How our young colleagues are being educated....

Laurent Dumont admin at
Fri Dec 26 04:49:21 UTC 2014

Merry Christmas! (Even if slightly late...)

I absolutely agree. The certification by itself doesn't prove much 
beyond a passing interest in networking and an ability to retain a fair 
amount of information. I suspect it's mostly a question of creating some 
kind of standard to judge applicants. It's also worth mentioning that I 
bet that many HR departments are actively hunting for keywords such as 
certifications acronyms.

It was just a bit sad to see the certification itself as the "real" goal 
of the program.


On 12/25/2014 11:42 PM, Alain Hebert wrote:
> Well let start with: Happy Holidays.
> In my line of work anyone with a CCNA get put at the bottom of the pile =D
> We're looking for proactive associates and found that applicants which
> present themselves as a CCNA engineer foremost are only just that: Someone
> that could follow the course and bother to pass it.
> Best deal is to get Cisco 1000V image (or GNS) and a Virtual Server (about
> $600 used with 72G of RAM lately, and you do not need huge amount of
> disks) and start making test beds for real world needs.
> The only drawback is that you may make the interviewer worried about his
> own job =D
> Good luck.
>> The Cisco "Networking Academy" program was used throughout my
>> "CEGEP"(End of high-school/first college year equivalent in the US)
>> education in Quebec. There was no deviation from the course work and the
>> aim was to get the student CCNA certified at the end.
>> On 12/25/2014 7:21 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
>>> Cisco as the basis of networking material? Does nobody use Comer,
>>> Stallings, or Tannenbaum as basic texts anymore?
>>> Miles Fidelman
>>> Mike Jones wrote:
>>>> I am a university student that has just completed the first term of
>>>> the first year of a Computer Systems and Networks course. Apart from a
>>>> really out of place MATH module that did trig but not binary, it has
>>>> been reasonably well run so far. The binary is covered in a different
>>>> module, just not maths. The worst part of the course is actually the
>>>> core networking module, which is based on Cisco material. The cisco
>>>> material is HORRIBLE! those awkward "book" page things with the stupid
>>>> higherarchical menu. As for the content.. a scalable network is one
>>>> you can add hosts to, so what's a non-scalable network? will the
>>>> building collapse if i plug my laptop in?
>>>> As I have been following NANOG for years I do notice a lot of mistakes
>>>> or "over-simplifications" that show a clear distinction between the
>>>> theory in the university books and the reality on nanog, and
>>>> demonstrate the lecturers lack of real world exposure. As a simple
>>>> example, in IPv4 the goal is to conserve IP addresses therefore on
>>>> point to point links you use a /30 which only wastes 50% of the
>>>> address space. In the real world - /31's? but a /31 is impossible I
>>>> hear the lecturers say...
>>>> The entire campus is not only IPv4-only, but on the wifi network they
>>>> actually assign globally routable addresses, then block protocol 41,
>>>> so windows configures broken 6to4! Working IPv6 connectivity would at
>>>> least expose students to it a little and let them play with it...
>>>> Amoung the things I have heard so far: MAC Addresses are unique, IP
>>>> fragments should be blocked for security reasons, and the OSI model
>>>> only has 7 layers to worry about. All theoretically correct. All
>>>> wrong.
>>>> - Mike Jones
>>>> On 22 December 2014 at 09:13, Javier J <javier at>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Dear NANOG Members,
>>>>> It has come to my attention, that higher learning institutions in
>>>>> North
>>>>> America are doing our young future colleagues a disservice.
>>>>> I recently ran into a student of Southern New Hampshire University
>>>>> enrolled
>>>>> in the Networking/Telecom Management course and was shocked by what I
>>>>> learned.
>>>>> Not only are they skimming over new technologies such as BGP, MPLS
>>>>> and the
>>>>> fundamentals of TCP/IP that run the internet and the networks of the
>>>>> world,
>>>>> they were focusing on ATM , Frame Relay and other technologies that
>>>>> are on
>>>>> their way out the door and will probably be extinct by the time this
>>>>> student graduates. They are teaching classful routing and skimming
>>>>> over
>>>>> CIDR. Is this indicative of the state of our education system as a
>>>>> whole?
>>>>> How is it this student doesn't know about OSPF and has never heard
>>>>> of RIP?
>>>>> If your network hardware is so old you need a crossover cable, it's
>>>>> time to
>>>>> upgrade. In this case, it’s time to upgrade our education system.
>>>>> I didn't write this email on the sole experience of my conversation
>>>>> with
>>>>> one student, I wrote this email because I have noticed a pattern
>>>>> emerging
>>>>> over the years with other university students at other schools
>>>>> across the
>>>>> country. It’s just the countless times I have crossed paths with a
>>>>> young IT
>>>>> professional and was literally in shock listening to the things they
>>>>> were
>>>>> being taught. Teaching old technologies instead of teaching what is
>>>>> currently being used benefits no one. Teaching classful and skipping
>>>>> CIDR
>>>>> is another thing that really gets my blood boiling.
>>>>> Are colleges teaching what an RFC is? Are colleges teaching what
>>>>> IPv6 is?
>>>>> What about unicast and multicast? I confirmed with one student half
>>>>> way
>>>>> through their studies that they were not properly taught how DNS
>>>>> works, and
>>>>> had no clue what the term “root servers” meant.
>>>>> Am I crazy? Am I ranting? Doesn't this need to be addressed? …..and
>>>>> if not
>>>>> by us, then by whom? How can we fix this?

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