In the current age of technology, the requirement of trained networking professionals has grown quickly. This demand has also changed job roles in the IT industry. Organizations are looking for skilled personnel who have earned Cisco certifications, as Cisco is the biggest name in the networking industry which occupies more than 70% of the communication equipment used in companies.
Due to the need of supervision and maintenance of these rapid technologies, there comes the need of certified engineers. And the good news is that you can be one too with a rich career in networking awaiting you. All it would require is consistency and hard work.
What is a Cisco Certification?
What are Cisco Certifications? What is their value in the market? How can these courses help companies and the individual itself? The answer is simple. It helps interested people gain knowledge about intermediate devices and their mechanism of communication. A Cisco Certification carries great value as organizations only rely on the industry acclaimed certificated individuals.
Where to start?
To start out, I would recommend CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) or CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) programs as they validate the ability to install, operate and troubleshoot small/medium-sized routed and switched networks, including basic network security, WAN technologies , wireless concepts, routing and switching fundamentals, and configuration of networks. These starter courses will help you develop a firm foundation of what exactly you need to do.
Where do I study?
There are various ways through which you can get trained. Training programs include Cisco Bootcamp in which a learner can get an excellent package from any IT training provider or even free classes at times when studied from the net. Lazaro Diaz and Kevin Wallace offer free World class trainings which can help you understand the basics of networking.
You can also search more related videos on YouTube and other mediums; this is just to give you an idea of the best trainers I found online.
Training centers in Pakistan
Comsats training center
Books for self study
Certification exam /fee/Certification delivery
Training period mostly takes 2-3 months whether you study for yourself or seek help from a training center. It requires determination and hard work. Once you are done with the training, you can register yourself as an applicant for the exam. This process can be done online as well as going to an affiliated office in Pakistan.
The Examination comprises of 50-60 questions which are to be completed within 90 minutes. These exams take place in any Pearson VUE testing center or the UET (University of Engineering and Technology). After successfully passing the exam, Cisco Systems Inc will mail you the certification which you can later use on your job hunt as a professionally-certified network engineer. Examination fees vary according to time and area, but just to give you an idea, it is mostly somewhere around (150$-300$).
Salaries of Cisco Certified individuals
Salaries do vary according to work experience and skill set. The payscale ranges from 42K$ – 98K$ annually, depending upon choice of workplace as well as job requirements.
Cisco Certification Paths
Cisco Systems Inc have categorized its certification programs as the following:
Certification Paths – Entry-Level – Associate – Professional – Expert-Architect
Routing & Switching – CCENT – CCNA – CCNP – CCIE – Routing & Switching
Design – CCENT – CCNA & CCDA – CCDP -CCDE
Network Security – CCENT – CCNA Security – CCSP – CCIE Security
Service Provider – CCENT – CCNA – CCIP – CCIE – Service Provider
Storage Networking – CCENT – CCNA – CCNP – CCIE Storage Networking
Voice – CCENT – CCNA Voice – CCVP – CCIE Voice
Wireless – CCENT – CCNA Wireless -CCIE Wireless
- Advanced Routing and Switching
- Cisco Routing and Switching Field Specialist
- Cisco Routing and Switching Sales Specialist
- Cisco Routing and Switching Solutions Specialist
- Data Center Certifications
- Data Center Application Services
- Cisco Data Center Application Services Support Specialist
- Cisco Data Center Application Services Design Specialist
- Data Center Switching Network Infrastructure
- Cisco Data Center Networking Infrastructure Design Specialist
- Cisco Data Center Networking Infrastructure Support Specialist
- Cisco Data Center Networking Sales Specialist
- Data Center Storage Networking
- Cisco Data Center Storage Networking Design Specialist
- Cisco Data Center Storage Networking Support Specialist
- Cisco Data Center Storage Networking Sales Specialist
Foundation for Channel Partners
- Cisco Express Foundation Design Specialist
- Cisco Express Foundation Field Specialist
- Cisco Express Foundation Sales Specialist
IP Communications Certifications
- Cisco Advanced IP Communications Sales Specialist
- Cisco IP Communications Express Specialist
- Cisco IP Communications Express Sales Specialist
- Cisco IP Contact Center Express Specialist
- Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist
- Cisco Rich Media Communications Specialist
- Cisco Unity Design Specialist
- Cisco Unity Support Specialist
- Cisco Unified Presence Specialist
VPN and Security Certifications
- Cisco ASA Specialist
- Cisco IPS Specialist
- Cisco Network Admission Control Specialist
- Cisco Security Sales Specialist
- Cisco Security Solutions and Design Specialist
Wireless LAN Certifications
- Cisco Advanced Wireless LAN Design Specialist
- Cisco Advanced Wireless LAN Field Specialist
- Cisco Advanced Wireless LAN Sales Specialist
Cisco has opened doors for Job placements worldwide for its certified individuals. Now it’s your chance to dive in this interesting world of I.T. Choose a certification path that suits you best and become a successful Network Engineer.
Sharoon Emmanuel is a Networks/Systems admin by profession. He has done CCNA, CCNP and MCSE and has a great passion for writing.