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Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

Hi
Just wanted to get some opinions on this.
Am looking to start the Cisco CCNA certification next year to become properly trained on how to configure Cisco routing equipment so that I can apply for roles in a range of fields (computer networking such as working for sn ISP or telecoms)
I note that from info from quite a few service providers (plusnet, 1 and 1 to name but two) that they seem to deploy both Cisco AND Juniper kit in the their networks (from what I;ve read Juniper lead the market in edge routing while Cisco lead the core)
I was just wondering whether it is a good idea to pursue Juniper certification in addition to Cisco?
I'd be grateful for your opinions on this.
Thanks
Mitch
7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

Cisco is always the best and once you know one type of router its not hard to use another. The problem is getting a job a router you setup and it may never change for years unless you are a ISp or simliar so it often tend to be a one off job and there are not a lot of firms who employ someone full time doing just routers unless its a firm that hires people out to firms.
So while its a good skill to have you need something else as well like a MS skill as most of the work would be support and every now and then do routers. You wont get far with only a Cisco skill as any network half the problem is setting up the servers which is were MS/linux skills come in these are every day skills routers are every 6 months skills.
If you live in an area were there is companies that do use routers a lot it may make a difference check out the local scene first and job advertised for routers? 
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

Am thinking of applying to a body like LINX if I qualify but yes you are probably right, need to get the MCSE as well really.
Thanks
N/A

Re: Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

TBH - I'm not sure the MCSE is necessarily worth the money - it depends on what you want to do with your career.
If you want to get into networking, the MS stuff is not hugely relevant.
The best approach is to decide what sort of job you want, then look for the sorts of qualifications and experiences requested for those jobs.
Lots of vacancies request MCSE, but thats only because the hiring managers and agencies don't have a clue what they are talking about, and they have the notion that it means that the candidate has an idea what he's doing. (And having met quite a few MCPs, MCSEs and MCTs over the years - I can confirm that the majority don't have the first clue, but thought that the course would tell them enough to do the job and earn big money.)
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,590
Thanks: 978
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

My 2p.
Certainly take the Cisco or MS courses if you can get them as part of your training with your current employer.  I'm with James in the Real World true value though, so probably not worth spending your own money on the courses?  Even if you do take the Cisco accreditation route, focus on the underlying principles of the WHY and WHAT you need to set up rather than the details of the idiosnycratic Cisco IOS commands to achieve them.  The principles remain (fairly) constant across all networks and re-learning just the command structure should be relatively quick and easy.  The CCNA certification may help get you to the interview, but the face to face interview will probably be with some hard- ar$%d engineer skilled on many bits of kit - this is where knowing the principles well can get you further than a stock 'Exam type' answer.
Good general skills outside of networking are also needed - you need to be able to set up and test all sorts of end to end scenarios to validate your proposed network change!
It's an interesting job though, so best of luck.
Maurice
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

I do agree about MCP card carriers, a lot of them don't really have a clue about what they are talking about.
I have always learnt by doing and have tinkered with DOS and then Windows since I was 8 so from the ground up so to speak.
The trouble with these kinds of exams, (particularly MS) is that the was in being able to regurgitate that knowledge, however when you lean from the ground up it can be difficult as when you are sitting the exam they usually give more than one probable fix and you have to think of the Redmond way rather than any shortcuts of how to fix it.
A lot of the people you speak of can regurgitate the knowledge but cannot apply it.
Am looking ideally to get away from desktops as much as possible and look after the backend bits as the business end is the bit that interests me the most.
N/A

Re: Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

You don't live near Leeds perchance?
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Cisco or Juniper Networks certification?

I'm assuming you mean Leeds, West Yorks James and not the one in Kent?
I live near neither.