Cisco is the most crucial requirement for any networking related job. If you are hiring an IT team or looking to expand the expertise of your current team, Cisco is the golden standard. There are numerous other companies offering networking courses, Microsoft for instance. However, no one has established an authority quite like Cisco.
That said, it is worth understanding that networking is a broad term and there are many areas of expertise. Back in the 90s, Cisco started with the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert course, but now there are dozens of certifications to choose from. However, it is more like a path. Your IT experts are more likely to have their basic entry-level certifications already. It is more or less the prerequisite for getting hired for any position in this field. They can build on their skill levels with advanced professional and expert level certification.
Understanding Cisco Certification Levels
There are essentially five key levels of CISCO career path: entry, associate, professional, and expert. There is another additional level also referred to as ‘architect’ level. There is a high chance that your resources already have the entry or associate level certification. In order to build their skill set for future expansion and growth, you will need to focus on professional and expert levels. However, it is also a good idea to get their skill set enhanced with associate level Cisco training in other areas.
So, we will talk about three of the most important certifications on three different levels.
Cisco Certified Network Associate CCNA
CCNA is an associate level certification that requires at least one CCNT i.e. entry-level certification. You can choose a course depending on your previous course. The courses include CCNA Cloud, CCNA collaboration, Cyber Ops, data Centre, CCDA, CCNA Router, Security, and Wireless to name a few. Since most enterprises are moving towards the cloud, CCNA Cloud and Collaboration are both great options on this level. Some of the courses require a preliminary CCNT while others don’t.
Cisco Certified Network Professional CCNP
CCNP is the professional level certification for employees who have the potential to work as a senior network professional. Almost all the areas covered by CCNA are covered by CCNP as well except for Cyber Ops. There is also a technical specializations course for IoT. If you see your business moving towards the IoT trend in the near future, it serves to have your team prepared for it through professional training. For cloud, CCNP is the highest certification level as of now since there is no expert level course for the cloud.
Cisco Certified Network Expert CCIE
If you want your resources to have managerial level capabilities and skillset, it is worth investing in Expert level certification courses. It can be considered a specialization course. A relevant CCNP level certification is a prerequisite for almost all the courses on this level. A reasonable amount of experience is also required for this advanced certification.
3 Most Important Certifications
Now that you have an understanding of the hierarchy, let’s move towards courses that can prove really beneficial for the employees as well as the employers. These are the certifications chosen according to the current technology trends and demands of the industry.
Cisco Switching and Routing Certification
Routing and switching are at the foundation of networking. However, it is not easy as it sounds. It requires immense amount of knowledge and that is why Cisco offers routing and switching courses of all four levels. For professionals who chose it as their path in networking, every course brings a whole new level of knowledge and skills. Enterprises must understand that network technology is evolving at a great pace. Your team needs to stay up to date with the advancement in this area. These courses are designed to include the latest development and advancements. Investing in these courses will ensure that your IT team is fully equipped to keep your business ahead in the game.
Cisco Cloud Certification
This course is targeted at cloud engineers, cloud architects, and network engineers. The course will enable your team to develop a stronger skill set to manage and administer cloud. With these skills, your team will enable you to make the most out of your migration towards the cloud. It doesn’t matter which vendor you go for or what kind of cloud environment you choose, this course will give your team the basic understanding and skillset required for effective utilization of the cloud. Note that there is no entry-level course for cloud and CCNP is the highest you can go. A CCNA and CCNP is more than enough to ensure that your team is ready to navigate you through the cloud.
Cisco Data Center Certification
Living in the age of networking, it won’t be wrong to say that your business is as good as your data center, or data center management. Data center have become crucial for enterprises today. Cisco’s data center certification and courses are built around effective installation, configuration, and maintenance of data centers. These courses are designed to enrich your team with the knowledge and skills required for efficient utilization of modern data center technology. After completion of these courses, your team will not only be able to enhance the data center performance, they will also be able to bring down the overall cost of managing it. These courses are available on the associate, professional, and expert level. They cover topics such as storage, unified computing, and virtualization.
The world of networking is constantly evolving. The reason Cisco has maintained its lead over the decades is the way it stays ahead. In many ways, Cisco is the company that defines the future of networking. If you want your enterprise to make the most of the modern technology and trend, you need to put your trust in Cisco. Cisco certification is an investment not just in your team, but in its ability to take your enterprise towards its goals.