Manyof us quite fascinated with the “Cisco certifications” and aim at attaining theprestigious certification and add sheen to our careers. Yet we, have a lot ofquestions concerning the subject – like the various levels under thecertifications, the tenure of their validity, how to prepare for the tests, howto select the best kind of certification and most importantly the jobopportunities that would make way post certifications. Through this article wewould give you an honest and authentic overview of the entire system and thepertinent options regarding job opportunities. Cisco specializes in offering the much covetedand renowned certification concerning the IT industry. The certifications caterto the various levels namely the entry-level, intermediate, specialist, andexpert IT professionals.
Cisco Systems, Inc. is a well known name in the networking andcommunication industry. Cisco has a very high market share when it comes tobusiness routing and switching products. As a step towards ensuring that the ITprofessionals have the required knowledge and skill to access the Ciscoproducts and render proper services to the customers around the globe.The certification program starts from therudimentary level termed as the entry level and then takes the course dependingon the advancement and hierarchy. On clearing each level, candidates get acertain credential.
To get a credentialone needs to acquire the exact pre- requisites apart from the natural clause ofclearing the exams. The more difficult the credentials get, stricter andsterner gets the terms of the set “pre-requisites”. The certification exams areconducted by the Pearson VUE.
The USP that the Cisco certification examshold apart from the attached prestige with is that it unlocks, many careeroptions in the IT industry for the candidates, this acts as a great source ofaccomplishment and the techies get to add another feather in their caps.How to choosethe right certification program?One needs to understand their core strengthsand area of expertise and then opt for the best module of certification , thebest practice would be to explore the various available multiple certificationoptions that would comply to the needs of one’s job requirements and tenure ofjob , there has to be a proper mix of the said components.To begin with, there is an array of Cisco ITcertifications. The Associate level credentials are the basic or the foundationlevel certification.
For the more advanced level of job roles and technologiesthere are advanced level of certifications like the professional levels. Thetrick here is to choose the apt certification which could be more than onealso, purely depending on one’s professional requirements. The ultimate aimshould be to gather more technical know – how and to create a betterprofessional repertoire in the IT industry.
Brief synopsisof the various certifications and the corresponding specializations Ø EntryLevel – CloudØ AssociateLevel – CollaborationØ ProfessionalLevel – Data centreØ Expertlevel – Design Ø ArchitectLevel – Industrial , Routing and Switching , Security , Service Provider , Wireless Thecredentials comprising the various certifications under theCisco’s purview:v Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)v Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)v Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)v Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)v Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)v Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)v Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)v Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)v Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr)Out ofthe many offerings by the Cisco’s , there are few poignant certificates thatone can take up and reap benefits out of it. The most prominent ones are the certifications dealing with networkoperation and network design. If we talk about the typical certificationhierarchy concerning the networking certification would start from the CCENTcredential and go up to the CCNA , next would be the CCNP and the final nonewould be the CCIE. There could be exceptions too, for people interested more inthe designing domain, for them there could be another ladder, they could startwith the CCENT and then graduate to the CCDA, then the CCDP , thereafter theCCDE and the final step would be the CCAr.There arevaried arrays of specializations too tagged with the Cisco certifications whichcater to the various professional skills required in order to fit into theavailable portfolios offered by the company, these include data centre applicationservices, voicemail and messaging or rich media amongst the many. Thevarious credentials and their validity Credentials validity(in years)1. Entry 32.
Associate 33. Professional 34. CCIE 25. CCAr 5 The plethoraof Career optionsWe would now address the most poignant area of concern and that is theoptions of career path that one gets after completion of the certifications.
Youmay opt for network operations or could be network design as your career path;the certifications offered by Cisco are a perfect savior and prepare you wellfor the various roles that Cisco has to offer. The certifications equip youenough to make you suitable for the various portfolios. It is immaterial as towhich career path you choose the bottom-line remains the umpteen job optionsthat are available for Cisco certified professionals. The nature of job wouldagain purely depend on your experience and your skill sets.A small peak into the kind of jobs that one can expect is here – Aperson with CCENT certification can be considered for the roles for the helpdesk assistance or technicians. A CCT certified person can be an ideal choicefor a field or network engineer or a systems administrator.
ACCNA certified person could look for an opportunity of a network ortelecommunications engineer. Likewise a CCDA certified candidate could be aperfect choice for the profile of an analyst or a technical specialist.Similarly there a variety of options revolving from network administrators tosenior network design engineer. The jobs mentioned here are just a few out ofthe wide range of jobs that one can expect after being certified.