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The Cisco training is fundamentally for those who wish to work with routers. Routers connect computer networks via dedicated lines or the internet. We'd recommend that your first course should be the CCNA. Steer clear of going immediately onto your CCNP because it is very complex - and you really need experience to take on this level.

It's vital that you already know a good deal about how computer networks operate and function, because computer networks are joined to routers. If not, the chances are you'll fall behind. Better to look for a course covering the basics in networking (maybe the CompTIA Network+, possibly with A+ as well) and then do a CCNA course. Look for a training provider that can offer this as a career package.

Achieving CCNA is where you need to be aiming - you're not ready for your CCNP straight away. Get a couple of years experience behind you first, then you'll know if you need to train up to this level. Should that be the case, you'll have a much better chance of succeeding - because you'll have so much more experience.

How the program is actually delivered to you can often be overlooked. How is the courseware broken down? What is the specific order and at what speed is it delivered?

Many companies enrol you into a program spread over 1-3 years, and send out each piece as you get to the end of each exam. Sounds reasonable? Well consider these facts:

It's not unusual for trainees to realise that their providers 'standard' path of training is not what they would prefer. It's often the case that a different order of study is more expedient. Perhaps you don't make it in the allotted time?

An ideal situation would be to have all your study materials sent to your home before you even start; the entire package! Then, nothing can hinder your progress.

Exam 'guarantees' are sometimes offered as part of a training package - they always involve paying for the exam fees up-front, before you've even made a start on the course. Before you jump at this so-called guarantee, look at the following:

In this day and age, we tend to be a little more 'marketing-savvy' - and generally we know that for sure it is something we're paying for - it's not because they're so generous they want to give something away!

If you want to qualify first 'go', then you should avoid exam guarantees and pay when entering exams, give it the priority it deserves and be ready for the task.

Shouldn't you be looking to not pay up-front, but when you're ready, instead of paying a premium to the training college, and to do it locally - instead of the remote centre that's convenient only to the trainer?

Why borrow the money or pay in advance (plus interest of course) on exams when you didn't need to? A great deal of money is netted by organisations charging all their exam fees up-front - and banking on the fact that many won't be taken.

In addition to this, you should consider what an 'exam guarantee' really means. Many training companies won't pay for re-takes until you can prove to them you're ready to pass.

Exam fees averaged approximately 112 pounds last year through local VUE or Pro-metric centres throughout the country. So why pay hundreds or thousands of pounds extra to get 'Exam Guarantees', when it's obvious that the most successful method is a commitment to studying and the use of authorised exam preparation tools.

Make sure that all your accreditations are current and commercially required - forget courses which end up with a useless in-house certificate or plaque.

The top IT companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, CompTIA or Cisco have widely recognised skills programmes. Huge conglomerates such as these can make sure you stand out at interview.

Being a part of the information technology industry is amongst the most stimulating and innovative industries you could be involved with. Being a member of a team working on breakthroughs in technology puts you at the fore-front of developments affecting everyone who lives in the 21st century.

Computer technology and connections via the internet will spectacularly affect the direction of our lives over future years; overwhelmingly so.

Incomes in IT are not a problem either - the income on average in the UK for an average IT employee is much better than in the rest of the economy. Odds are you'll make a whole lot more than you would in most other jobs.

Due to the technological sector increasing nationally and internationally, one can predict that the requirement for professionally qualified and skilled IT workers will remain buoyant for quite some time to come.

(C) Jason Kendall. Navigate to LearningLolly.com for superb career advice on Cisco CCNA Training Courses and Cisco Training Courses.

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