How to become a network engineer from scratch?

  1. Get a cheap ICND1 Cisco course (chris bryant’s courses at rock and they can be dirty cheap if there’s a good deal on). The current url is
  2. Get a book with Cisco labs, e.g.
  3. Get 4 cheap routers (2801 or 1841) and Rj45 cables at ebay. A good price is $50 a piece
  4. Get 3 cheap switches (3550 or 3560) at ebay. A good price is $40 for 3550 or $60-70 for 3560
  5. Get a Cisco console cable and DB9>USB adapter at ebay
  6. Start watching the ICND1 course. Try to practise everything you see there on your equipment.
  7. After you finish watching the course, do the labs from the book.
  8. Take the 100-105 Cisco exam (go to pearson vue cisco website and book the exam at your nearest exam center) – this step is optional but Cisco certificates can guarantee at least a job interview.
  9. Congrats! Now get an ICND2 book and repeat the process.

This will set you back around $700 ($150 for the vids and books, $400 for the gear and $150 for the exam), or even less if you get a good bargain at ebay/allegro.

Alternatively, book an ICND1 course at This ensures that:

  • you get 80 hours of learning, this includes lectures and workshops. Classes are delivered by an experienced network engineer
  • you get 60+ hours of access to our equipment when you go home after the classes
  • it’s less expensive than buying the equipment and books
  • you know exactly what to do at each step
  • if you come across a difficult problem during or after the course (we provide a free 3month post-course email troubleshooting service), you can ask the trainer
  • you are thoroughly prepared for the exam






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