Shorter Term Goal: Earning a CCNA by the end of the summer
#1
So once I take my CompTIA A+ test on May 20th, I will have three months exactly to complete my CCNA. I have been given access to a CCNA course online via the cybersecurity club at my school. It is actually three courses and I have to complete all three to know enough to take the CCNA exam.

Is it possible to complete CCNA in three months if I work EXTREMELY hard?

Thanks for getting back to me by the way.

This is my new short term goal because someone said the goals I'm setting are too long term. Here's an example of a long term goal thread that someone told me wasn't perfect:

https://greysec.net/showthread.php?tid=6...8#pid17408

Someone said I shouldn't set such long term goals for myself at a time so I am setting shorter term goals.

I need the CISCO training in order to play around with networks in the lab at my school. From there I will get further computer networking practice, but I honestly need to make sure I know foundational networking skills by the end of the summer.

I'm going to spend all of the time I don't spend on social skills and independent living skills training and exercise on this for the entire summer. Several hours per day.

Is this doable in three months exactly to earn a CCNA if I work really hard and I am a quick learner?
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#2
Really depends on how dedicated you are. Do you have a study plan? Do you have the discipline to sit down a few hours every day to study? I have no experience with CCNA but I'd say this applies to everything. For example: Drivers license. I have a friend who took months to get a drivers licence while another friend studied intensly everyday and got in 2 weeks.

But I see you always making thread about taking X course and Y certificate. For years now, all talk no action? Don't take it personally, just criticism. 2 years ago 2018, you were working on CCENT https://greysec.net/showthread.php?tid=2...21#pid9521 How's that going for you? Did you ever take the CCENT cert and ICND2 cert?

You seem to be pursuing a lot of different things. Networking certs like Cisco, CompTIA A+ which is for more helpdesk related things and OSCP for more security related things. You're spreading yourself thin, what's your end goal? I think you should focus on whats important for you.
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#3
(05-03-2020, 04:13 PM)Insider Wrote: Really depends on how dedicated you are. Do you have a study plan? Do you have the discipline to sit down a few hours every day to study? I have no experience with CCNA but I'd say this applies to everything. For example: Drivers license. I have a friend who took months to get a drivers licence while another friend studied intensly everyday and got in 2 weeks.

But I see you always making thread about taking X course and Y certificate. For years now, all talk no action? Don't take it personally, just criticism. 2 years ago 2018, you were working on CCENT https://greysec.net/showthread.php?tid=2...21#pid9521 How's that going for you? Did you ever take the CCENT cert and ICND2 cert?

You seem to be pursuing a lot of different things. Networking certs like Cisco, CompTIA A+ which is for more helpdesk related things and OSCP for more security related things. You're spreading yourself thin, what's your end goal? I think you should focus on whats important for you.

I know. I already passed A+ core 1 and I am scheduled to take core 2 on May 10th.

I didn’t have my act together but I was spreading myself thin.

I have been studying to take A+ just revently. But I learned my lesson in time to pass the network+ exam last year.

But your right. I kept saying I would do CCENT and wouldn’t do it.

I’m aiming to prove myself by getting a CCNA by the end of summer.

It requires three online courses I have to get through to be able to pass the CCNA exam.

But I need to know if getting CCNA in one summer is a doable goal so I don’t get my hopes up. I can worl several hours a day on thing and do it. I know how quick of a learner I am when I apply myself. I’ve already grown up a lot in the past year.

I promise you I am sticking to it this time.
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#4
I love the fact you are so motivated and passionate about the field. Those two things are very important for your continual success down the road.

I am sure you can pass CCNA in the time you have allotted yourself. I get the sense from you that you're always hitting the ground running and then spin off in multiple directions at once. Like Insider said though, focus on your task at hand, which is studying CCNA for now. After that is done, move on to the next project.

My suggestion to you in a general sense, is divide your time up into blocks. A block is meant for one project, while you work on that one project, you focus on that and that alone. Next block, next project.

