A Beginner’s Guide To A Career In Networking

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

Corvit systems

Comsats training center

ICT trainings

Books for self study

Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101 Official Cert Guide.

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:

General Certifications

Certification Paths – Entry-Level – Associate – Professional – Expert-Architect

Routing & Switching – CCENT – CCNA – CCNP – CCIE – Routing & Switching


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

Specialist Certifications

  • • 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.

  • Good writing. Thumbs to author.
    Clear, concise and to-the-point pieces of information are seldom available to Paki kids.

    Heck, I’m going to bookmark this!

        • Sure, i a have a series of articles lined up .All i need is your support to make Pakistan a more better place by using different technologies in a positive way .

      • Good work… do a E-council certification toO in it security Field… it will help a lot in career picking…

        • Yes i have already written all the related topics .They will be shared soon. Thank you .

    • Sister, If you don’t mind could you answer a question, which is much needed question for myself, is there any University in Pakistan where I can study computer subjects like CS, Software Engineering after clearing F.Sc in Pre-Medical, fee structure between Rs 40-50,000 thousand per semester? I’ve got great marks in 1st year, now preparing for 2nd year. I will get great marks in 2nd year, but perhaps, might not enough to make to a medical college. I’m sure If I had selected CS at the HSSC level, I would have made to NUST easily, but due to Pre-Med I can’t do. If it is not possible, I would do a CA from SKANS, Lahore – the only field I found that is made for a hard working student :D. I wish Pakistan had India’s education system where a student can go to an Engineering University or a Medical College after clearing F.Sc.

  • The payscale ranges from 42K$ – 98K$ annually, depending upon choice of workplace as well as job requirements.

    this is quite a false statement. This range of salary is not applicable in Pakistan. Pakistan CCIE Annual salary ranges from $10k-$15k and CCNA/CCNP certified people earn $5k – $8k.

    Even if you work in top companies, the max a Senior Network engineer salary ranges from PKR 150,000- PKR 200,000 and then your role becomes stagnant.

    • that is true, very low payscale in Pakistan, if it is like what author has written in this article then no one will go abroad for these jobs

  • Writer missed Data Center and Collaboration certifications which are very much in demand. And cisco most likely to introduce Cisco Cloud certification.

  • A Beginner’s Tip To A Career In Article Writing is Register Yourself by your original name and never be a “Guest Author” so people can admire your work by your name.

  • Thank you #ProPakistani for posting my article, I hope it helps and serves right for its purpose. I am also grateful to the people that have given a positive feedback. Will be sharing more information in future.

  • Informative article. Kindly write about the Microsoft certification as well like “MCSA 2012, MCSE”.

    • i have lined up some articles related to microsoft as well .They will be published soon

  • very informative…thanks to author….In addition if an article on future career paths for Masters in information security/ network security w.r.t to Pakistani market is noted down it will be very helpful for students puzzled in choosing subjects for their masters degree .Also if prerequisite courses before the start of the class are mentioned it will be a big favor.

    • Thank you for the positive feedback .Will keep that in mind for upcoming writings .

    • Asim thank you for providing fresh network admins a chance to get a job . Appreciate your comments.

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