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Which networking certificate and how to Linux


So, I was creating a new topic and this thread pop-up. Is it OK to continue this one or create a new one? Anyway, I was talking to my friend about moving into IT and he told me have some knowledge of networking about how computers communicate. There are two certifications CompTIA and Cisco. Which one to start with? I need to learn about Linux as well.



Gave you a fresh new thread op.

If you don’t like the title, you can edit it by clicking on the pencil to the right of the thread name.

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The Cisco cert is gonna put you in the deep end of the pool rather quickly unless you take the class AND have a really good instructor. The paper alone (CCNA) can get you an entry level job with an ISP if you’re in a major metro area.

CompTIA certs are a bit of a waste of money IMO. You do get the basics out of the class which can end up being invaluable, but the paper at the end isn’t really worth it.

When I had just graduated high school, I had ZERO Linux experience, so I took some continuing education classes at the community college. Those (Linux and MySQL) classes REALLY helped shore me up for an entry level job and nailed my first interview doing phone support for a hosting company and just kept grinding my way up.

I think you should probably hold off on the harder certs like CCNA and RHCSA until you get more of a feel for what you want to be doing. You might find the development track appeals more than the systems side, and then those certs do absolutely nothing for you.



Cisco, will be more beneficial. Tons of companies use their devices and everything you can learn about the basics of networking are covered in the CCNA.

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just research the company through its employees if they have dick management it maybe very hard to progress unless you kiss some major ass!
anyhow having the certs ahead of time does help
and dont be afraid to take any you can get!



Thanks a lot! I was away for a while. Will continue with it. :blush:

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And what is development and systems side? Sorry, I’m completely new to this. I’m trying to gain much knowledge from experienced people as much.

This is common and I’m not good at kissing some so I lack behind. :sweat_smile:



same here every time they turned their ass for a kiss they got my boot instead.
i can honestly say they never bothered me much (i had a big sign on my work bench that said" is what you want to bitch me out for worth the ass kicking you’ll get for pissing me off?")
below it it said talk calmly and politely and Ill do everything i can to help!

they usually got the point!



He’s talking about building a website instead of configuring switches and routers. While the overlap is growing, they are two different disciplines, methodologies, and career paths.

If you want to get into Cisco, there is an “entry” cert that gets you an overwhelming amount of networking experience. CCENT/CCNA are paired together, or you can take a big test and get your CCNA.

That will let you get into a NOC position, Network Operations Center. Basically a call center for network related issues. Doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be inbound (where clients call and your phone rings), but that is a possibility. What everyone fails to tell you is I.T., especially in the beginning, is as much customer service as is it playing with tech. Never forget that.

People are incredibly tedious when it comes to technology. Whether you work for an ISP, MSP (subscription based I.T. services), or a consulting company you will be pushed to your limits in stupidity, obtuse behavior, and an overall unwillingness to cooperate. I’m not trying to talk you out of it, I’m just giving you the heads up no one ever gave me. 5 years and 4 companies later, I decided to go a route that doesn’t deal with end users or clients.

If you want to learn about Linux, check out Linux Essentials, either through Linux Academy (kind of expensive, especially now) or something like the following:

There is also a few certifications, like CompTIA Linux+ and RHCSA/RHCE. The RedHat certs expect a base line knowledge of not only Linux but also systems administration experience.

If you stay in I.T. long enough, move into government or defense work, or do any sort of consulting, you will touch Microsoft Servers, so it’s worth looking into MCSA for Windows Server or Azure services. Despite the common rhetoric, there isn’t anything wrong with Windows.

If you want to go pure Networking, not a bad gig, I’d look into SDN (Software Defined Networking) after getting your feet wet with Cisco. You can build templates with what’s called YAML and define your infrastructure as code. Look at using Ansible and/or Terraform with networking stacks.

Eventually you want to move into the engineer/architect level (5 to 10 years down the life after establishing yourself as a professional). There are a few certs but really the core components is being able to make decisions and provide solutions to complex problems you don’t have all the answers to.

Overreliance on search engines, Google, and other tools can be a problem, but if you learn to use them effectively they can be quite useful. I would look at learning Calculus basics, too. Don’t give me some bullshit about “I’m not good at math” because that’s a lie that everyone tells themselves because they fear failure. Learning differential and integral Calculus is really useful in this industry. No one is asking you to be an A student, but understanding the basics will change your brain in how you solve problems.

