
Understand the “big picture” of technology,
Troubleshoot more effectively,
Make better decisions,
Make the RIGHT decision,
Lower your outside consulting costs, and
Keep IT systems more stable (arguably than someone who has little or no Cisco Routing and Switching knowledge).
Q: The CCENT/ICND1 exam can prepare learners for certifications beyond the CCNA R&S. What is it about the CCENT that makes it serve as such a good foundation for folks pursuing Cisco certifications (i.e., CCNA Industrial, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security, and CCNA Wireless)?
CCENT is the introduction to the network foundation. Just as my previously answer highlighted, all other technology uses the knowledge from CCENT — not just Cisco technology; but Microsoft, Citrix, VMWare, and Linux too. All technology professions can benefit from the CCENT knowledge.
Q: From a learner perspective, what did you keep in mind when creating this course?
This rendition of CCENT has a massive dose of hands-on labs / hands-on practice that is required to be successful. Concepts without practical application will soon be forgotten and of no use; so even if someone is not interested in certification and perhaps just learning to understand the network infrastructure better, the hands-on labs are still absolutely necessary if that learner wants the knowledge to last beyond a few weeks.
Q: Any out-of-the-box tips for learners to get the most out of your course?
Many people recommend simulators or emulators (such as GNS3) to practice networking. This course jumps a little “out of the box” by recommending students do not use these technologies. When you’re first getting into networking, there is something that is missed if you go the route of simulation. That “missing connection” is what separates those who say, “oh yeah, I went through that class,” and those who say, “networking has become a career for me.” Thus, in the introductory Nuggets, I provide a full walkthrough of setting up a home lab environment.
Likewise, this course is the first time live video has been pervasively integrated throughout the series. Often times, we take it for granted that learners first getting started with network technology understand how cables connect, how equipment looks, and where equipment is stored. This flavor of ICND adds video (where it adds value) to illustrate and demonstrate cable connections, console port configurations, etc.
Q: What’s one real-world application someone can expect to use, thanks to this course?
There are so many, I find myself speechless. Here are a few to start:
Secure your Internet connection,
Create a guest WIFI,
Connect to multiple ISPs (for backup or load balancing),
Design and implement a core switch architecture for a company,
Design IP addressing correctly for your company (subnetting),
Understand the next IP version (IPv6), how it impacts you, and bring up IPv6 connections,
Fully implement a network system for a small business, and
Connect multiple offices together,
…on and on I could go!
Q: What’s the one thing you hope learners take away from this training?
A passion and interest in the networking field that carries them past the day-to-day apathy of life to accomplish great things.