the challenge is over.

Video Notes:

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The 30 Day Certification challenge is over!! About a month ago I challenged you, my employees, and myself to get a Juniper IT Certification in 30 days. Using the Juniper Open Learning Portal, we had access to free training, all we needed was time and grit! How did you do? Did you pass? 

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0:00   ⏩  Intro

0:22   ⏩  why did I do this challenge?!?

0:41   ⏩  Reason #1

2:34   ⏩  Reason #2

3:47   ⏩  How to make yourself more rare!

5:09   ⏩  The hardest part of the journey.

5:30   ⏩  Did Chuck Pass?!

5:43   ⏩  What about Cameron??

5:55   ⏩  Did the Noobs on my team pass?

6:22   ⏩  Did YOU pass?

6:41   ⏩  we did make CHANGES to the challenge!!

7:06   ⏩  WINNER of the Mist AP!!

The challenge is over a month ago I challenged you, my employees and myself to get a Juniper IT certification in 30 days. Did you pass? Did I pass? I actually, you thought I was gonna tell you right here. Nah, you gotta wait until the end of the video after you’d like and comment and subscribe. And we’re also going to announce the winner of the A missed ap. So I don’t miss that. But before we do that, let me first start with this. Why did I do this challenge? Because like many of you, I already know a bit of networking, like I have my ccna. Isn’t that enough? Why get another networking certification from a different vendor cheat code. That’s why this is a cheat code for your IT career opening doors to some crazy things and some insane opportunities. Now I have two reasons why this is a cheat code. 

Reason number one, you want to go bra, you wanna go wide in your technical knowledge and expertise. When I first started my IT career, I only had to learn one vendor, one thing. And in my case, that was Cisco. The company I worked for was a Cisco shop and that’s all they had. Cisco firewalls, APS switches, routers, everything. And frankly it was awesome. I was a Cisco fanboy and if anybody tried to put anything but Cisco in my environment, no, get that outta here. That’s not the case anymore. You’ll be hard pressed to find any company that just has one vendor, one tech stack in their environment. So what you’ll see now is just a delicious buffet of different vendors and technologies. Companies will pick and choose their favorite vendors for the specific use cases they have. And it’s kind of cool. But what that means for you is that it’s not enough to know just one vendor anymore. 

You gotta be familiar with multiple and know how to configure those things. In fact, if you look at most job requirements now, they’ll tell you what they have and they’re gonna have Cisco, they’re gonna have Juniper, they’re gonna have Palo Alto, they’re gonna have a bunch of different things and they’re gonna ask you to know those things like, hey, do you have experience? Do you have a J N C I A? They want you to have that. You’re like, Chuck, why do I need to get a certification? I can just learn the stuff, right? I can figure it out, I can Google it, I can watch YouTube video. And that’s true. You don’t need the IT certifications, but maybe a certification will really help you out. When you need to learn the ins and outs of a certain technology or a vendor, you wanna learn more about what it can do and also how to do it right? 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working with a technology that I didn’t have a certification in and that I finally decided, okay, I, I wanna learn more. I’m gonna get that certification. Dude, I was doing it totally wrong, <laugh> and I learned a lot more things about it and how I could do things better. It really does help. And also if you’re having trouble finding a job, getting these certifications that maybe aren’t as popular, but we know people are using their stuff, it’s gonna help you. So if you’re wondering, well Chuck, will it matter if I have a CCNA and A J N C I A? Will that help? Yeah, it will help. It will compliment what you already know and open up a ton of opportunities. Now you’re gonna think I’m crazy, like Chuck’s lost it because the second reason is the opposite of the first reason. 

Number two, I want you to go deep, I want you to specialize. But this right here is where the opportunity arises to make a ton more money because here’s what I’ve learned in my career. If you wanna make more money in it and be more valuable to the company you’re at, you need to acquire skills that not everyone has skills that are a bit more rare, harder to find. So whatever skill you’re thinking about could be hacking or system administration cloud. But let’s use networking for example. If you wanna learn networking, everybody knows, okay, network plus or ccna, like that’s the go-to thing. But you can set yourself apart, make yourself a bit more rare by getting something like the J N C I A with your ccna. But don’t stop there because right here, right here is the secret to how you can kind of multiply your worth and your value. 

