Computer Class

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by sasteadys, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. sasteadys

    sasteadys Member

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    I am currently debating between an AP Computer Science course and Cisco Networking (Cisco 1 and 2 included). I am looking at Cyber Operations, and know that both would be helpful. They both offer full weighted 5.0. Comp Sci offers AP Exams and Cisco offers dual enrollment. I would appreciate any advice on which classes to take, or which you think would be more helpful. Additionally, I am already enrolled in the prerequisite to AP Comp Sci, and have some experience with networking.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    From a school perspective I would take the AP class. The Cisco certs are great but unless you are going to get hands on and work in the field immediately, a lot of the skills are tough to maintain, especially because the field changes so quickly. I work with tons of Cisco certified folks. To build on those certs you have to be invited to the next level, which doesn't really happen unless you are working in the field. Even in cyber ops you probably won't be doing this daily. More than likely leading teams doing this kind of work. Yes, it's important to have a background in it, but you will spend most of your time not doing hands on work.
     
  3. gfriedman

    gfriedman New Member

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    AP comp sci is really fun and gives a more of a general overview of Java that can be applied to a ton of different types of programming. Probably a better choice because Cisco is pretty specific, and doesn't have as many general applications.
     
  4. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Both are "good" options, but I also would agree with NavyHoops. The Admissions Board understands "AP" far more than Cisco, so that would be just another reason. Could you do a commercial certification course or get the certification on your own time? When BGOs mention that candidates should not be "sitting around" for the summer, this might be a productive thing to do and does show your commitment in the computer science/cybersecurity fields.
     
  5. CessnaMan

    CessnaMan Member

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    As an IT person I would agree with the other folks. Learn the basics in AP Comp Sci and get a foundation. The Cisco stuff is very specific and not something you will use in the next few years. And Cisco is just one vendor in the networking field and networking is just one part of the IT world.

    Howard
     
  6. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Definitely would go with AP CS if you're just getting started with programming. If you do well on the AP test and want to major in CS or IT at USNA, there is a course you will probably be able to either validate or breeze through (IC211 Object Oriented Programming).

    If you can get a Cisco certification in your spare time, that is impressive and someone somewhere will notice.
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    If you are interested what civilian-based commercial certifications the Department of Defense values, check out this DISA website: http://iase.disa.mil/iawip/Pages/iabaseline.aspx.
    Certifications in the IAT boxes are more technical in nature and ones in the IAM boxes are "higher level," less technical, but more focused on business and decision making and normally require a handful of years of experience in your field (officers in the cybersecurity/IT fields normally attempt these certifications once they have the minimum number years of experience). You can google each certification provider to find out more details on each certification and which one might be appropriate for you based on your current/expected knowledge.

    As nuensis said...someone might notice. As I have repeatedly said on this board, having something unique in your record COULD "wow" the Admissions Board -- I am sure there aren't many candidates that have a commercial IT certification when their record is reviewed -- although, I do not have statistical data to prove that.
     
  8. sasteadys

    sasteadys Member

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    Thank you all for the feedback! After your completion of the 2nd year in the class you have an opportunity to take the exam for the CCNA Certification. The community college nearby offer the same curriculum and the same certification opportunity.. Might be an option.
     

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