Series Kick-off – Career Development Planning for Networkers

By certskills January 12, 2015 09:05

Where do you want to be in your career in two years? Five?

While often thought of as corny interview questions – and you should be ready for these in any interview – these questions are important to your long-term career success. Taking that idea a step further, your career goals then feed into what you need to learn in order to reach your goals. IT workers have value due to their experience, knowledge, and skills; you should plan and execute a plan for what to learn to meet your career goals.

Today’s post kicks off a series about Career Development Planning for Networkers with a discussion of getting started on a plan, for those of you who are already convinced you need a plan, but aren’t sure where to start. By the end of this post, with 10 more minutes of effort, you should have your first career development plan finished!


Series Intro

A career development plan lists goals, and links those goals to activities that help you meet your goals. It can be as straightforward as having a goal to get into a particular job role, with a list of courses to take, skills to master, and short-term projects to accept in your current job to help you get some related experience. Generally speaking, you think of a goal, then the knowledge, skills, and experiences you’ll need to reach those goals, and then look for activities to build that knowledge, skill, and experience. Simple enough.

The reason I chose to write this series comes from the results of a poll question (unscientific) I posted a while back. It asked whether networkers have a career development plan or not, and if so, how often they review their plan. So far, I’ve seen about 150 responses, but the numbers were frankly startling to me. Some stats at that time:

  • 65% had no written plan at all
  • Only 16% both had a plan and reviewed the plan at least quarterly

Networkers, like most technical IT workers, need knowledge and skills to do their jobs. The mix of knowledge and skills changes over time, so IT workers must make a lifelong habit of learning new technology. Yet 2/3rds of the poll participants had no written development plan.

Frankly, I didn’t like those numbers, and I think we can collectively do better. For the record, I’m sort of in the 2/3rds – I had written notes about my training plans, but I was weak at following through on a review process, on writing down my goals, and getting the most out of the process. So, it got me thinking – what can we do as networkers to be better about planning our personal development? And this blog series is my response.

By the way, the poll is still open if you’d like to weigh in:

Improving Our Collective Score Today: Make a Plan, Right Now!

Let’s do something about that low percentage of networkers with written career development plans, at least in this little corner of the Internet. It’ll take you ten minutes, and it’s a start. Start now.

If you don’t have a written development plan, read the rest of this post, follow the directions, and go make one. Really.

Your initial plan does not have to be sophisticated, nicely formatted, and automated. It doesn’t have to be long. The purpose of this first plan is to get each of us (me included) off fence, get started, and then we’ll work on improving it as we go through the series.

Start the clock, take ten minutes, and follow this list of actions:

  1. Get a piece of paper or open a document. That’ll be your first written development plan.
  2. Career Goal: If you have one/more career goals that you can articulate, write them down. If you have no ideas, write down a heading for goals, and leave it blank. (Spend 2 minutes max – if you need more time, move on anyway, and come back to this task later!)
  3. Learning Activities: If you have one/more in mind, write them down.  Just write enough notes to remember it – no need to get the exact names. (Spend 3 minutes max.) Examples:
    • Read this book
    • Master this skill in a lab
    • Volunteer for a project at work that makes you stretch new skills
  4. Goal Dates: Put a Month/Year completion date on each learning activity. If you freeze, and don’t want to pick: just pick a date, darn it! You’re just getting a good place to start planning for now – you can and probably will change the dates once you work through your plan more.  The goal here is to get dates down and adjust from there. (Max 1 minute.)
  5. Create a Monthly Repeating Calendar Reminder: Create a repeating calendar entry for this same day-of-the-month for all months this year, stating: “Review Development Plan”. (Max 2 minutes.)
  6. Tell Wendell here: Post here, and just tell me that you made a plan. You can embellish and tell me the details, or just tell me you did it. Or Tweet, or Facebook… but tell me.

That’s it for now. Is this the best plan you can ever make? No. Have we talked about all you should do with it yet? No. But if you make a plan, you’ve made a start, and I’ll give some more advice over the coming weeks, which will help us, expand and use the plan. So go make your plan, come back here, post and tell me you made your plan.

Next Post…

Skeptical? Next post, I’ll get into some of the benefits of a written career development plan.

Answers, Config Museum: Fallback Static Route
Why Networkers Should Have a Career Development Plan
By certskills January 12, 2015 09:05
Write a comment


  1. Michael Shane Faulkinbury January 12, 11:20

    Hey Wendall I plan on being at this event! Hope to get to talk you there. I have two of your books already ICND1 and ICND2 OCG’s! Not sure if your into security, but sure I will find out in the near future! I’m friends with Paul Stewart if you know who that is? He already has his CCIE Security and lives one state to the south of me in Kentucky.

    Reply to this comment
    • Alex Akinyemi May 25, 02:18

      I made a CCNA Certified in 1year from now. Master everything at the level of CCNA to progress . Got the book today and start immediately

      Reply to this comment
    • Hani April 26, 18:56

      Hello, Wendall.

      I’ve been trying to create a career in IT for myself for many years, but never made a plan. But, I have now created a development plan.

      I hope to one day become a Cisco certified network professional in security. But, I must first begin with the CCNA, since I am new to networking.

      I will buy the CCNA 200-301 official cert guide, master the book the book, learn the practical/simulation exercises and labs, volunteer for projects at work and elsewhere, and take the exam by September 2021.

      Thanks a lot for this great post!

      Reply to this comment
      • certskills Author April 27, 13:37

        Hi Hani,
        Great to hear! I was just listening to a podcast on Development Plans just yesterday. Great to see you building a plan. Hope you enjoy the journey!

        Reply to this comment
  2. certskills Author January 12, 12:54

    Hi Shane,
    Sounds good. Chad gets most of the air time, and I’ll do a little at the end, with Q&A.
    And yes, I know Paul from online, and we’ve talked a few times at Cisco Live US. Wonderful fellow. And I drive past his neck of the woods from Cincinnati to Ga when visiting the folks. Sounds like you’re an Ohio guy too?!?!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Joe January 12, 22:04

    Get First Networking Job

    1. Knowledge:
    A. Finish CCNP
    I. Finish reading CCNP switch
    II. Continue Labbing switch
    III. Take CCNP Switch February 24th
    IV. Read TSHOOT
    V. Lab TSHOOT
    VI. Take TSHOOT MARCH 31st
    B. Decide between CCDA and CCNA DC by April 8th

    2. Skills:
    A. Volunteer
    I. Volunteer at an organization a week until taken up on my offer
    II. Spend 8-16 hours per week doing volunteer work.
    B. Start a blog or vlog.
    I. First public post by June 30th

    3. Experience:
    A. Volunteer work (see previous)
    B. Continue to mentor others trying to pass CCNA
    I. Expand mentorship beyond my site
    II. Spend 15-30min weekly answering questions on learning network.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author January 13, 08:02

      Joe – you da man! Thanks so much for posting your plan!

