Monday, 30 June 2014

3 Cisco CCNA certificates to boost your career in Networking


The CCNA is a consistently well-regarded industry certificate, assessed and supported by Cisco, an industry behemoth with 45% market share for products in the networking and communications sectors. The CCNA is an immensely popular certification amongst network professionals, but why should you actually bother with it?

A CCNA cert will not only prove and document your own knowledge, you’ll demonstrate to your boss that you have the skills and drive to progress in your career. It could even be that crucial bargaining chip to secure a raise. Having one of the CCNA certifications on your resume will help you stand out from others when applying for the same job and proves to the hiring manager that you have the requisite skills in networking.

Any one of the CCNA certifications could be the jump start you need to move up in your career. 

'A brief introduction to Cisco's associate level certifications'

Image courtesy of mconnors/ morgueFile
Cisco CCNA Security

Prerequisites - Any valid CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, or any CCIE certification.
The CCNA Security certificate demonstrates to organisations that you possess valuable skills involved in the implementation and maintenance of secure networks and server architecture.

With an increasing number of industry and government compliance mandates becoming necessary, even a basic level of network security can prove critical in accelerating your career. Complying with well-known security standards can provide a massive bonus to organisations; who are often more than willing to pay for someone with the skills – In the UK, Network Security Engineers earn an average salary upwards of £48,500.

As part of the certification, you’ll prove skills in the installation, monitoring and troubleshooting of network devices in order to maintain confidentiality and availability for both data and device.

Cisco CCNA Wireless

Prerequisites - Any valid CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, or any CCIE certification.
The wireless job market has been expanding at pace for years with companies of all sizes upgrading their infrastructure to include wireless. A study by Canalys shows that Wireless LAN shipments will represent 18% of all enterprise networking value in 2018. As one of the leaders in network innovations, it will come as no surprise that Cisco is already the market leader and actually account for 53% of wireless shipments.

Having a CCNA Wireless certificate on your resume will make it clear to prospective (and current) employers that you can implement and maintain wireless network technology.
If you already work with Cisco network infrastructures the CCNA Wireless will set yourself apart from other candidates and demonstrate a broad range of skills. Alternatively, if you’re already working within the wireless field with other vendor platforms, and you’re interested in expanding into Cisco’s technology, this certificate could prove crucial.
The CCNA Wireless certification demonstrates your knowledge in WLAN fundamentals, basic WLAN security, installation of Cisco LAN networks and WLAN maintenance.

Cisco CCNA Voice

Prerequisites - Any valid CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, or any CCIE certification.
Whilst better known for their network products, Cisco is also a major provider of Voice over IP (VoIP) to enterprises. The CCNA Voice cert is your first step to a career in voice networking. You’ll demonstrate you have the skills needed to deploy and maintain a Cisco Voice infrastructure using technologies like: Voicemail solutions, IP PBX and IP Telephony.

This certification confirms you have the required knowledge for specialized roles in voice technology. It’s a specialised sector, but one that pays well - Cisco Voice Engineers earn an average salary of £40,000 in the UK.

Now’s the time to get an official Cisco certification

The UK’s GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) security arm has just approved a number of CISCO products as secure. The certification allows the products to handle information up to the UK governments “Official” classification and will likely provide a big boost to the value of the Cisco brand.

The Cisco-certified will be amongst those reaping the rewards of this new government support. So what are you waiting for, ride the Cisco wave and get certified

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.