If you are starting out or continuing in an IT career, Cisco certification should be near the top of your list of must-have certification. Cisco is the world’s largest networking company. They develop, manufacture, and sell a wide range of high-technology products and services, especially in the field of telecommunications.
Who are Cisco?
The story of Cisco is one of ongoing success and innovation. This is a company that has stayed at the top of their field for decades by not just changing with the times but driving the change. Some key moments in Cisco’s history include:
- 1984: Two Stanford University employees named Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner found Cisco Systems.
- 1986: Bosack and Lerner are both fired when Stanford discovers the pair stole software from the university and used it as the basis for their own operating system. Legal action is avoided when Stanford agrees to license the software to Cisco.
- 1990: Cisco Systems goes public on February 16, 1990.
- 2000: In March 2000, Cisco becomes the most valuable company in the world in March with a market capitalization of $500 billion.
These days Cisco is heavily involved in cloud technologies, software development, and the Internet of Things.
What are Cisco certifications?
Cisco has been providing certification for networking professionals since 1993. Their first certification was the Cisco Certified Internetwork Engineer (CCIE) test developed by Stuart Biggs and John Chambers. Over the past 25 years, Cisco has expanded their certification program greatly. It now includes 28 Certifications for five different tiers of IT professionals:
- Entry level
Why are CISCO certifications important?
If you want to start your career in IT on the right foot, there are some compelling reasons to consider Cisco certifications. Here are four to get you started.
1) Proof of your skills
The training you undergo to earn your certification will expand and consolidate your networking knowledge. Whether you have a pretty good grasp or are a total beginner, you’ll come away better prepared to get your first job and do well. You’ll also get industry-recognised validation of your knowledge and skills.
2) Fast track your career
Getting a Cisco certification will put your career on the fast track because:
- employers will have a way to verify you have the skills they need, rather than just relying on your word or your references;
- hiring someone with certification is appealing as it means less time spent on training you for the role; and,
- doing the work required to earn a certification shows that you are dedicated and committed, qualities that employers like to see in their staff.
3) Better on-the-job performance
Getting a job is one thing and holding on to it is another. Luckily, evidence suggests Cisco-certified employees perform better in their roles, meaning job security and advancement are much more likely. A 2008 study from the International Data Corporation reported that:
- 66% of managers say that a Cisco certification improves the overall level of service and support offered to IT end users and customers.
- Organizations with teams that include 40-55% certified members or above have higher than average productivity.
- Cisco certification boosts customer satisfaction because problems are solved at a higher rate.
- 75% of managers see a link between Cisco certification and enhanced team performance.
4) Increase your salary
As a certified network administrator even your starting salary is likely to be fairly healthy. By building on your entry-level certifications you’ll be able to advance in your career more quickly.
- According to Indeed.com the median salary for a junior network administrator is $51,061.
- Once you have some experience and can drop the ‘junior’ from your title the median pay for a certified network administrator jumps almost $30k to $79,700 a year.
- The highest paid networking professionals earn $120,000 or more.
- According to CareerOneStop, the outlook for Network and Systems Administrators in Texas is especially good. Employment opportunities are expected to grow by 21% in the next seven years. That’s 1,080 new jobs each year.
How can CCI help with entry-level Cisco certifications?
Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
The CCENT is a basic but important certification that verifies your ability to manage a small business’s networking needs. At CCI, we provide all the training you need to be ready for Cisco’s certification test and earn your CCENT. Our training will introduce you to such essential networking skills as:
- Network infrastructure design
- Advanced router configuration
- Configuring Juniper routers
- Configuring & maintaining networks
- Analyzing network data traffic
- Network security
- Linux networking
- Internet routing
- Voice Over IP (VoIP)
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
The CCNA builds on the skills learned in CCNET and takes them to the next level. CCI’s CCNA training will teach you to deal with bigger networks and prepare you for much more challenging work environments. Learning includes:
- Install, operate, configure, and verify a basic IPv4 and IPv6 network
- Configure Cisco switches and routers
- Identify basic security threats in a network
- Install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot enterprise networks
For more information on how CCI Training can help you prepare for your Cisco certifications, fill out the form at the top of the page.