Alexis pivots career with CCNA certification


“It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I learned about the vast career opportunities in tech. I took my first CCNA course and was hooked!”


“I started 2022 working as an executive assistant for a field sales team, a position I did not see myself growing into a career,” says Alexis.

Knowing she needed to change course, Alexis embarked on Cisco Networking Academy study.

A career pivot to IT

“When I first stepped foot on Collin College's campus, I had no idea the journey that was waiting for me,” she says. “I decided to pursue a Cybersecurity certification in order to make a career pivot into IT from business administration.”

“During my first CCNA course, I was shocked. There were many moving parts to a small, secure network that only included two PCs, a switch and a router. As I continued through to CCNA 2 and added the complexity of routing protocols, trunks, and VLANs, I became hooked on the subject. I was determined to add the CCNA to my resume!”

“My main challenges were balancing a full-time job working 50-60 hours a week, school courses, plus studying specifically for the CCNA,” she says.

That took a lot of tenacity on her part.

Hooked on CCNA

“I bought the Cisco CCNA Vol 1 and 2 and read through the books. They also came with a few practice exams that I found pretty spot on for getting a feel for the test,” she says. “After two months of practice questions, tests, and rereading textbooks, I finally felt confident enough to tackle the certification exam,” she says.

“I found myself cutting close on time because I took too long on labs and subnet questions. Looking back, I should have done more labs to prepare, it would have made the experience better.”

Having said that, Alexis achieved her CCNA certification on her first attempt.

“The CCNA is definitely challenging. It took me a few days to actually believe I passed the exam the first time. Yet, it is well-worth it,” she says. “You never know what opportunities are waiting just around the corner.”

Those opportunities came quickly for Alexis.

Job opportunities with CCNA

“I was not looking for a position at that time, but TEKsystems saw my CCNA cert on my LinkedIn profile and gave me a call.”

“Not even a week after passing the exam, I was sitting for an interview with a major national bank for a VPN project and was offered the position the next day,” she says. She now has the position of IT Business Analyst IV with the bank, and she’s giving back to the Networking Academy community too, as an adjunct professor.

A side-hustle in teaching

“Obtaining my CCNA also opened a rewarding opportunity to teach Cisco networking to students at Collin College. Watching students grow from never touching a switch or router to cabling, connecting, and securing a small network has been one of my favorite accomplishments. To think, I was in their place only a year prior!”

To prospective Networking Academy students, Alexis says, “Do it!”

“Cisco Networking Academy certifications are a wonderful way to learn the materials and level up your resume. My CCNA cert has opened more doors than I ever thought possible.”



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