Cisco Certifications Training

In the early 1980s, Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, a husband-and-wife team on the computer services staff at Stanford University, had a goal: to be able to send an electronic note (a.k.a. email) to one another from separate buildings. What started as a simple problem lead to the creation of the multi-protocol router and the establishment of their new company, Cisco Systems, a leading provider of networking hardware and computing services.

CCENT Certification Training

CCENT training courses represent a strong first step toward a career in network administration. Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician or CCENT certification validates your ability to install, operate and troubleshoot networks.

Cisco CCDA Certification Training

The Cisco Certified Design Associate credential helps IT professionals get started on their journey through the world of data, voice and wireless network infrastructure.

Cisco CCDP Certification Training

Its data network is like a business's nervous system, circulatory system and skeleton all in one. Cisco's CCDP certification prepares network professionals for the demands of numerous network design environments and architectures.

Cisco CCIE Certification Training

Arguably the world's most elite certification for networking pros, learn more about Cisco's Certified Internetworking Expert here.

Cisco CCNA Certification Training

Cisco's most popular entry-level networking certification, learn more about CCNA including the benefits of becoming CCNA certified, curriculum, exam options, study tips and more.

Cisco CCNP Certification Training

A guide to Cisco Certified Network Professional certification, including details on the curriculum, exams and recertification process.

Cisco CCSP Certification Training

As the world becomes more digital, data security becomes more imperative. Cisco Certified Security Professional training is one way for IT workers to increase their skills in the security field while enhancing their employment opportunities.

Cisco certifications: What are the different levels?

Cisco is a California-based corporation providing hardware and software solutions and other services to corporate markets, small businesses and home users across the world. Cisco's hardware products include the likes of routers and IP phones while its software solutions range from internetwork operating systems and VPN clients to IP communicators and Web collaboration tools. Cisco is also a major provider of voice over IP (VOIP) services. But of all Cisco's services, IT professionals probably know it best for its ever-growing lineup of professional certifications.

Cisco certifications are among some of the best-known and most respected in the industry, providing employer-sought training to IT professionals across a broad range of specialties at the following career levels: Entry-level, Associate, Professional and Expert. The following are some of Cisco's most popular certifications:

Entry-level Cisco certification

  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). The CCENT certification establishes an entry-level professional's basic networking skill set, and is a prerequisite for the popular CCNA credential.

Associate-level Cisco certifications

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). The CCNA certificate validates a professional's ability to configure, install, operate and repair corporate router and switched networks. Specialized CCNA credentials include: CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CCNA Wireless, CCNA Routing & Switching and CCNA Service Provider Operations.
  • Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA). CCDA credential certifies that one can design switched or routed networks, including LANs, WANs and broadband networks.

Professional Cisco certifications

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). The CCNP certification validates that a professional can install, configure and repair local- and wide-area networks with at least 100 devices. One must have earned CCNA certification to wear a CCNP badge.
  • Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP). The CCDP certification is an advanced network design certification that establishes a professional's ability to design advanced routing, security, network management, data center and IP architectures for large companies using private network and wireless domains.
  • Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP). The CCSP is a certificate designed for advanced network security professionals, establishing competency in the following areas: VPN, IDS, PIX firewall and the Cisco Safe and Secure IOS. A CCNA is a prerequisite for CCSP certification.
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP). The CCIP certification validates that a professional can establish end-to-end protocols for large networks.

Expert Cisco certifications

  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). The CCIE certification is known to be one of the most challenging in the world, and was named the most respected credential in 2004 by CertCities. CCIE certification is available in the following tracks: Routing and Switching, Service Provider, Security, Voice, Storage Networking, Wireless and Service Provider Operations.
  • Certified Cisco Design Expert (CCDE). The CCDE establishes expert competency in advanced network infrastructure design, including customer network planning design, optimization, operations, integration, security and support.

Cisco boot camps

An hour and a half may not seem like a big deal, but if it's the 90 minutes of Cisco's 640-802 exam that grants Cisco Certified Network Associate status, you want to give it your best shot. Preparing for the CCNA test normally takes between a month and six weeks of study, but it could involve as little as five days with a third-party trainer's Cisco boot camp program.

Training institutions like NetCom Learning,, Global Knowledge and others often guarantee that their students will pass Cisco certification exams, typically offering a chance to retake either the exam or the boot camp--excluding the latter's lodging and meals. A variety of curricula are available for different Cisco certs, such as 10- or 12-day camps for CCNA + Security or Voice or Wireless or the three-exam Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) program. CED Solutions offers a whopping 23-day combo CCNA, Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server and Enterprise Administrator package.

Boot camps usually include everything but airfare and are available in locations ranging from Las Vegas to Tampa. Many camps offer genuine Cisco instruction materials. The most qualified trainers generally hold a Certified Cisco Systems Instructor (CCSI) or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) credential. It's also vital that the trainers screen or pretest students for basic familiarity with TCP/IP, the OSI model, and other network protocols and architectures, so that newbies do not slow the camp's quick pace.

Cisco boot camps are anything but relaxing vacation times. These intensive training sessions do provide a fast way to get ready for those valuable certification exams.

Cisco certifications could pay off

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professional certifications, like Cisco certifications, are an excellent way for professionals to maintain their skills and demonstrate competency to employers. According to the Global Knowledge 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report, certifications may also improve earning potential: the median salary for an IT pro with the entry-level CCENT certification was $71,706, while one with the expert-level CCIE Routing and Switching certification earned $120,008.

Cisco Certifications Training
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