Don’t stop at J N C I A, take that next step. Choose rare skills. So let me show you a quick, if I go out to, Chuck, once you’ve brought in your skillset with a base cert J and CIA Junos you think could take the next step into doing a more rare skill. For example, maybe the missed ai, which is some crazy wireless automation, voodoo magic, it’s, it’s awesome. And if you know that you are a magical, you’re a magician, you’re welcome. Now I gotta be honest, if you do a job search for people looking for the J N C I A missed AI certification, it’s not gonna be a lot. But lemme tell you a secret. That means that the jobs who actually do need those skills, they’re gonna pay you more for them. You’re rare. This will set you apart, make you more valuable and open up a ton of opportunities. 

So you may be here at the end of our 30 day challenge and maybe you have a new certification, the J N C I A, which is awesome. Congrats, you did amazing. But for next steps, if you wanted to make yourself more rare, you might jump to something like the missed AI and maybe go beyond that, jump beyond the associate level and go to the specialist, the J N C I S, which is even more rare. And that’s where some cool opportunities might arise. For example, there’s a guy on my discord, the pack thrower, you probably know who he is. We’ve had him on the channel a few times. We did a live stream just last week. But he actually works at Disney and he used his Juniper skills to get there. Now what I’m not saying is yeah, if you learn Juniper, you’ll get a job at Disney maybe. 

I don’t know. It’s worth a try, right? But what I am saying is that rare skills will open up rare opportunities. So lemme sum this up before I tell you if I pass or fill the exam, quick coffee break on that. So IT certifications, getting the popular top 10 list IT certs is valuable and fine, I’m sure you’ll google that list, right? And you’ll see the top 10, you’re like, Oh, I’ve gotta get all those right? But let me tell you, it’s often the road less travel. The other certs, the ones you wouldn’t automatically think about. Those are the cheat codes to an amazing career in it. So takeaway here is go crazy, go broad, expose yourself to other vendors and certifications. And it she, how can I, how can I possibly learn all these things? I’m just trying to learn Cisco. You expect me now to learn Juniper two. 

And I, I wanna tell you, it’s honestly not that hard. For example, Cameron and I, this challenge 30 days, getting the J N C A wasn’t that hard because we already have our CC A and getting the J N C I A was a complimentary skill. It was simply just kinda like an add-on <laugh> to the foundational skills we built. So honestly, the hardest part in your IT journey is learning the, the base foundational skills, good networking, good security, Linux, windows, all those base things. That’s the hard part. But adding the additional skills on top that rely on those underlying skills, it’s a bit easier. And the more you do it, the easier it’ll get and then the easier it is to broaden your skills. And of course if you wanna help make the next Marvel movie level up, go deep, specialize. And that will open up some crazy doors. 

So let’s talk about the 30 day challenge. Did I pass the exam? Yeah, I passed. Did I have to study a lot? Not really, no. Because of the points I mentioned before, I was already good on most networking things. It was just learning how to do those networking things on Juniper devices. The Cameron passed. Yeah. Yeah, he passed. He did. He did too. That’s my point, right? Coffee break. And by the way, you would’ve already known that I passed if he followed me on Twitter and stuff. Facebook and all those other places. Make sure you follow me there. So check it out, link below. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how do the non-techies on my team do? Cause as part of the challenge, I did challenge my employees. The people who know nothing about it do get the certification. They, um, they had a hard time. 

In fact, they, they quit <laugh> because like I said, you have to have a large fundamental foundational knowledge of networking and IT in general to jump to something like this. That’s a lot for 30 days totally possible by the way you can do it. But I wasn’t gonna pay my employees eight hours a day to study So <laugh>. But I would love to know if you were a person who had no IT background or maybe just a little bit if you were able to get the J N C I A let me know. That’s kind of incredible. And I know that many of you just killed the challenge. You got it. You got the J N C I A or maybe some of you even got the J N C I S, which also means you’re gonna get this wicked awesome sticker right here for passing the challenge. 

Now I do wanna say this, we did make a few changes to the challenge. Cause I know for a lot of people paying for a certification, it’s, it’s expensive. So we did this. We had uh, the packa thrower, actually the guy I just mentioned who works at Disney. We had him create a really awesome quiz to test your knowledge of Juniper stuff. And if you can pass that quiz, if you can verify that knowledge, we’ll give you a sticker. So we’ll have all that information below. Check it out. And yes, there is still time to enter this and try to get a sticker. So just check the link below. If you pass it band, you’ll get one. And now for the winner of the missed AP Cameron, take it away. 

Thanks Chuck. The winner of the Juniper missed AP is going to be Robert Steely from North Carolina. Congratulations Robert.

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