Cisco Career Certifications

Cisco Career Certifications are IT professional certifications for Cisco products. The tests are administered by Pearson VUE. There are five levels of certification: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Specialist. For more information on Cisco Certifications, visit the Cisco Learning Network

Entry Certification
Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician

The first stage of Cisco's certification system is the entry level and begins with CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) certification as an interim step to CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associate and CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate) credential. While the CCENT covers basic networking knowledge, and does not get involved with the more intricate technical aspects of the Cisco security, wireless, or voice curriculum, it does validate the skills essential for entry-level network support positions. CCENT qualified individuals have the knowledge and skill to install, manage, maintain and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including network security.

Steps to Gaining the Credential CCENT

1. CCENT Training: CCENT training is called ICND1. CCENT training called ICND1 is required to sit for the ICND1 exam. It is a 5 Day instructor led or virtual course from a Cisco Certified Training Provider. ICND1 equals 30 Cisco Learning Credits when training is delivered by a Cisco Certified training provider.
2. CCENT Exam: The CCENT exam is called Exam 640-822 ICND1).

Associate Certifications

The CCNA validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot enterprise level router and switched networks. This includes design implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN. New CCNA training includes basic mitigation of security threats, introduction to wireless networking and Voice.
How to Gain the CCNA Credential
The CCNA Credential is obtained by passing 640-822 and 640-816 or the single 640-802 composite exam.
CCNA Training
Cisco's official CCNA training consists of approximately 180 hours of coursework delivered by a Cisco Certified Training Partner or by Cisco Networking Academy across two classes. 60 hours is delivered virtually prior to attending 60 hours of instructor-led training with hands-on labs and concluded by 60 hours of post-classroom training on virtual labs.
ICND1 - 640-822
ICND2 - 640-816
Both classes apply towards the combined 640-802 test. CCNA Exam:
Candidates have the option of gaining the certification by passing two tests (640-822 ICND1 and 640-816 ICND2), or one single test (CCNA 640-802]])Composite; the two-test option has the advantage of allowing the candidate to test for the subject matter in one or two sittings.Continuing CCNA Education:
The certification is valid for three years; at that time a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) holder must either
* re-take the CCNA or ICND2 exam, or
* take and pass an exam for one of the Professional (e.g.,Professional certifications CCNP or Specialist level certifications (excluding the sales specialist exams), or pass the CCIE written exam.
These exams are conducted by authorized test centers at a cost of USD$125 each for the ICND1 or ICND2 exams and, effective 06-23-2008, USD$250 for the composite CCNA exam. There is also the Cisco Networking Academy, which brings the CCNA and CCNP curricula into traditional educational institutions in more than 150 countries.Students enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy can request exam vouchers that allow them to take the retired exam for an extended period of time.

CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate)

The CCDA certification indicates an associate knowledge of Cisco network design. Individuals who have earned a CCDA are capable of designing switched or routed networks consisting of LANs, WANs, and various dial services. While a CCNA certification is not required to take the CCDA exam (640-863 DESGN), Cisco recommends being familiar with CCNA-level material, as well as BCMSN-level knowledge of Cisco-based LANs.

CCNA Security (Involves Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security)

CCNA Security Certification meets the needs of IT professionals who are responsible for network security. It confirms an individual's skills for job roles such as Network Security Specialists, Security Administrators, and Network Security Support Engineers. This certification validates skills including installation, troubleshooting and monitoring of network devices to maintain integrity, confidentiality and availability of data and devices and develops competency in the technologies that Cisco uses in its security structure.
Students completing the recommended Cisco training will gain an introduction to core security technologies as well as how to develop security policies and mitigate risks. IT organizations that employ CCNA Security-holders will have IT staff that can develop a security infrastructure, recognize threats and vulnerabilities to networks, and mitigate security threats.
CCNA Voice (Involves Implementing Cisco IOS Unified Communications)
The Cisco CCNA Voice certification confirms that you have the required skill set for specialized job roles in voice technologies such as voice technologies administrator, voice engineer, and voice manager. It validates skills in VoIP technologies such as IP PBX, IP telephony, handset, call control, and voicemail solutions. Candidates also get exposure to the Cisco Unified Communications architecture and design covering mobility, presence, and TelePresence applications.
The CCNA Voice Certification enables employers to validate that their staff possess a strong foundation in voice applications and infrastructure concepts; and are capable of performing baseline installation, operating, and maintenance tasks on Cisco VoIP solutions, particularly the Smart Business Communications System from 8-250 lines.

