Sep 12, 2018
Understanding Cisco Certifications
Whether you are an experienced network professional or just starting a career in technology, Cisco training and certifications can open new IT networking career opportunities.
With a huge array of Cisco Certifications to aim for, the best way to get started is with New Horizons Cisco-authorized training. Then you can explore the multiple certification paths depending on your job role and level of experience. Let’s break down what the five different levels of certification are and what you’ll need to do to become a pro.
Cisco Entry Level Certifications
It all starts at the Entry level. Users with little to no experience with Cisco will usually start through the CCENT certification exams. This certification covers basic networking knowledge and sets you up to move beyond the entry level of Cisco training. No prerequisites are required making it the perfect starting point.
Cisco recommends training in ICND1 - Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 as preparation for your CCENT.
Cisco Specialised Certifications
Associate level credentials are the foundation of networking certifications. These certifications are more specialised than the Entry level qualifications, splitting into 10 different pathways, each with their own exams. These pathways are divided into career goals, including careers such as Data Centre, Security, Service Provider and more. You can find all the Cisco career pathways here.
Cisco Advanced Certifications
The next step is Professional, Expert and finally Architect level for more advanced certifications. These certifications follow along the same libraries as Associate level, allowing you to specialise and focus on your specific career path. You can even choose multiple Cisco career specializations and match your job role with specific technical expertise, allowing you to enhance your core networking knowledge.
Certification Library Packages
If this all sounds complicated you’re not alone. To simplify the process of working from beginner to expert, Cisco has grouped the various career goals into Certification Library Packages. These Library packages divide the technologies involved to allow you to cover all aspects of a career. These libraries include Networking, Security, Data Center, Cloud and Collaboration. By studying a Certification Library Package, you can access all related topics that guide you from the Entry level through to Expert. If you'd like access to all libraries, we've got you covered. With the Cisco All Libraries package you'll gain 365 days of access to On-Demand Content and Labs for all platinum libraries available.
Just like the IT industry, there are plenty of specialisations beyond the standard career pathways. Specialist Certifications can provide certificate holders at the associate, professional or expert levels to enhance their core knowledge in technologies beyond the standard. This might involve specialising into Technical Specialists or Digital Transformation Specialists, gaining certifications in areas such as Industrial Networking, Network Programmability developing or Business Architecture Analysis.
Once you’ve got the Certifications, keep them!
To ensure your knowledge stays up to date, Cisco Certifications do need to be re-certified. Valid certifications may be renewed indefinitely, but without timely renewal, certifications expire or become inactive. To keep certifications current, individuals should re-certify by advancing to the next level of certification or completing the recertification requirements.
Renewal requires certification holders to register for and pass the appropriate Cisco re-certification exam(s). In addition to passing the designated re-certification exam(s), Cisco Continuing Education Program offers expert-level certification holders an alternative option to re-certify by earning credits.
In order to re-certify, certification holders must complete the re-certification requirements prior to the certification expiration date. If an individual allows their certification(s) to expire, then the individual must repeat the entire certification process to regain their certification(s).
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Note on Cyber Security 2018
Cisco have been warning about escalating cyber-criminal activity around the globe for some time. In this latest report Cisco present data and research about attacker behaviour over the past 12-18 months.They caution not to be complacent. Attacker behaviour is happening everywhere.
Download the latest report to find out what you need to know