The New Cisco ICND Series: Some More Details

by Jason - Aug 16, 2016


Hello, everyone! So many releases have happened recently I’ve taken a break from this blog space. But, I’m back and here to tell you some more details about the new Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) exams, specifically exams 100-105 and 200-105. Both courses are slated for a fall release and will each include several hours of video training, pre-assessment tests, and post-assessment tests — all with the purpose of getting you ready to pass these two exams.

In these two courses, we are happy to inform you we are working with Boson’s NetSim, a top-quality simulator tool for Cisco exams and we will be featuring this product in many of the demonstrations in the course videos.

Let’s start with the ICND part one exam, exam 100-105. Many have wondered about the differences between this exam and its predecessor, exam 100-101. I have examined both objective sheets, studied this carefully, and here is a general view of what has changed from the old ICND part 1 exam to the new one (in no particular order):

  • RIPv2 for IPv4 (configure, verify, and troubleshoot). This is the only dynamic routing protocol featured prominently on the ICND1 exam.
  • OSPF (speaking of routing protocols) has been moved to the ICND2 exam.
  • Be able to configure and verify host routes and floating static routes.
  • LAN Design and Architecture are featured, with star, mesh, and hybrid topologies being the prominent topologies mentioned.
  • Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is now covered (in addition to Cisco Discovery Protocol).
  • Device monitoring using syslog is now on the ICND1 exam instead of the ICND2 exam.
  • Device management is now on the ICND1 exam instead of the ICND2 exam.
  • Frame Relay is gone from this series.

Overall, the objective list for this exam is slightly larger than that of the 100-101 exam. Passing this exam will get you a Cisco Certified Entry Level Network Technician (CCENT) certification, get you halfway to the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certification, and satisfy the prerequisite for several other Cisco exams.

Now, on to the new ICND part two (200-105) exam, which replaces the 200-101 exam. Here are the general differences from the old to the new ICND part two exam:

  • Frame Relay is gone (just in case you didn’t hear me say it the first time).
  • Most management topics have been moved to the ICND1 exam.
  • Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) and Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) are gone.
  • Layer 3 EtherChannel – Routed Interface needs to be known in order to handle other exam topics.
  • Be able to configure Multilink Point-to-Point Protocol (MLPPP).
  • Be able to configure, verify, and troubleshoot Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) tunnels.
  • Be able to describe Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Networks (DMVPN).
  • Be able to configure and verify single-home branch connectivity using External Border Gateway Protocol (eBGP) IPv4. This is the only BGP objective on the exam.
  • Understand cloud services including virtualized services and the basics of a virtual network infrastructure.
  • Know Quality of Service (QoS) concepts, including managing congestion of traffic and prioritization of traffic.
  • Know the difference between control planes and data planes.

All of these exam topics will be covered in our Cisco ICND courses. The purpose of this blog is simple: to draw out the differences in the two exams for the old ICND series and this new series. Good luck!


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The Good “R” Word in IT: Resourcefulness

by Jason - Jun 28, 2016


Most of my blogs lately have updated you on new courses we have in the works. So today, I figured I would change things up and start this blog with a story: Nearly 20 years ago, when I was still in my rookie year in my Information Technology career, I was sent on a business trip far, far away from my home base (well, not that far, but a plane and a time zone change was involved so, far enough).

I was there to do some software installations and software support, as was my role in this company. When I arrived, I was handed my to-do list for the day. The first half of the list looked fine. The second half of the list was all Windows Server tasks. One problem: I barely knew Windows Server existed much less have the ability to actually do anything with it. And being several hundred miles from home, I couldn’t just say “not my thing” and walk away. And they did not have an IT person on staff.

So what was I to do? Back then, I couldn’t just whip out my smartphone or tablet and start looking for how-tos or solutions online. And I knew that making a wrong move on Windows Server could take down the server. So I did not want to make any mistakes there.

That very day was the day I discovered a very important word in the IT business: Resourcefulness! I immediately thought “what resources do I HAVE”, not “what do I not have”. My resource: the lead network and server administrator back at the home office. I called him up, explained the situation, and after he laughed about sending a rookie to do a non-rookie’s job, he spent, off and on, two hours on the phone with me, walking me through, step-by-step, what to watch for and what to do. As a result, I got through almost every item on that list that day before I had to catch my plane home.

Continuing this, over my first year at this company, I made it a point to never say “I can’t do this.” I always tried to be as resourceful as I could be to tackle user problems and new challenges. This got me a new position and a substantial raise just one year into the job.

Now, what I have shared with you is just one of many examples where I have had to stop, think about how I could be resourceful when trying to solve a problem, and then use whatever resources I have. 18 years ago, it was a phone. Now, it’s a smartphone or tablet and a lot of searching and testing (and, yes, the occasional human contact, too).

No matter how new or not-so-new you are as an IT professional, every situation where you don’t know the solution right away gives you two choices: To be resourceful, or not to be resourceful. Are you the one who is willing to find a solution (and of course, verify before implementing it if you can), or, the one who says “no can do” or worse, you try something and make the problem worse?

