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Cisco Certification - Best method besides attending a $3,000 class

Posted on 2014-07-21
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I'm looking to get Cisco certified.  And I don't want to just memorize theory.
Are there simulation programs out there that act like actual routers/switches?
I'm starting at the bottom so I need to brush up on my TCP/IP, DNS, and other networking skills too.
I really enjoyed taking live "lab" classes but I can't afford them any more. The past few years have been a nightmare for me financially.
I hate certification "boot camps" because you only get a shallow understanding based on memorization.
Advice please!
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:Mitchell Milligan
Mitchell Milligan earned 400 total points
ID: 40210075
The best way, check with your local tech school. I found that to be much cheaper than I ever anticipated.  For me it was a series of 3 classes, which were about $300 each.  The best part, is with Tech Schools, you can apply for financial aid through the federal government.  But those classes typically meet 1 time a week and give great hands on with actual equipment, simulation programs such as Cisco Packet Tracer, as well as access to the cisco netacad.com site for elearning.  No book cost involved as the netacad.com has all the curriculum on it.  It may be more affordable than you think for high quality training.
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Michael Ortega earned 1200 total points
ID: 40210662
Try udemy.com. You can get an entire CCNA course for less than $100. An entire video series from people like Chris Bryant. For lab stuff go to https://learningnetworkstore.cisco.com/cisco-learning-labs. You can basically rent labs for about $80.

MO
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by:Akinsd
Akinsd earned 400 total points
ID: 40210687
www.youtube.com

You'll be surprised at how much of good quality stuff you'll find there. I did an entire course on youtube and wrote an exam to  waive a class in my graduate degree. Just get the curriculum from Cisco, and look for the topic on youtube.
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by:brothertruffle880
ID: 40214413
mgortega:
I can definitely afford to rent labs for $80!

GREAT suggestion.  Thanks.
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by:Mitchell Milligan
ID: 40214445
Good luck with your learning!  Cisco is challenging, but rewarding when you succeed at it!
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