by William Holmes, BSc Computer Networks student.
I attended a four-day intense Juniper Boot Camp, led by Ron Austin and Phil Harris, lecturers at Birmingham City University during the Graduate+ Week this month. The Boot Camp delivered all the knowledge needed to take the entry-level JNCIA certificate, which Juniper offers. Juniper is a world-leading provider of network solutions. The Boot Camp featured nine lectures and four labs in three days for 60 students, with an exam on the fourth day.
Many networking vendors such as Juniper provide their own certifications that demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to correctly use their products and software. These certificates can be useful when applying for jobs, showing the employer that you are skilled enough to work with the equipment they possess, much like holding a degree.
The difference between a degree and a professional certification is that most certifications are only valid for 3 years, after which the engineer will need to retake the exam to fresh their certificate. This signifies that the engineer is always up-to-date and current with networking trends and technologies – which is important considering the rate at which technology is changing.
These certifications can cost up to £1,000, therefore once I found out that the University were providing the training and exam for free, I couldn’t say no!
During the Boot Camp, we covered a range of topics in the JNCIA course, from networking fundamentals and routing policies to class of services and firewall filtering. Knowledge of these technologies with Juniper certifications produces invaluable skills for Internet service provider job roles, which Juniper equipment is mostly used in.
Cisco is the certification taught alongside my course (BSc Computer Networks) but I can now also add Juniper to my CV. This showcases that I have a basic understanding of Juniper technologies, which will help me and the 59 other students standout from the crowd when looking for work after graduation.
I’ve been able to add the knowledge gained from this boot camp to my CV and LinkedIn profile and already have a job interview lined up with a service provider company, which noticed my new Juniper skills. Certifications like this can be transferred to any networking career path – making it an extremely valuable qualification.
The Juniper Boot Camp was part of activities during the University’s Graduate+ Week. Other activities included Java programming training and a Hackathon.