How to Choose The Right CCNA Course.
I’ve just spent an hour on the phone with a guy looking to
take his CCNA after attending a course. He thought he
would be able to do a quick search on the internet and then
choose from three or four companies. One week later he is
being bombarded with sales calls offering guaranteed jobs,
guaranteed exam passes, special offers if he buys today
and access to whole libraries of IT certification resources.
While the companies he spoke to shall remain nameless I do
feel that their tactics are unethical and some of their
claims go way past stretching the truth.
Company 1 – Offered a whole online certification library
and a special deal which had to go through before end of
business in order to qualify. The salesman called him back
12 times over the next two days with the same offer.
Company 2 – Offered online certification training for half
the price of company 1 but their CCNA course is 640-801 which
is now out of date. They still have IPX in their materials
which was phased out about 2 years ago.
Company 3 – told him not to bother with the CCNA and to do
the A+ PC repair exam and then the Network+ exam first and
then find a helpdesk role for 18 months.
Company 4 – told him he should come on their 2 week long
CCNA course which is £4000. The equipment he would be
using for the course would be locked away in another room
and he wouldn’t be allowed physical access to it during the
As you can imagine, he was confused, frustrated and a bit
angry. Because he had been lied to he didn’t know who to
trust anymore so he was basically stuck.
When I started out running weekend Cisco boot camps there
were only a few companies running such training courses.
Now you are inundated with home study, online training,
boot camps galore and more promises than you can shake a
If you are looking for a course here are a few things I
recommend you look for because you are unlikely to receive
an unbiased opinion from any company you call.
1. What suits you best? Home study with e-mail or phone
support or an on site course where you can ask the
instructor questions if you get stuck. If you are not
motivated to study from home then an classroom course may
be the best option.
2. What is your budget? Getting loads for IT training may
mean many months paying off a large debt which will be a
waste if you never pass.
3. Beware promises too good to be true such as guaranteed
pass or guaranteed jobs. Get the promises in writing and
check the small print. Speak to students who have passed
with the company.
4. Is the trainer a cisco consultant or does he just train?
Beware of guys with more than 20 letters after their name
spread over several different vendors.
5. Can you try before you buy with either free tasters of
the course materials or sitting in on one of the classes.
6. What happens if you don’t pass the exam? Will you be
able to re-attend the course for free?
7. Speak to the trainer and ask a bit about their background
and training style.
8. Make sure you have access to live Cisco kit either on
the course or if it is distance learning then over the
web. You simply cannot pass the CCNA without strong hands
Of course, you are aware that I run weekend CCNA and CCNP
boot camps in the UK via www.networksinc.co.uk but I do
like to think that we are running our courses ethically
and building relationships with our students in the hope
that they tell their friends about the course and come
back for the CCNP in the future.
I hope this helps.