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Cisco 411

Cisco 411

Are you ready to launch your career as a networking professional? Our newly developed Cisco certificates will help you to go in the right direction. As one of the largest providers of networking technology, you can’t go wrong pursuing a career in Cisco. To get the inside scoop on these two new certificates, we interviewed our instructor Joe Braswell, who has more than 25 years of technical experience and has been teaching since 2003.

What advice would you give to someone who is pursuing a career in Cisco?
You can get a job without certification if you have worked in a company where you have done some of the things that are required in the certification. However, the certification does open a door and is truly what employers are looking for. It sets you apart from other applicants.

What does a Cisco certification mean for me?
Big organizations such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint value people with Cisco certifications. It is a lucrative career path. With how much the industry is growing, that only means more jobs available.

What made you want to teach?
Teaching is a way that I can actually impart my knowledge to people who want to get into this business and be in the industry. If people are trying to study on their own, they don’t really have the capability to get in — or just don’t know where to turn. I have been in that situation myself back in 1995. In that time, it was more like a closed club. If you asked questions, you were shut out. But I finally got my toes in, and I never stopped.

Who is your ideal student?
My ideal student would be someone who has some knowledge of computers (PC or Mac) and Linux or UNIX operating systems. The more they know of more specialized operating systems, the more likely they are to identify with this course. The students themselves need to be problem solvers and be able to think outside of the box.  It is a complex web of technology in the Cisco world. If students don’t have a technological background, having an aptitude for abstract thought helps quite a bit. Couple all this with enthusiasm because they have to have the desire to learn.

What is the biggest struggle for students?
IP subnetting. It’s always the monster behind the door. It’s speaking in a different numbering system. We all think in base ten, you know: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. What about base 2? 0,1 — start over again — 0,1. So it’s a different abstract in terms of a numbering system. I think it terrifies a lot of people. I understand their fear because I went through the same fear myself many years ago, and I explain it in a way that I know worked for students and me.

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