      Love the mentor others part along with CLN questions – it’s a great way to review and keep fresh.
      The time volunteering would be too many hours for my schedule – great goal though.
      Loving it! Thanks!

      Reply to this comment
      • Joe January 13, 21:59

        Your welcome!

        I really love mentoring others, it’s generally the highlight of my day. I just wish that I was at one site long enough to help someone all the way through the process in person.

        My current contract has me only working 30 hours a week currently making the time commitment a little easier for volunteering.

        The only real dilemma I’m trying to figure out right now is the CCDA/P vs. CCNA/P DC following the design path. Haven’t found much to compare and contrast them as of yet. Though digging up the info has been on the back burner for a while now.

        Reply to this comment
  4. Jeremiah February 7, 17:01

    I made a development plan. My wife’s always getting on me for not making goals, well, now I have some. Thanks! Looking forward to reading the rest of the series shortly.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Jose C. March 9, 15:40

    Wendell, I have started a plan today. I read this first blog post and created a plan to help me develop persistence, patience and practice. I’ve slowly started watching CBT Nugget videos and will be needing to purchase your book to go more in-depth with the information. I want to thank you for this website and its resource. although i just stumbled on it, i can say it has already provided me with assistance.

    Thank you! 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  6. certskills Author March 9, 15:51

    Jose – I love that first sentence – it sums up the whole intent of the series! Congrats on your start. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the CBT course. I’d love to hear of you progress along the journey. Enjoy!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Gbenga Ehindero June 17, 09:11

    Hello Wendell, thanks for al you do and I like to inform you that I have written my goals. I wil just give the summary of this goals and can always tell you the details later. 1. I will be a CCIE R&S in 10months time (MAX)2. I will be a CCIE Data Center in April 2016 (Max)3. I will complete my Certified Telecoms Project Management (CTPM) course in June 2016. 4. I will have my Masters Degree in DataCenter Management on or before 2018. I can mail you the details if you don’t mind. and I will appreciate your encouragement. thanks.


    Reply to this comment
  8. Aaron July 18, 20:15

    Hello Wendell!

    I read your blog on developing a plan and as of today I have one.

    I’ll be working on my AA in Applied Science Winter quarter at my local community college here in Washington state. Stumbled across your website while searching for books relating to the CCNA program.

    My goal is to have my certification by Summer 2016 and my AA in 2017.

    While completing my requirements for my degree I’ll be considering what path I want to take with my certifications once I complete the CCNA portion of the program.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author July 20, 07:14

      Hi Aaron,
      It’s great that you have a plan with the long-term goals mapped. Great start! Hope you enjoy getting specific, working towards those shorter-term milestones, and especially getting into the learning of something new. Should be a fun journey!

      Reply to this comment
  9. John September 23, 10:25

    Hello Wendell,

    I know this post was posted beginning of this year, but I just found out about this blog, so I am going through old posts to gather more knowledge 🙂

    Here are my goals for next one year(it was more than one so it took little more than 10 minutes). I know the dates will be changed throughout the process, but they are set according to my previous study from CCENT and CCNA.

    Thank you for your post! I will be reading rest of your career development series!

    Goal #1: Get VMware VCP-NV certification, and understanding the network & cloud integration

    Learning activities:
    1. Repeat VMware Hands-On-Lab on NSX product – Until Oct. 15th.
    2. Read Study guide by Rich Dowling – By Oct. 31st.
    3. Take VCP-NV exam and pass it – By November 5th
    4. Continually reading network & cloud integration related articles

    Goal #2: Be knowledgeable in CCNP level routing & switching. Not only knowing the exam material, but also engraving it in my brain.

    Learning activities:
    1. Read CCNP Switch book – By Oct. 15th
    2. Watch CBT nugget Hands-on-lab SWITCH portion – By Oct. 22nd
    3. Read another CCNP Switch book – By November 22nd
    4. Take CCNP SWITCH Exam and pass it – By November 30th
    5. Watch CBT nugget CCNP ROUTE – By December 20th
    6. Read CCNP ROUTE book – By January 31st 2016
    7. Watch CBT nugget Hands-on-lab ROUTE – By February 7th 2016
    8. Read another CCNP ROUTE book – By March 7th 2016
    9. Take CCNP ROUTE Exam and pass it – By March 14th 2016
    10. Watch CBT nugget CCNP TSHOOT – By April 5th 2016
    11. Read CCNP TSHOOT book – By May 5th 2016
    12. Watch CBT nugget Hands-on-lab TSHOOT – By May 12th 2016
    13. Read another CCNP TSHOOT book – By June 12th 2016
    14. Take CCNP TSHOOT Exam and pass it – By June 19th 2016
    15. Continually read blogs and do labs after the certification – After June 19th 2016

    Goal #3: Study Python and understand SDN (Software defined network)

    Learning activity:
    1. Read “Learning Python the Hard Way”, by Zed Shaw – By September 20th 2016
    2. Watch CBT nugget on Python – By October 20th 2016
    3. Play around with – After October 20th 2016
    4. Play around with Mininet and Cisco AIO VM – After October 20th 2016

    Reply to this comment
    • John September 30, 08:15

      Was my plan too long and detail? 🙂

      Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author September 30, 08:26

      Hey John,
      Sorry, I missed the email that notified me on your first post.
      Wow, that’s a plan. And that’s a lot of reading and study! I think it’s a great plan. Part of me wonders if it’s too much, but then you know much better about how much time and effort you can put into learning, and what you know already. For instance, if from today you knew nothing about NSX, that’s a pretty aggressive Goal #1 already, without the concurrent activities in Goal #2. But as far as the individual big items to put down on the list, I love it. Thanks for sharing! Feel free to come back and give us an update once you’ve living your plan for a while!

      Reply to this comment
      • John October 19, 09:22

        Just got my VCP-Network Virtualization last Saturday! (little earlier than my plan)

        But now I can focus fully on my CCNP SWITCH exam!

        Yeah I have been studying for CCNP SWITCH and VCP-NV exam at same time since my current job allowed me to study majority of my work hours. I couldn’t focus on one topic for hours, so I divided my daily study time between CCNP and VCP exam.

        I am little ahead of my scheduled plan, but my main focus for CCNP will be fully understanding the material even it means taking little more time.

        Thanks for the career development plan!


