The Cisco CCNA certification, which stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate, refers to a wide range of technical specializations that Cisco offers the IT world. These industry standard certifications are favored by organizations because they demonstrate the job candidate's technical acumen and competency.

Eligibility

Cisco offers two entry-level certifications: the Cisco Certified Entry Level Technician (CCENT) and the Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) certification. The CCENT certification is for network professionals who need to verify that they have the skills required for basic network support positions. The CCENT means that the holder can diagnose, repair and manage fundamental Cisco networking components. The CCT is available with three specializations: CCT TelePresence, data center and routing and switching.

The most popular CCT certification is the routing and switching option because it concentrates on the skills required for on-site support and maintenance of Cisco brand systems and equipment. This certification trains technicians to successfully work with Cisco routers, switches, cabling and related accessories. Both of these certifications help technicians start their careers as network professionals. They also are the basic eligibility requirement to take a CCNA certification.

CCNA Options

Cisco offers many Associate-level certifications for networking professionals. Topics covered include voice, video, cloud, industrial, wireless, data center, service provider and routing and switching. For example, many companies are using Cloud-based technology to help them remain agile and flexible. The CCNA Cloud certification is designed for network engineers and administrators to advance and expand their cloud-based skills and knowledge. The CCNA Security credential is a basic requirement for network security professionals. Passing the exam means that IT job candidates have the skills required to recognize threats, minimize network vulnerabilities and manage complex security infrastructures.

The most popular Associate-level program is the CCNA Routing and Switching certification. As networks grow in complexity, the need for qualified network professionals who can implement infrastructure and manage network issues is rapidly growing. Networking solutions cover video services, voice communications, and collaboration environments. The curriculum of the CCNA Routing and Switching program is highly relevant and practical because training modules are closely aligned with the assigned tasks of networking professionals. Thus, the program teaches how to design and configure networks, but also provide excellent support as technical specialists.

CCNA Benefits

Cisco's CCNA certifications offer candidates insightful understanding of core IT concepts. They help networking experts keep up-to-date with the new industry advancements and refresh their existing skills and knowledge. CCNA certifications look good on resumes and help prospective job applicants obtain interviews and gainful employment. After being hired, they will help the holder advance their career because they will have exclusive training and credentials. Promotions and new job opportunities translate to higher salary earnings.

An Associate-level CCNA certificate is the first step in obtaining higher Cisco certification. There are Professional certifications known as the Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) series. This covers cloud, security, wireless, collaboration and routing and switching. The next series up is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) program. Anyone of these Expert certifications is considered to be the most prestigious networking certification currently available in the IT industry.

IT professionals should not that Cisco CCNA certification exams generally require candidates to have at least one to three years of networking experience.

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