Showing posts with label CCNA Certification. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CCNA Certification. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The 5 best CCNA books for exam revision in 2017

best ccna books, ccna revision


[Updated: This list of the best CCNA books was updated for 2017]

The CCNA is a challenging certification and a rite of passage for thousands of networking professionals across the globe. Achieve the CCNA certification and you’ll be on track for a rewarding career in networking and a £40,000 salary (ITJobsWatch).

The CCNA certification also qualifies you for advanced Cisco Career Certifications, like the CCNP: Routing and Switching. These certifications will further prove your skills and help you to achieve some of the top roles in networking.

To get the CCNA: Routing and Switching certification, you’ll need to pass two exams:

  • Exam 100-105 - Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 v3.0 (ICND1)
  • Exam 200-105 - Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 v3.0 (ICND2)

And whether you’re a networking professional or a newbie, revision is essential to pass these exams. To help you pass your CCNA exam first time, we’ve compiled a list of the best CCNA books. Take a look at the top 5 best CCNA books for exam revision.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Cisco updated their CCNA Routing & Switching Certification - Here’s everything you need to know:

On the 17th of May Cisco announced some major changes to their flagship CCNA Routing & Switching certification moving from version 2 to 3 – here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the new and improved version 3.

What is the CCNA Routing & Switching?

The Routing & Switching certification aims to teach you the knowledge and skills needed to install, operate and troubleshoot a small-to-medium enterprise branch network as well as the basic network security and complex connections. The course is made up of ICND1 (CCENT) and ICND2 (CCNA), which collectively equate to the CCNA.   


Why has the CCNA Routing & Switching Certification been updated?

Although characteristic of Cisco to update their leading courses every four to five years, Pim Leemans, Cisco instructor, suggests there are additional reasons behind the revamp. “The way we learn has been changing a lot in previous years. Unlike before there will be less theory and more learning by just doing”. Cisco reflect these changes in learning through the introduction of Discovery and Challenge Labs, which teach and test students through practical tasks. Cisco state that the developments of the Routing & Switching certification also aims to meet the advancements in technology and better empower IT professionals with “the understanding of software defined networking (SDN) and the integration of virtualised resources utilised in Enterprise network architectures”.

What do the changes look like?  

Course
Exam
Course
Exam
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
100-101 ICND1
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
100-105 ICND1
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 2 (ICND2)
200-101 ICND2
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 2 (ICND2)
200-105 ICND2
Composite CCNA
200-120 CCNA
Composite CCNA
200-125 CCNA

Aside from the changes in the exam numbers, the content of the Routing & Switching certification has changed.

Changes from ICND1 v2.0 to ICND1 v3.0:

Pim Leemans describes the largest changes within ICND1 as the treatment of RIP as the only routing protocol and subjects on device management being moved from ICND2 to ICND1.  


Key topics removed or moved to ICND2:

  • OSPF (single area) and other OSPF topics were moved to ICND2 since RIP is used to introduce CCENT candidates to IP routing protocols.
  • Dual Stack was removed as there are multiple IPv4 and IPv6 transition technologies being used.
  • Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) has been removed.  

Key topics added:

  • High level knowledge of the impact and interactions of infrastructure components, such as:
    • Firewalls
    • Access Points
    • Wireless Controllers
  • An awareness of the Collapsed Core architecture instead of the traditional three-tier architectures. This effectively joins Distribution and Core into a single tier with Access as a second tier.  
  • Required to configure and verify IPv6 Stateless Address Auto Configuration (SLAAC).
  • Added Anycast to the list of IPv6 addressing types.
  • Required to have knowledge of Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP). An L2 discovery protocol used in addition to Cisco Discovery Protocol.
  • RIPv2 for IPv4 serves as a primary focus for routing protocols.
  • Added requirements to understand DNS and DHCP related connectivity issues.
  • Understanding of Syslog message logging for device monitoring.
  • Skills and knowledge for backing up and restoring device configurations.

Changes from ICND2 v2.0 to ICND2 v3.0

Pim Leemans believes the ICND2 “has changed the most” with the emphasis on outdated technologies such as Frame Relay being replaced by Multi-Link PPP and PPPoE. The more challenging subjects of EBGP, RADIUS and Tacacs+ authentication are now also addressed.

