Cisco Network Certification Explained

Cisco Corporation provides a wide array of certifications for technically minded people who want to specialise in supporting their hardware and networking equipment. There are three levels of certification in the General certifications path, from Associate to Professional to Expert, with certification paths covering Routing and Switching, Network Design and Architecture, Network Security, Service Provider, Storage Networking and Voice Certification.

While not directly comparable to college degree programs in all aspects, you can think of the Associate certification as being roughly equal to an Associate of Arts degree in the generalised technology area, the Professional as being just shy of a Science degree, and the Expert certification as being broadly comparable to a partial Master’s Degree program.

Many professionals end up getting an Expert certification in one area, and branching out with Associates and Professionals in a few supporting topic areas.

Going beyond the generalised certification programs, Cisco also has Specialist Certifications, all of which require an Associate or better certification to take the exam. These get significantly more diverse, with subjects covering Advanced Routing and Switching, with field specialists (people who trouble shoot problems), sales specialists (people who are good at defining what range of Cisco products a customer needs and getting them in place) and solutions specialists (who design full architected systems for customers).

The most common Specialist certifications deal with data centres, and there are eight of them, usually split between Support, Design and Sales, for Application Services, Network Switching interfaces, and Network Storage Certifications. These build on several foundation skills.

The second most common Specialist certifications cover IP (Internet Protocol) Communications Certifications; these are, in effect, engineering certifications, and cover the range from Telephony Network Design services, Contact Centre certifications, generalised IP communications certifications and more. What these certifications do is give a baseline for setting up networking solutions for large organisations.

One of the most demanded sets of specialisation certifications include the VPN and Security specialisations, which cover everything from firewalls to generalised security technical’s to architectural setup certifications. There are also specialisations covering wireless LAN and channel partner certifications.

All of these certifications (both General and Specialist) have
attended course requirements and exams; you can expect that a typical course will run from three weeks (at the Associates level) to six to eight weeks, and be followed by an exam; expect to pay a largish fee for these certification processes.

Unlike most of the professional IT certification programs, Cisco’s tends to involve a hands-on approach with the class work and certification; this is a direct response to the watering down of competing certifications, many of which now have “cheat sheet” web sites to help potential students ‘hit the books’ for the tests. Cisco Systems knows that its certification program rests on the fundamental skills used by its students; people with certifications who can’t do the work don’t do a good job of promoting Cisco, nor are they assets to their employers. As a result, expect to work hard for these certifications.

The up side of these certifications is that they give you a leg up in the job market when working with this particular hardware set and these protocols. Therefore Cisco certifications are an excellent investment in your IT future.

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. He recommends Prodec Networks, a leading Cisco training specialist.
 

Easy To Follow Ideas About Search Engine Optimization That Will Really Help You

 

You could be the most ambitious person on the planet when it comes to creating a website with all the bells and whistles that people will love, but unless your visitors can find your site when they search specific terms, your efforts are just going to be wasted. Read these tips and make the most of your efforts.

 

On your website, headings are going to play a vital role in organizing information. So you need to use only a single H1 tag when you are putting your page together. You can use various subheading tags, like H2-H6, but keep things neat and clean by only using one main H1 tag.

 

To search engine optimize your website, don't include more than 150 internal linking hyperlinks on your home page. Too many internal links on one page can dilute a web page's search engine rank. Huge numbers of links also make it hard for visitors to find the information that they need quickly.

 

To ensure that your website is as easy as possible to crawl, keep your site architecture flat. Don't use too many sub folders, instead use descriptive names for each page. Keep your pages with the most competitive keywords in their names, close to the root folder, so they will gain a higher page rank.

 

A great way to optimize your search engine is to provide use internal links. This means you have an easy access to links within your own site. This provides an easier database for customers of viewers to use and will end up boosting the amount of traffic you have.

 

Find some SEO forums that take site review requests. Participate in the forums then ask fellow members to take look at your website. When someone you don't know well visits your website they can analyze it critically and unemotional, then highlight mistakes and suggest ways for you to improve your website's search engine optimization.

 

While purchasing a domain name may seem like the right way to go, many search engines do not recommend it. Some search engines have a long delay for adding new sites to their existing lists, and last thing you want is to delay getting new visitors. Using your existing website is more feasible, since the wait time for some engines is up to a full year.

 

Decide whether or not you want to use a link farm. Link farms are sites without content that just have thousands of links. This is generally seen as a negative thing. However, these do appear in search engines, and can help you rise in the ranks. It is your decision as to what is most important: rapport with other sites, or search engine rankings.

 

As mentioned at the start of this article, it's very important that you do not allow your efforts to go to waste. Learning the proper optimization tactics for the search engines out there is how your site or business goes from a simple start-up to being a legitimate and popular brand online. Use the tips you've just read to your advantage in SEO.

 

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