The CCNA CCIE certifications each demonstrate a certain level of knowledge or even an amount of expertise in providing solutions with the use of Cisco products. But while the CCIE certification gives one an expert badge, the CCNA only certifies an associate level of knowledge on the part of the examinee. But not all IT positions would require a CCIE certification. Some of them would only need associate level knowledge and so they would only need a CCNA certification.
The CCNA certification expires in just three years. One would have to get recertified or he can upgrade to the next level. He is not required to upgrade but he has the choice to do so. Although going to the CCIE certification is a better status, some may opt for an easier professional or even maintain the associate level certification.
A lot of opportunities await the CCNA CCIE certified people. Skills in Cisco enterprise solutions are needed by companies so there are a lot of jobs for them. Some jobs are for the CCNA certified IT professionals while others would require a CCIE certification. The higher the level of one s knowledge and the more expertise he has, the better job salary he will get. That is why although CCNA certification is enough to land one a job, it would also be better to get the CCIE certification. A lot more preparation needs to be done when one decides to take the CCIE than a CCNA but a lot more can be gained by the CCIE certification too.
The CCNA CCNP CCIE certifications all correspond to a certain level of knowhow in handing out Cisco solutions. The CCNA means Certified Cisco Network Associate. As the name suggests, it is the associate certification for Cisco professionals. Having one signifies that the person is capable to install, administer and troubleshoot medium sized routed and switched networks. But the certification has a validity of 3 years only.
The next step to CCNA is the CCNP or the Certified Cisco Network Professional. For an IT professional to be able to take the CCNP exam he has to be a CCNA first. Having a CCNP certification signifies the capability of the individual to work with a network consisting of about 100 to 500 end devices and with QoS, VPNs, broadband technology and the like. In order to achieve the professional status one must pass 3 or 4 exams depending on the exam set one chooses to take.
Alternatively, one can go straight to CCIE. The CCIE does not have any prerequisite so one has the choice to get CCIE certified right away or proceed to CCIE after CCNA. If the individual feels confident about his skills and expertise in providing Cisco enterprise solutions then he can try to get CCIE certified right away. The exam is more difficult though and the exam fees are higher than the CCNA and the CCNP.
Whatever one chooses to take, he must be sure that he is well prepared so that he will only have to pay for the exam once. Of course, he should decide based on his knowledge and his aim in his career as well because the higher level of certification he has the better job and the higher pay he will get.