CCNA Wireless (Implementing Cisco Unified Wireless Networking Essentials)

CCNA Wireless recognizes the critical importance of professionals supporting wireless LANS including Networking Associates/Administrators, Wireless Support Specialists and WLAN project managers.
The CCNA Wireless Certification validates candidate's skills in the configuration, implementation and support of wireless LANs, specifically those networks using Cisco equipment. Students completing the recommended Cisco training are provided with information and practice activities to prepare them for, configuring, monitoring and troubleshooting basic tasks of a Cisco WLAN in SMB and Enterprise networks. Employers will be able to validate their staff have the skills needed for basic wireless networking on a Cisco WLAN in SMB and enterprise networks after completing certification.

Professional certifications
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
The CCNP is considered proof of having the ability to work with medium-sized networks (between 100 and 500 end devices) and with technology such as QoS, broadband, VPNs, and security-minded features. To acquire a CCNP one must possess a CCNA certification first and then pass three or four tests, depending on the path one chooses. The four tests path requires the candidate to pass the following tests:
* 642-901 BSCI: Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI)- Deals with routing
* 642-812 BCMSN: Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN)Deals with switching
* 642-825 ISCW: Implementing Secure Converged Wide Area Networks (ISCW)- Deals with wide area networks
* 642-845 ONT: Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks (ONT) - Deals with using QoS to tune networks to work effectively with IP Telephony.
The BSCI and BCMSN tests can be taken as one single composite test known as the 642-892 Composite[9] which covers subjects for Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI) and Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN).
In order to retain the certification one must either take and pass a 642 (professional) exam or pass one of the CCIE written exams before the Professional certification expires. Additional resources and tools to aid in preparing for the certification are available on the CCNP Prep Center.
The CCDP certification is an advanced network design certification provided by Cisco Systems, Inc. Candidates for the certification are tested for advanced knowledge of Cisco devices and the way to interconnect them. The prerequisite for taking the CCDP is either the CCNA or the CCDA certification. There are two exams in common between the CCNP and CCDP (642-901 BSCI & 642-812 BCMSN) so that person can attain CCDP certification by passing a single test (642-873 ARCH).

Required Exams:
* 642-901 BSCI: Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI)[5] - Deals with routing * 642-812 BCMSN: Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN)[6] Deals with switching
* 642-873 ARCH: Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH) [11]
* 642-892 Composite: Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI)[9]
* 642-873 ARCH: Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH)

Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP)

The CCIP certification is a professional certification covering the end-to-end protocols used in large scale networks.
To attain this certification tests must be passed in the areas of routing, BGP, MPLS, Quality of service and the routing exam from the CCNP track (642-901 BSCI).

Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP)

The CCSP certification is an advanced network security certification. Candidates for the certification are tested for advanced knowledge of various Cisco security products.
To attain this certification several tests must be passed in the areas of VPN, IDS, PIX firewall, Secure IOS, the Cisco SAFE, as well as having a CCNA or higher level certification (e.g. CCNP or CCIP).
The common practice is to take five exams, one of which is selected from a list of electives. The list of exams can be found on the Cisco Learning Network.

Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP)
The CCVP is a certification covering all aspects of IP Telephony/VOIP networks and applications.
To attain this certification, five tests must be passed in the areas of Quality of service, Cisco VoIP, IP Telephony Troubleshooting, Cisco IP Telephony, and Gateway Gatekeeper.

CCIE Numbering and Recertification

Upon successful completion of the hands on lab exam, a new CCIE is awarded a CCIE number. The first CCIE number allocated (in 1993) was 1024, and has increased incrementally from there. A lower number indicates that the CCIE was awarded some time back, a higher number indicated a more recently awarded certification. As of February 2008, the highest CCIE number allocated was just over 20000.
Number 1024 was allocated to the first CCIE lab location, rather than to an individual, and featured as a plaque at the entrance to the lab. Number 1025 was awarded to Stuart Biggs, who created the first written exam and first lab exam. The first person to pass both CCIE written and lab exams was Terrance Slattery, who was consulting to Cisco at the time when the lab was being devised. Terry Slattery (CCIE 1026) was therefore the first CCIE who passed both exams, and the first CCIE who was not an employee of Cisco.
Any CCIE who obtains further CCIE certifications, is not awarded any further numbers, the new CCIE certification is awarded under the same number as the original.
Every two years a CCIE has to take a CCIE written test to retain the certification (known as recertification, or recert). If this is not done, the CCIE is then said to be in suspended status. The CCIE certification is not recognised by Cisco as current at this point. After one further year, if a written test has not been undertaken and passed, the CCIE is then revoked. The CCIE certification can then only be re-gained by taking the written exam and lab exam from scratch.


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