Cisco Systems, Inc. is a company that deals with communication and networking products and services. The company created a Cisco Certification Program to ensure that the IT professionals working for the company are able to support its products, as well as deal with technologies of the customers. The certification process starts from the entry level and gradually advances to associate, professional and expert levels.
The Cisco certifications are valid for two years therefore a candidate needs to apply for recertification after that by sitting for a higher level exam. You obtain one or multiple credentials once you pass the certification examinations that are delivered by Pearson VUE. The requirements increase according to the level of the certification course you are in. Cisco entails the following credentials:
- Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
This certification tests your skills in entry-level network support positions. People strive to obtain it because it is the origin point of most successful careers in networking. Professionals with this certificate can install, run, and troubleshoot a small business branch network and ensure security on the network. This is the first step for a networking career. Having this credential proves that you are capable of handling a small business branch network. It will also qualify you to apply for the CCNA certification. You can work as a Technician.
- Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)
This certification tests your skills when it comes to diagnosing, repairing, replacing, and restoring critical Cisco networking and system devices at customer sites. You will be able to work at the Cisco Global Technical Assistance Center. The course helps support engineers, conduct proper maintenance and troubleshooting programs developed and applied by the Cisco Assistance Center. Other skills you get from this credential include essential diagnostics, accurate replacement, repair, hot-swap and restoring devices to factory settings techniques, and unlocking support cases with Cisco. You can be a Network, Application Support, Field Engineer, or a System Administrator with this certification.
- Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)
This certification is designed for Technicians, Network Designers and Support Engineers who need basic knowledge of important tools of network design. It is based on the foundational knowledge of network design for the converged network at Cisco. Professionals with this certification can design switched and routed network infrastructures, WAN and LAN services, and broadband access services for organizations and businesses. This is the first step towards designing and developing complex networks. With this credential, you can be a Network, Design, System and Lead Engineer, a Technical Analyst, or a Interface Developer.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
This is a certification that tests the technician’s ability to set up, install, configure, troubleshoot, and run a medium size routed and switched computer network. This credential also verifies the ability of candidates to verify and implement connections to WAN (wider area network). Professionals with this certification can specialize in areas like design, wireless, routing and switching, network security, voice, and service provider. With this certificate, you can work as a Network and Network Operations Technician, a Network and Telecommunications Engineer, or a Network and Network Operations Center Analyst.
This certification is designed for Principle System Engineers, Senior Network Design Engineers, Solution/Network Architects and CCDA Professionals who desire to boost their expertise. The credential focuses on advanced skills in routing and addressing protocols, virtualization services, integration programs for large organizations, and WANs architecture. With this professional-level certificate, you can work as a Senior Analyst, a Senior Network Design Engineer, a Network Designer, or a Cyber Protection Analyst.
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
This certification deals with skills for security in switches, routers, network appliances, and devices. The candidates also gain skills in selecting, installing, supporting, and troubleshooting Firewalls, VPNs, and IPS/IDS solutions in the network of their environment. The CCNP credential is recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and CNSS (Committee of National Security Systems). With this certification, you can work as a Support and Network Engineer, a Network Administrator, or Advanced Technician.
- Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)
This is one of the highest levels of Cisco certifications. The exam for this credential is extremely hard. It tests the skills of Expert Network Designers on how they operate at the infrastructure level and how they can sustain more complex networks that global organizations have by transforming business strategies into visionary technical strategies. With this certification, professionals can work as IT infrastructure team leaders, Network Architects, Senior Network Engineers, Network Design Engineers, and Systems Engineers.
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
This certification has specializations that include collaboration, routing and switching, data center, security, service provider, and wireless. It determines the level of expertise of skilled professionals and is recognized internationally. The CCIE credential is one of the sought-after networking certifications available. Professionals with this certification are experts in their particular networking fields. They possess superior networking skills and can run large and complex networks, as well as design creative solutions to solve complex networking problems in various circumstances using various technologies. With this certificate, you can work as a Lead, Network and Systems Engineer, a Senior Network Administrator, and a Network Architect.
- Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr)
This certification is designed for Senior Network Infrastructure Architects who design technical specifications and objectives for business networks. It focuses on their ability to understand the business strategy and transforming it into technical infrastructure needs. With this credential, professionals can work as Enterprise/Network/Voice Data/Lead Architects.
Training Courses and Resources
Cisco has developed a training program called Prepaway.com that enables all candidates to access study resources like practice exams, learning labs and e-learning on the webpage of every certification. Candidates get free membership to their learning network which contains exam topics, IT training videos, forums, live seminars, and study materials. They get to pay $11 per month for a premium learning which includes study sessions and hands-on learning labs. The applicants can also get additional training materials from Cisco Press.
You can check out various Cisco certification web pages to get all the information you need on how you can study for your exams and take them. These credentials are valid and can help you build a career in network engineering. Take the first step today.