        Reply to this comment
  10. kathryn September 29, 10:06

    Hello Wendell,
    Found this article just today but took the 10 minutes and made a plan. Still sorting out specifics on the direction to take but I’ve started school working towards a Bachelor’s degree. I love teaching and sharing and appreciated Joe’s reply including mentoring, got me thinking!
    I’ll be back often to see what is new here. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge and your eagerness to learn more.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author September 29, 10:13

      Hi Kathryn,
      Great! love hearing that people getting into planning a bit and mapping out where they are headed. A Bachelor’s degree takes a lot of work, and hopefully your plan can help! Pop in to the blog when you can. Thanks for the post!

      Reply to this comment
  11. Ankit October 23, 17:50

    Hi Wendell,

    Just found your blog today and it’s really inspiring. I’ve planned to complete my CCNA certification by Jan 31st,2016 and CCNP route and switch by June 30th,2016.

    After that I plan to move on to VCP exam and will work hard to complete all this by 2016 end. After that I want to get my CCIE routing and switching certification completed asap.

    And above all, I promise to visit your blogs as frequently as I can.


    Reply to this comment
  12. Jfree August 22, 22:32

    Just created my first Development Plan. It was nothing big, just something to keep me on track and focused on my end game.

    I added a few achievable goals, and gave those goals dates.

    Reply to this comment
  13. MattG August 29, 21:28

    Wendell, I’ve made a plan. Refinements are on the way!

    Reply to this comment
  14. Ernesto September 25, 02:50

    Wendell i graduate this year as a telecommunication engeenier in Cuba and now iam in the us. I just buy the ccent book to study towards the ccna certification. The real dilemma is how to get some experience in a carrer where all the employers asks for 2 or more years of experience. If you could give me some advice i would be very grateful. Thank you in advance. By the way, Wendell, your book ia great.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author September 26, 12:44

      Hi Ernesto,
      Thanks – glad you like the book!
      On the methods to get experience, getting that initial experience is indeed a challenge. Couple of suggestions. First, the same topic has been discussed many times at the Cisco Learning Network ( – I’d start there and read all the former posts for a broad set of suggestions. Some of the better ideas (just in my opinion)… you may need to take a job that requires broad skills including networking, to get started, and then try to get more time and projects with networking. Also, looking for volunteer opportunities to help non-profits with their networks can help. But yes, going from college into a network-heavy job is a difficult transition. The college job placement process could help, but I imagine that moving from a college in Cuba to the US to look for a job may mean that you won’t get much help from your school?
      Best answer though is the variety of posts over the years at CLN. Hope this helps!

      Reply to this comment
  15. Brent October 4, 23:48


    I am working through your 100-105 guide and have started a development plan as you recommend. Thanks for your insight!


    Reply to this comment
  16. Brian October 8, 19:34

    I made a simple plan with career goals, learning activities, calendar reminder, etc. Very basic, but like you say it’s a start. Oh yeah, I also received your ICND1 Official Cert Guide in the mail today.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author October 14, 17:06

      Hi Brian,
      Alright! Glad to hear it. It’s been a few days since you posted – now work the plan, and review, etc etc. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply to this comment
  17. Melvin October 23, 14:38

    Hi Wendel I’ve made a plan. Thanks for your insights!

    Reply to this comment
  18. Pawlub October 28, 17:30

    Career Goal: Recently complete a CyberSecurity certificate from a local college.

    Now I am currently studying for two certifications: CISSP in order to enhance and build on my CyberSecurity certificate and also working on my ICND1 certification in pursuit of my CCNA.

    Amazingly, I am enjoying the studying and it is kind of a breath of fresh air to bounce from one text to another and think it is giving me time to digest the reading from my previous cert studying session.

    I currently between jobs with plans on starting a new position in about a month, hence my ability to put in significant time to reading both technical disciplines.

    Learning Activities: Currently reading the (ISC)2 CISSP study guide and the Cisco ICND1 100-105 study guide.

    Goal Dates: I am planning to complete my CISSP reading by November 25, 2016 and take the exam around mid December.

    I am hoping to complete my studying for my ICND1 by the end of December 2016 and exam in January.

    I want to be a CyberSecurity professional and eventual expert in my field, I am building on my background as a Systems Administrator with about 10 years in the electronic health record field. I would like to assist a healthcare organization with securing their network and web applications.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author November 2, 10:06

      Great post, Pawlub. One item stood out: that you love learning. It’s important that we each recognize our strengths and take advantage. While not all of us in IT will embrace learning to that same degree, it’s good to take advantage of those strengths.

      To that end, you might find “Strengths Finder” to be an interesting book. A short read, then you take a survey, and then it shows you your strengths and ways to better make use of those.

      Congrats on your recent successes!

      Reply to this comment
      • Mike Ali November 1, 09:24

        Hello Mr Wendell, I am self employed I do support for small businesses, I have worked with several different corporations doing Support help desk and desktop work. I do not have experience with Cisco Equipment. I am trying to prepare for CCNA: ICND1 and 2. I purchased your written books, such as 100-105 and 200-105. Also I purchased e books as well and the live video sessions, and 2 network simulators for the ICND1 AND 2. I don’t have any Cisco equipment so I figured the Network Simulators would in place of the equipment. I don’t if it is overkill or just write. Please advise. Also please let me know if you have any suggestions.

        Mike Ali

        Reply to this comment
        • certskills Author November 1, 11:19

          Hi Mike,
          Well, I think you covered it all! 🙂
          On the hands-on part, I think you’re good for the exam, but you might consider adding a little before your interviews for jobs. Why? First, a disclaimer, I was heavily involved in getting the Sim off the ground (like 8-10 years ago), and not so involved now. So, I’ve been away from the Sim team for a while now, but I feel confident I can speak to it’s intent. It’s meant as a tool to get you ready for the exams, and I think it does a great job at that. So, for exam prep, I think you’ve got the right toolset. However…
          For getting that first job, I think it’s worth getting some time on real gear, or at least on a virtual alternative (VIRL, GNS3) that runs real IOS. Even if you buy really old routers and switches on eBay, it’s worth working through getting it all working in lab. Or if your job already lets you do that, then great, you’re covered. I personally would want to be able to tell the interviewer that I’d done things on the real gear (at least in lab), rather than having used a simulator. So, I’d say you’re good for learning CLI details, but consider getting some repetition on real gear somewhere along the way.

          Reply to this comment
  19. Joe November 6, 01:45

    Hi Wendell

    Just made my first plan also with some goals that I have wanted for myself and career for a while. Not putting a date on things usually means for me they get put in the “tomorrow pile” It’s not overly big but sufficient for now and I will add/change as I go along because things always change!

    Just finished reading through the first half (100-101) of Todd Lammle’s book and since they changed the exam I have now got your 100-105 and 200-105 books.

    Really enjoying your 100-105 book so far!

