Obtaining a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification is not the end of the road for most IT professionals. There are still a lot of certifications that can be taken to make resume credentials more appealing. Applying for a Cisco Career Certification is another giant leap for interested applicants. Big bucks will surely await those who will successfully complete any Cisco certification program, the three levels of which are associate, professional and expert. All tests are now being administered by Pearson VUE, a British electronic testing company.
As the first stage of Cisco certifications, the associate level only covers basic knowledge about networking. You have a choice between Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA). For CCNA, candidates can either take the INTRO and ICND tests for $100 each or the CCNA test for $150. This certification only lasts for three years, and candidates may then retake another exam or proceed to the next level of exams to regain Cisco certification. CCDA, on the other hand, is for individuals who are capable of designing computer networks.
For Cisco professional certifications, you can choose on one of these programs: a) Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) for medium-sized networks; b) Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) for advanced design projects; c) Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP) for advance network security; d) Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP) for large-scale networks and e) Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP) for IP Telephony or VOIP networks.
The highest level among Cisco Certifications is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). The five active tracks under this level are the following: CCIE Routing & Switching, CCIE Security, CCIE Service Provider, CCIE Voice and CCIE Storage Networking. For more information, please visit the site http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/index.html and click on the Certifications link.