Do you work in the technology industry? Have you already completed a formal degree program in a technology field of your choosing? Do you have a reasonable amount of experience in this field under your belt, but now you are looking to increase your level of training? Or, perhaps you have previously completed some of the other popular certification programs and this one is next on your list? If you are hoping to increase the qualifications that you have listed on your resume, then completing certifications that are specific to the work you do each and every day is certainly a great plan! No matter which of these particular scenarios fits you and your career needs, familiarizing yourself with what a Cisco certification really entails and what it can do for you in your career path is sure to be a great plan. Keep reading below and each of the most important factors regarding Cisco certification will be outlined and discussed, which will allow you to make the most informed decision possible.
A Cisco certification will serve as your credentials that verify your ability to create, setup, and support many different types of wireless networks. Before beginning to work on your certification process, you will be required to select an area of specialization, such as security, network administration, or wireless. Of course, before you can be admitted into a certification program for Cisco you must have completed the requirements for high school and have obtained your diploma. In order to obtain your Cisco certification, you will be required to successfully complete a series of training classes and to then earn a passing score on a two part examination that is focused on interconnecting network devices. It is important to note that while a high school diploma will allow you to enter a Cisco certification program, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to obtain a position in this industry without having completed a minimum of a four year bachelor’s degree program.
Generally speaking, an individual should be able to complete a Cisco certification program in about two years of course work. You can likely expect to be required to follow a specific sequence as you work through these four courses. Some of the courses that you can expect to be required are: fundamentals of networking, the basics of networking, the concepts of routing, wide area networks, routing and switching, and local area networks. Keep in mind, your required course work may vary slightly depending on the specific specialization that you have chosen. Once you have successfully completed your Cisco certification you will find that your employment options are much greater, especially if you couple this certification with a formal degree program. For instance, you may seek positions such as a network specialist, a network support engineer, or as a network administrator. It is critical for you to understand that this certification only lasts three years; therefore, it will be up to you to maintain your certification so that you do not have to complete the entire training process again.
It is also possible for you to complete a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certificate, which is quite similar to the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Administrator) certificate. While it is not a requirement, it is quite beneficial to individuals to complete the CCNA certification program and to then follow up with the CCNP certification program. The training within the CCNP certification program is delivered at a more advanced level and offers extensive training in areas of planning, maintaining, and troubleshooting a wide range of wireless networks. Similar to the CCNA program, you will need to choose an area of specialization such as wireless, voice, SP Ops, or security.
In order to obtain the certification for the CCNP training program you will be required to successfully complete three examinations that will test your knowledge of network troubleshooting, switched networks and their implementation, and the implementation of Cisco routing. It is important to note that in order to be accepted into a CCNP certificate program you will likely be required to have previously completed the CCNA certification and the correlated examination. Within the CCNP certification program you can likely expect to be required to complete courses such as multilayer switched networks, secure wide area networks, implementation of IP switched networks, converged network optimization, and maintenance and troubleshooting of IP networks. Upon successful completion of your Cisco certification you will be capable of seeking out positions such as a network administrator, as a network engineer, as a network consultant, or as a network support specialist. As with the CCNA certification, the CCNP certification will only be valid for three years. It will be your responsibility to renew your certification before the end of the third year or you will have to complete the entire certification process.