Research Schools

General Exam-Labs Overview of Cisco Certifications: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect Levels

Cisco Systems,Inc. is a company popular for its business products for routing and switching. Cisco products can handle video, voice, and other types of data across global networks. In addition, the company deals with integrated communications applications, storage networking, collaboration, telepresence, Cloud management, basic product support, complete data center solutions, and other directions.Also. Cisco offers some of the most prestigious certifications in the IT industry for specialists with different experience level.

Cisco recognizes that the IT practitioners need to stay updated in terms of having the skills required to support the company’s products and effectively respond to technical queries from customers. The Cisco certification program starts from the entry level, then builds up to associate, professional, and expert levels, and finally takes you to the highest level – architect. You can get one of these certificates by taking one or more exams. As the certification levels go higher, there are more prerequisites you should have. The Cisco program contains the following paths:

  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
  • Cisco Certified Technician
  • Cisco Certified Design Associate
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate
  • Cisco Certified Design Professional
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional
  • Cisco Certified Design Expert
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert
  • Cisco Certified Architect

As you can see, the two major certification tracks in the Cisco career program are Network Operation and Network Design. The Cisco credentials also provide a variety of specializations, which are designed to validate the professional’s skills in particular Cisco technologies.To get your certificate, you will have to pass one or more tests. In addition, some credentials require possessing a prerequisite certification (the available options are usually specified on the certification’s web page on the official Cisco website). Exam-Labs has prepared an overview of the Cisco certifications. Eager to learn more? Read on!

  • Entry-level certifications

There are two entry-level credentials: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Technician (CCT). These certifications do not require any prerequisites. The CCENT specialists install, troubleshoot, and maintainsmall networks or branches of an enterprise network. In addition, they are responsible for implementing basic network security.The CCENT certification serves as a base for associate-level credentials like CCNA and CCDA.

The CCT certified individuals, on the other hand, majorly work onsite wherever the customers are located and deal with issues related to network gear and repair. After CCT, an IT professional can pursue any of the network operation specializations.

To get your entry-level certification, you will have to pass one exam. If you are a beginner, Exam-Labs recommends you to obtain CCENT or CCT before proceeding to any associate credentials.

  • Associate-level certifications

The associate-level credentials areCisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). CCNA validates your basic skills in installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining wired and/or wireless networks. There are options of specialization such as Routing and Switching, Collaboration, Data Center, Cloud, Industrial, Security, Service Provider, Cyber Ops, and Wireless. CCNA also serves as a prerequisite for the professional-level CCNP certification.

CCDA is created forthose IT professionals who can design simple wired and wireless networks and incorporate security and voice solutions in them.The CCDA credential also serves as a requirement for you to get your CCDP certification. For you to attain CCDA, you must either have anactive CCENT certificate, CCNA Routingand Switching or any CCIE credential.

The associate-level certifications usually require one or two exams. If you are looking for reliable preparation materials, you can visit the Exam-Labs website.

  • Professional-level certifications

The professional-level certifications include Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP). For you to attain CCDP, you need to have attained both the CCNA or CCNP Routing and Switching and CCDA certifications. The CCIE/CCDE credentials can also serve as a prerequisite. CCDP validates the individual’s ability to create multi-layer architectures for organizations and develop network components. Once you get certified, you can move on to the CCDE certification.

CCNP, in its turn, confirms thatthe IT professionals are able to develop, install, and troubleshoot local and wide area networks. It is ideal for pursuing superior certifications like CCIE.The professional-level certificates usually require three or four exams.

  • Expert-level certifications

The Cisco expert-level certifications include Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE).Most network professionals find that attaining the CCIE certificateis a career highlight for them.Those networkspecialists who have attained CCIE have expert-level technical knowledge of Cisco network solutions and products.

CCDE is intended forthose experts who design network infrastructures for large business environments.They perform tasks related to budget, business, operational, and technological aspects of any particular project within that environment.The expert-level certifications require one written and one laboratory exam.

  • Architect-level certification

The Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) certification is ideal for those IT specialists who are pursuing major positions like data center or network architect. When compared to traditional academic programs, the CCAr credentialis equivalent to the Ph.D. Most people find it to be one of the most challenging certificates to attain as it requires you to create an effective network architecture and defend it in front of the commission.

Maintaining Cisco Certifications
It is important to note that the Cisco certifications have a validity period. The IT industry evolves constantly, and the certified professionals need to stay updated with all the new innovations in their particular fields. The entry-, associate-, and professional-level certificates are valid for three years. The CCIE credentials are valid for two years. The CCAr certificationis valid for five years.The Cisco certified professionals are required to clear a recertification exam after the validity period is over to maintain their credential and pursue the next level in the Ciscocertification program hierarchy.

The Cisco certificates are so prestigious, especially for networking professionals. If you want to build a successful networking career, you should certainly enroll in the Ciscocertification program. Ensure that you undergo the relevant preparation course and take all the tests required for you to get certified. Go build your IT career today, Exam-Labs wishes you luck with your exams!