The point is to get the structure in place that will allow you to focus and move forward with your studies in a procedural manner. Step by step you will become better, and step by step you will be able to take on more complex topics and problems. I have no doubt that if you keep that structure and passion for learning together you will be an amazing security practitioner in the not too distant future.

One more thing, don't be scared of failure, if for whatever reason you don't manage to complete an objective or made mistakes on anything you're trying to do. Whether it's certs or a coding project or whatever. It is ok to not succeed immediately, the key is to keep your motivation and try again. We all learn from our failures and mistakes, i am no exception, and neither is Insider, or anyone for that matter. Trying until you achieve what you are aiming for is the key to success. That goes for learning and personal growth as well.
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#5
(05-04-2020, 11:04 AM)Vector Wrote: I love the fact you are so motivated and passionate about the field. Those two things are very important for your continual success down the road.

I am sure you can pass CCNA in the time you have allotted yourself. I get the sense from you that you're always hitting the ground running and then spin off in multiple directions at once. Like Insider said though, focus on your task at hand, which is studying CCNA for now. After that is done, move on to the next project.

My suggestion to you in a general sense, is divide your time up into blocks. A block is meant for one project, while you work on that one project, you focus on that and that alone. Next block, next project.

The point is to get the structure in place that will allow you to focus and move forward with your studies in a procedural manner. Step by step you will become better, and step by step you will be able to take on more complex topics and problems. I have no doubt that if you keep that structure and passion for learning together you will be an amazing security practitioner in the not too distant future.

One more thing, don't be scared of failure, if for whatever reason you don't manage to complete an objective or made mistakes on anything you're trying to do. Whether it's certs or a coding project or whatever. It is ok to not succeed immediately, the key is to keep your motivation and try again. We all learn from our failures and mistakes, i am no exception, and neither is Insider, or anyone for that matter. Trying until you achieve what you are aiming for is the key to success. That goes for learning and personal growth as well.

I agree. I am trying to stick to one thing.

I'm waiting until I know networking, Linux, and Windows before doing anything else. I'm gonna be practicing networking in the hands on lab and doing networking research at school a few times per week in order to maintain my skills once I complete each thing.

But after the second A+ exam, which I am scheduled to take on the 20th, I am gonna just focus on CCNA for the whole summer. I think that's a good way to spend my time.

I'm told that once I have CCNA that Linux and Windows are all easy by comparison.
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#6
(05-04-2020, 09:41 PM)QMark Wrote: But after the second A+ exam, which I am scheduled to take on the 20th, I am gonna just focus on CCNA for the whole summer. I think that's a good way to spend my time.

I'm told that once I have CCNA that Linux and Windows are all easy by comparison.

I wouldn't call Linux and Windows easy when you're talking about the fundamental level of understanding you need to be at in order be an expert at exploiting those systems. But you will cross that bridge when you get to it.

Step by step, in a structural manner, forward towards achieving your current objective.
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#7
(05-03-2020, 04:13 PM)Insider Wrote: Really depends on how dedicated you are. Do you have a study plan? Do you have the discipline to sit down a few hours every day to study? I have no experience with CCNA but I'd say this applies to everything. For example: Drivers license. I have a friend who took months to get a drivers licence while another friend studied intensly everyday and got in 2 weeks.

But I see you always making thread about taking X course and Y certificate. For years now, all talk no action? Don't take it personally, just criticism. 2 years ago 2018, you were working on CCENT https://greysec.net/showthread.php?tid=2...21#pid9521 How's that going for you? Did you ever take the CCENT cert and ICND2 cert?

You seem to be pursuing a lot of different things. Networking certs like Cisco, CompTIA A+ which is for more helpdesk related things and OSCP for more security related things. You're spreading yourself thin, what's your end goal? I think you should focus on whats important for you.

I have three goals:

-to be proficient in computer networking, Linux, and Windows
-to be good at hacking
-to be ok at programming
-to be proficient in privacy, security, and anonymity (I want to be an advanced Tor user and know all about online privacy, etc.)

My school said I don't need programming to start penetration testing if I just want to use tools but I want to learn programming anyways so I might as well.

