With so many degrees and certifications available, it can be difficult to know which career paths require what training programs. Students (whether new or continuing education) interested in a career in IT should consider a Cisco certification to validate and showcase knowledge of Cisco networking systems.

Cisco Certification Levels and Paths

Cisco offers five levels of network certification:

  • Entry
  • Associate (CCNA)
  • Professional (CCNP)
  • Expert (CCIE)
  • Architect CCAr

In order to achieve a certification, it’s necessary to pass the designated exam. ONLC runs instructor-led and online courses for Enterprise, Network Devices, IP Communications, Data Center, Security, and Service Provider.

Each path prepares students for a different IT path, providing the in-depth training necessary to achieve a working knowledge of network equipment, protocols, and troubleshooting. Lower-level certifications are necessary to achieve the next level. For example, a CCNP is a prerequisite for a CCIE.

Career Paths for Each Certification

Cisco certifications are desirable additions to any IT resume because they show an understanding of necessary job functions anywhere Cisco networking equipment is installed. The higher level certification achieved, the higher up the corporate ladder it’s possible to obtain employment.

A CCIE and CCAr certification are the most desirable throughout the industry, making them perfect goals for current workers looking for continuing education opportunities. When two employees with equal stats apply for a promotion, it’s more likely to go to the individual with a Cisco certification.

These Cisco certifications qualify you for the following careers:

  1. Enterprise

Cisco’s Enterprise certification is for Network Administrators and traditional network engineers working in an enterprise setting. The focus of this path is on the interconnectivity of network devices, and certified workers are capable of designing, implementing, deploying, and maintaining enterprise networks.

  1. Network Devices

The Network Devices path focuses on planning, installing, configuring, operating, and troubleshooting both LAN and WAN medium-sized networks. Separate exams are required in switching, routing, and troubleshooting. This certification is perfect for Network Specialists, Network Administrators, and Network Support Engineers.

  1. IP Communications

IP Telephony and IP Network Engineers benefit from an IP Communications focus. This Cisco certification provides the knowledge necessary to connect voice, VoIP, and unified communications to the network. IP Engineers are an integral part of any enterprise IT team. As the Internet of Things continues to grow, more IP Communications experts will be necessary.

  1. Data Center

The Data Center certification path is a comprehensive program that addresses the key areas of data center network design, implementation, and maintenance. This certification is designed for Data Center Network Administrators and Network Engineers.

  1. Security

Security is one of the most important features of any network. Understanding how to develop a security infrastructure, recognize threats and vulnerabilities, and mitigate security threats is one of the most sought-after skills in the industry. All IT professionals should be proficient in network security.

  1. Service Provider

IT professionals working for a Service Provider have a different set of problems and desirable skills than a typical enterprise. Network Engineers, Technicians, and Designers working for a Service Provider have a Cisco certification to demonstrate their ability to configure, implement, and troubleshoot baseline Cisco Service Provider Next-Gen networks.

The IT industry is huge – every organization needs workers skilled in Information Technology. With Cisco networks being found in governments, corporations, and other organizations, a Cisco certification is one of the most useful computer certifications available. When listed on a resume, Cisco certification shows the candidate has the skills necessary to get the job done.

Where will your Cisco certification take you?

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