Key topics removed:

  • Frame Relay and Serial WAN technology has been omitted
  • Only HSRP remains from First Hop Redundancy Protocols (VRRP and GLBP removed).

Key topics added:

  • Required to have knowledge of dual-homed vs single-homed Intelligent WAN topology options.
  • Need basic knowledge of external BGP (eBGP) used to connect Enterprise branches.
  • VPN topics now include; DMVPN, Site-to-Site VPN and Client VPN in common Enterprise use.
  • Must have an understanding of how Cloud resources are being used in Enterprise network architectures e.g.
    • How Cloud services will affect traffic paths and flows
    • Common virtualised services and how these coexist with legacy infrastructure
    • Basics of virtual network infrastructure (Network Function Virtualisation)
  • Awareness of Programmable Network (SDN) architectures including:
    • Separation of the control data plane
    • How a controller functions and communicates northbound to network applications and southbound to the R&S infrastructure using API’s.
  • Using Path Trace applications for ACLs, which is an essential new network application enabled by the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller – Enterprise Module (APIC-EM).
    • The tool is designed to automate the troubleshooting and resolution of complex ACL deployments.
  • Understanding QoS concepts related to marking, shaping and policing mechanisms for congestion management.
    • Need an understanding of how QoS is used for prioritising voice, video and data traffic. Plus an understanding of the automation provided by programmable networks to implement business critical QoS policies.  

For even more detail on the curriculum changes:



What does this mean for the old exams?

The exams 100-101 ICND1 and 200-120 CCNA can no longer be taken (August 20th deadline). The ICND2 exam, however, can still be taken until the 24th of September this year.

Can I combined exams?

Yes, if you already have the ICND1 (CCENT) certification v2.0 then you can get the ICND2 (CCNA) certification v3.0 and still end up with your CCNA qualification.









Thursday, 21 January 2016

Top 5 certifications to kick-start your IT career in 2016


 By Sarah Morgan

The New Year is a time for resolutions and career aspirations. In 2016, if yours is to embark on a career in IT, getting certified is a brilliant way to do this. IT certifications prove and refine your skills and knowledge in IT. This will help you get the early breakthrough your IT career needs, giving it a kick-start for 2016. 
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong / freedigitalphotos.net

We’ve researched and complied the five best entry level certifications available and outlined the knowledge and skills each certification offers you. These cover the basics in IT hardware and software, networking, Windows Server and software development. These are highly popular and rewarding areas of IT and can be excellent starting points for many IT careers. Find out how they can be helpful for you and your future.

1. CompTIA A+


CompTIA’s A+ certification is the starting point of many great IT careers. It gives you a fundamental understanding of basic hardware, software, and networking concepts. A huge benefit of the A+ is the practical skills you learn through hands-on experience. This is critical early-on in your career, building the foundations of knowledge you’ll need now and in the future.

The A+ is a highly regarded entry level certification throughout the IT industry and is often a requirement for many entry-level IT job roles. This is the case in companies like Canon, HP and Dell for example. It is attractive to employers partly because it’s vendor neutral, making it applicable to whatever technology your employer is using, and because of the wide range of skills it covers. These skills will be the most up-to-date available due to CompTIA’s curriculum update in 2015. 

After achieving your A+ certification, you’ll be able conduct maintenance and setup of PCs, laptops, printers, mobile devices, network and operating systems. These versatile skills will help you secure your first job in IT like Computer Technician and IT Support, averaging salaries of between £20,000-£25,000 (all average salaries from itjobswatch.co.uk). 



2. CompTIA Network+


After your A+, you can advance on to CompTIA’s Network+ which, like it’s prerequisite, is recognised globally throughout the IT industry. This is the perfect certification to steer your career into networking as you’ll learn to configure and control vendor-neutral networking technologies. 

You’ll learn to manage, protect, maintain and configure wired and wireless devices in a network. It is these specialised networking skills that can give you an edge early in your career, helping you stand out from others starting their IT careers. You’ll be able to apply for roles like Network Support Technician with an average salary between £25,000-£30,000.



3. Microsoft MTA: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals


The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTAs) certifications are aimed at the entry-level in areas like networking, database, cloud and software development fundamentals. The MTA: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals teaches you the basics of installing and managing a server. This MTA is good for those looking to secure their first job in IT because there are no prerequisites. Some basic prior knowledge of Windows Server’s role in businesses would help your learning, but is not necessary. The MTA: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals has the potential to open many doors for you in 2016 because of the fundamental server it teaches you, especially if you’ve had difficulty finding an introductory IT role.