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author November 16, 10:44

      Hi Joe,
      I too find that if I omit dates, set goals that are too big or too general, and especially if I don’t write them and review them, I’m going to not get there as well or as fast (if ever). Let’s beat that tomorrow pile! (I like the term…)

      And glad that you’re liking the new ICND1 book!

      Reply to this comment
  20. Abdul-Jabbar Bozdar November 14, 13:33

    Hello Mr. Wendell,

    I created my career plan few months back and shared it on learning network. I revised it today to keep my determination high.

    Thank you very much for a good series, this is indeed helpful. I’ll share the final version of my plan in the last post (probably).

    Here, I want to point out a website issue. It will be easier to navigate and find next post, if you place a link to previous/next post in the end of article. Existing previous/next post button doesn’t seem working the way it should.


    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author November 14, 14:07

      Hi Bozdar,
      Great that you’re updating the plan! Keeping that motivation going well is indeed important, and updating the plan is a big help.
      Thanks for the notice on the next/previous links. They’re working here from my Safari browser, but I’ll take a longer look. I’m doing some blog platform work this week anyway. Thanks again.

      Reply to this comment
      • Abdul-Jabbar Bozdar November 15, 02:53

        I think, previous and next buttons should be at left and right side of the blog (respectively). But on your website, they are not. And, on this page, there is no previous button at all. I’m removing browser cache to see, if Firefox is the reason to this problem.

        Reply to this comment
        • certskills Author November 16, 10:47

          Thanks much for the input. I’ll consider what I can do.

          FYI, the current function does have a left/right link at the bottom the post. This particular post doesn’t have a back-link because it’s the first post in this particular category. EG, if you navigate by category at the top menus, this particular blog template creates those links to move you forward/backward in that category by date, rather than all posts by date. This post just happened to be the oldest (aka first posted) by date, so it only has only the next button, and no previous button. FYI.

          Reply to this comment
  21. rangui November 15, 20:37

    Hello Wendell,

    Thanks for this post, and I’ll keep reading the rest of the series.

    I made my Career Development Plan, thanks to you.

    I’ve been dancing around the idea of getting into networking, I bought your book, CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Academic Edition, and it has traveled around with me for over six month, and still is in pristine condition.

    Today, on a flight to Austin, TX. I decided to start reading the book, instead of watching a movie. There I learned about your blog, which piqued my curiosity, and now, I have a Career Development Plan.

    It is ambitious, I only have dates for the first phase, but I have a plan now.

    Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author November 16, 10:51

      Hi Rangui,
      Great start! Time to execute. Lots more in this blog series, and of course tons more with people who live their life to help us figure out how to manage time, goals, etc. As a fellow traveller – hope you find some good short term success, and share a goal with someone you know and trust!

      Reply to this comment
  22. Tim December 7, 15:29

    Hey Wendell,

    I have had a plan in my head for a few months but obviously I never wrote it down! Now that I have it is much easier for me to focus on it.

    The first step is to complete your ICND1 100-105 book and all of its materials, then relax a little and work through the 31 days before CCENT review series by Allan Johnson and then take the exam its self.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author December 9, 19:59

      Glad to hear that writing it down is working! A great step… now I should go and do likewise for a few things! 🙂

      And Allan’s book should be a great help…

      Reply to this comment
  23. Steven Drzaszcz (@stevedrz) February 11, 15:27


    Nework engineer for more than 10 years now. Working on a plan as suggested. I let my CCNA R+S expire in 2014, figured the industry experience was enough.. Recently had an unplanned hope to just go straight to CCIE, but now plan to do in stages..

    As much as we all know Cisco is a major player, I also want to continue with a vendor agnostic approach (keep some Huawei, Juniper, Ciena, and others knowledge), and keep the software future of networking in mind. Hyperconverged environments for virtualization also interest me. Automation using well known tools as well.

    End game: Become a networking technical trainer as a primary (with CCIE) , and consultant as a secondary to keep up to date with current real world challenges.

    Now some dates to the plan:
    * Finish 100-105 studying by Mid-March 2017
    * Finish 200-105 studying by Mid April 2017
    * CCNA 200-125 R+S by End of April 2017
    * CCNP R+S study, three books over three months. Ready for exam by end of 2017.
    CCIE- Prep for 2018.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author February 14, 20:16

      Love the plan! Long-term goals sound a little like mine… from like 30 years ago! I’m getting old. But it’s been a great ride – I hope you enjoy yours!

      Reply to this comment
  24. flo March 8, 18:09


    1. CCNA R&S – certification / Linux base
    2. CCNP R&S – certification / Java / Oracle
    3. CCIE R&S – certification

    It’s enough Wendell ? Five or six years perhaps.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author March 9, 10:57

      Flo – great long term goals!
      Bit of unsolicited advice now that you’ve got them in writing: cross the T in your SMART goals!
      Realistic? Probably.
      Put the time on all three, not just finishing CCIE
      And split the CCNA rom Linux, and CCNP from Java/Oracle, when you put the finish dates on them

      Sounds like a great skill set plan!

      Reply to this comment
      • Sijin Alexander May 9, 06:55

        I am small time telecom Engineer in a remote govt. setup in India. But I wish to be ready to earn at a location of choice. I brought the 200-301 CCNA book back in December, read some 8-10 chapters but then missed the bus. Stating again
        I have a liking for RF since college, but dont know what to do with it and have done nothing about it. I am already 33.
        So I made an initial plan. Please do offer suggestions for improvement
        Career direction CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, and keeping on pursuing Analog design/ RF design as a second path for the liking I have.
        Learning activities, Target dates
        Read the CCNA Book 31 June 2021
        Use Online Resources 31 June 2021
        Do Hands onLabs31 June 2021
        Take the Exam 07 July 2021
        Some RF design/ Analog design material 31 Dec 2021

        Reply to this comment
  25. DMark March 29, 13:09


    I made my plan today. Thanks for the inspiration. i’m not sure about specifics, all I know is that I’m starting with 100-105.

    1. Career Goals
    1. Understand Cloud, Security, Streaming, Networking – leverage CTS-D, CCNA(?) to be thought leader in AV/IT consulting

    2. Take CCNA and combine with RCDD

    2. Learning Activies
    1. Study and Pass the CCENT – June 30, 2017
    2. Study and Pass CCNA – November 03, 2017

    Reply to this comment
  26. Shawn March 31, 20:08

    This is my Career Goal:
    12 months–Become an entry level IT worker in 2018.
    3 yrs–I will become an IT network/security- in 2020.

    cert guide,self-test,read/review,

    create lab in home, practice


    online and sit-in at lecture hall at IU

    Take Exams:
    CCENT-Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
    CCNA R/S 200-125 – Cisco Certified Network Associate
    I have to try.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author April 5, 06:46

      Love the start with the big goals – where you want to be with your career!
      Let me know what you end up putting in your lab!
      And CCENT+CCNA is a great baseline for security – just work the process regularly!
      Hope it goes well!

