Technological advancements, no matter how big or small, have contributed to making our lives a little bit better. It seems like nothing can stop us from creating innovations. The thought of making a difference to the world is what keeps us driving! By developing new technologies and solutions, we can make sure that we are giving something back to the world.
Most of us have heard about Cisco. It is the leading companyin networking and it has contributed a lot in making networks like they are today. Contrary to popular belief, providing networking solutions is not all that Cisco does. Instead, the company is also known for offering a few different IT certifications. Each and every certification that they offer is targeted at a very specific group of people who are interested in a certain technology.
Cisco credentials can change your career and your life as being a Cisco certified individual will increase your value in the job market. Companies are always looking to hire individuals who are certified because they know that those individuals will be able to do the job properly.
If you possess any Cisco credential, it is easier for you to get a job because companies always want employees who bring something extra to the table. And a certified individual is exactly what they want!Moreover, according to PayScale, the average salary of a Cisco certified specialist is around $62,000 per year.
Cisco offers a few certification levelsthat you need to know about.Every next level is more advanced than the previous.Here you will find some things that you need to know about Cisco certification program.
Cisco Certification Levels
There are four main Cisco certification levels namely, Entry, Associate, Professional, and Expert. There is also an Architect level, however, we will not discuss it in this article. Now, let’s take a look at some of the Cisco certifications in detail.
1. Entry Level
There are two main certifications that Cisco offers at the entry level. These credentials cover IT fundamentals and are suitable for newbies.
The first entry-level certification is CCENT or Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician. This is the lowest-level certification that Cisco offers and it only covers the basic knowledge that you need to become a certified technician. You can become CCENT in network design, routing and switching, and security. To get this credential, it is enough to pass 100-105 ICND1 exam.
The next entry-level certification is CCT. This credential verifies the candidate’s ability to repair, restore, replace, and diagnose networking devices that are critical for customer sites. Most CCT certified people work with the Technical Assistance Center. There are also two sub-tracks in CCT certification: CCT Data Center (requires 010-151 DCTECH exam) and CCT Routing and Switching (requires 640-692 RSTECH exam).
2. Associate Level
The associate level certification is a notch higher than entry-level. It dives deeper into the details of various networking domains. There are 10different certifications that are offered in this category which include data center, could, wireless, and other paths. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting associate certifications.
CCNA Routing and Switching
One of the most sought-after certifications that are offered in the associate category is CCNA Routing and Switching. The CCNA Routing and Switching certification evaluates the candidate’s skills that are required to administer small or medium-sized networks. Getting this certificationis not going to be easy, but if you are able to get it, you will be able to take your career to the new heights.There are two ways to get this credential: pass 100-105 ICND1 and 200-105 ICND2 or pass 200-125 CCNA test.
Next, we have the CCNA Security certification. If you are someone who is interested in network security, then you will find this credential very useful. To get a hold of this certification, you need to have a solid knowledge of network security, vulnerabilities, and threats. CCNA Security requires you to pass only one exam, 210-260 IINS.
There are a number of professional-level certifications that Cisco offers. However, in order to attain them, you need to possess either suitable associate-level certification or any expert-level credential. Let’s take a look at CCNP Routing and Switching, one of the most sought-after Cisco professional certifications.
CCNP Routing and Switching evaluates the skills a person requires to manage medium and large-sized networks as well as work on advanced video, voice, security, and wireless solutions in collaboration with other specialists. To earn CCNP R&S, the candidates need to take the following exams: 300-101 ROUTE, 300-115 SWITCH, and 300-135 TSHOOT.
4. Expert Level
Lastly, we have expert-level certifications. If you are willing to go one step further, then you can seek the CCIE credential. CCIE is considered the highest certification in Cisco credential ladder. It has no formal prerequisites, however, in addition to regular exams, you will have to clear a complex Lab exam in order to get certified. For example, to get the CCIE Data Center certification, you must sit for 400-151 CCIE exam and then pass Lab exam.
Why You Should Get Cisco Certified?
Getting a Cisco certification is not an easy task, and therefore many people only think about obtaining it, but never realize this idea. If you let fear rule your decisions, then you will not be able to achieve any goals in your life. If you look past the fear, then you will understand that there are a lot of benefits of becoming Cisco certified.
First and foremost, no matter which Cisco certification you choose, one thing is for sure, you will gain a lot of knowledge. It doesn’t matter if you pass the exam or not, the knowledge that you will learn during the preparation process will be yours. Next, you will also get validation, and having a Cisco certification under your belt will give you a lot of perks and privileges. The credential will confirm your skills and let the world know what you are made of.
According to IT Career Finder, Cisco certified individuals earn a pretty decent salary. If you are CCNA Security certification holder, then you might earn close to $80,000 a year. If you bump that certification up to CCIE Security, then your annual salary might increase to $130,000.
If you haven’t tried to get Cisco certification before, it is recommended that you go for the entry-level credential first. After you are able to pass the entry-level certification exam, you should then start climbing the ladder. In this way, you will be able to earn more certifications and increase your knowledge gradually.
If you are going to take a Cisco certification exam, it is recommended that you prepare with the Exam-Labs website. This is because with the help of Exam-Labs bundles, you will be able to cover all the topics required to succeed. www.exam-labs.com is considered to be one of the best sources to prepare for Cisco exams. Exam-Labs allows you to access a ton of practice questions along with study guides and video tutorials. With all this, you will be able to clear any Cisco certification exam!