CISCO Networking Academy


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Q: What is FARMINGDALE STATE UNIVERSITY'S objective in teaching these courses and how does it differ from other training providers?

  • Farmingale State University's objective is not only to help you obtain your CCNA certification, but to help you
    develop the knowledge and skills to live up to that certification title. Each Cisco Academy course here at Farmingdale not only follows the latest official Cisco Academy curriculum, but they are also offered as academic electives for college credit in Computer Systems, Criminal Justice Security Systems, Management of Technology and Computer Engineering Technology. You can contact each Dept to find out how these courses may be used towards a BS Degree. We want to make CCNAs who understand networking theory and can apply it in a practical application, not just people who can pass the CCNA exams.
  • SUNY Farmingdale has entered into an agreement with Cisco Systems to offer Cisco Academy courses for college credit in an academic program. This Academic Articulation is the only agreement fully approved by Cisco Systems in New York.
  • The Cisco Academy is operated under the auspices of the Institute for Networking Systems Technology and Education Programs (INSTEP). INSTEP is an umbrella institute which is developing a variety of other education and training options available for people pursuing CCNA or CCNP certification, including many short-term training courses one or two weeks in duration. These courses are meant to serve technology professionals currently working in the networking field and have a strong working knowledge of networking, with the understanding that they will learn much of the information when they implement the topics back in their work environment.
  • Some organizations will offer some short term courses targeted at people new to the networking field, designed to have people pass the certification exams, whether or not they actually have those knowledge and skills. INSTEP does not take this approach. Once again, it is our objective to give you the proper skills and knowledge to live up to the certification title, not just to prepare you to pass a certification exam.

Q: What is the first Cisco course I must take?

A: The first course is our BCS 208 Networking Fundamentals (Cisco CCNA Semester 1) class. This course will give students the basics of networking. Look at the Cisco Academy CCNA Networking Program information or the Networking Track of the BS in Computer Programming and Information Systems. The other courses in the CCNA sequence are BCS 209, BCS 320, and BCS 321.

Q: Are there any prerequisites for BCS 208 Networking Fundamentals?

A: No.

NOTE: Students must be very familiar with concepts of computers and computer technology, including having a basic understanding of operating systems.

Q: Will completion of these Cisco courses alone prepare me for a job in Networking?

A: No, the area of networking is a very complex and sophisticated field. The Cisco Systems courses are designed to supplement other courses taken by students in the computer science and networking fields. INSTEP and Cisco Systems, suggest that students continue their education towards a Bachelors degree. The four semesters of Cisco Networking Academy courses, by themselves, will not necessarily mean a student is ready for a job in networking. Again, networking is a very complex and sophisticated field and it is recommended that students take the necessary courses towards a Bachelors degree or other courses in networking and computer science. The Cisco courses do fill in a vital area of information needed in networking, but it is not the only knowledge and skills needed by employers. In other words, the Cisco courses by themselves will not make students job-ready, but along with other courses will help students prepare for entry-level positions in networking. (The Computer Systems Dept offers a Bachelor Degree in Computer Programming and Information Systems with a Networking Track.)

Q: What if I do not have a Bachelors degree or will not be getting one?
Will these courses still prepare me for a job in networking?

A: Yes, these and other networking, system administration courses will help (see the question, ("What other courses do you recommend?"). Someone without a B.A. or B.S. degree should take as many networking courses as possible and obtain other credible networking certifications. Most employers prefer that potential networking employees have a Bachelors degree in an IT (Information Technology) field or even a Bachelors degree in a non-IT field is helpful. A Bachelors degree usually tells an employer that the applicant has the ability to start and complete the tasks associated with reaching certain goals. Without a Bachelors degree it is up to the applicant to let the employer know that they have the technical and non-technical skills, knowledge and abilities to be an important team player in the company. Regardless of one's educational background, attitude, enthusiasm, and desire can go a long way in an interview!

Q: What other courses do you recommend?

A: There are many courses and areas which will match well with the Cisco courses. The more you learn about networking, the more you will see there is a lot to learn, which will give you a better understanding of networking. Do you need all of these courses for your first job? No, but at some point in your networking career, you will be learning information pertaining to most of these areas. SUNY Farmingdale offers some of these courses.

System Administration: (There are several courses in this area that students should take for Systems Administration. See information regarding the various MCSE, Sun Microsystems, SAIR, and other certifications.)

  • Microsoft Windows MCSA or MCSE certification courses
  • Unix,/Linux certification courses (SAIR or Sun Microsystems )

Networking and Telecommunications Courses

  • Data Communications and Telecommunications
  • Network Management
  • TCP/IP (including DNS, DHCP)
  • Network Operating Systems
  • Network Security

Other courses which also can be very beneficial

  • Programming (C++, Perl, Java, PHP, CGI, etc.)
  • Algorithms (and any other Math courses, especially for those pursuing a B.S. degree in Computer Science or IT)
  • Electronics

Q: Does INSTEP teach these classes so students can get jobs at Cisco Systems?