I have three years left of school till my bachelors in IT, but then I'm going for my masters in computer science if I can get my GPA to a 3.0 (I'm almost there).

IT classes are not the same as comp sci, so I probably have 5 years left if you add everything up. Maybe 6 since I'm going at two classes per semester, but probably five and a half if you count the masters degree.

Two semesters ago I was doing three classes per semester and I may go back to that for my masters in order to back in in two and a half more years.

So the people at my school may tell me to save the intense programming for when I am going for my masters in comp sci but I don't know if they are really gonna insist on me just learning to use hacker tools first or not. I also think it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with programming fundamentals anyways for hacking.

But my first goal is computer networking. Once I have a CCNA, I can continue to practice computer networking two or three times per week in my school's computer lab and they let me set up and work with networks to maintain the knowledge. I can even google things and experiment so long as I document everything I do.

Then, once I have CCNA, I'm gonna add in Linux and work in the lab on those two things. My Linux goal is get through LPIC-0, LPIC-1, and LPIC-2 at least before I add in Windows. For Windows my goal is to get through at least MCSA of Windows 10. Basically I want to be proficient in all three by the end of next school year.

My school tells me that once I become advanced enough at networking, Linux, and Windows, then I can start to take penetration testing courses (penetration testing courses are more relevant to my major than to CS because I'm an IT major according to them). But I do know that programming is a must if I want to be good at penetration testing. And I suspect based on what I am hearing on places like this forum we're on right now and the surprisingly believable answers that skipping programming just to start with hacking tools probably isn't a good idea. When I told them I was supposed to learn programming to start hacking, they said "you don't have to know programming just to start" and then told me that most people that hack, even people who aren't script kiddies, don't necessarily know loads of programming.

But I know if I learn programming that will be more effective so I don't know if I should put that off until I am going for my masters or not (I suspect not).

But right now my goals are just computer networking is goal #1. Goal #2 is Linux and goal #3 is Windows. Those three I am dedicated to getting the basics of at least by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. But after CCNA I am gonna quickly do Security+ just because I am practicing for the CCDC Team in the networking division and to do cyber defense I have to know some security. So I am gonna take a week or two if I have time this summer after CCNA to familiarize myself with security+ concepts.

I don't want security to be an afterthought with any of this stuff because MuddyBucket told me otherwise and because I am interested in security and hacking especially. I just have been too lazy so far to get the prerequisites to get to that stuff.
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#8
(05-04-2020, 05:30 AM)QMark Wrote: I know. I already passed A+ core 1 and I am scheduled to take core 2 on May 10th.

I didn’t have my act together but I was spreading myself thin.

I have been studying to take A+ just revently. But I learned my lesson in time to pass the network+ exam last year.

But your right. I kept saying I would do CCENT and wouldn’t do it.

I’m aiming to prove myself by getting a CCNA by the end of summer.

It requires three online courses I have to get through to be able to pass the CCNA exam.

But I need to know if getting CCNA in one summer is a doable goal so I don’t get my hopes up. I can worl several hours a day on thing and do it. I know how quick of a learner I am when I apply myself. I’ve already grown up a lot in the past year.

I promise you I am sticking to it this time.

Good work! Keep it up, but it isn't me you should make that promise to. Make it to yourself Smile Although I should practise more what I preach. I always have tons of plans and ideas to learn new things. But a lot of the times I never follow it up, just speaking from experience I know it's easy to let it slide and lose motivation.

I don't know about doing several hours a day though... if you already have school or work on top of that you can easily overdo and just get burned out or lose motivation. Gotta study smart, I would say 2-3 hours with plenty of breaks. But you do what you feel is right for you.


(05-05-2020, 04:52 AM)QMark Wrote: I have three goals:

-to be proficient in computer networking, Linux, and Windows
-to be good at hacking
-to be ok at programming

You have some good goals. I should honestly do the same. It's great that you have an end goal in sight.

I've kind of lost my end goal myself and been stuck in a rut. But getting back GreySec has kickstarted that again for me. I'll probably try to get into exploit development myself.