      Reply to this comment
  27. Jose Vargas April 22, 02:08

    Greetings from Costa Rica !!
    I just bought the 200-125 books to take my cert next June 30th, So I went and check the Study Plan…..ITS REALLY MAKING A DIFFERENCE this time -THANKS- I enrolled the cnna courses back in 2010, but for some reason I never look for a job to put into practice all the knowledge, Here in CR are plenty of positions by the way !! Anyway I´ve been doing some changes recently and reading that part was the best thing i´ve done this week !!
    Here´s my development plan :
    1)CCNA Cert by June 30, 2017
    2)Get a job THIS TIME-July 30,2017
    …just want to say thanks and I´ll continue reading all the posts !!
    Any advice will be appreciated ….!!

    Reply to this comment
  28. otufolu May 5, 06:56

    Hello Wendell,
    I just started reading your book for ICND1 and l came across your blog.
    I’m still very much new to networking and l hope to become an expert in the nearest future. But there’s one thing with me. I have good analytical skills but I get very nervous when it comes to exams even though I’m very prepared. I’m expecting a change in this new beginning as l start my preparation.
    I’ve made a short-term career goal:
    -get CCNA

    Learning activities
    -read ICND1 & ICND2 books
    -practice examples in lab simulations
    -join blogs and communities that relate with CCNA certification
    -practice everyday
    Take exams in 5 months

    I appreciate your motivation sir!

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author May 5, 11:28

      Glad to be of help!
      Great start to your plan. Now work the plan! Use that enthusiasm, but also try and find someone to hold you accountable to the process. Few of us will meet every specific goal for task and date, but just that brief accountability conversation can truly help us all on staying on task at times when our enthusiasm has ebbed a little low.
      Glad you have a great plan!

      Reply to this comment
  29. Josh August 9, 10:41


    I have started my plan. I am big into lifting weights and after reading your post here I had never thought about applying those tactics I use for lifting into my career.

    To lift and make progress you have to track your weights weekly. You have to have a goal in mind and track your progress to that goal. Thanks for helping me make a connection between the two. I have started my plan and I am working now on tweaking it to make the large goals into smaller more realistic ones. As with anything this just takes time.

    Again thanks!!

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author August 10, 11:30

      Hi Josh,
      Working on my small goal to clear the blog comment responses at least weekly! 🙂
      Great comparison, Josh. Maybe even more generally, any of us could think about the parts of life at which we excel the most, especially with consistency, and apply those same habits to lifelong learning. Great encouragement to us all Josh!

      Reply to this comment
  30. sami August 11, 04:00

    Thank you for all ur inspiring words wendell! I did it, it’s on paper…later on after some modification, will come back with details..

    Reply to this comment
  31. jzjero795 September 3, 17:35

    My Network Development Plan

    Career Goal:
    Create my own successful Information Technology Business. Create reoccurring revenue streams, which generate profit. Give quality, meaningful, excellent service.

    Generate a networth of $50,000,000. Give back to my community and the needy.
    Retire at age 47.

    Learning Activities:
    CCNA Route Switch, CCNA Security, MS 70-698, VMware Certs, Microsoft Server/AD Certs, Software Development and Programming Language Certs.

    Goal Dates:

    CCNA Route/Switch: 10/28/17
    CCNA Security: 01/28/18
    MS 70-698: 03/28/18
    VMware VCA-DBT: 06/28/18
    MS Server 2016 70-740: 08/28/18
    MS Server 70-741: 10/28/18
    MS Server 70-742: 12/28/18
    MS Server 70-744: 02/28/19

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author September 7, 10:18

      I like the way you think! Big goals are wonderful – enjoy the journey. And CCNA in a few weeks from now – enjoy the learning!

      Programming Certs – did you have any specific ones in mind, or is that more about the idea? I don’t know that I’ve seen any (haven’t looked hard).

      Reply to this comment
  32. jeff Inthaly September 14, 05:23

    Hello Wendell,

    I just came across your blog and I will be using this to help me further my career because you helped me actually form a goal. I’m excited to see what else you can draw out of me. With that said here is my plan, though I will go further into detail when I get to that monthly review development plan.

    Career Goal: System Admin

    Learning Activities: Take classes, do practice exams, labs, take certifications

    Goal Dates:
    -Complete my ICND 1 certification by end of 2017.
    -Complete my ICND 2 certification by mid 2018.
    -Complete Microsoft server certification by end of 2019.
    -Complete red hat certification by end of 2020.

    Looking forward to reading all your blogs.

    Thank you
    Jeff Inthaly

    Reply to this comment
  33. Hayden October 28, 17:45

    Hi Wendell, started a career plan. Taking the CCNA soon then will move into CCNP route. Have been working for ISPs for 7 Year’s now but only last few years been getting into more dedicated networking rolls looking after network infrastructure. Enjoying taking time to learn through the theory with your books in addition to learning in fast paced environment of the workforce. One major goal is to move into a network architect / design role.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author November 1, 11:07

      Hi Hayden,
      Thanks for the post! Hope you get into the architect/design role. I loved those job roles over the years… and found them much more fulfilling having had the nuts and bolts background. Hope you enjoy the journey!

      Reply to this comment
  34. Liam November 28, 19:50

    Hi Wendell

    Just started your series on “Career Development Planning for Networkers” and I just completed my first career plan.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Be well.


    Reply to this comment
  35. Rafael Duarte February 24, 08:53

    Carrer Goal

    Move to another country working as an IT specialist probably in the security field.
    Dream country is Canada, but there is a lot of possibilites.

    Learning Activities

    First get a CCENT cert till then I’ll probably be sure if the security path, if so I’ll study to get an Comptia Security+, if not probabbly will get an CCNA. For now it’s enough planning.

    Also I need to improve my english skills, and that has to me a continous task.
    if anyone that is reading this likes to chat and want to know about Brazil or talk about CCNA I’ll be really grateful. Skype: live:dev.rafa.duarte

    Goal Date
    I’m married, still in college and working full-tim so I don’t have so much time spare time to study and my knowledge in the subject is still low, also I’m broke AF to pay the cert, I’ll set an honest goal date for get my CCENT. August (probably will change for later or sooner)

    and every 15th I’ll review this carrer development plan.

    I”m already 28 years old, don’t have more time to play around.

    Thanks Wendell.

