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The CCSP: Become a Cisco kid

Computer security is now a burning issue in every industry, and almost all networking jobs require some specialized knowledge. Since Cisco components are in such widespread use, earning Cisco Certified Security Professional status (CCSP) can give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

Why Is Cisco Security Certification So Useful For Networking Jobs?

Cisco's software and hardware is some of the most widely used in the networking world; without Cisco products, the Internet as we know it wouldn't function. As a networking professional, you have probably not only heard of them, but already worked with their products too. Cisco experts can command high salaries, but those who have Cisco knowledge and computer security skills are in an even more favorable position.

According to Certification Magazine's 2005 salary survey, CCSPs have some of the best-paid IT jobs around, with average annual earnings of $91,340, compared to $81,300 for a CCNP (Cisco Certified Networking Professional). Readers of online magazine CertCities.com voted the CCSP one of their top ten "Hottest Certifications for 2006" and a finalist in their "Best Security Certification" for 2005.

How to Become a CCSP

To get this certification, you must pass five exams (lasting between 75 and 90 minutes). They will test your ability to create a single, cohesive network security solution using all of Cisco's different security devices, including:
  • Secure VPN (virtual private network) management
  • ASDM (Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager)
  • PIX Firewall
  • CSA (Cisco Security Agent)
  • IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems)
You will need advanced knowledge of all the above, which you can gain in a variety of ways: using books, CDs, online tutorials or by taking a short, face-to-face program.

The CCSP meets the advanced network security standards set by the National Security Agency and the Committee on National Security Systems. So if you want a future in network management, improve your job and salary opportunities at a stroke by becoming a CCSP!

Sources
Certification Magazine
CertCities.com
U.S. Dept. Labor, Bureau Labor Statistics
Monster
Cisco
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