(05-05-2020, 04:52 AM)QMark Wrote: -to be proficient in privacy, security, and anonymity (I want to be an advanced Tor user and know all about online privacy, etc.)

Now I'm not an expert on this but I have my experience with this too. I used to be really into it, I guess I still am. That's where most of my original threads end up Smile Before GreySec I had actually planned to make an anonymity-forum called "Anonymia". But too niche! Heh.

What you really should look into here to get your grits and teeth into the subject is to look into the topic of "Operational Security". Which is basically a combined approach of anonymity, privacy and psychology with the goal in mind you keeping your and your operations secure. Good pointer would be to check this OPSEC thread by @Cypher: https://greysec.net/showthread.php?tid=2859


(05-05-2020, 04:52 AM)QMark Wrote: My school said I don't need programming to start penetration testing if I just want to use tools but I want to learn programming anyways so I might as well.

That's a good idea to strive for it. Don't use the tools before you understand how it works behind the scenes.


(05-05-2020, 04:52 AM)QMark Wrote: I have three years left of school till my bachelors in IT, but then I'm going for my masters in computer science if I can get my GPA to a 3.0 (I'm almost there).

IT classes are not the same as comp sci, so I probably have 5 years left if you add everything up. Maybe 6 since I'm going at two classes per semester, but probably five and a half if you count the masters degree.


Two semesters ago I was doing three classes per semester and I may go back to that for my masters in order to back in in two and a half more years.


Not bad dude. Didn't know you were studying for bachelor. I'm a dropout myself. Takes some dedication to get through that academia. Some of really doesn't feel relevant to the practical world. But there's definitely things to learn there.


(05-05-2020, 04:52 AM)QMark Wrote: So the people at my school may tell me to save the intense programming for when I am going for my masters in comp sci but I don't know if they are really gonna insist on me just learning to use hacker tools first or not. I also think it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with programming fundamentals anyways for hacking.

But my first goal is computer networking. Once I have a CCNA, I can continue to practice computer networking two or three times per week in my school's computer lab and they let me set up and work with networks to maintain the knowledge. I can even google things and experiment so long as I document everything I do.

Then, once I have CCNA, I'm gonna add in Linux and work in the lab on those two things. My Linux goal is get through LPIC-0, LPIC-1, and LPIC-2 at least before I add in Windows. For Windows my goal is to get through at least MCSA of Windows 10. Basically I want to be proficient in all three by the end of next school year.

My school tells me that once I become advanced enough at networking, Linux, and Windows, then I can start to take penetration testing courses (penetration testing courses are more relevant to my major than to CS because I'm an IT major according to them). But I do know that programming is a must if I want to be good at penetration testing. And I suspect based on what I am hearing on places like this forum we're on right now and the surprisingly believable answers that skipping programming just to start with hacking tools probably isn't a good idea. When I told them I was supposed to learn programming to start hacking, they said "you don't have to know programming just to start" and then told me that most people that hack, even people who aren't script kiddies, don't necessarily know loads of programming.

But I know if I learn programming that will be more effective so I don't know if I should put that off until I am going for my masters or not (I suspect not).

But right now my goals are just computer networking is goal #1. Goal #2 is Linux and goal #3 is Windows. Those three I am dedicated to getting the basics of at least by the end of the 2020-2021 school year. But after CCNA I am gonna quickly do Security+ just because I am practicing for the CCDC Team in the networking division and to do cyber defense I have to know some security. So I am gonna take a week or two if I have time this summer after CCNA to familiarize myself with security+ concepts.

I don't want security to be an afterthought with any of this stuff because MuddyBucket told me otherwise and because I am interested in security and hacking especially. I just have been too lazy so far to get the prerequisites to get to that stuff.

Impressive! You have a lot of plans and dedication. If you pull through and don't let all this be talk that you'll have something to be proud of. Success sometimes demands hard work and sacrifice.
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#9
You are the most resilient person I know on this forum.

Good on you.
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#10
(05-05-2020, 11:35 PM)Cypher Wrote: You are the most resilient person I know on this forum.

Good on you.

Thank you Cypher.
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