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The Expert Recommends:
Essential Resources for Networking Beginners

By Thomas M. Thomas II - June 12, 2000

Essential Resources for Networking Beginners

Self-Study Materials

Instructor-Led Training

Online Resources


The field of networking is growing as fast as Networkers can plug in routers and switches. I’ve based the following recommendations upon my experience and the tough lessons I’ve learned while trying to figure out the increasingly complex world of networking. It is my hope that these recommendations will provide you with some guidance. They are geared toward the individual who is new or just getting started with networking.

Thomas M. Thomas II is a Certified Cisco Systems Instructor (CCSI), CCNA, CCDA, CCNP and the founder of, a virtual community for those who are seeking to learn and practice networking skills while focusing on obtaining Cisco® certifications. Tom also founded the Cisco Professional Association Worldwide, or CPAW, a not-for-profit organization that brings together users of Cisco equipment to learn and network, and assists its members in attaining Cisco Career Certifications. Currently, Tom is working as an Instructor/Consultant for Mentor Technologies (formerly Chesapeake Network Solutions).

In his spare time, Tom authored OSPF Network Design Solution and Thomas' Concise Telecom & Networking Dictionary. OSPF Network Design Solutions (published by Cisco Press) takes you through the basics of routing protocols and focuses on the Open Shortest Path First, the link state which routes protocol of choice in many of today’s enterprise networks. Tom is also the series editor for a group of Course Companion books that help people learn networking technologies from McGraw-Hill.

This list of essential technical resources provides the new network engineer or CCNA candidate the information he or she needs in order to create a strong foundation of knowledge from which to build a successful career. In addition to his own books, Tom recommends the following resources for introductory- and intermediate-level information.




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