    Reply to this comment
  36. Ibar Ozman Ibrahim February 28, 03:32

    Hi Wendell,
    i am a telecom student from Somalia i need to prepare CCNA and CWNA, then what can i do to get the required information
    thank you

    Reply to this comment
  37. Ryan May 24, 23:28

    Hi Wendell, here is my plan:
    Carrer Goal: to get a job being a specialist in IT and get all the knowledge possible in all technology, after that, move to another country, to learn more.
    Learning Activities
    I promisse to myself read as much possible informacion about each chapter of the ICND1 book.
    Use all software able to still learning.
    Goal Date:
    I’m planning to take the exam in December, 11 of this year.

    Thanks for all, Wendell.

    Reply to this comment
  38. Christophe Ozkur June 26, 12:05

    Hello Wendell,

    i did my first plan ! Thank you so much for your coaching ! I want to find a job as an Expert and trainer in One year, i will work hard to achieve this goal !

    God bless you !


    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author June 29, 10:21

      You’re welcome, Christophe! Make sure and share your goals with people you know, that you’ll see regularly, who can give you some direct encouragement! Let me know how it’s going.

      Reply to this comment
  39. Ito_CALI October 21, 23:00

    I have been working in IT since 1999 and have skated through with no certifications. I am doing very well as a Senior System Administrator but today I created my goal to complete CCENT 100-105 by October 25 and immediately review and do very lab. I have a reminder for every Monday to re-evaluate my goals until I complete the book, Review and then take my cert test.

    (Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses” gave me the impetus to get up off my ass.

    Reply to this comment
  40. MARLON MACIAS November 30, 19:24

    Hi Wendell,
    I’ve started to make my Development Career Plan, starting at the first step of the Networking career, it means taking the commitment to get INCD1 certified, I would like to ask you what is the average time to finish to read the 100-105 ICND1 Official Certification guide, considering a new entry level person in the networking field. what is the suggested time to be expend per chapter and per part.

    Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author January 21, 10:41

      Hey Marlon,
      Well, I’ve dropped the ball. Sorry for the long delay. In case you still care…
      Time on the calendar is of course a function of how much you spend. On average, I think it’ll take 1.5 hours per chapter, plus 1.5 hours per part review, plus lab time, plus final review. at 36 chapters, that’s 54 hours to read/review the chapters, 13.5 more for the part reviews. Lab time varies a lot. For example, the free tools often require more time. The Pearson Network Simulator takes you 10 minutes to buy download and start learning with scripted labs, but costs $. But I’d say 30-60 hour of labbing, and another 20 hours of review at the end.
      What’s that in total? 110-140.
      Finally, if you are able to get a good rythm, do 10 hours a week, call it 3 months. 5 hours a week, 6 months. One danger: doing all your study one day, and ignoring it for 5 days. Better to do a little most days, than a lot and then ignore it. (That’s my personal difficulty, so I’m preaching to the choir here.)

      Hope this is helpful if you do see it! And again, my apologies.

      Reply to this comment
  41. Rohaizan January 26, 13:36

    Hi Wendell,
    My Career Goal: to become network consultant specializing in LAN, WAN and Security areas.

    Learning Activities:
    1-Learn CCNA course (Completion date: 30/4/2019)
    2-Learn JNCIA course (Completion date: 31/5/2019)
    3-Learn Security course (Completion date: 31/7/2019)
    4-Practice skills in labs (Completion date: refer 1,2, and 3)
    5-Volunteer to mentor junior colleagues in office (Completion date: on going until 31 Dec 2019)

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author February 28, 15:29

      Love the mentoring!
      Make a habit! Do something for CCNA, every day, same time of day!
      (I’m preaching to myself as well!)
      Thanks for the post…

      Reply to this comment
  42. Anthony February 27, 18:51

    I made a plan Wendell! I recently changed careers from law enforcement to IT, and I’ve been interested in Networking, but my network admin has no desire to train others, or to TS blatant network issues. (I am a lowly help desk/site technician -for now-). Fortunately the negative energy has been fueling my motivation as of late and here I am! I’m super excited to finally put the time aside and get some self study done with a goal. I have a little experience through resolving said network issues, but the thought of getting down and dirty with the Cisco CLI gives me butterflies. I’m torn on starting on the composite exam or CCENT then CCNA. I’ve already purchased your most recent CCENT Guide, so that’s what I’ve been pouring through.

    Thank you, Wendell
    for affording me the resources to change myself, and indirectly the lives of my wife and kids.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author February 28, 15:37

      Wife… kids… more fuel for the flame to learn something new! Hope it goes well for you. Glad to play a role!
      Be patient with your learning – it’s a lot – there will be confusing times – but that’s ok. Confusion and the tension it creates is a sign that you’re growing in knowledge and skill – much like sore muscles after a hard workout!

      Reply to this comment
  43. Mason March 4, 20:40

    Just got the books and the network simulation as recommended in the CCENT/CCNA books. Stopped at the goal setting note and made a plan to finish the books and all projects the book lists by April 31’st, then acquire CCNA certification in early May. If I overshot I’ll certainly adjust as necessary.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author March 15, 11:18

      Sounds good Mason! And on overshooting, always better to set a goal and then adjust, rather than just drift along. Good goings! Enjoy.

      Reply to this comment
  44. Jiayuan Yu May 1, 18:11

    Hey Wendell, I would like to tell you that I made my first written career plan just now, and I feel I am now more confident with my future career. It took me two days to make my first plan, not exactly as you suggested in this thread, but I wish to tell you, it helped me a lot.

    If I did not read the ICND1 page by page and found this web, I wouldn’t force myself to make a real plan. I have been thinking about my career plan for couple years already, but it was not that clear, and I was kind of letting myself go whatever I wish at the moment, but a long-term and steady career plan is what I wanted and never actually did.

    I know this is going to help, and I have set up a reminder to remind me to review it every month.

    Thank you again, Wendell!

    Reply to this comment
  45. Krista Albright June 15, 13:20

    Hi Wendell, I’m writing to say thank you for this series. 2019 began for me with just two words: opportunity and influence. The months since have seen a deepening of those words that now include weekly, monthly, annual, and 5 and 10 year goals working toward a networking career and CCNA certification.

    Thank you for the accessible, approachable, and practical advice you provide to folks looking to bring more meaning to their lives and the lives of the people around them.

    Reply to this comment
  46. Glenn Gillis July 9, 18:37

    Created my Career Development plan today, Wendell. My career goal is to “Work for a progressive organization, large or small, that has a positive impact on the environment, social justice, etc.” Cheers, –Glenn.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author July 11, 11:24

      Great job, Glenn! Good reminder to me to get out of the weeds more often and do that for myself as well. Thanks for popping in!

      Reply to this comment
  47. Alex L November 26, 14:00

    Salutations! I would like to be a CTO of a major influential company in an emerging technology field. I think this exercise of mapping out my career is most excellent. Thank you very much for your guidance.