The MTA: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals benefits from Microsoft’s hugely recognisable brand name, and focuses on a hugely popular technology. You’ll learn about installing servers, server roles, active directory, server storage, server performance management, and server maintenance. The MTA Windows Server Administration Fundamentals can help you on your way to an entry-level Server Support role with a £26,000 average salary. 


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net




4. Microsoft MTA Software Development Fundamentals


If you’re looking for a software development role creating and managing web and desktop applications, the MTA Software Development Fundamentals is a great certification to get you started. Like other MTAs, it has no prerequisites and requires no on-the-job experience. It is recommended that you have some basic prior knowledge of C# or Microsoft Visual Basic .NET as this will help your learning. Again, this is not compulsory. 

You’ll build an understanding of core programming, object-oriented programming, general software development, web applications, desktop applications, and databases. It covers all aspects of software development giving you all the knowledge you’ll need to get started in software development roles. The MTA can prepare you for a Trainee or Junior Software Engineer role with an average salary between £20,000-£25,000.


5. Cisco CCNA (Routing & Switching)


If you’re interested in networking, Cisco’s CCNA (Routing & Switching) is another excellent starting point. However, it does require you to be familiar with networks and have a minimum of six month’s working experience. Once you’re certified though, you’ll be in the perfect position for you to start growing your career in networking. 

The CCNA looks specifically at Cisco technology, which is dominant in the networking and switching industry with around 60% market share according to Statista. It demonstrates you have the routing and switching skills required for network support positions, building your skills in installing, configuring, operating and troubleshooting networks. After getting CCNA certified you’ll be able to advance into roles like Network Administrator or Network Supervisor with average salaries between £35,000 to £40,000, really giving your IT career a boost for 2016.


Getting certified is always a great way to boost your career in IT, worth considering at any stage of your career. Getting certified demonstrates and improves your skills whilst keeping them current. It can also make you better at you job on a day-to-day basis, and could come with a pay rise of 10 percent or more according to roberthalf.com. Discover 200+ accelerated courses that can help you in the area most suitable for you.

 About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Cisco launch new CCNA Cloud and CCNP Cloud certifications


By Sarah Morgan


Today Cisco introduced two brand new cloud certifications to complement their already comprehensive certification portfolio.

The Cisco certification Pyramid
Available globally, the CCNA Cloud and CCNP Cloud are new job role certifications, designed to build and validate your cloud skill set.


Cisco CCNA Cloud – only six days

Companies are embracing cloud to help them to be more agile, flexible, and effective – with a CCNA cloud cert, you’ll get the skills you need to help these companies succeed with cloud technology.

On this accelerated course, you’ll learn how to perform entry-level provisioning and support for Cisco cloud solutions. You’ll also study:

  • Cloud characteristics and models
  • Cloud deployment
  • Cloud compute
  • End-user support
  • Infrastructure, administration and reporting

The CCNA Cloud certification will prepare you for the role of a cloud engineer or cloud administrator working in a small/medium business, or as support for a large enterprise.

Get this crucial cloud certification in just six days with Firebrand.


Cisco CCNP Cloudonly 12 days

Become a recognised expert with Cisco cloud technology and get the skills you need to build, implement, provision and support Cisco Cloud and Intercloud solutions. This certification is a progression of the Cisco CCNA Cloud.

On this accelerated course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement and troubleshoot Cisco Cloud Infrastructure
  • Automate Cisco Enterprise
  • Manage application centric infrastructure

Plus, this Cisco course includes all four CCNP exams, and is delivered exclusively by Certified Cisco Instructors. Get CCNP Cloud certified in only 12 days with Firebrand.


Firebrand are among the first to market these brand new Cisco cloud certifications. And with accelerated training, you'll be certified at twice the speed.

190+ courses and counting

Firebrand’s portfolio now exceeds 190 accelerated courses from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA.
(ISC)2

We’re committed to developing new accelerated courses. To stay up to date with our newest and most cutting edge training follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and LinkedIn.

Find out how you can get certified at twice the speed and take a look at our full range of accelerated training.