There is no reason to not be resourceful nowadays. You have search engines, tutorials on YouTube, LearnKey courses, white papers, forums, and a whole host of other avenues to use. And, one of the best ways to be resourceful is to befriend those who are experienced in your field of work. Figure out who is willing to share knowledge and make those people your best “work” friends.

If there is one thing I can say from experience and observation in my almost-20 years of being in the IT industry, it’s this: Those who demonstrate resourcefulness move up the ladder from position to position and salary scale to salary scale. Those who aren’t either stay where they are, or they find themselves looking elsewhere for work.

So, no matter where you are in your IT career, remember the “R” word: Resourcefulness!


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CompTIA A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series Released!

by Brad - Apr 26, 2016


Today we are excited to announce the release of our A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series courses. Authored by LearnKey expert Jason Manibog, LearnKey’s A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series includes the four domains that are covered in CompTIA exam 220-901 and the five domains that are covered in CompTIA exam 220-902. This series thoroughly covers the objectives in each domain and will prepare students for A+ exams 220-901 and 220-902. The A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series includes one complete series course comprised of two series courses broken into nine domains:

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.


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CompTIA A+ (220-901) Series Released!

by Brad - Mar 01, 2016


Today we are excited to announce the release of our A+ (220-901) Series courses. Authored by LearnKey expert Jason Manibog, LearnKey’s A+ (220-901) Series includes the four domains that are covered in CompTIA exam 220-901. This series thoroughly covers the objectives in each domain and will prepare students for A+ exam 220-901. The A+ (220-901) Series includes four domains and one complete series course:

The A+ (220-901) Series is Part 1 of a two-part series required for full A+ certification. Part 2, the A+ (220-902) Series, is scheduled for release in about a month.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.


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A+ Series Comparison: 800 vs. 900

by Jason - Feb 24, 2016


Hello again, your senior humble instructor, I mean, your humble senior instructor here. With a new A+ series out (and our courses rolling out on this series as I write this), I’ve fielded several questions on the topic of “what is different in the 800 vs. 900 series?” Well, I’m here to help shed some light on that and some other related questions I have been getting lately from students. So, without further ado…

Question #1: What are the major differences between the 800 and 900 series objectives?

Answer: There are three major differences. They are:

  1. Hardware has been de-emphasized. It used to cover 40% of the first exam in the series and now it covers 34% of the first exam. That may not seem like much, but the real de-emphasis comes from CompTIA doing a very good job streamlining hardware topics. No longer do you need to worry about memorizing a type of RAM or CPU that is way out-of-date with current market trends. The same goes for cables, especially when it comes to peripherals.
  2. Mobile devices have far more coverage on both exams than before. In fact, the percentage of questions has doubled on the first exam, from 9% to 18%. In addition, you will want to make sure to practice with mobile devices containing the iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems, paying particular attention to things business people do on these devices, such as configure email and install and uninstall apps.
  3. This is the BIG change: Troubleshooting questions are on BOTH exams now. For years, the majority (if not all of) the troubleshooting questions appeared on the second exam. Now, you can expect about 25-30% of the questions on each exam to cover troubleshooting situations. The 901 exam has hardware and network troubleshooting while the 902 exam has software troubleshooting. And both exams will have questions on troubleshooting mobile devices.

Question #2: Are there simulation questions on the test?

Answer: Indeed there are. The good news is our courses, workbooks, and post-assessment tests will help you get ready to take on those simulation questions. As I always say, practice makes perfect. The more you practice concepts such as determining what computer one needs given a set of requirements, setting up small networks (wired and wireless), working with command prompt commands, and performing Windows installations and repairs, the better-equipped you will be for these exams.

Question #3: If I passed the 801 test, can I take the 902 test and have my A+ certification?

Answer: NO! The 800 series and 900 series are different. To be A+ certified, you either need to pass both the 801 and 802 exams or pass the 901 and 902 exams. Of course, I would recommend the 900 series as the objectives are a far better fit for today’s A+ technician compared to, say, four years ago.

By the way, the 800 series will be retired in June. So if you are halfway there, you have (as of this writing) about four months to finish the 800 series certification. If you have not started, I would go with the 900 series.

Here is my final observation: From having passed both tests recently, I can tell you that troubleshooting as a whole is far more emphasized than in previous series. When you get a troubleshooting question, be the person in the question trying to solve the problem. And then think “what would I do here?” This will make answering those questions more natural than just trying to guess an answer.


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Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) – Coming This Fall

by Jason - Jul 09, 2015


I am excited to share with you today some information about our CASP exam preparation course. This course covers the objectives for the CAS-002 exam and will prepare you to successfully earn this CompTIA Certification.

This CASP certification course is perfect for those who are Security+ certified and are looking for the next step up in the world of a certified security expert. According to LearnKey expert Tom Carpenter, who is the expert for this course as well as our Security+ (SY0-401) course, this CASP training and assessment course is for those who are well-experienced in IT and in hands-on, practical security experience. Specifically, this certification targets those who have 10 or more years of IT experience and 5 or more years of hands-on, practical security experience.