Six months of practicing the above, having a great attitude, and showing your work will land you a pretty good job. If you keep the momentum the next few years you’ll be an elite in your industry. It’s really not hard to excel in I.T. or software, because so many people do the bare minimum or slack off. Take care of yourself with nutrition, exercise, and get plenty of rest, and keep on top of your game through study and labs, and you’ll be able to demand whatever salary you want.



Also, while building a Cisco lab is fun, exciting, and loud, you can do it virtually with a decent laptop or desktop.




Oh, thanks for the detailed answer based on your own experience. Referring to the quote, I actually want to enter into IT security, and my friend told me that I need to understand networking stuff first. I definitely want to learn Linux.



There are a lot of misconceptions about Information Security.

  1. It’s entry level
  2. It’s just “InfoSec”

1 is false, because even at the entry level InfoSec, they expect you to have knowledge of networking, operating systems, or software development (as you already know). 2 is false because, just like saying “I work in I.T.”, saying “I work in InfoSec” can mean a thousand different things. Compliance? Malware Analysis? NetSec? Penetration Testing? Red Teaming (different than Pen Testing)? Auditing? Reporting? Research and Development? There a various subfields and specialized, T-shaped professionals in those subfields.

However, your friend is correct in that a strong networking background will assist in getting into Information Security. Linux is useful, but depending on your job, knowledge of Windows is more useful. If your client has 30,000 Windows servers, how can you expect to defend against threats if you don’t understand how the technology works?

Hacking regedit to disable some service is dramatically different than configuring monitoring and logging solutions to external and internal breaches and attacks. Something to keep in mind.

Even offensive security professionals have a deep knowledge of .NET and Windows systems. PowerShell makes a powerful weapon. There is a good book on the subject, too. “Grayhat C#”



I’m in a completely unrelated field. But I want to divert into this but I am completely at lost here. So where to start?

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If you want to go into a network role, pure networking (NOC => Network Engineer => Systems Architect => DemiGod => Harry Dresden => Consultant/CTO/SugarDaddy) I would go the Cisco route. It dominates nearly 80% of the enterprise. Once you establish a strong base with Cisco you can look at SDN infrastructure (OpenFlow, HP Distributed Cloud Networking, etc.), look at Python and Ansible for deploying networking configurations, and then check out what else is out there (like Juniper).

If you want to get a leg into security, I’d still go the Cisco route with the CCNA Security and learn their ASA technology. A little time spent there, you can move into a Network Security role easily. Learn the basics of Linux, Python, and PowerShell and you can move into an Offensive Security role or Blue Team/NetSec role.

If you want to do it all, wear multiple hats, etc., go Cisco, MCSA/MCSE, RHCE, and learn MySQL, MS SQL Server, Redis, Python, PowerShell, and a “traditional” Object Oriented Programming language :grin: Sans Cisco, this is the path I have gone and it’s been a fun 7 years so far. Looking forward to the next 30.



How old are you? Just trying to get a good gauge on how retarded I am or not lmao!

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I’m 32. I got into I.T. around 2011 doing basic desktop/laptop repair and OS cleanup.

I was working towards and studying for something completely unrelated prior to that. Some major life events changed my trajectory.

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Ok I was hoping you weren’t gonna say like 25 and make me feel bad :joy: Sounds like you buckled down for a minute though… I need to do that.



I put in a solid year worth of dedication and focus, I’d say. No social life, no video games, no TV, just lab, study, read, lab, study, read, lab, study, read.

That single year put me ahead of college graduates, people ahead of me in the industry, and a few SMEs. I don’t know everything, I’m still learning, and I often ask for help, but I gave myself a serious foundation that most people were too arrogant or entitled to do.

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Yeah man I’ve learned a shit ton just from working but the benefit from no-lifeing it for a while and adding some study on top is obviously worth it. Willpower is a bitch to wrestle with, though.

And hey, nobody can know everything! If you think you do something is seriously wrong haha

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So you started at 25?.. It may sound awkward to people when I say I want to move into IT and I’m 30 now. It’s like starting again from the scratch.

Good choice of words!