Cisco Systems, Inc. is involved in the development, production, and distribution of technology products and services. They include hardware, networking, and telecommunications equipment. Cisco is well-known for its routing and switching business products. Besides, the company also offers unified communications apps, storage networking technologies, and other services and solutions for Cloud management and data centers. To ensure that there are qualified specialists to develop, install, and manage these solutions, Cisco offers its certifications and exams for those who are involved in providing support to customers using Cisco products. In this article, Exam-Labs will take you through the Cisco certification program and explain its details.
Cisco Certification Program
The Cisco certification program comprises of five levels: entry, associate, professional, expert, and architect. As you move from one level to the next, the required knowledge and experience become more advanced. This means that the Cisco credentials are adaptive and progressive, and the program has something for everyone. The pathway covers a number of categories including Cloud, Cybersecurity Operations, Data Center, Collaboration, Design, Industrial, Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, and Wireless. If you’re a beginner, you can always start at the entry level and then move step by step to the highest position.
Cisco Entry-Level Certifications
The credentials at this level are intended for the beginners who wish to attain basic networking skills. These certifications can serve as a starting point for the IT professionals seeking to boost their networking careers. The level includes the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and the Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) certificates. The credentials and exams available at this level are:
- CCENT with the 100-105 ICND1 exam
- CCT Data Center whose test is 010-151 DCTECH
- CCT Routing and Switching with the 640-692 RSTECH exam
Cisco Associate-Level Certifications
An associate-level credential is for you if you wish to attain foundational knowledge and skills in networking. Here, you’ll find the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and the Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) certifications. CCNA is focused on how to install, operate, and troubleshoot a network, while CCDA is about the designing of a network. Here are some of the associate-level certificates along with their exams:
- CCDA with the200-310 DESGN exam
- CCNA Cloud which tests are 210-451 CLDFND and 210-455 CLDADM
- CCNA Routing and Switching which is obtained by passing either200-125 CCNA or 100-105 ICND1 and 200-105 ICND2
- CCNA Collaboration with its 210-060 CICD and 210-065 CIVND tests
- CCNA Cyber Ops and its210-250 SECFND and 210-255 SECOPS exams
- CCNA Data Center which requires the 200-150 DCICN and 200-155 DCICTtests
- CCNA Industrial with its 200-601 IMINS2 exam
- CCNA Security with the 210-260 IINS test
- CCNA Service Provider with its 640-875 SPNGN1 and 640-878 SPNGN2 exams
- CCNA Wireless and its 200-355 WIFUND
Cisco Professional-Level Certifications
If you want to gain more advanced knowledge and expertise in networking, you should pursue one of the professional-level credentials. Each certification at this level is based on a specific technology. This is necessary to prepare the professionals for specific job roles. The credentials offered at this level are CCDP (Cisco Certified Design Professional) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional). Here are some of the certifications for this level and their associated exams:
- CCDP withits exams 300-101 ROUTE, 300-115 SWITCH, and 300-320 ARCH
- CCNP Cloud with the 300-465 CLDDES, 300-460 CLDINF, 300-475 CLDACI, and 300-470 CLDAUT tests
- CCNP Routing and Switchingwhich requires 300-115 SWITCH, 300-135 TSHOOT, and 300-101 ROUTE
- CCNP Collaboration which needs 300-075 CIPTV2, 300-070 CIPTV1, 300-080 CTCOLLAB, and 300-085 CAPPS
- CCNP Security with its300-208 SISAS, 300-206 SENSS, 300-209 SIMOS, and300-210 SITCS exams
- CCNP Wirelesswhich requires 300-365 WIDEPLOY, 300-370 WITSHOOT, 300-360 WIDESIGN, and 300-375 WISECURE
To obtain any of these certificates, you need to possess either CCIE or suitable CCDA/CCNA credential as a prerequisite.
Cisco Expert-Level Certifications
The expert-level certifications from Cisco are considered prestigious and the most coveted IT ones today. They are the highest certificates in the Cisco program. The level comprises of the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) and the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)credentials. Attaining any of these requires that you pass both written and lab exams. The written test takes about 2 hours, while the practical one takes 8 hours. You can only take the lab test after passing your written one. Here are the Cisco expert-level credentials together with the codes for their written tests:
- CCDE with the352-001 test
- CCIE Routing and Switching and its400-101 exam
- CCIE Collaboration with its 400-051 test
- CCIE Data Centerandthe400-151 exam
- CCIE Security and its400-251 test
- CCIE Service Provider which requires the 400-201 exam
- CCIE Wireless with the 400-351test
This level has no formal prerequisites.
Cisco Architect-Level Certification
This is the top credential within the Cisco certification program. It is targeted at network designers who support complex enterprise net works and translate the enterprise strategies into technical strategies. The candidates for this certificate must meet an exam board appointed by Cisco. They will be required to develop a networking architecture that they must successfully defend before the board.
How to Prepare for Cisco Certification Exams?
Passing the Cisco certification tests isn’t easy, considering that they are mostly technical. However, with appropriate exam preparation tools (visit the Exam-Labs website), performing well in your test is possible. There are various strategies that you can use to facilitate your preparation. Here are some of them:
- Make use of the official Cisco website and get all the information you require including exam syllabus, exam registration dates, and exam policies.
- Put all your study resources together. Once you know the objectives of your test, the next thing to do is to make sure that all your study books, Exam-Labs practice tests, and other learning tools are in one place. This will save you time as all your study materials will be at hand whenever you need them.
- Enroll for Cisco training. You can opt for instructor-led classroom training or eLearning. The training path that you’ll choose will depend on your needs and flexibility.
- Use self-study materials. There are many self-study resources that you can make use of. They include study eBooks, video lectures, practice tests, and Cisco modeling labs. The most reliable and latest practice tests to use for your Cisco exam preparation are available on the Exam-Labs website.
The Cisco certifications continue to be in high demand all over the world. The professionals understand the importance of being Cisco certified, and the employers know what it means to hire someone who has a Cisco credential. The certifications from Cisco are accepted globally, and if you want to have an advantage over your colleagues, then it’s time for you to take a step up and register for your exam. With reliable training materials, eBooks, and resources from Exam-Labs, you have every reason to count on passing your tests and obtaining the Cisco certificate.