Are Cisco Certifications Worth It?
In today’s world, technology is fast becoming an integral part of our existence. Little wonder, many people are now taking advantage of the trend by shifting to build a career in the IT space. If you’re just looking to break into the information technology industry, one way to increase your chances of becoming successful is by enrolling and earning relevant IT certifications.
Although there are tons of IT certifications out there, the fact remains that not all of them are going to be useful for your growth in the industry. There’s no denying that some of the most talked-about credentials across the globe are the Cisco certifications. But here’s a burning question, are the certifications worth the money, time, and effort?
No doubt, Cisco certifications are great. By earning them, you can trust that you’re a step closer to achieving your dreams. But, you need to understand that these certifications are designed for specific purposes. For instance, if you need to learn how to manage facilities, going for them might be your best move.
In the rest of this guide, you’ll learn more about how earning Cisco certifications can help you boost your career in the IT industry.
What Are Cisco Certifications?
The Cisco certifications are the different types of credentials organized by Cisco. These certifications are widely recognized and respected across the world because of the reputation that Cisco has had over the years. In case you don’t know, Cisco is a global leader when it comes to networking software and hardware.
Furthermore, Cisco offers five different levels of certifications in the IT industry. They include the following:
- Entry-level certifications
- Associate-level certifications
- Professional-level certifications
- Expert-level certifications, and
- Architect-level certifications
Cisco’s entry-level certifications
The lowest level of certifications that Cisco offers is entry-level. If you’re looking to have a breakthrough into the information technology industry and start a career as a networking professional, this is the starting level for you.
Under this category, Cisco used to offer two different credentials; they are the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and the Cisco Certified Technician (CCT). However, since February 2020, the organization has replaced all its entry-level certifications with a single consolidated credential, called CCNA.
CCNA is an abbreviation that stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. The entry-level certification, according to Cisco, is the “first step in preparing for a career in IT technologies.” It’s important to earn this credential if you’re looking to become a networking professional.
CCNA offers tons of benefits to professionals. For instance, by earning the credential, you’ll be respected and recognized in the industry. It’ll help you boost your resume, giving you an edge over others when looking for a job position in the Cisco networking field.
Furthermore, the CCNA certification helps to validate candidate’s knowledge in the following topics:
- Network fundamentals
- IP services
- Security fundamentals
- Network access
- Automation and programmability
- IP connectivity
Cisco’s associate-level certifications
Cisco’s associate-level certification is divided into three different levels. They include the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified DevNet Associate, and Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate.
All these certifications will help you understand how to connect, secure and automate the networks. They’ll help you build your career and increase your chances of getting a job with the latest technologies.
The Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate is an associate-level certification designed by Cisco to help professionals boost their careers in cybersecurity operations. For you to pass the exam, you need to pass the exam, which covers different areas of IT, such as the fundamentals of information security operations, skills, and procedures.
One of the advantages of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate exam is that it’ll validate your knowledge in the following areas:
- Security concepts
- Security monitoring
- Host-based analysis
- Security policies and procedures
- Network intrusion analysis
Cisco’s professional-level certifications
Under the professional level certifications, there are several different CCNP certifications that you can earn. By earning any of the certifications, which require two exams, you’ll be able to increase your chances of getting better jobs in the information technology space.
Here are the different certifications under this category:
- CCNP Enterprise
- CCNP Data Center
- CCNP Security
- CCNP Service Provider
- CCNP Collaboration
- Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional
- Cisco Certified DevNet Professional
According to Cisco, expert-level certifications are widely recognized and accepted across the globe. Here are the different certifications under the CCIE expert-level category.
- CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure
- CCIE Enterprise Wireless
- CCIE Data Center
- CCIE Security
- CCIE Service Provider
- CCIE Collaboration
Are Cisco certifications worth it?
Now, you’ve seen the different types of certifications designed by Cisco. It’s time to go back and address the burning question; are the credentials worth the money and time?
The answer remains yes; earning the Cisco certifications are worthwhile.
That said, here are some of the reasons why I know the credentials are worth your money, time, and effort:
- The certifications can lead you to different IT career path
One of the reasons why I’ll advise you to go for relevant Cisco certifications is that they are effective in helping to build one’s career in various career paths.
In the IT space, you’ll agree with me that there are several career paths that you can take. By opting for and earning Cisco certifications, you can always switch your career to a new high one. Getting more than one certification in various levels of the Cisco certification will validate that you have several different skills.
- Cisco is a global leading networking company
Another reason why going for any of the Cisco certifications is a great move for you is that Cisco is a highly respected and recognized organization in the industry. What that means is most potential employers recognize these certifications. This will give you an edge when looking for a better career opportunity in the industry.
- Better pay
Being a Cisco certified professional, another thing that’s in there for you is a better payslip. Across the world, Cisco-certified professionals are some of the high-paid workers. If you don’t believe me, you can check below.
For instance, the average annual salary of a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certified professional in the US is $84,376. Furthermore, according to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certified professional is $149,846.