Cisco is one of the biggest providers of IT products and services in the world. The company is a major player in these five major technology areas:
But aside from providing various solutions, the company also offers IT certifications for professionals. These certificates demonstrate an individual’s mastery of key concepts in their chosen field.
These certifications have four levels, which are entry, associate, professional, and expert. To earn a Cisco certificate at any level, to pass exams wherein you must show your mastery of the concepts and topics related to your chosen specialization.
The most commonly sought certification is the Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA credential. This is the associate level of the Cisco qualifications.
There are nine specializations under the CCNA certification. These are:
You can learn more about the field you want to be certified in and prepare for the exam by taking up a CCNA training course.
If you are an IT professional, acquiring a CCNA credential will enable you to experience these remarkable benefits:
If you’re currently in between jobs or passively looking for a new one, a CCNA certificate will give you the edge you need to stand out from the other applicants and land a position that you like.
Since IT is one of the most sought-after fields today, getting a job you like can be challenging due to tough competition. Distinguish yourself from your fellow applicants who have the same educational and employment background and skills as you do with a certificate that proves you are proficient in a CCNA area of specialization.
Aside from increasing your chances of getting a new job, the associate level certification issued by Cisco will help boost your climb up the career ladder as well.
Since the certificate proves that you are an expert in a particular field of specialization in IT, it will demonstrate to your employer that you are ready and competent to hold a higher position.
And with this promotion, you can expect a pay bump. This is something that you can look forward to, whether you stay with the same company or apply to another one.
The CCNA certificate is a requirement for other Cisco certifications. As such, you will be able to use it as a stepping stone to get other qualifications and to broaden your areas of specialization.
You can move on to getting a professional-level certification and, subsequently, an expert level one, once you have a valid CCNA certificate.
It is also worth adding here that some colleges and learning institutions can give as much as six credits to students who hold a valid CCNA certificate and want to take a higher-level course.
One of the most important benefits that you will experience when getting CCNA certification is increasing your knowledge and understanding of the concepts. You will be able to do this within a short period of time as well.
Keep in mind that even if you work in the IT field now, there will be certain concepts that you may have already forgotten because you have not applied them again or read about them recently. Some principles, theories, or practices may have been changed or updated in recent years.
You will be able to relearn and refresh your stock knowledge during your review course and self-study sessions.
Finally, getting CCNA-certified is the best tangible confirmation you will have that you are proficient in your field. It is a validation that you have chosen the right career and that you can go places in this industry.
Moreover, there is no doubt that you will put a lot of hard work in reviewing for the exam. The certificate is also another form of reward that will give you a sense of personal satisfaction, gratification, and relief.
To increase your chances of acing the test and getting a certification, follow these prep and review tips:
Reduce the number of materials you have to learn, the time you need to study, and your stress by having an idea of the topics that will be covered in the test.
You will find a CCNA certification syllabus on Cisco’s website and other sites. This program covers the list of topics that you need to know and commit to memory. Use this as your guide in creating your course of study and schedule.
Keep in mind that if a certain topic is not on the syllabus, don’t waste time reviewing or researching it since it won’t be on the exam.
If you don’t have the time to research the various materials or you want to be sure that you will study the right topics, the best thing to do is to enroll in a CCNA training program.
These courses will serve as your review classes. You will be able to refresh your knowledge and understanding of the relevant concepts. You will also learn new or updated ones that will help you become more prepared for the test.
To pass the CCNA exam, you need to have both practical and theoretical knowledge. As such, you should be able to apply the concepts you learned to troubleshoot issues or improve processes.
If you are working, ask for permission to try new protocols or configurations to see how they work. You can do them using your own computer as well.
Applying these concepts and seeing the results will allow you to validate what you learned and enable you to understand and remember them better.
Lastly, make sure you know what to expect during exam day and be fully prepared for everything by taking as many practice tests as you can.
Look for websites that provide online CCNA practice tests. After each exam, take note of your mistakes and research the correct answers.
After taking several tests, identify your weak areas and focus on them. Learn more about these concepts so that you will reduce the chances of making the same mistakes on the actual exam.
To experience the benefits of being CCNA-certified, you need to pass the exam first. As long as you prepare well for the test, you will get a certificate that you can use as a stepping stone for achieving greater heights in the field of information technology.
Contributed by: Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.