If your line of work is into data management using network development, Cisco Certification is your ally. Cisco is one of the best and updated accreditation authorities in the IT industry. It has a wide spectrum of tests that ensures quality in capability testing.
Cisco Certifications are official documents attesting factual competencies of IT professionals that uses Cisco Systems products. This are obtained through five levels of tests administered by Pearson VUE, as follows:
Entry Certification- This level is the lowest Cisco certification called Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and the gateway towards the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Certification. CCENT covers basic networking knowledge. CCENT certified professionals can install, manage, maintain and troubleshoot a small enterprise network, and basic network security.
Associate Certifications – This second level covers the CCNA and CCDA Cisco (Certified Design Associate) certification, and divides Cisco Certifications into separate subject matter paths. CCNA validates the ability to install, configure,operate, and troubleshoot medium-size enterprise level router and switched networks. This also includes implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in WAN (Wide Area Network). The subject matter paths under this category are the CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, and CCNA Wireless. While the CCDA certification validates the ability of a professional to do design switch or routed networks or Local Area Networks, WANs and broadband services.
Professional Certifications – This third level called the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) validates the ability of a professional to install, configure and troubleshoot converged LAN and WAN with 100 or more end devices. A CCNA certification is pre-requisite to obtaining and maintaining a CCNP. It has separate subject areas under this category, namely: Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP), Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP), Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP) and Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP).
Expert Certifications – This is the highest level of professional certification and the hardest to obtain in the world. It has two subject areas, namely: Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). CCDE validates an IT professional’s ability to assess advanced Network Infrastructure Design Principles and Fundamentals for large networks. There are only 20,810 people with active CCIE certifications in the world as of January 6, 2010.
Architect – This is a new level called Cisco Certified Architect Certification (CCA) which exceeds the skills level of the CCIE. The test for this level commenced only in January 2010. This recognizes the architectural expertise of network designers who can sustain the growing complex of global networks in organizations.
Why bother for a Cisco Certification?
1. Cisco Certification is Prestigious – Cisco tests was able to reach the status of prestige and to be able to pass and be issued with a certification not only verifies your skills in networking development but also increases your personal and professional confidence in your career. It is not easy to achieve a Cisco Certification and that those who usually pass the tests are those who have extensive experience in the field. Thus, having such certification ensures the organization as well that they have the best man or woman for the job.
2. Cisco has a large User Market – As a holder of a Cisco Certification, you are assured of a huge market for your skills. Cisco dominates in the data-networking equipment and software market especially in the United States of America. It has generated $35.1 billion in revenue in 2009 despite the economic slump. Its advantage allows them to capitalize on the increasing demands for more advanced and sophisticated technology throughout the world. Although it has not captured a big share in China, which is considered today as one of the strongest market in the world, Cisco is confident on its credibility in its resource and flexibility of its technology.
3. Preference to Cisco Certification holder – Employment opportunities are higher when you are a holder of a Cisco Certification. It’s prestige also spells out credibility and reliability.
4. Cisco Certification is the most updated – A Cisco Certification guarantees that your knowledge and skills are updated. As the validity of the certification lasts only for three years, you are continuously challenged to get recertification exams for updating. If you want to continue being marketable, you are guaranteed that Cisco can continue validating your skills level as technology updates, as well.
5. Cisco offers a clear path for career development – The Cisco Certification levels of validation has been developed for progressive competencies. Since it tests one’s ability on practical implementation of skills, it could also define the kind of job that a certain level can perform as well as it prepares the person to the next level of competency(ies). It also offers a wide array of subjects for the professionals to choose from.