The Faint Stirrings of Re-Certification

Written by James McDonald

July 4, 2011

It’s been years since I was on the certifications treadmill.

The MCSE, CCNA and CCA certs that I got are so long in the past that the knowledge gained by passing them has diminished in relevance and usefulness.

Not that attaining certifications is pointless. If you only ever learn exactly what you think you need to know to do the current task then you will be limiting your growth by not giving yourself a broad framework of IT knowledge.

So I dug my dead tree format Résumé out tonight and flicked through until I found the Cisco “Exam Certification Report” which enabled me to login to the Cisco Certification Tracker and discover that my CCNA has been expired since 2003.

I’m trying to decide if I can still renew my CCNA without too much trouble, so I went to the Cisco site and did a test module “Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND1) Review Questions – Module 1” and got 34 out of 45 questions right. So only 75% which isn’t near enough to pass.

So the way forward, instead of just doing the separate CCNA exams, I would like to do the CCNA Composite Exam (640-802 CCNA) which encompasses Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 and 2.

So it’s gonna be a couple of hundred dollars worth of Cisco Press Books and some pretty intense study. And perhaps I will purchase the electronic trial exams which simulate the exam environments. I found these helpful when I was doing certifications in the past. If you can take the practice exams and get close to 100% (or at least above 90%) and understand why you went wrong, then you are ready to take the real one.

I’m not sure yet if this is going to be the goal for the next half year or an upgrade to the Microsoft Certs to get prepped for a Windows domain upgrade to the latest version. Time will tell.

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