    Reply to this comment
  48. Brianna Alva March 17, 20:23

    Great exercise! I plan to finish my CCNA and start off with network engineering. I would like to branch into security and obtain CISSP later down the road (within 5 years). My goal is to end up in a senior security analyst role and hopefully still be doing some hands-on work with the team!

    Reply to this comment
  49. Charlie Magati April 2, 08:28

    This is my first step towards my larger goal becoming a Data center specialist and Network Engineer.
    I have listed down my goals on paper and this is my first Cisco Course. (CCNA)

    My Career Goals

    i) Designing Networks and Firewalls
    ii) Network Security Analysis
    iii) Building and Designing Data Centers

    I believe one has to loose the sight of the shore in order to surf the ocean.
    Consistency is key.
    My Goal is to finish the CCNA Course in two Months plus all the labs.
    At the end of this I want to engage in a real life project just for CCNA to test my skills.
    Good luck to everyone in this race.

    Reply to this comment
  50. Bolek April 19, 18:59


    Thank you for the motivation with group accountability – a winning pair!

    After 30+ years in IT with progressing roles & responsibilities, I’ve hit a plateau in the last 8 years with no obvious path forward.

    I’ve been doing networking since the IPX, hubs & 10Base2 days, but never achieved any certification for it as it was never a requirement for my role. Fast forward to today, and now its a requirement.

    I accept it as a challenge, and while I don’t see this as a hands-on tool for my role (strategic, not functional), I still see the value in having this as proof of my mastery of the concepts and skills.

    The CCNA, along with my CISSP (Feb 2018), ongoing AWS Certification Path and subsequent entry into a MBA program, will provide the technical foundation with which to leverage my eventual next stage and I plan to overcome the career ascension obstacles before me.

    I’m not old; I’m just getting started and there is so much more to learn.

    I will check in as I progress.

    Again, thank you for the kick in the pants to put the plan into action.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author April 22, 09:54

      Hi Bolek,
      I can so relate to the slow-down in thinking about career once you’ve had substantive time in the field. Just as an aside, I’ve personally started to think this this mindset: What if I was able, interested, and motivated to work til I was 80? Not as an “oh no I can’t afford to retire”, but as a lens to think about what to do with the career. I’ve found some tendency to keeping doing the same old because in my case, I’m almost 60 (seems ancient), but in IT, even 10 years is enough time to become valuable in a totally different part of IT and have many years of working in that area. So I’m trying to think more long term myself – and the kick in the tail really does help, as you say!

      Reply to this comment
  51. James Turley April 20, 11:49

    Trying to get my first IT job, I have always had a love for computers but never really pursued it till now. Starting to study to get my CCNA. Made a goals list!

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author April 22, 09:57

      Love it! Welcome to IT. Do something to learn more every day, even if it’s just a few minutes! Welcome to the group.

      Reply to this comment
  52. Stark July 9, 09:53

    Just created a plan and I am going to follow through it consitently and pick myself up when I don’t

    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  53. Edward July 18, 00:02

    I’ve done the timer. Now I have a terrifying 4 goal plan laid out. Thank you for taking the first step into educating your community. I’ve written down “get active in a community” as an activity for the Network Architect goal, so here I am. Baby steps! It is a sketchy plan but this is concrete evidence that I am able to jot down my goals, time frames, and deadlines within 10 minutes. I’m a weee bit short sighted since most of goals written are to be done this year. Next, I must figure out how to break these goals down into tasks right? – thanks for the push

    Reply to this comment
  54. Shashank September 24, 19:57

    Hi Wendell’s

    I found your blog just today, I have made development plan with dates, actually I am CCNA certified but certification is expired. I want to upgrade myself in networking career.

    1)Finish CCNA 200-301 book till 31 oct
    2)Finish ASA firewall till 30 Nov.
    3)Hands on experience on CCNA and ASA lab till 31st Dec.

    Reply to this comment
  55. Roger Stark October 4, 20:23

    1. CCNA in January or earliest date 2021 ( I have completed 2 networking classes at community college and have “the book”
    2. Get a job in the field as soon as possible after certification
    3. Security Certification (security +?) completed security class also.
    4. Be a great employee and show up to work on time every day

    Reply to this comment
  56. Tshepi October 16, 06:18

    Hi Wendell,

    I created my Development Plan. Working towards getting my CCNA.

    Thank you for the great content and all of the effort you put into this. Really appreciate it.

    Reply to this comment
  57. certskills Author October 23, 14:57

    Sure thing, Tshepi! Hope your work towards CCNA is going well!

    Reply to this comment
  58. Hpone Paing Myint January 15, 03:56

    Hi Wendell,
    I made my career development plan to become a CCNA network engineer. Thank you so much for your guide books and all the articles about networking.

    Reply to this comment
  59. fordorth February 18, 20:23

    February 2021 Made my Goal it’s short.

    Career Goal:
    Network Engineer + A+ Certification
    Learning Goals:
    • Read A+ Book – 03 – 2021
    • PluralSight A+ 03-2021
    • Read CCNA BOOK 04-2021
    • CCNA LAB 04-2021
    • CCNA PLURALSIGHT 04-2021

    Reply to this comment
  60. Georgi March 19, 19:27

    Mine is pretty poor atm, but hey ho! 🙂

    1. Career Goal: Become a Networking Engineer (a good one!)
    2. Learning Activities:
    • Go through 31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam (200 – 301)
    • Master subnetting
    3. Goal dates
    • 31 days for the book and for subnetting!

    Btw, and on another note, I bought a CCNA course online which turned out to miss out like 40% of the CCNA content (nothing on Wireless, QoS or Network Programmability and very basic on Network Architecture!!) which they still haven’t replied to me about!! I was wondering if anyone else has had bad experience with an online course provider?
    Thanks a lot!

    Reply to this comment
    • Georgi March 19, 19:39

      Just to complete the above, for my money, they have given me access to a Boson NetSim, ETE Player and Transcender and that’s great, but their content is just bad! I only found out about the extra content by watching some vids on YouTube which then made me go back to the Cisco website and dig up the curriculum for the new CCNA exam. Then I bought Wendell’s CCNA Cert Guide Library 200-301 (Premium) and read up on the missing Parts and Chapters which I’ve just finished yesterday. Then I purchased the Johnson’s 31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam (200-301) hence my plan to go through this book over the next 31 days. I guess I was stupid to just believe that since I have paid for content it will be good…. Btw I paid £600 for the course which of course includes the exam fee, but this content mess up has been a major frustration and actually has done more harm then good as I feel like it has broken up my learning process.

