CCDA - level of difficulty?

There hasn't been much discussion over this cert here. I have one general question now though.

I am currently studying for my CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam (passed my written), as I want to advance in my technical engineering career. However during my casual job search and several interviews later, I am finding that having a "Design" certification may convince prospective employers. I have always been involved only in the operations side of the business (i.e. fire-fighting) but not in the design/engineering side. I feel that this is tripping me up and causing employers to select other candidates with design experience ahead of me. Arguably, the design/engineering side has much better pay scale and working conditions and I have had enough fire-fighting, and wanted a change. My motivation for getting the CCIE R&S has always been there to propel me upwards, and I'm considering also getting a Design cert to see if I can make a move across.

I'm 1.5 years into preparing for my CCIE lab exam, and I am not about to give it up to go for the Design certs. But my question is, for a CCIE-wannabe, how much more effort will I have to give to pass a CCDA, which is the basic, associate-level Design cert? I'm comfortable with routing protocols and the like, and will it be something that will hopefully not take too much time out of my CCIE studies in order to pass the CCDA? After I obtain the CCDA, how much more effort will I have to do again to get the CCDP? Thanks for any insights you may share.

 

Comments

  • There hasn't been much discussion over this cert here. I have one general question now though

    I passed my CCDA and CCDP exams as way of recerting my CCNP - they are both tough exams!  The main reason is that they are non technical (not so much the ARCH) and require you to understand business requirements.

    It may have changed now - but I found this challenge in comparison the the CCNP exams which were technical.

  • I passed my CCDA and CCDP exams as way of recerting my CCNP - they are both tough exams!

    Wow. How tough were those exams? For someone at the level say, a certified CCNP, and maybe has done some CCIE-level training, and also having 5-10 years of technical professional experience, how much time would it take to pass the CCDA? Is it going to be like you pick up some books and prepare for 1-2 months, or is it more like 6 months or more? I know different people have different levels of experience in the field and this is hard to quantify how much time one needs to study, so I am just looking to get a ballpark figure and then decide if I want to take time out from my CCIE studies and get certified on CCDA first, or am I just going to forget about it and get on with my CCIE journey.

    I know for the technical exams like CCNA, CCNP and CCIE, you are tested on the technical implementation side of things, i.e. the "how's" of doing things; while the Design certs CCDA, CCDP and CCDE are more like testing you on the "why's", the reasons you choose a certain routing protocol over another for example, given certain business and technical constraints. When you say the exams are tough, does it mean that they are 1) tricky? 2) very details-oriented, lots of memorization? 3) very subjective, i.e. what Cisco thinks is the best answer does not necessarily align with real-life practices?

     

  • For me the CCDA was a pretty simple test. read through the cert guide and get familar with the topics. You should already know 80% of the information.

     

    The ARCH test was a tricky test for me. As mentioned you have to re-train yourself to think the Cisco way to pass it. I would also think with having focused on the CCIE for a while it should be easier.

  • peetypeety ✭✭

    I passed CCNA in 1999, and in 2000, I passed CCDA.  Back then, CCDA was built around a "switch where you can, route where you must" foundation.

    I passed CCNP and CCDP in 2001. Back then, CCDP was built around a "switch to fix a traffic problem, route to fix a protocol problem" foundation (i.e. routing separates broadcast domains, so it fixes the problem of broadcast flooding and unroutable protocols like NetBEUI). This was back in the days before simulators, but several of the questions on the ROUTE exam were multiple choice with 100 choices.

    In early 2002, I passed my CCIE R&S written, and had several CCIE exam attempts 2002-2005 (bad study skills were my enemy).

    In 2004, realizing that my CCxA/CCxP certs were nearing expiration, I took the COMPOSITE exam to renew them, then did the BGP/MPLS/QoS exams for my CCIP since it was stuff I was doing (or should be doing) at work.

    In 2007, I passed BGP with zero study (it's my strong suit) to renew all of my certs.

    In 2010, I passed BGP with zero study to renew all of my certs.  Later that year, I attempted the CCIE R&S written, and missed by one question.  A few nights with the CCIE R&S written exam cert guide from Cisco Press, and I passed (squeaked by, but a pass is a pass).

    Considering that I'd rate the CCxA exams as a "1", CCNP/CCDP as a "2", CCIP "3", CCIE written "4", and CCIE exam a "6" or more, if you're 18 months into your CCIE studies, CCDA should be cake, and CCDP should be reasonable, though I would recommend reading at least one Cisco Press book before attempting either (to get the "Cisco spin" into your head).

  • How tough were those exams?

    As in that they are not technical like the exams required for NP.  It took me two stabs to pass each exams - I passed all the exams from CCNA to CCNP at the first attempt.  That why I though they were hard.  I used the recognised Cisco study guides for both exams DESGN and ARCH.

    Of course I was out of exam taking practice as I hadn't taken an exam in 2 1/2 years with an impending recert deadline.

  • INE use to have CCDA and CCDP Arch bootcamp in recorded format from Anthony. Not sure if they are still selling it. On CCDA forum I posted very first post along with details about stuff I used to prepared. There have been minor changes in blueprint after that and I guess Nexus was introduced. But INE has Nexus Primer class which should be enough if you are not familiar with Nexus product line yet.

     

    Also Cisco Design Zone is something which you may wanna consider as Prep tool too.

     

  • The main reason is that they are non technical and require you to understand business requirements.

     

     

    out of curiosity i checked this thread...

    and i sorta just threw up a bit in my mouth... :(

     

     

    Tox!

     

  • The main reason is that they are non technical and require you to understand business requirements.

     

     

    out of curiosity i checked this thread...

    and i sorta just threw up a bit in my mouth... :(

     

     

    Tox!

     

    Indigestion ?

  • The main reason is that they are non technical and require you to understand business requirements.

     

     

    out of curiosity i checked this thread...

    and i sorta just threw up a bit in my mouth... :(

     

     

    Tox!

     

    Indigestion ?

     

    lol yeah blame it partly on ZBF application inspection ...

     

     

    Tox!

     

  • ZBF - is a bit of a pain to configure - lots of elements to drag together!

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