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Cisco Career Certifications are a type of IT professional certifications created by Cisco Systems for their products. Cisco certifications certify the skills of professionals who design, install, configure and manage these networks. The Cisco certification Program consists of certifications that are suitable for entry level as well as experienced networking professionals. The certification breaks down into five levels: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect along with targeted certifications for Specialist and Technician. These can divide into nine different subject tracks depending on the certification level: Routing & Switching, Design, Security, Service Provider, Service Provider Operations, Data Center, Voice, Wireless and Video.

Levels of certification in Cisco:

Cisco has 5 certification levels that test different knowledge standards, from entry-level to expert.

  • 1. Entry Level Certification
  • 2. Associate Level Certification
  • 3. Professional Level Certification
  • 4. Expert Level Certification
  • 5. Architect Certification

Entry Level Certification

Cisco entry level certification consists of 2 certifications (CCENT & CCT). Both the CCENT and the CCT certifications serve as starting points for individuals interested in starting a career as a networking professional. CCENT certified staff can install, manage and troubleshoot a small enterprise network, including basic network security. The first step towards a CCNA certification must start by having a CCENT.

Associate Level Certification

Associate Certifications represents the 2nd level of certifications. Associate Certifications divide certifications by subject matter. The Associate level of Cisco Certifications can begin directly with CCNA for network installation, operations and troubleshooting or CCDA for network design. Associate Certification also serves as the foundation for networking certification. Associate Level consists of following certifications:

  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)
  • CCNA Data Center
  • CCNA Security
  • CCNA Service Provider
  • CCNA Service Provider Operations
  • CCNA Video
  • CCNA Voice
  • CCNA Wireless

Professional Level Certification

The Professional level is an advanced level of certification that shows more expertise with networking skills. Each certification covers a different technology to meet the needs of varying job roles. Professional Level consists of following certifications:

  • Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
  • CCNP Data Center
  • CCNP Security
  • CCNP Service Provider
  • CCNP Service Provider Operations
  • CCNP Voice
  • CCNP Wireless

Expert Level Certification

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert represents Cisco's highest certification, comprising six tracks The CCIE consists of a written exam and a "lab" exam (in each track). The written exam acts as a prerequisite of the lab exam and has a cost of $350 per attempt. The written exam consists of 100 questions that must be completed within 2 hours. Upon passing the written exam, the candidate has eighteen months to take the lab exam. The candidate has three years after passing the written exam to successfully complete the lab. The lab is an eight hour, hands-on exam designed to demonstrate that the candidate knows Internetworking theory and demonstrates advanced hands-on mastery. Expert Level consists of following certifications:

  • Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)
  • CCIE Collaboration
  • CCIE Data Center
  • CCIE Routing & Switching
  • CCIE Security
  • CCIE Service Provider
  • CCIE Service Provider Operations
  • CCIE Wireless

Cisco Architect Certification

Cisco Certified Architect is the highest level of accreditation achievable and recognizes the architectural expertise of network designers who can support the increasingly complex networks of global organizations and effectively translate business strategies into evolutionary technical strategies. Benefits of Cisco certifications

Students who hold a Cisco Certification prove their proficiency and Cisco Certification can help provide:

  • recognition among peers and employers, and a distinct edge in the competitive job market
  • higher degree of success in their pursuit of higher education or a career in technology
  • a firm measure and increased confidence in skills
  • demonstration of skills on the latest technologies
  • a career development path for ongoing advancement of latest technology skills

Where to register for the exam?

Cisco exams can be registered through Pearson VUE website.

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