A: No. This program is not designed to prepare students for jobs at Cisco Systems, but as a piece of what they need to know to get a job in networking at any number of companies. These courses concentrate on router and internetworking technologies, which is important information for anyone to know if they are considering a job in networking. Many company with networks and internetworks will need people who understand router and internetworking, system administration and other technologies.

Q: What is the workload in these classes?

A: These classes are designed for students who are seriously interested in the field of computer networking. Students will need to be committed to the amount of work required in these classes, both inside and outside of class. The courses are all 3 credit classes, which means extensive reading and homework assignments. Many of the topics in these courses are very complex and will require students to put in extensive time outside of class to grasp these subject areas.

Q: Will other schools in NY Metro Area be offering this curriculum?

A: Yes, however, none have a Cisco approved academic program like the one provided by INSTEP.

Q: What are the names and course numbers of the Cisco CCNA classes offered at Farmingdale State?

A: Here is the Cisco curriculum series:

      1. BCS 208 Networking Fundamentals I
      2. BCS 209 Networking Fundamentals II
      3. BCS 320 LAN Switching and Wireless
      4. BCS 321 Accessing the WAN

Q: Why does it take four semesters (minimum) through INSTEP to learn
the information to help me pass the CCNA exam? I have noticed that some private training companies "prepare" me in as little as 5 days.

A: INSTEP's objective is not only to help you obtain your CCNA certification, but to help you develop the knowledge and skills to live up to that certification title. Each INSTEP CCNA course is up to 15 weeks in duration. We want to make CCNAs , not just people who can pass the CCNA exam. Private training companies are not only expensive, but rely mostly on rote memory and "cram" sessions to try and pass the exam. Often, most of the material is "lost" after the exam is taken.

Q: When does INSTEP offer these courses? How many sections will be offered and what are the days and times?

A: Please check the Schedule of Classes.

Q: How do I register for these classes and is there a sign-up list for these classes?

A: These classes are like any other SUNY Farmingdale courses. Students will need to go through the regular admissions and registration process. There is no advance sign-up sheet.

Q: Can I take these classes if I do not want to pursue a degree at SUNY Farmingdale?

A: Yes. However, you must register first as a NON-MATRICULATED student with the Registrar in Laffin Hall.

Q: Can I register on-line?

A: Yes, but you must be a matriculated or official non-matriculated student first, with your student info on file with the Registrar in Laffin Hall. Then you can register at in the course registration section.

Q: What certifications do Cisco Systems offer and how do INSTEP courses fit in?

A: The courses INSTEP offers will help prepare students for the CCNA, Cisco Certified Networking Associates exam. This is the first level of Cisco certifications.
See for information regarding Cisco Systems certifications.

Q: Do I have to take these courses before taking the CCNA exam?

A: No, anyone can take the CCNA exam. See Cisco's web site for exam information.

Q: What certification is after CCNA?

A: The next level of certification is CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional). See Cisco's web site for exam information and other information. After CCNP is the highly coveted CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert).

Q: Are the Cisco courses offered by INSTEP sequential?

A: Yes, the four Cisco courses are four different semesters and must be taken sequentially, one after the other. Students must pass the previous course to proceed to the next.

Q: Will these courses count towards a Computer Programming and Information Systems Certificate/Degree?

A: Yes, these are now a part of the BS CPIS Degree.

Q: I am not sure if the computer networking is for me. What does someone need to do in order to succeed in this program?

A: There are many ingredients to succeeding in this field, but there are two important suggestions we have for students considering taking courses in the Cisco Networking Academy program.

Students should only take these courses if:

  1. They have a sincere and dedicated interest in computers and computer networking.
    The computer technology area requires the professionals in this industry to constantly keep up with the changes in technology, and to keep updating their skills and knowledge regarding new technology. This is especially true in computer networking, as it is one of the most dynamic areas in computer technology. This requires a sincere interest in computers and computer networking as students and people working in the computer industry must constantly teach themselves the advances, applications and technologies in networking. This includes reading books, magazines, and continuing education in order to keep their knowledge current. Most, if not all, of this constant retraining happens on a person's own time. Students should have a sincere interest in the computer technology and computer networking, if they decide to take the Cisco Networking curriculum. The computer technology field, and in particular computer networking, is constantly changing and requires a person, with initiative and self motivation, to keep their skills updated. This motivation and initiative will be necessary as both a student and as a professional in the computer industry.
  2. Get a Bachelor degree in the computer technology field. The area of computer networking is very complex, and four courses alone is not going to give someone the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this area. Students should take as many other computer technology courses as possible, besides the Cisco curriculum. If at all possible students should get a Bachelor degree in this field. Students will find themselves competing for jobs with students that do have these degrees.

Q: Who is Cisco Systems?

A: Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco products include routers, LAN and ATM switches, dial-up access servers and network management software. These products, integrated by the Cisco IOS software, link geographically dispersed LANs, WANs and IBM networks. Cisco Systems news and product/service information are available on the World Wide Web site at Cisco Systems is headquartered in San Jose, Calif.