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Battle of It Giants: Microsoft vs. Cisco Which Vendor to Choose?

While having a commendable academic attainment is a strong identification for your IT credentials, a certification, however, will help you keep up with the competition in the industry spectrum. A certification marks a great difference in your career. And in getting one, it is an important consideration to choose the right vendor. Selecting which vendor to obtain your preferred certification serves as a stepping stone in your IT career. The selection process would require your careful attention since it will largely determine the advancement of your professional standing. If you get certified by a prestigious vendor, the better opportunities you will gain.

Among the most renowned vendors across the globe are Microsoft and Cisco. Both are viewed as the optimum selection in attaining professional training and certification. And many professionals have since then seen why. Evidently, the competition is tight between the two that is why most professionals get perplexed on which one to choose. Both have successfully engraved their prestige in the market and have produced thousands of certified professionals for the progress of the IT industry.

Selecting your preferred vendor shouldn’t be a gamble since it is your career which will be on the line. Get familiar with two of the most well-known IT giants and start comparing. Don’t bet on your career! Know the differences between Cisco and Microsoft, its respective strengths, drawbacks, certifications and the career opportunities in line for every aspiring certified professional!


The IT sector is ideally what would appeal for any Microsoft certification holder. In basic terms, this certification is designed for those who want to pursue a career track in the IT sector. Server maintenance is the major focus of Microsoft.

Working technique

This is basically one consideration that each individual must pay attention to. It is important to know how things differ in the working progressions of each vendor. For Microsoft servers, there must be a daily or at least weekly update that professionals must follow.


Now let’s proceed to the icing on the cake. The benefits of waiting for Microsoft certification holders are plenty. Almost any individual living in this century would know, or if not be familiar, with the Microsoft company. Through the years, Microsoft has established its name in the market and is ceaseless in creating advancements. Because of its worldwide prestige, any holder of even one of its professional certifications is on an advantageous road. Adding the fact that you are a Microsoft certified will make your resume more attractive during your job applications. Plus, you will have more chances of gaining a higher salary in the field you’ll choose to pursue. Other than that, the opportunity to work with Microsoft software and servers will be at your grasp. Compared to Cisco, a Microsoft certification exam is easier.


More than the advantages, you should also be inquisitive of the company’s own drawbacks. Despite Microsoft’s benefits, it also has its share of disadvantages which can be an obstacle if you are not that prepared or determined. For instance, the exam laid out in gaining a Microsoft certification can be difficult, especially for newbies. This can be a tough thing for some people who didn’t attain a degree, if not for those who are yet to have an IT experience. Aside from that, the possibility of applying the Microsoft techniques can be a gamble since some IT companies make use of it.

Among the certifications Microsoft offers are:

Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCST)

Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)


If Microsoft certified professionals are for the IT sector, then individuals who want a career, specifically in the networking area are meant for the Cisco certification. The main focus of Cisco is on the networking system. Also, a five-level certification is offered by Cisco.

Working Technique

The Cisco Networking router must have a configuration within six months.


Cisco is undoubtedly a popularly recognized company known for its global standards that harnesses competitive and well-equipped IT professionals. Manufactured are networking devices as well as progressive IT infrastructure gears like switches and routers. There are seriously lots of reasons why you need to become another Cisco certification holder as most of these credentials are fitted for individuals, either planning to start or advance their IT career. Being a Cisco certified proves your expertise and experience in IT networking. More than that, a Cisco certification will also open you to higher income. Among the well-paid Cisco Certifications include CCNA Certification, CCNP Routing & Switching, CCENT Certification, CCDA Certification. Another benefit is that the knowledge you will gain in taking the training and the exam is something you can apply in several IT brands.


The downfall of having a Cisco certification is that it will demand a lot of your effort and money. Now, others may not see the financial aspect as a problem, but it will be for those who are making ends meet because the program is expensive. And, given that the certification must be renewed every after three years is another thing to consider. Moreover, the questions in the exam are not to be underestimated. These can be extremely tough especially for individuals who didn’t have prior IT knowledge or experience. The level of toughness in availing the certification can be a major drawback for some people.

There are eight paths you can pursue with the five-level programs of Cisco certification. They are as follows:

Routing and Switching


Network Security

Service Provider

Service Provider Operations

Storage networking




Among the certifications Microsoft offers are:

CCDA Certification

CCNP Routing & Switching

CCENT Certification

CCNA Certification


Some may prefer Microsoft over Cisco or otherwise. The final verdict remains in your hands. The bottom line is, your decision should lie on which you think will give you the most leg up. Basically, the decision-making level would all boil down to your personal and professional preferences. Considering that both are two of the biggest IT vendors there is, either way, will surely upgrade your career opportunities and standing.

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