About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

How to revise Cisco CCNA for free


By Sarah Morgan


Studying quality revision resources is crucial – when preparing for your CCNA exams. You can’t afford to waste time trawling the web for revision material.

It can be hard to find quality resources that you don’t have to pay for. We’ve previously discussed our top 5 paid CCNA revision books – now it’s time for our top free resources.


Free CCNA video tutorials & guides


High quality video content is an invaluable tool during self-study. Written revision resources are great, but things can get dull (especially after your third cup of coffee!). Video content can provide a welcome respite – you’ll still be learning about CCNA, but in a more passive way.

Plus, you’ll find variety CCNA topics easier to memorise better when accompanied by screen captures and live demonstrations.

There are plenty of quality free guides, how-to’s and tutorials available online. Here’s our pick of the bunch:


Dans Courses 

Dan Alberghetti has been teaching CCNA certification courses through the Cisco Academy for the past 11 years and it shows. You’ll find an abundance of quality video content on Dan’s YouTube channel – just make sure you check the upload date, some videos are now up to five years old! And remember, the new CCNA exam was introduced in 2014 – take a look at most recent updates.





NetworKing 

Though not as comprehensive as Dans Courses, NetworKing provides a series of compelling introductory CCNA videos. You’ll be guided through ten 20 minute videos by the concise and affable Imran Rafal – covering topics from Network fundamentals to Real World Switching.

This is a great resource. However, as many have pointed out, these videos should only be used as a supplementary resource. Relying on just these videos will not give you the breadth of knowledge you need to pass.





ShrikeCast with Andrew Crouthamel

This mammoth series of 84 videos is another brilliant resource for anyone embarking on CCNA self-study. The videos range in length from 5 – 25 minutes and provide an introduction to networking and the CCNA syllabus.






Free CCNA study guides


To supplement your revision, you should be regularly referring to a variety of study guides. By using these you’ll start to build the base of knowledge you need to take on the CCNA exams. These study guides are typically large and unexciting, but provide an invaluable source of information.


Free CCNA Study Guide

This massive online directory covers topics found within both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams. Each in-depth chapter covers a huge range of CCNA topics with accompanying diagrams and illustrations. Despite not yet being updated for IPv6, Free CCNA Study Guide remains a fantastic revision resource.

Access it here.


Omnisecu

Omnisecu provides a staggering 159 well-illustrated CCNA lessons. These lessons cover a massive breadth of topics (including IPv6) that can be studied in sequence. It’s simple, informative and robust.  

Plus, Omnisecu also covers Basic Networking and TCP/IP – topics you’ll be expected to understand before you start revising the CCNA.


CCNA Help – CCNA eBook

This eBook covers almost all important topics found within the CCNA exams and also includes some sample questions & answers.

Despite being visually unappealing, with a noticeable lack of diagrams, this resource retains its place as a useful source of quality CCNA information.  Find it here.


Free Cisco Routing Simulators


Routing simulators are invaluable tools for anyone studying networking. Applying the knowledge and skills you’ve been learning should be an integral part of your CCNA study. To help you do just that we recommend you take a look at NetSimK, LammleSim and GNS3.


Free Practice exams


The penultimate test – can you achieve a passing score on a practice exam? There’s only one way to find out. The below practice exams and questions will help you gauge you readiness for the real thing.


Test Clues

You’ll have to submit your email to sign up to Test Clues, but it’s well worth the effort. Inside you’ll find fully functional exams for both ICND1 and ICND2. Sign up here.



Go Certify

A minimalistic set of CCNA exam questions provided hosted on Go Certify and provided by ccprep. Find it here.


Are you ready for the CCNA exam?

This short 10 question quiz tests your knowledge on a variety of Cisco exam topics. Questions and detailed answers are taken from the book CCNA Exam Cram, Second Edition. Take the quiz.


Cert Exams

Certexams.com features a series of practice questions as well as a free downloadable exam simulator that includes testlets, simlets and router simulations. Take a look at the practice exam questions and download the exam simulator.


MeasureUp

The demo version of MeasureUp still provides some great practice exam experience. You’ll find shortened versions of both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams, though you’ll need to reach for your wallet to access the full tests.



Bonuses include two distinct testing modes - Study mode and Certification mode – as well as extensive customisable test options.


