Over the next few weeks, we will chronicle the process taken by Mario Perez, Fuel Board Member, Data Communications Specialist, as he prepares to take his Palo Alto Networks Certified Network Security Engineer (PCNSE) certification exam at Ignite ’17 in June. Mario will share his approach to prepping for this test, complete with study tips and lessons learned along the way.
Part Two: Intense Learning
In the last blog entry, I dove into a few resources I thought were most helpful. For this entry, I’d like to introduce you to: The Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Skills Practice Lab and the Palo Alto Networks EDU-201 course.
Let’s start with the Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Skills Practice Lab. It’s one of the more recent resources that Palo Alto Networks has added, and, by far, one of its most valuable. Now, mind you, this is different than the Fuel Virtual Test Labs, in that the Cybersecurity Skills Practice Lab is specifically designed to prepare you to take the certification exam. It contains guides and lab work that I have gone back to on multiple occasions.
Now, as for the Palo Alto Networks EDU-201 course “Firewall 7.1: Install, Configure, and Manage,” this is rather intensive. Over the span of three days, you will get a crash course on firewall installation, configuration and management. And when I say three days, I mean three days! My days started at 7 a.m., and ran until about 5 p.m. We covered about 33 topics — about eight or nine per day. At the same time that we learned about the topics, we were also doing the hands-on lab activities.
These three days were worth the time. I completed it and I am glad I went through it to help me be better prepared in the long run. After completing the EDU-201 course, you are able to go back into the lab guides and review material.
The course cost is $3,000. In particular, the cost of the cybersecurity skills practice lab is $95, which gives you access for close to four months. But here’s a hint: If you mention that you are part of the Palo Alto Networks Academy, the cybersecurity skills practice lab will only cost $50!
So, here what’s next: I am currently working on the cybersecurity skills practice lab and labs for the EDU-201 course. And if that is going to happen, then I need to make sure I set aside some time to study!
Until next time — when I’ll provide study tips and techniques that I uncover over the next few weeks.