Cisco offers several different types of Cisco certification that denote proficiency on their network systems. These are divided into different categories and there are different levels of proficiency within each of the categories. The higher-level certifications come with higher pay scales, of course, but the process of getting to the highest levels of Cisco Career certification can be very challenging.
Levels of Proficiency and Knowledge
According to Cisco itself, there are three different levels of certification offered by the company. These levels of certification, listed in order of least intensive to most intensive, generally have to be achieved one after the other in order to reach the highest levels of certification.
The associate certification is the lowest level of certification that Cisco offers and is where most people will begin their Cisco career path if they choose to pursue this type of certification. The company encourages those taking this level of certification to think of it as the starting point for a higher level of certification. This is the level of certification that you would seek if you had very little networking experience and were looking for a foot in the door.
This level of certification denotes you as a professional that is qualified to work on networks and that have surpassed the associate level of certification. The testing process for this level of certification is very challenging and the people who hold it are qualified to tackle most common problems seen on a network. They are certainly qualified to be network administrators on medium-sized networks and many large-size networks.
The expert level of certification is the highest you can go with Cisco Career certifications. This is also the highest level of salary and the individuals with these types of certifications oftentimes make six-figure incomes.
Cisco also divides its certification system into seven different paths. These paths are designed to allow the individual to choose the education that best suits their interests. The seven different paths are:
Routing and Switching
The seven different pathways allow the individual to customize their education to the Cisco careers that is most suitable for them. If you have an interest in an even more specific area of technology, you can take focused certifications. There are many different specialist certifications that you can seek and, according to Cisco, they add different areas of study to this type of certification on a regular basis.
Cisco certifications are among the most sought after in the information technology industry. They’re very difficult to get and they require study and knowledge to achieve. For individuals that want a certification that is not completely wed to one company’s products, these certifications are excellent choices, despite the fact that they carry the name Cisco. The network skills and knowledge that are required to achieve these degrees will transfer to many other manufacturer’s products and, of course, Cisco is one of the largest manufacturers of networking technology in the world, making these degrees inherently useful for the people that have them and for the people that employ these experts.