So what makes this CASP certification so prestigious? For starters, CASP is approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to meet Information Assurance (IA) technical and management certification requirements. Furthermore, many top corporations, including Dell and HP, make this a staple for their advanced security personnel.

With the heightened awareness regarding overall information security and cyber-security, the demand for a cyber-security professional is high. In fact, according to careerinfonet.org, the job of Information Security Analyst is the second-fastest growing occupation for those with a college degree.

Exam CAS-002 itself covers five major domains: Enterprise Security; Risk Management and Incident Responses; Research and Analysis; Integration of Computing, Communications and Business Disciplines; and Technical Integration of Enterprise Components. For this 80-question exam, you will want thorough knowledge and experience in all five areas.

In the course, Carpenter points out that though the test objectives do not specifically mention knowing how to administer operating systems both from a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and via a command line, you will want to make sure you have that knowledge for this test.

So, if security is your interest and you have a combination of experience and certifications, this course is the next step in your security career. For more information on other LearnKey courseware check out our product listing on our website.


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New Course Release – Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II

by Beau - Apr 02, 2014


Last month I posted about our production team’s goal to release two courses every month. I am excited to announce that they met that goal! Last week we released our Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II course. This course is the second part to our Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part I we released earlier this year. Our Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II course will prepare students to take exam 200-101 ICND2 and will test a students skills in LAN switching technologies, troubleshooting, and other technical skills that are essential in obtaining the certification.

Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II

In LearnKey’s Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II course, users will gain the skills necessary to prepare for and take exam 200-101 ICND2. Users will learn VLSM, IPv6, OSPF and EIGRP protocols as well as learning to use access lists using NAT and DHCP. This course also covers 2800 and 3800 routers using various standard protocols and how ACL’s are used to protect networks. At the completion of this course users will be prepared for the CCNA Routing and Switching certification.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed.

For more information visit our website.


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CEO Open Letter: “Vet to Tech” Program helping U.S. Veterans get Job Ready

by Jeff - Nov 11, 2013


Just over two years ago I took over the role as CEO of LearnKey, Inc, a trusted educator for over 26 years. Our educational courseware has helped over a million students to acquire professional development education, career ready skills, and industry recognized IT certifications for career development, new job preparation and or advancement.

Looking back, one of the greatest experiences and most exciting things to see has been the creation of our LearnKey Veteran Services team – a three year old dedicated group of support and career counselors within the company who currently support over 100 U.S. veterans transitioning from the military who are ready to work in entry and advanced IT Technical Support positions. Most of these veterans started gaining IT experience in the service, and are now completing six to eight months of online education and achieving globally recognized IT certifications from CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, ISC², Mile2, and more. Most of them will have at least one (if not multiple) certifications in the coming weeks and they will be looking for employment opportunities.

We are not a recruiting company, and want no fee – just the opportunity to help these great job candidates, who served our country and are job ready, find rewarding IT career pathways in U.S. companies.

Help us find our returning veterans career paths – If you own, lead, or work for a company interested in interviewing these veterans and quality tech support candidates, please contact Brian Tremelling, LearnKey Veteran Services Program Manager (btremelling@learnkey.com) directly. Additionally, hiring veterans can allow employers to take advantage of tax incentives (when applicable) and many of the veterans who go through our program qualify.

Again, please join us in supporting our transitioning troops by interviewing one of our job ready veteran candidates for your IT support needs. There is no cost to tap into this network of talented individuals, only opportunity.

Thank you and with kind regards,

Jeff Coruccini
CEO LearnKey, INC.


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Network+ 2012 Certification released (with video)

by Colin - Oct 10, 2012


Good news, everyone! We recently released the latest version of our Network+ certification courseware – Network+ 2012 Certification. Just like our A+ Certification 2012 course, it features course author Tom Carpenter covering CompTIA’s certification objectives, this time taking students beyond tech essentials and guiding them through the world of Networking.

This course covers the current CompTIA Network+ N10-005 exam. It includes 5 sessions and roughly 14 hours of training, tests, interactive labs, and projects.

If you want to see more, check out the promo at the beginning of the post, and after visit the product page for more info on the course including a full course outline and purchasing info.


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Tech jobs are the most popular among veterans

by Colin - Feb 23, 2012


A recent article by PayScale recognizes the difficult task of returning to civilian employment after military service, and in an effort to ease the confusion, asked the question, “Where do military veterans usually work after finishing their service?

The result? Veterans typically go to jobs where they can apply the skills they learned in the military, which turn out to be mainly tech jobs. PayScale measured the top fifteen most common, well paid, and quickly growing professions veterans choose, and also the top ten job skills veterans report having, and found that while some of the jobs were leadership and medical positions, many of the jobs and skills had one thing in common – they were mostly in information technology or other tech-related fields.

Here is a sample of the data – the top five job skills veterans report having:

  1. Emergency Room (ER)
  2. Computer Security
  3. Microsoft SQL Server
  4. Electronic Troubleshooting
  5. Security Risk Management

Read the full article for more information, including the full list of top job skills, and the titles, average salaries, and projected job growth of each of the top fifteen job roles.


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