Firebrand Learn

We’ve uploaded our ICND1 & ICND2 lab guides to Firebrand Learn.  Get started on these two comprehensive lab guides right away – they’re totally free and there’s no need to sign up.

Found any hidden gems during your CCNA revision? Comment below and we’ll add them to the guide.


Related articles:
About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Certifications to start your IT Career in 2015


 By 

Looking to start your IT career in 2015? Check out this list of the top entry level certifications to help secure your first job in the field of IT. Completing any one of these will prove you have the associated skill set necessary to perform in a range of entry level IT jobs.

Microsoft entry level certifications

MicrosoftIf you're considering a career in technology then it's almost a certainty you'll end up working with Microsoft technologies. The MTA certification (Microsoft Technology Associate) is Microsoft's introductory track addressing a wide spectrum of fundamental technical concepts.

The MTA is split into three tracks which you can follow depending on your interests and career goals:


  • MTA IT Infastructure track - if you want to build a career in desktop, server infrastructure or private cloud computing this is the track for you. Hone your skills around window desktop and server operating systems, networking and security.
  • MTA Database track - this track is for those chasing a career in business intelligence or data platform administration and covers database fundamentals.
  • MTA Developer track - for those looking to become a software developer, this track prepares you to get hands on with Microsoft tech. Choose from a range of training to develop fundamental skills in software development, gaming, HMTL5, .NET, software testing and web development. 
Passing just one exam will gain you an MTA certification and prepare you for the more advanced MCSA, MCSE and MCSD certification tracks. Though it's important to note the MTA is not required as a prerequisite certification to the more advanced tracks.

Cisco entry level certifications

Cisco
If you are interested in starting a career as a networking professional, attaining a Cisco certification is a huge step in making this a reality. As well as being a global technology leader specializing in networking and communications, Cisco has one of the most popular and widely recognised certification programs in the IT Industry.

The CCENT credential (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) will be your ideal starting point. Attaining the CCENT certification proves you have the ability to install, maintain, secure and troubleshoot small networks. 

This will qualify you to get a job as a network or help desk technician, whilst also acting as the prerequisite for Cisco's Associate level certifications like the CCNA and CCDA.


CompTIA entry level certifications

CompTIACompTIA are a non profit trade association providing a range of globally recognized, vendor neutral certifications. Their most popular certifications are the A+ and Network+ certifications:

  • A+ certification - achieving this credential shows you have a solid skills foundation in software and hardware. This course is designed to reflect the skills needed to excel as a computer support professional and has been adopted by HP and IBM as a requirement for all their technical staff. The A+ credentials is so popular it recently passed the 1 million mark for individuals attaining the certification.
  • Network+ certification - this is a fantastic alternative to Cisco certification for those considering a career in Networking. The Network+ credential proves you have the skills and knowledge to configure and operate a variety of networking products.
Take a combined A+ and Network+ course with Firebrand and attain both certifications in just 7 days.


So there you have it, the top certifications to kick start your IT career in 2015, what are you waiting for?


Author Profile

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 3 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.

Friday, 19 December 2014

How Firebrand’s new Level 4 IT Apprenticeships can get your business £10,000


By Sarah Morgan


Firebrand Training is excited to announce an expansion to our Apprenticeship portfolio. Developed with the Government’s Trailblazer project, you can now grow your business with Level 4 IT Apprentices from Firebrand.

You’ll be able to choose from a shortlist of talented young adults, ready to grow your business. They get two years of government funded IT training worth £27,000, a weekly starting salary of £150 and your business gets incentives of £2,700 to £10,800.


Train qualified staff on professional programs

Firebrand’s Level 4 IT Apprenticeships are available right now. Your apprentice can take the following two year training programmes:

  • Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching

    Your apprentice will develop into the role of Network Engineer. They will learn how to design, install, maintain and support communications and get certifications like the Cisco CCNA. But that’s just a fraction of what they’ll learn – find out more now.

  • Microsoft Network Engineer (MCSA)

    On this programme your apprentice will learn the principles of networking and gain well-known industry certifications like the CompTIA A+ & N+, ITIL Foundation and the Microsoft MCSA: Windows 8.1

  • Software Developer

    Firebrand will develop your apprentice into the role of Software Developer. They’ll learn how to build, manage and deploy code within enterprise environments and will become high quality developers within your organisation. Plus, they’ll get professional certifications like the MCSD: Web Applications and the MCSA: SQL Server.

