Step 7: CCNA - Cisco Certified Network Associate
If you are following the entire course suggested here, you've now finished your Microsoft studies.
You know how to setup and support the network file server and database server.
Now, it is time to tackle the infrastructure that these servers use to communicate between each other
and with the end user.
This part of the industry is currently dominated by Cisco, the number one maker of network routers and switches.
(Cisco Certified Network Associate) certfication provides a foundation for most other Cisco courses. Several others, such as the
actually require that you hold a CCNA before you will be granted the higher level certification.
The CCNA only requires one test, but that test covers a lot of material.
Knowledge of networking basics, router configuration, switch configuration, and network managment are all required.
To earn this certification you must pass the
Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam (CCNA 640-607).
For study material, the Sybex
"Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide"
provides a good, complete course of training.
The deluxe edition of this guide includes a router simulation software package which
allows you to see how entering the commands discussed in the book will behave on the equipment.
Make sure you get the 2nd edition of this book (linked above) which is for the 607 rather than the
older 507 exam.
There are still a few copies of the older version floating around out there.
For a quick review after working through the main study guide,
you might want to consider the
"Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam Notes".
for a quick read and refresh.
This book is much shorter, but it gives an overview of the exam obectives with the detail you need to be
familiar with before taking the exam.
If you want the same text as the Sybex study guide, but with a better simulation lab, take a look at the
"CCNA Certification Kit (2nd ed)".
This gives you the study guide along with the gold edition of the virtual lab software.
As an alternative to the Sybex books, you can go with the
"Cisco CCNA Certification Guide".
The third edition of this book has been updated for the 607 series exam.
One more piece of material, for those who like the series, is the
"Mike Meyers' CCNA Exam Passport".
This is another quick review book and should probably be used with either the Sybex or Cisco study guide.
For more information and self study materials, take a look at the
Self Study Certs
to step 8 (CCDA),
to step 6 (MCDBA), or
to the overview.