Cisco certifications are the hottest piece of cake in the IT industry right now, and will remain so in the near future due to the perfect platform they provide to those who want a high-flying career in IT. Read on further to know what wonders these certifications can do for your career.
The success of every industry across the spectrum has a lot to do with the robustness and reliability of its computer network and architecture. This network ensures a proper business flow and communication within different departments and sections of the industry or organization. Like every other creation of human, these networks also require regular maintenance and troubleshooting, and this is where the network administrators come into picture. These network administrators also referred to as network engineers at times, are people armed with more than ordinary computer skills and a hands-on experience in troubleshooting. Before we go further into the specifics of what is exactly required for having a successful networking career, it is wise to discuss why anyone would want a career in this field.
Why go for a career in Networking?
It’s raining jobs for Networking professionals: Network administrators are an important part of every organization, however big or small, new or old it is. This effectively means that the day when networking professionals find themselves warming the benches instead of working is still very far. Further, as per the statistics released by United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for network administrators is $74, 270, well above what could we call a respectable income, enough to lead a comfortable lifestyle.
Learning on the job: Most of the nuances of a network engineer’s job are learnt on-site. Every company has its own network structure and therefore one company’s requirement, however elaborate they may seem aren’t going to translate directly to another company’s needs. As simpler user interface have taken place of complex consoles, handling network systems has become an easier task than ever. However, if you really want to be an expert, you should be aware of what exactly is going under the hood. This might seem like a daunting task at first, but as you get hands-on with an organization’s network, you will imbibe most of the skills required for sustaining in this field.
A diverse career path: The career path that a networking professional charts is as diverse as one can hope for. With adequate experience under your belt in the position of network administrator, you can easily consider a career as a freelance field technician, or as a consultant system analyst. For those of you who like the security of regular paychecks, there will be plenty of roles to assume at a number of organizations. Those with entrepreneurial spirit can set up their own data centers and offer cloud storage services to small clients, to begin with, and gradually expand their reach.
Where to start?
Career in networking inevitably starts either with an undergraduate degree in computers and data networking or an IT certification like CCNA, CCNP and others specifically designed for those interested to take their career further in networking. These IT certifications are the most straightforward and inexpensive way to either climb the first ladders of your networking career or give a push to your otherwise stagnant career. The number of networking certifications available from vendors and associations is ever increasing, but the recognition and demand for each individual certification varies considerably. Cisco, the world’s leading manufacturer of network equipment has created a special place for its networking courses. It is the biggest networking vendor in the market, which justifies why five of the top 10 networking certifications belong to Cisco Systems. Here are the different certifications by Cisco Systems, pursuing which will definitely help you land a good job in networking.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) +:
CCNA is a second-level certification that focuses on the process and procedures required to implement, troubleshoot, repair and maintain a Cisco network. From basics like describing the function and purpose of various network devices to advanced topics like implementing, verifying and troubleshooting NAT and ACLs in a medium-size enterprise network, the course covers it all. Obtaining a CCNA certification requires passing a single 90-minute written exam.
Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP): While CCNA is for entry-level professionals, CCNP takes the knowledge base a level above, with technologies like Quality of Services, Virtually Private Networks and more. CCNP offers validations to a professional’s ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot LANs and WANs. Candidates those who have achieved CCNP can find work as systems engineer, network engineer or network technician.
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE): Widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive and respected networking certifications, CCIE certified individual is regarded as the master of its discipline. It is the highest level of certification that Cisco has to offer and engineers holding this certification lead the industry with their in-depth technical knowledge and unmatched expertise. The course structure of the program is constantly updated and revised to ensure its relevance and value remains uncompromised. The program was introduced in 1993 and in the current times, less than 1% of the entire network engineer population is represented by CCIE certification.
While there are many other certifications that vary in course structure, difficulty level and value, Cisco certifications are certainly the most popular and preferred in the industry, an evidence of their relevance, excellence and unmatched quality.
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