  • Bespoke

    Work with Firebrand to build your perfect program and create an ideal new employee. In 2015, we will be launching more level 4 apprentice tracks, including custom and bespoke programmes.


How a Level 4 Apprentice will plug the skills gap in your business

IT skills are in short-supply – the EU predicts a shortfall of 700,000 IT roles by 2015. With this shortage, it’s no surprise that businesses across the UK are struggling to find qualified new staff.

With strong backing from the UK government, the apprenticeship scheme is tackling the skills gap – making it easier for your business to get bright young employees on board. The Skills Funding Agency has announced an additional £40m to fund apprenticeship places, as well as an extra £20m to fund the higher educational element.

Level 4 Apprenticeships combine the best of on-the-job training with high level qualifications. These apprentices will give you the knowledgeable workforce your business needs to grow. In fact, 25% of employers in England rate qualified higher apprentices as 25% more employable than those who took an alternative route to work.

Hire an apprentice and you’ll quickly train someone to understand exactly how your business works. You can also develop existing staff as they work with your apprentice, through mentoring opportunities and more.




Find out more about the benefits of higher apprenticeships here.

Level 4 Apprenticeships Accelerated

We’ve worked with the Government’s Trailblazer project to bring you Level 4 Apprenticeships. And as always, we will be delivering them the Firebrand way: solid training weeks for your apprentice and more uninterrupted time spent working for their employer.



Here’s how it works:

1. We advertise your vacancy and create a shortlist of candidates, matching your business needs, for you to interview

2. Your apprentice will get 23 to 38 days of accelerated Firebrand training and IT industry standard certifications like: Cisco CCNA, Microsoft MTA Networking Fundamentals, MCSA: Windows 8.1 and ITIL Foundation v3. With accelerated learning, your apprentice will be qualified in half the time.

3. You’ll pay just £6,000 to £9,000 over two years with the government contributing double what you pay. You’ll be able to spread the payment over 18 months (interest free) and the Government will also pay you £2,700 to £10,800 in incentives.

Get access to 1,000s of applicants looking for work right now - find out more about taking on an apprentice with Firebrand’s one and two-year programs here.

But that’s not all.

Turn a talented university graduate into an IT professional, fast

If you’re looking for a more experienced employee, why not hire a graduate straight from university? Firebrand graduates all have a STEM (science, technology, engineering or maths) degree and are more than ready to enter the IT industry.

To find out more about growing your business with talented university graduates, register your interest here.

Related articles:


About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Your stories: which course would you attend first, if you won Free Training for Life?


By 


Which would be your first certification, if you won Firebrand's Free Training For Life competition? You'd get free access to over 160 training courses from the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, EC-Council, CompTIA, PMI and many more. Whether you're working in IT security, cloud computing or project management, you'd find the courses you need to climb up the career ladder.

We asked you to share your “first course choices” on our Google+ page, because we were curious about your picks and the stories behind them.

Reading your responses was thoroughly enjoyable. Some of them were witty, well-justified and though provoking, so it was hard to pick the Top 5. But at last here they are, the best answers from 5 lucky winners of 100 extra tickets to Free Training For Life:

It’s extremely important to keep your networks safe and this response seems to agree.

“If I won FTFL I would choose the Cisco CCNA and CCNA Security as my first course, as I know that I would then be able to protect my systems and myself without physical confrontation. I am small so actual confrontation has never gone well for me. So having that card in my back pocket will set me off on the right path. I would then go down the project management side of things and do PRINCE2 course and other courses related to project management.“ – Rachel

Some of you have already attended training with Firebrand, so you know what to expect and how to further develop the skills you’ve already got.

“If I won FTFL it would be a toss-up between Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and CompTIA Sec+. Having done CompTIA A+ I thoroughly enjoyed the course and loved the introduction into cryptography, the AAA of computing, types of attacks and various methods of procuring data - I had no idea that it was so in-depth and that was just a skim over the subject.

Having developed an appetite for it, I think both courses would be a great next step, though I think the CEH would provide a unique insight into security from the side of the intruder. I spoke to some people doing the course whilst doing my CompTIA A+ on the Firebrand campus and they spoke very highly of the course and learned a lot.

