The Green Girl’s Cisco #CCNACyberOps Certification Scholarship preparation advice from her experience as a member of Cohort 2 from March 15 – June 15, 2017:
- Review the Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops overview to familiarize yourself with the certification.
- Carefully review the blueprints for 210-250 SECFND and 210-255 SECOPS and identify any gaps in your knowledge – you can use this list as a starting point for preparation for your Cohort. (I did the Lynda.com – Become an IT Security Specialist learning path in the 3 months leading up to Cohort 2 and I found it to be extremely helpful because I was exposed to most of the concepts prior to the Cohort in these courses.)
- Consider installing Kali Linux, Metasploitable 2, and Security Onion in preparation for the course labs. (In addition to installing the free VMware workstation and loading a Kali Linux VM, I took some online courses to familiarize myself with Kali Linux prior to my Cohort.)
- Consider registering for the Cisco Networking Academy ahead of your Cohort – you can even take the Introduction to Cybersecurity course but keep in mind you will need to repeat the course once your Cohort has officially started
- Get in the habit of studying for prolonged periods of time in preparation for the course but avoid burning yourself out. I studied at least 2 hours a day for 3 months before my Cohort started.
- Be prepared to do labs with multiple virtual machines – a larger monitor may be helpful for the lab portions.
- The Scholarship will not provide you with the Cisco Press books but the course material (videos, text, and quizzes) combined with the weekly mentor sessions will cover everything you need to know to pass the exams.
- Purchasing the Cisco Press books is a personal thing – some students found it helpful to have the hardcopy as a reference, some students felt the course material was sufficient. I opted to rely on the course material.