I recently attended a day school at Barnfield College, in Luton. I have for a long time wanted to train to be an MCP for unknown reasons.
Barnfield on the surface may not look like much – but after spending one day there ,on my Cisco Day School, I found out that it is a wealth of resources.
The tutor there, Bill Reed, was qualified to the 9’s with Microsoft and Cisco credits. He runs private classes and also works for both Barnfield and The Open University.
I will definitely be taken a course there after I finish my Honours degree. The prices he quoted me were very affordable, around £200-£250 for MCP and Cisco courses.
At present I can say that it would be worth the money and you will be taught by not only a good tutor but by someone who is passionate about his trade.
The link above is to the college but more on Cisco Academy courses are provided through the Open University.
Well-worth a look
In addition to the Packet Tracer simulation software, they have a netlabs environment set-up so you can login and practice your CCNA commands.
Either that or, like me, spend a few weeks (before the start of your course) searching ebay for Cisco equipment.
For those starting CCNA – I would recommend the 2514 routers (n.b. the model is the exact model), which provides ethernet connections through the old AUI connectors. Again, just search ebay for AUI to RJ45 Transceivers. The routers vary but I would.nt recommend paying more then £50 each. The transceivers are available from www.anthonypanda.com.
In addition, the Catalyst switches are a great buy, the 1924 provides 10MB connections – but don’t forget that network traffic will run faster if using a switch as opposed to a hub – therefore effectively making the network feel as if it is running well. The 2924 switches provide 100MB connections but are in great demand. This means that its pretty much up to the seller to charge what they want. However, around £50 should get one of the two, the latter if you are lucky.
Also, keep on the look-out for the CCNA books, the course material is online from Cisco Net-Academy so if you are away from an Internet connection – the books will be worth the money. Don’t forget that if you have the books you can still read-up on stuff after the course finishes.
All the best, that’s it for now.