Which Cisco Certifications do You Need?
When beginning a career in IT, knowing which certifications and skills to add to your resume can be tricky. It is challenging to see the perspective from the eyes of a future employer and understand their expectations.
The good news is that while the tech industry can sometimes be unexpected, there are some industry standards that seem to give potential employees an advantage when entering a new career in information technology.
One of those industry standards is the Cisco certifications. Cisco certifications are not required technically to work in IT but they provide intensive training that makes you job-ready by the time you actually receive the certifications.
In this article, we explain more about Cisco certifications and how they can boost your career so that you are ready to enter the IT workforce swiftly passing the exams.
What Are Cisco Certifications?
As the name implies, Cisco certifications are a series of certifications issued by the leading American tech company, Cisco. This company specializes in cybersecurity, IT, and hardware primarily and is entrusted by many employers throughout the tech industry.
These certifications are designed to simplify the experience of using Cisco Systems for industry professionals.
Comparing Various Cisco Certifications
Cisco offers four primary tiers of certifications. These include Entry, Associate, Professional, and Expert. Each of these tiers are further broken down into individual certifications that allow you to qualify and move onto a more advanced step.
If your goal is to work as a networking professional and you are just starting out, Cisco Entry would likely be the ideal tier for you.
Built-up of two available certifications, CCENT and CCT, these selections support budding IT employees in acquiring the skills they need to succeed.
CCENT stands for Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician. It confirms the skillset needed for entry-level network support jobs and is often the place to start if this career is your path of choice.
CCT stands for Cisco Certified Technician. Those who have received this certification are qualified to replace, repair, diagnose, and restore Cisco-related devices and networks. This is predominantly done at customer sites.
Considered the next tier up from Entry, Cisco Associate offers a large variety of certifications but they all fall into two categories: CCDA and CCNA.
CCDA stands for Cisco Certified Design Associate. It confirms the skills needed to work in network design.
CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. This certification covers network installation, troubleshooting, and operations. The CCNA category can be narrowed down. It is further divided into a number of categories and individual exams including:
● CCNA Cloud
● CCNA Cyber Ops
● CCNA Data Center
● CCNA Industrial
● CCNA Security
● CCNA Service Provider
● CCNA Wireless
● CCNA Collaboration
● CCNA Routing & Switching
One more step up the ladder, Cisco Professional is designed as an advanced level series of examinations which prove a high level of expertise to employers, along with showing strength with networking skills. It is broken down into two primary categories of certifications: CCDP and CCNP.
CCDP stands for Cisco Certified Design Professional. This certification aims to offer advanced knowledge regarding network design and its principles.
CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional. This category specializes in many things and is further split into individual certifications including:
● CCNP Cloud
● CCNP Collaboration
● CCNP Data Center
● CCNP Routing & Switching
● CCNP Security
● CCNP Service Provider
● CCNP Wireless
Cisco Expert is considered the final and uppermost tier in regards to Cisco certifications. It is constructed of two primary categories of certifications: CCDE and CCIE. Interestingly enough, CCIE certifications are seen as the most prestigious worldwide recognized networking qualification throughout the entire IT industry.
CCDE stands for Cisco Certified Design Expert. It is a distinction to show employers who qualify as an expert professional in the realm of network design.
CCIE stands for Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert. It narrows down into further distinctions including:
● CCIE Collaboration
● CCIE Data Center
● CCIE Routing & Switching
● CCIE Security
● CCIE Service Provider
● CCIE Wireless
Anyone of these specialized CCIE certifications is considered immensely prestigious and appears impressive in pertinence to employability when included on a professional resume.
Careers That Benefit from Cisco Certifications
Considering that many companies operate Cisco networks, those who acquire certifications are fully equipped to begin a position as a network administrator.
Additionally, other certifications can provide further knowledge on the application of networks in certain business circumstances and can offer a better understanding of the foundations of computer networking.
The job list the Cisco certifications support is honestly quite extensive. If you would like to personalize a search tailored to you to see if Cisco is the right fit, they offer this convenient search tool that shows which careers the company themselves have to offer. Although these careers specifically relate to working for Cisco, it gives an idea of the professions one might expect to enter after completing Cisco certifications.
Just to name a few, here are some careers that are possible: network engineer, software engineer, systems engineer, financial solutions manager, business systems manager, technical lead, network application architect, cybersecurity specialist, and many more.
Getting a Cisco Certification
There are a number of ways to receive your Cisco certification. Cisco offers both e-training (online) as well as in-class programs. Additionally, you can choose to progress by using self-study materials if that is more suitable.
To get certified, start by selecting the certification desired and reviewing the respective exam topics. Then you should choose a mode of study. If you have attended a vocational program or have prior training from a school like ICOHS College, preparing for the exam should be quite straightforward.
Next, it is optimal to take practice exams to see just how ready you are for the official exam. The final step is to schedule your exam at Pearson VUE, a company that proctors Cisco exams at their official testing centers.
Once the day of your scheduled exam arrives, best of luck! If you studied and prepared then you should be able to pass with flying colors, especially if you requested additional prior training or enlisted the help of a knowledgeable professional.
How Can ICOHS College Help?
At ICOHS, we offer courses that prepare you for the exams needed to achieve Cisco certifications. Our dedicated instructors are passionate about seeing their students succeed. Offering three IT-related programs including Computer Network Technician, IT Network Specialist, and IT Systems Administrator, along with one Continuing Education program in Information Technology, our non-profit vocational school has a plethora of beneficial courses that can help you succeed with your certification goals.
Our Final Thoughts on Cisco Certifications
Although obtaining Cisco certifications does require commitment and time spent working hard, the benefits they can offer are extensive. Considered an industry standard by many, adding Cisco certifications to your resume increases employability and boosts your IT linked profession. Impress potential employers with these qualifications.
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