Is a Cisco Certification Worth It?

Is a Cisco Certification Worth It?
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R Bhargav

Last updated September 20, 2017


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Cisco Systems offers both general and specialized certifications, all of which require candidates to take an examination. The general certifications have been classified into four different levels of expertise that are offered in seven different paths, including routing and switching, design, security, and storage networking.

Among the most sought-after certifications in the IT industry, CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE are the most popular. As a Cisco certified professional, employers will be assured of your proficiency in networking fundamentals and concepts.

In this article, we’ll take a look at five reasons why getting one or more Cisco certifications is absolutely worth it.

Reason #1: A Cisco Certification Enhances And Validates Your Networking Knowledge

One of the main reasons to enroll in Cisco certification training is to enhance and increase your knowledge. Most Cisco certifications cover a wide range of technologies and protocols. Earning a Cisco certification helps you learn how to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot routed and switched networks.

A Cisco certification also arms professionals with the expertise necessary to tackle issues in real-world environments, with the pressures and risks associated with network deployment and maintenance in large organizations.

Reason #2: A Cisco Certification Opens Up New Avenues for Career Advancement

A Cisco certification puts your career on the fast track when it comes to the roles that you’ll be qualified for and offered to you are concerned—and this means much better visibility in terms of your job profile. You’ll be able to perform a variety of networking tasks at an advanced level, with increased responsibilities, and have more tasks ownership. Though getting promoted is definitely possible without being certified, earning a certification is sure to speed up the promotion process.

Reason #3: A Cisco Certification Gives You a Salary Boost

In May 2014, the US Bureau of Statistics (BLS) reported an average annual salary of $79,770 for network and system administrators, with the highest paid professionals drawing $120,000 or more. The BLS also predicts a 12 percent increase in demand for network professionals between 2012 and 2022.

According to the InfoSec Institute, CCNA professionals can earn as much as $118,830 a year, on average. And, a recent PayScale report indicates the salary earned by certified network engineers specializing in Cisco networking ranges from $50,971 to $101, 017 per year.

Reason #4: Employers Prefer Cisco Certified Professionals

International Data Corporation’s (IDC) December 2008 study Impact of Training: Functional Excellence Leads to Operational Productivity supports the fact that training and certifications have a positive impact on strengthening return on investment, lower costs, and increased productivity for employers.

Certifications validate that you have a certain level of knowledge and skills because they serve as proof of networking and troubleshooting skills. Certain firms (especially Cisco partners) prefer to hire Cisco certified professionals versus uncertified professionals. And, the more certifications you achieve, the better your salary.

Here are some facts and figures:

  • According to 66% of managers, a Cisco certification improves the overall level of service and support offered to IT end users and customers.
  • Organizations with 40 – 55% certified team members perform well above the average.
  • Cisco certification increases customer satisfaction because trained employees have a better understanding of how to deal with issues and solve them with a higher success rate.
  • According to 75% of managers, Cisco certifications are important for better team performance.

Considering these benefits to employers, a Cisco certification will serve to highlight your resume to potential recruiters, and help you stand apart from the crowd of non-certified professionals.

Reason #5: The Future Benefits Of a Cisco Certification Far Outweigh Opportunity Costs

Although the experience will vary from person to person, for the average professional with no experience in IT or networking, completing an entire Cisco track—for example, the R/S, or Routing and Switching track—would take a maximum of 1500 hours of study to complete three certifications: CCNA R/S, CCNP R/S, and CCIE R/S.

At the US average wage for graduates of $16/hour, this translates to an opportunity cost of $24,000, assuming the professional were to quit their job to prepare for the certification exams full-time. With an average starting pay of more than $50,000 annually, achieving a Cisco certification would mean the professional could spend an entire year preparing full-time and break even after six months at the new job.

Conclusion

Ready to get started down the Cisco certification path? Simplilearn provides CCNA Routing & Switching Certification training and CCNP Routing & Switching Certification training—and each course is just $299. You’ll receive 180 days of access to high-quality, self-paced learning content designed by industry experts. This course will help you pass your Cisco exam on the first try, which will prove your expertise and give your career a boost—just as described above.

About the Author

An experienced process analyst at Simplilearn, the author specializes in adapting current quality management best practices to the needs of fast-paced digital businesses. An MS in MechEng with over eight years of professional experience in various domains, Bhargav was previously associated with Paradox Interactive, The Creative Assembly, and Mott MacDonald LLC.


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