I'd also build up my Comp TIA A+ a little more with N+ and then work through ITIL before potentially branching into CISM or CCNA. I plan to build a wide-ranging skillset throughout my career and hopefully Firebrand will be the ones to help me do it!” – David

This could be you in a few months' time. Watch Joseph, last year's winner, talk about his certification plans.


Having a solid foundation is essential in preparing for long-term future goals.

“With so much choice it's not an easy decision. It would be either the CompTIA Trifecta [A+/N+/Sec+] to gain a solid foothold in an IT career or a Cisco CCNA qualification. Cisco would be the ideal choice as in today’s ever increasingly "Connected" world this would probably the most future proof qualification, as networks are always going to be required and therefore the properly certified individual will be the 'Key player' to keep this moving forward.” – Paul

We can’t stress this enough: you can beat a hacker, if you can think like one.

“I would go for the EC-Council CEH v8 to acquire the required skillset needed to help keep networks more secure. It's like the saying...to catch a thief, you have to think like a thief. With Firebrand Training, that dream would become a reality…” – Clevelon

If you’re familiar with what you need to make progress, you have a very good chance of reaching your goals.

“If I win the FTFL Competition, I will start with the BCI Certificate Training. The reason is because as an IT practitioner, my chosen area of specialty is IT Management, and with the Five Core Modules of the BCI Curriculum, (1. Policy, Programme Management and Culture;  2. Understanding the Organisation;  3. Determining Business Continuity Strategy;  4. Developing a BCM Response;  5. Exercising, Maintaining and Reviewing BCM Arrangements) I should be able to gain the requisite foundation for a start in the Sphere of IT Business Management.” - Imo

As you see different people have different preferences and ideas about their future. We’d be delighted to hear more of your stories. Tell us which course you’d take first, if you won Free Training For Life. You can do so on the Firebrand Google+ page.

Send us your story of which course you'd take and why, and the best ones will again be rewarded with 100 extra entries and a "Failure Is Not An Option" t-shirt.

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Firebrand goes digital


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Last weekend saw the launch of digital courseware. Firebrand currently offers 29 courses from Microsoft, Cisco and CompTIA, which are delivered in digital format across all the regions.

What's changing 

Firebrand’s intensive training courses are all about speed. Because we expect a lot from our students, we make sure that they are given the best resources to help them succeed.

Changing from books to digital courseware means that courses can be delivered faster and more efficiently, without having to wait for study material to arrive.

Digital courses at Firebrand are going to be delivered on Microsoft Surface RT devices, making logistics smoother, while also helping the environment.

Watch this video by Microsoft to see how digital courseware will further improve your Accelerated Learning experience with Firebrand: 



Digitally delivered courses include:
For the full list of digital courses visit Firebrand Learn.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Your entry to networking: CCENT & CCNA


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If you are intending to become a networking professional, this article is for you, as it will present you CCENT and CCNA, the two essential certifications for a successful networking career.  

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)

This certification is your ideal starting point as an entry-level network technician. The CCENT proves you have foundational knowledge for a small- to medium-sized network. Passing this exam is the very first step of entering into a network engineering job using Cisco routers and switches.

On the CCENT course you’ll learn about:
  • Networking fundamentals
  • WAN technologies
  • Basic security and wireless concepts
  • Routing and switching fundamentals
  • Configuring simple networks
The ICND exam required to pass is very challenging, therefore you must be very confident in your knowledge, because time is a critical factor. Once you have passed Exam 100-101 - (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1 v2.0) you’ll be CCENT certified. What next?

You should strongly consider taking the ICND2 course and exam 200-101 as well. By passing this exam, you’ll get the CCNA certification.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

The CCNA credentials show your abilities to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized routed and switched networks.

You’ll learn about the following:
  • Redundant topologies
  • Troubleshooting common network issues
  • Configuring EIGRP
  • Multi-area OSPF in both IPv4 and IPv6
  • Wide Area Network technologies
  • Device management
  • Cisco licensing
  • Using Cisco Catalyst switches
  • Cisco routers connected in LANs and WANs
In the ICND2 exam you can expect the same type of questions using simulators, drag and drop, as well as multiple-choice. To learn more about these certifications, visit our CCENT and CCNA course pages.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.