Hot Cisco Certifications
All Cisco Exams
About Cisco Certifications
Cisco is a globally recognized networking brand that provides technology solutions to professionals across different industries. Also, they offer a wide range of admirable certifications to train their members on how to use their software, hardware, and networking products. These accreditation paths cover a variety of roles and are focused on specific skills such as IoT, cybersecurity, switches, and routers, among the rest.
Cisco Certification Levels: Program Overview
Cisco is well aware of the fact modern employers value IT certifications as much as hands-on experience. So, they created custom-made certification programs that align with every trainee’s objectives. First things first, the Cisco certificates are neatly organized according to career levels starting with entry to associate, professional, and expert. The entry-level, from the name, should be the starting point for anyone looking to make their initial steps in information technology, specifically around the networking niche while the next stages are for more skilled individuals willing to check and validate their advanced competence.
Overview of the Certification Tracks
If you are keen to serve as a networking specialist by verifying your fundamental IT skills, going for entry-level certification is the best decision. The only option available here is the Cisco Certified Technician or CCT certificate.
On the other hand, the associate-level certifications assess a mid-level understanding of Cisco products in a bid to help you expand your career opportunities using modern technologies. Recently, this career track has been updated to reflect the latest IT concepts and only includes 3 certificates: Cisco CCNA, CyberOps Associate, and DevNet Associate.
Conversely, the professional-level certification track includes DevNet Professional, CyberOps Professional, CCNP Service Provider, CCNP Security, CCNP Data Center, CCNP Collaboration, and CCNP Enterprise. It should be mentioned that any IT enthusiast who passes a professional-level Cisco exam will now also earn a Specialist title to complement their skills. This is the basis of Cisco’s Specialist certification path which includes popular examples such as the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Specialist that’s directly associated with the Cisco CCNP Collaboration certificate and many other options.
Finally, the expert certifications are the pinnacle of an IT career regarding Cisco training. This is the highest level you can achieve here and features the certificates like CCDE, CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, CCIE Enterprise Wireless, CCIE Collaboration, CCIE Data Center, CCIE Security, and CCIE Service Provider.
A Sneak Preview of the Most Valuable Cisco Exams
- Cisco CCNA 200-301
Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (Cisco 200-301) is the only exam you should pass to qualify for the Cisco CCNA certificate. Earning this one is the first major step in building a career around IT technologies. 200-301 is a detailed exam that is suitable for professionals of a broad range of IT careers. It is built around the current networking technologies, software designing skills, and modern and demanded job titles. By passing this test, one will validate deep knowledge of network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, automation and programmability, and the fundamentals of security. Usually, Cisco 200-301 costs $300 per attempt and is available in not just English but also Japanese. This is one of the most popular exams today, just like the subsequent certification, Cisco CCNA.
- Cisco 200-901 DEVASC
Developing Applications and Automating Workflows using Cisco Platforms is the exam that trainees pass to attain the Cisco DevNet Associate certificate. It costs $300 and confirms if the examinee can develop and maintain applications running on Cisco platforms. Generally, this test checks one’s understanding of the principal concepts related to developing and designing software for functional Cisco platforms. After acing it, one will be awarded the DevNet Associate certification. However, one can decide to continue following this path and opt for the DevNet Professional certificate. In this case, they have to pass two tests. The first is the core one called 350-901 DEVCOR while another one is the concentration exam that should be chosen from the eight options.
- Cisco 350-401 ENCOR
The Cisco 350-901 ENCOR exam is commonly known as the Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies. It leads to the attainment of different certifications, including CCNP Enterprise, CCIE Enterprise Wireless, CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, and Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Core. From the name, this test is built around principal enterprise network technologies. Therefore, when preparing to sit for it, one should master the basic concepts of security, dual-stack, infrastructure, network assurance, automation, and virtualization. It has a time limit of 120 minutes and costs $400. At the moment, Cisco 350-901 is available in English and Japanese versions and can be taken online or from designated testing centers throughout the world.
Cisco is an IT brand that’s famous for much more than just certifications. Over the years, it has created countless job opportunities for self-driven candidates who are keen to validate their skills using reputable accreditation programs. By acing the Cisco exams at the associate and professional levels, you will be demonstrating your competency in different areas and will be able to get hired in the following job positions:
- Network Administrator ($60k)
- Network Analyst ($60k)
- Systems Administrator ($63k)
- Collaboration Engineer ($76k)
- Security Engineer ($93k)
- Network Security Engineer ($87k)
- Network Engineer ($75k)
The salaries estimated are listed according to the latest information from the PayScale official website.
Opportunities for Further Development
The Cisco certifications are neatly arranged in chronological order and even though a lower-level certification may not automatically qualify you for an advanced one, it’s always important to follow the order from the bottom to the top. This means you can start your career at the entry level by obtaining the CCT certificate and move towards CCIE Enterprise Wireless, CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, or even CCDE. By completing a CCIE training program, you will have reached the pinnacle of your IT career revolving around the Cisco accreditations. So, for the next path, you may choose to update your skills by enrolling in the continuing education program or opt for desirable certificates from other vendors. For example, you may want to check out those provided by Microsoft, EC-Council, Google, ISACA, ISC2, Juniper, or VMware, according to your area of expertise.