You have finally decided to take the plunge mentally, physically, and financially and get serious about achieving the ultimate prize in IT certification — the coveted CCIE from Cisco. If you are indeed serious about obtaining the CCIE, chances are you won’t be doing it alone. The vast majority of people will need some help along the way, as the CCIE is not only extremely difficult and technical but it almost requires that you learn from somebody that has gone before you. The CCIE is not something you just pick up and decide to do. No, the CCIE is something you train for and something you train under somebody to achieve. So, who should you select as a training vendor? What are the things to look for to make the best decision? This article will look at some of the main things to look for when choosing a training vendor for CCIE training.
Reputation might not be all that important in some aspects of life. When talking about CCIE training vendors it is extremely important. The first thing you should do when narrowing down which CCIE vendor you will go with is to do your homework on their reputation and past success. After all, you are likely going to be investing thousands of dollars on your path to becoming a Cisco networking guru, and you want to invest those dollars wisely. Anybody can say “we are the best vendor”, but you want them to prove it. Why are they the best? How many people have actually achieved their CCIE # by going through their program? If a training vendor is of excellent quality, their web site should show it in the form of success stories, testimonials, and probably even a list of people they have helped achieve CCIE status. Read those testimonials, and get out on the internet and talk to some people. If you know any CCIEs, ask them who they used to train with and why. The best training vendors will always have excellent reputations by word of mouth as well as hard cold numbers to back up their reputations. If a vendor cannot provide success stories, testimonials, and a proven track record of success stay away!
Quality of Training Material
The CCIE is hard. Producing quality material to train potential CCIEs is even harder. To write quality material obviously requires an in depth understanding. However, other factors come into play as well like the work ethic of the people writing it, and the budget they are working with. Do they understand the technology, but just spit a bunch of stuff out onto pages without a very good explanation? Maybe they are the smartest CCIE in the world, but if their explanations are unclear or full of errors it is not going to help you all that much. Is the product professionally done or slopped together? If the product looks sloppy, what do you think the content is going to be like? What you want is material that the vendor obviously put good quality time and effort into producing. Any vendor worth their salt should be able to provide a demo of their workbooks, videos, audio, or other such products. If they can’t do that, shop elsewhere.
Support from Real CCIEs
It should go without saying that if you have a problem or question about the material you have purchased that you should be able to get support for that issue. Most vendors will claim they offer some sort of support for their products. Do they really though? Who is answering your technical questions when it comes down to it? Look into it. Does the vendor have an email list or forum for students to post questions? Further, when people post to these lists or forums, do the instructors and people writing the material actually respond within a reasonable amount of time? Nothing is more frustrating than trying to solve a complex task only to find an error and no explanation whatsoever from the vendor you are paying for “support.” What about support for the equipment you may be renting from them to complete the workbooks? If it is 4:00 AM and an interface on your rack dies who is going to be there to fix it and make sure you get the time you paid for? Good after-hours support is hard to come by.
Joe Astorino is CCIE, CCNA, CCDA, CCNP and CCDP certified professional with nearly a decade of hands-on experience, with an emphasis on enterprise-sized Cisco networks. He is CCIE Training instructor for IPexpert who has trained many IT professionals to get CCIE certification. You may like to visit IPexpert to find details about CCIE training in the following tracks CCIE Routing & Switching, CCIE Voice, CCIE Service Provider & CCIE Security.
If you are looking for CCIE Training who possess the largest collection of successful CCIE clients, please visit IPexpert at http://www.ipexpert.com
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