If your are currently an IT professional looking to advance your career, you should take a hard look at Cisco Certification. Cisco is the leader in networking and switching technologies. With VOIP and other growing internet technologies the use of networking equipment is only going to grow. There are a wide range of jobs that can be leveraged by obtaining a Cisco certification. Don't let the opportunity pass you by.
There are three (3) certifications that will surely advance your career. The first is the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA). This is the entry level networking certification that will get your foot in the door. Many organizations require this certification for you to prove that you understand the basics of Cisco networking and switching technologies. You can't go wrong by making this your short term goal and achieve this valuable certification. The average salary for a CCNA is between $ 60,000- $ 76,000. Not bad for entry level eh!
If you want to be a Mid-level networking engineer you must obtain your Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) certification. You can start with the CCNA and build on it by taking additional exams to finally obtain your CCNP. Make sure you gets some hands on experience before attempting this exam as they are no walk in the park. Cisco has created an excellent set of exams to make sure that the certification has true "real world" value. If you can pass their exams, you are ready to manage real IT corporate networks and make yourself a valuable career in networking.
If you want to be at the top of the field, you will want to consider the Certified Internetworking Experts (CCIE) certification. This exam has both a written and practical exam. The failure rate of the practical exam is extremely high but is well worth the effort. Most CCIE certified engineers make well over $ 100,000 per year. For many, this takes several years to achieve after getting some real hands on experience.
My advice would be to start with the CCNA certification, get yourself in a good corporation and use your skills hands on. Many organizations will help you pay for your additional certifications after you have been employed for a year or more, sometimes less. This is a great avenue to advance your career even further while making a great salary as well.
Careers leveraging certification offer many benefits, including:
1) Massive job growth. Networking will continue to grow.
2) Financial security and a high quality of life.
3) Growing Career opportunities in other areas of IT.
4) The possibility to work in a global organization with potential travel opportunities.
5) The ability to create innovative technology solutions.
Considering the many benefits of certification, it is hard to imagine why you wouldn't want to pursue it further. If you are new to IT, you might want to get a good foundation in computing before trying to obtain your CCNA or other networking certification. This will prove to be very helpful in understanding the core technologies.
For those that are working as an entry level desktop or computer support staff this may be a great career move for you. Get started by searching online for authorized training centers and courses in your area to get started. If you unsure if this is the right move for you, go to your local book store and you will find many books on the exams. Take a look and make sure the topic interests you before you invest significant time and energy in taking the exams.
Best of luck to you in advancing your IT career!