      Reply to this comment
      • certskills Author March 23, 10:18

        Sorry to hear about your course experience. But yes, the more popular the topic, the more likely there are many competing options. I’m sure some are better than others. For books, ours have a long history of being thorough and comprehensive to the exam topics, hopefully that worked well for you independent of your unfortunate course choice.
        Hope you enjoy Allan’s 31-days book!

        Reply to this comment
        • Georgi March 24, 19:40

          Hi Wendell, many thanks for the reply. Yes, I absolutely love your books and the online resources that come with them! I wish someone guided me to get them from the very beginning. 31 Days is a great supplement, but your books have opened my eyes and saved my life! 🙂 I now just need to keep on pushing through and try to forget the bad experience and wasted time with the course provider. On to Day 29 and Switch Configuration Basics tomorrow! 😀
          Best wishes, Georgi

          Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author March 23, 10:16

      Go Georgi Go!

      Reply to this comment
      • Georgi March 24, 19:43

        Thank you very much! 🙂

        Reply to this comment
        • Victor Zavala May 2, 15:38

          Hello Wendell, today I made my learning plan and separate all chapters of the book in addition to organizing by due dates.

          On the other hand, thank you for being one of the best, and for sharing your knowledge. That’s inspiring

          Reply to this comment
        • Georgi September 30, 15:20

          Hi Wendell, I am excited to share that I have passed my CCNA first go! 🙂 It was a great moment and I felt joy and relief at the same time. On another note, I wanted to ask you for any tips regarding looking for my first job in Networking. My issue is that I have no real life experience and come from a Recruitment background so I know it will be hard to get my foot through the door. I wonder if you know anyone who has had a similar experience in changing careers and if you have any tips on what I should aim for as a first job? I live in the UK, if this matters. I am even willing to start an apprenticeship somewhere. I have noticed that most of the Tier 1 Desk Support jobs ask for extra stuff besides networking skills like O365 and other Microsoft/Linux/iOS skills that I don’t currently have. I would be reluctant to start yet another course before getting my first job. That being said I have already bought two extra textbooks from Cisco press, one on IPv6 and the other on Network Automation and Programmability. I am also considering purchasing a Cisco Modelling Labs license to refine my CCNA skill set. Thank you for your help in advance. Best regards, Georgi

          Reply to this comment
  61. John September 21, 03:59

    Hello Wendell, thank you for preparing this article. I did worked on making a plan as you suggested.

    Reply to this comment
  62. Umit October 31, 14:12

    Career Goals:

    To be earning passively with a breadth of networking knowledge being multiple persons manager (5 Years)
    To be respected in a position of importance (5 Years)

    Learning Activities:

    Complete this book Volume 1 (1 Month)
    Complete this book Volume 2 (2 Months)
    Master this book (both volumes). (6 Months)
    Being able to build sophisticated networks and fully understanding how data travels around a network. (1 Year)
    To be able to keep up with new technology and feel confident in the knowledge that I’m giving the world. (1 Year)

    Reply to this comment
  63. tarek.agile January 28, 07:13

    Basic plan made, thanks for the push! Will revise in a month.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author February 1, 13:14

      Sure thing, Tarek!

      Reply to this comment
      • tarekagile March 20, 23:59

        It’s been more than a month and not much progress; I’m motivated but find it hard to find a consistent time slot of my day to study and practice. I’m writing this down here as a form of self-accountability. Starting again…

        Reply to this comment
        • certskills Author March 29, 14:16

          Getting back on track is an important skill. None of us will be perfect along the way!
          Just a comment along that line. Goals are great, but goals may not be the best mechanism for executing on the plan. Habits are the key (in my opinion.) Check out – the book shown there is my favorite from 5-6 habits books I’ve read in recent years. FYI.

          Reply to this comment
  64. brahooke March 17, 12:46


    I have bought your CCNA 200-301 Library and have begun my preparation for the exam. While reading the study plan section you direct the reader to this blog series. I have printed the planner spreadsheet and pinned it to my wall as well as updating it digitally.. My goal is to achieve CCNA in one year. I like to absorb all information before sitting for the exam. This has worked for me now for 9 IT certifications (mostly CompTIA).

    I do have one question for you about the CCNA. Do you know what the first time pass/fail rate is for the CCNA on an historical record? The reason I ask is because I hear more times than not that first time takers fail. I would like to know the fact on that statistic.

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author March 17, 16:03

      Hi Brahooke,
      Wow, great track record! Hope you enjoy your CCNA year.
      As to your question, Cisco has never posted pass rates to my knowledge. You can judge for yourself how trustworthy any online comments might be. But I will say that plenty of people pass the first time… but I think the goal should be deep knowledge rather than whether you pass the first go. Sounds like you take that approach already. My $.02.

      Reply to this comment
  65. Michael Swords March 18, 09:36

    Become Cisco Certified in Networking.
    Learning Activities:
    • Read Official Certification Guide 1 & 2
    • Master the skills in these books
    • Work in the internship at Computer Xpress to develop and stretch my skills
    • Complete Traviss Technical College by 12/24/2022 CompTia 1 Year Program
    Goal Dates:
    • Sit for CompTia A+ Core 1 220-1001 Test 4/15/2022
    • Sit for CompTia A+ Core 2 220 – 1002 Test 5/15/2022
    • Sit for CompTia Networking 12/5/2022
    • Sit for CompTia Security 12/10/2022
    • Sit for Cisco CCNA 200 – 301 Volume 1 & 2 Exam 12/20/2022

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author March 18, 09:55

      Michael! This is great.
      Lots of tests and goals – great to get your mind set in the right direction.
      You’ve inspired me to set some goals for this blog space – more to come on that.
      All the best! Hope you enjoy your intense year of learning!

      Reply to this comment
  66. Jennifer May 9, 13:13

    Hi Wendell, Thank you for this article. I’ve made my career plan. I bought your books and I’ll start working toward my certification. All the best!

    Reply to this comment
    • certskills Author May 12, 09:05

      Hey Jennifer,
      Wonderful! Hope the process helps you along the way. I think you’ll enjoy learning about networking – enjoy!

      Reply to this comment

    Hi, I make a career plan. This was a wonderful and motivating article, thanks so much.

    Reply to this comment
  68. Christian George Canicosa June 28, 04:09

    Hello Wendell!
    I hope you are doing great!

    My Career Goal is to become a Network Engineer.
    I already have the CCNA 200-301 Vol. 1-2.

    Hopefully, I could finish mastering CCNA within a year so I can make a progress in my IT career.

    Thank you for making this article.

    God bless everyone!

    Reply to this comment
  69. ksmithc9135 June 29, 05:06

    Hello Wendell I have created a plan, thanks

    Reply to this comment
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