So, 2014 is done. And a new year has begun. I wish all of you a Happy New Year for 2015!
For me, this year will be busy as I’m going to start studying for the Cisco CCNP certification. I actually decided this a while back, plus my work has made this a requirement for being a Senior Network Engineer. I was going to start this past summer, but then Cisco revamped the CCNP (known as CCNP v2), so I decided to wait until the new v2 study materials were released (which occurred in December). I just received the new ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT hard cover books and eBooks over the last couple of weeks….wow, there is a LOT of material to learn. (You can learn about the new CCNP here.)
So why get a certification? I was asked that recently by my friend Shane (he has a GREAT blog that you should check out). There are many different views about certifications…they are great, they are a waste of time, them mean nothing, or they are a great demonstration of ones abilities. To a degree, all of these views are true. So, here is my take on it…
For most people, I think certifications are a good idea. In certain areas of the country (such as Northern California where I live), certifications are either required or really desired. They might not get you a job, but they can get you an interview, and that’s half the battle. BUT, you need to know what you are talking about…no certification will take the place of experience. They both go hand in hand. As you get the experience, also start obtaining relevant certifications.
Also, as in my case, the study required for a cert makes me a better Network Engineer and employee. It fills in some gaps I may have in terms of technical knowledge and keeps me up to date on new equipment and industry solutions, which may come in handy at work some day.
Now, you may not need or want a certification…that’s ok too. But you do need to keep learning…the Networking industry is always changing and moving forward, and it is easy to get left behind if you are not careful. Obtaining certifications may help with this.
Hope this helps if you are thinking about going for a certification. Let me know what you think.