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Senior Editor

A look at Cisco certification choices

Mar 01, 20042 mins
Cisco SystemsNetworking

* Cisco's certification and education program celebrates its 10th anniversary

Are all the network and security training certificates confusing or a necessary evil? Our Special Focus author ( this week takes a look at Cisco’s certification program.

Cisco certifications, such as Cisco Certified Internetworking Engineer (CCIE) and Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP), have become sought-after credentials for most network professionals. But they are also required levels of competency that many CIOs and other IT executives look for when hiring new staff.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Cisco’s certification and education program, which started with the CCIE examination. Over 500,000 Cisco certifications have been issued since the program was started – that’s about one Cisco-certified professional for every four of the approximately 2 million Cisco routers installed.

Clearly, Cisco is very different than it was ten years ago, and that has caused the company’s training and certification organization to evolve as well. What started out as a test of users’ knowledge of WAN routers and protocols now includes switching, security, wireless, telephony and storage.

For network staff and administration professionals, the development of lower-level certifications has become a good way for users to quantify and validate knowledge accumulated from years of experience with Cisco equipment. Since no formal coursework is required to take any of the CC-related courses, users can study and take tests at their own pace.

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