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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Different Cisco Certification Tracks


There are several different certification tracks within Cisco certification and each has different benefits to the trainee. Of the different tracks, I only see a benefit in three of them. The main reason is that if you have any of the other tracks, you are probably not more or less qualified than you would have been if you chose the routing and switching option. However, there are a few other tracks that make you truly stand out from your competition when you apply for a full-time job or a consulting gig.
Cisco Voice
The Cisco voice certification oddly has quite a bit to do with routing and switching. Simply the certification teaches you how to operate voice and data on the same network. The information necessary to do this properly is touched on in the regular routing and switching tracks, but the program really deep dives into this when you go with the voice option.
Of course, the voice track also teaches you everything you need to know about Cisco's Voice equipment. This gives you a major leg up when you apply for a job that utilized Cisco equipment or voice and data on the same line. You may not have the knowledge or experience of someone that has a routing and switching background, but this information is more widely available.
Now that VOIP is becoming more popular, I believe the demand for certified Cisco voice people will only increase going forward.
Cisco Security
The other track I recommend regardless of your certification level is Cisco Security. Large companies are seeing increased threats coming at them every day. These threats are not only the typical virus type attacks, but some pretty sophisticated attacks that are designed specifically for the company. Blanket attacks are pretty easy to spot as other companies see the same type of traffic. However, when a hacker goes after a specific target, the threats become much more severe and harder to detect.
For this reason, companies are increasing their IT security budgets and are looking for qualified people to shore up their defenses. This need will never go away as long as people are attached to a global network. Of course, this keeps demand high which in turn will keep wages higher than some of the other Cisco tracks.
Cisco Wireless
Much like the previously mentioned tracks, you will learn about Cisco Wireless technologies regardless of which track you choose. However, the wireless track gets far more in-depth and will make you a specialist even at the lower levels of certification. Everyone knows how to setup a wireless network, but doing it right and understanding exactly what goes into this type of network is another story altogether.
There was a time that companies didn't take this as seriously as they should and the result was a lot of insecure and underperforming networks at most major companies in the world. Companies are only just now becoming a bit wiser and spending resources to get the networks running better.
Whichever certification level you are at now or wish to have, it is always easier to choose your track upfront. You don't want to become a CCNA wireless certified professional, if you are going to want to move into security when you become a CCNP.
Visit for more information about the CCNA Security Certification.
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1 comment:

  1. I don't think you'll discover too many individuals that have taken this yet since they're so new. I suppose they'll become more well-known within 6 several weeks to a season.