Cisco is the leading company in the world for routers, switches, and other networking equipment, and also specializes in internetworking technologies and services. The company has more then 63,000 employees worldwide and conducts the examination required for the Cisco certification to help locate competent professionals to work in this advanced and competitive field. The exams are difficult since certification can launch a persons career to a whole new level. Today, Cisco’s networking has evolved into a vast array of different subfields, unlike in 1993, when Cisco newly launched its first certification, the CCIE (Cisto Certified Internetwork Expert).
Despite the vast array, only a handful of people succeed in the advanced level CCIE certification examinations. Today, there are an estimated 5,297 active CCIE’s present in the world, with 2,407 of them in the United States. It is confirmed by these numbers just how difficult it is to get certification, and only candidates with exceptional knowledge have been able to do so.
Seeing that candidates often dreaded the exams, and felt they were too challenging, Cisco introduced two lower-tier certification exams in 1998. These were called lower tiers because of the designation career certifications. The company’s main purpose for introducing these two examinations was so that candidates should first increase their knowledge and confidence by taking the lower-tier certification examinations first, which would help then when they decide to take the professional level CCIE exam. The lower tier exam was called the Associate level exam and led to two different paths for the certified candidate to pursue, which includes the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and the CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate). This certification is brought about by passing a single exam, and the separate paths are associated with six different paths; namely Design, Switching, Routing, Service Provider, Network Security, Voice, and Storage Networking.
After achieving certification in these lower-tier examinations, candidates can then attempt the advanced level certification, which is the CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) and the CCDP (Cisco Certified Design Professional). To achieve professional level certification, multiple exams need to be passed.
Even though almost all the Cisco certified professionals globally are only just CCNAs or CCDAs (having been unable to pass the professional certification exams) they involve perks and prestige in jobs, due to the fact that they have achieved certification with such a credible and prestigious institution, which gives the employers confidence and a significant career boost. Many CISCO certified professionals have reached amazing career heights due to this one certification.
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