Cisco provides a wide range of certifications that cover various areas of networking. The certifications are divided into different levels of expertise:
- Entry Level: This includes the Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) certification, which validates your ability to diagnose, restore, repair, and replace critical Cisco networking and system devices.
- Associate Level: The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a foundational certification covering a broad range of fundamentals for IT careers, based on the latest networking technologies, software development skills, and job roles.
- Professional Level: The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) level is more advanced and is split into several specific paths such as Enterprise, Security, Collaboration, Data Center, Service Provider, and CyberOps.
- Expert Level: The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) level is the highest level of certification offered by Cisco and is considered one of the top networking certifications in the industry. It is also split into several specific paths like the CCNP.
- Architect Level: The Cisco Certified Design Architect (CCAr) is the highest level of accreditation achievable within the Cisco certification program.
In each level (except Entry and Architect), you have to pass two exams: a core exam and a concentration exam of your choice. Core exams focus on your knowledge of specific technologies and are also the qualifying exams for CCIE lab exams. Concentration exams allow you to choose a specific technology to focus on.
Why Get a Cisco Certification?
- Industry Recognition: Cisco is a leading provider of IT and networking solutions worldwide. Its certifications are recognized and respected across the industry.
- Career Advancement: Earning a Cisco certification can lead to promotions, salary increases, and better job opportunities.
- Knowledge and Skills: Cisco certifications ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of networking concepts, security, and other crucial IT areas. They provide a solid foundation of knowledge and practical skills that can help you in your career.
- Stay Current: As technology evolves rapidly, getting certified (and maintaining your certification) can help you stay up-to-date on the latest technology trends and advancements.
- Professional Network: Being a Cisco certified professional gives you access to a global community of other Cisco certified professionals. This can open up networking opportunities, collaborations, and potential job opportunities.
- Increased Confidence: Preparing for and earning your certification can increase your confidence in your technical skills and abilities, making you a more effective and competent IT professional.
Overall, if you are aiming for a career in networking or IT, Cisco certifications can be a key step in enhancing your qualifications and advancing your career.