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The popularity of advanced careers in IT in general and in the area of network routers operation and maintenance has been experiencing considerable growth recently. It is not difficult to understand - even under conditions of recession-stricken economy the Information Technology sector shows growth of entry-level salaries, believe it or not. One of the hottest employment slots is a position of network and router administrator. Nowadays the modern business environment is impossible to imagine without local area networks and Internet connections.
All their functionality depends on routers. A router is an essential element of hardware for all large businesses and organizations, which have a number of branches, depend on perfect operation of routers to connect their networks< which are usually located in different premises and buildings, so routers allow their networks to keep in touch. Speaking of the Internet - this is a colossus aggregation of millions of networks that are connected with each other through a vast numbers of routers also. That explains the growing demand for Information Technology specialists who understand the routers and can take care of their operation and maintenance.
But where should a prospective trainee start from? A person interested in routers maintenance career should seriously consider taking up some kind of Cisco training. That would be especially advisable if you haven't worked with routers before. In this case you cannot do without the CCNA program. The structure and contents of this specialized course gives pretty good commercial understanding of routers and their operation to any interested individual.
One point should be made clear from the very start: the cisco training program is not intended for absolute beginners in IT and networking problems, an applicant should have pretty good basic understanding of computer networks and how they operate and function, since it is exactly the networks that happen to be connected to routers. If you do not have a required level of basic knowledge you do not have the essential grounds to be qualified for Cisco training program, otherwise you may encounter problems. In case you are a complete beginner you should better find training that also includes basic networking skills, a good choice would be, for instance, CompTIA Network+ or maybe with the A+ as well. Upon successful completion of the basic program you can take up your CCNA. Some companies provide such specialized training packages for people they are planning to recruit for further cisco training programs, accredited colleges.
People without actual experience of routers operation and maintenance but with pretty good skills and knowledge in computer networking should set up CCNA as their nearest objective; it would be a very reasonable choice. After gaining of several years of actual hands-on experience they should start thinking about getting further, which is taking up the CCNP, since they have reached the correct level of qualification by then.
The next important thing to be realized and kept in mind is that you should not get obsessed with certification itself. Lots of people fall for that, unfortunately. There is no point to get a training course for the purposes of getting a certificate, it does not make sense. You should be concentrated on your final objective, a career growth. If you take up the cisco training course for the sake of training itself, because it is just sounds really 'interesting' and 'fun' you may risk joining a vast number of persons who end up with a profession they really hate. You should ask yourself a question: is this really what I would love to do as my professional career? If the answer is positive - move on!
The way to the precise certifications should be determined by your clear understanding of your personal objectives and ambitions. What level of career possibilities will be satisfactory for you? How much do you want to be paid? As soon as you have made clear you objectives you will see how much you will need to learn to achieve them, how much effort you will have to give in return. Another piece of good advice is to seek assistance of an experienced person, an advisor with pretty good knowledge of the commercial realities of the sector of IT industry that you have chosen to be a professional in. This person would be in position to introduce you to 'A day in the life of' description of the employment position under consideration, giving you a clear and understandable cross-section of your responsibilities as a router administrator. Without this "revelation" you can hardly be sure that the choice you have made is right!
When choosing a cisco training program one of the important things to make sure of is the quality of support that this or that particular cisco training program is offering to its trainees. The support should be available all-round-the-clock seven days a week and it should be offered by highly qualified professional instructors and mentors. This condition is of top priority. The problem is that it happens more often than not when some providers are satisfied with giving just a basic 9am till 6pm support period. On weekends their support is practically not available. Try to stay away from cisco training programs that offer services of 'out-of-hours' call-centers. As a rule they are available on typical office hours. Just imagine you cannot get a support when you badly need it.
The online interactive interface that is used by the best cisco training programs provides for three or four individual support centers from around the world and the centers are run by highly skilled professionals with ample experience in the field. The online interfaces are combined seamlessly, which allows perfect round-the-clock support seven days a week, any time of the day or night, there is always help at hand, without any problems or delays. Good quality of training support is a thing of paramount importance; it should never be compromised or cut down because of expenses. The failure of many trainees can be explained by poor support which was not taken adequate care of.
Another important thing to remember is to check the way in which the contents of your coursework are structured and scheduled for a trainee. This point is often completely missed by many trainees. Spare some time to get familiar with the way in which your training elements are sectioned for you, in which order your going to be presented with training material and if there is a possibility to adjust the schedule according to your own pace In principle, the cisco training program is going to take from one to three years to be completed. After finishing one section or module of the program you have to successfully pass a test. At first thought it looks quite logical. But the possibility to adjust the pace of your training might be of essential importance, since you might not be able to finish each and every module within the time limits imposed, so the possibility to adjust those limits will be of great help to a trainee.
In case you feel you are not a very academic person, which means you are not inclined towards the classroom environment and endless reading of dry academic textbooks, but feel much better and confident with more practical issues and hands-on experience, then you should give preference to cisco training program of more involving character, which employs interactive learning materials, with on-screen demonstrations and labs. The more senses are involved in the training process the better your memory works, that has been established by educational experts long ago.
Cisco training program makes good use of various easy-to-use DVD or CD ROM's with training materials and interactive interfaces. The video training programs concentrate on all necessary demonstrations and explanations. After you have successfully assimilated the material of your video tutorials you will be given a possibility to get some actual hands-on experience with the software to check if your knowledge and skills are adequately developed. Before enrolling to a cisco training course it is highly recommended to get familiar with samples of video tutorials so you can get clear understanding what you are going to get into.
Another efficient possibility is to take up a completely online cisco raining program, but in case you do not have an Internet access or the broadband is not wide enough for online raining purposes teaching video programs become the best solution for getting your cisco training in time and be a success!