Cisco certification is an internationally recognised standard for gauging existing and potential team member skill levels. The certification process comprises four steps: Preparation, Assessment, Validation and Recertification. These steps ensure IT professionals have the skills and knowledge to support Cisco products and solve customer technology problems. Solution areas include routing and switching, storage networking, data centres, unified communications, telepresence and collaboration (WebEx), and cloud management. These certifications provide a solid foundation in network fundamentals and equip professionals with the expertise to work with various networking technologies like software-defined networking.
Why is a Cisco certification a necessary investment?
Whether you're following a network operations or network design career path, Cisco certifications are uniquely positioned to assist IT professionals as they prepare to fulfil various Cisco-related career roles.
Regardless of your chosen career path, job opportunities are plentiful for skilled Cisco professionals. Possessing an endorsed Cisco accreditation verifies that you have undertaken the required training; however, it is essential to note that this must be paired with the relevant industry experience.
Discover the many advantages of investing in a Cisco certification.
1. You'll be certified by a networking leader
Cisco pioneered routing and switching technologies and continues leading the way with the industry's most significant market share and extensive installed base. Most of today's Internet traffic travels over network pathways built with Cisco infrastructure products. Your skills will be more marketable and in demand when trained and certified to work on Cisco products.
2. Cisco certification is the foundation for networking careers
Network engineers and employers worldwide have coveted Cisco certifications. A 2023 Robert Half survey notes that Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) and
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) are among the most sought-after by employers. The need to understand network infrastructure and protocols and how they work together is intensifying. Certification provides you with the knowledge and expertise to succeed in networking as technologies evolve. What can you do with a Cisco certification? The training program teaches you to install, monitor, and troubleshoot the network infrastructure products at the heart of the Internet of Things (IoT). And what jobs can you get with a Cisco certification? A quick search on SEEK New Zealand shows Senior Network Engineers, Systems Analysts, and Consultant roles.
3. Certification keeps you in the loop of technology trends
Technology changes rapidly, and IT professionals are working to keep up. In addition to encompassing major network architecture shifts such as Cisco DNA, Cisco continually surveys the changing IT landscape for technological developments that impact our certifications and your job role as a networking professional.
4. Certification prepares you for network evolution
As businesses undergo digital transformations, the network infrastructure is experiencing radical change. Much of the manual process of operating traditional networks has given way to a programmable network architecture that depends on virtualisation, automation, analytics, cloud service management, openness, and extensibility. These past incidents, highlighted by tech podcast Packet Pushers, cement the role of network engineers and architects in supporting these changes.
5. Certification expands our professional network
A Cisco certification in NZ gives you access to a vibrant learning and career development community called the Cisco Learning Network. This community comprises IT professionals worldwide and provides valuable support as members help one another study, learn, and pursue their IT goals. When you become a member of the Cisco Learning Network, you gain immediate access to study groups, training videos, peer-to-peer advice, and an impressive wealth of exam information. In addition, Lumify Work offers more opportunities to expand your network. You get people from different industries in the public and private sectors talking to each other in class and getting their insights.
What's the best Cisco certification to get? Which Cisco certification is most valuable?
What is a Cisco certification? It is a credential that shows technical expertise with the Cisco equipment underlying a lot of the networking hardware and software. Cisco certifications have four levels: Entry, Associate, Professional, and Expert.
Here's an example of a Cisco certification pathway for Enterprise based on the four levels:
Entry: CCST Networking
Associate: CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)
Professional: Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Enterprise
Expert: CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure or CCIE Enterprise Wireless
And another example of a Cisco certification pathway for CyberOps based on the four levels:
Entry: CCST Cybersecurity
Associate: CyberOps Associate
Professional: CyberOps Professional
To answer the question of "What Cisco certification should you get first?" the most recognised Cisco ecosystem certification is also called gateway certification. Most professionals commence their Cisco journey by sitting the Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions course and then passing their Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) certification exam. This introduces them to the fundamentals of Cisco technologies, which they can apply to other specialisations.
When it comes to the top three, IT professionals recommend:
Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT)
This is the globally acknowledged first step of the Cisco certification path. Get an introduction to setting up, maintaining and troubleshooting branch networks.
Cisco Certified Network Associate Level (CCNA)
This validates your ability to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot routed and switched networks. A CCNA certification indicates a solid grounding in networking concepts critical for network engineering roles. While there are no formal prerequisites for the CCNA exam, it helps if candidates have training and some prior experience with computer networks. CCNA credentials have diversified, allowing professionals to specialise in security, routing and switching, and cyber operations.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
This is the next step in the Cisco certification path after CCNA or CCIE. Taking the exam preparation courses for CCNP will give you experience working with complex local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs). Learn how to apply protocols relevant to physical and virtual network infrastructures to work on networking projects.
Having staff with Cisco certifications in New Zealand is strategic in safeguarding valuable assets and sensitive information and mastering enterprise networking technologies. So, when it comes to which Cisco certification is in demand and is top-paying, a 2023 Robert Half survey notes that Cisco credentials are tagged "necessary" by employers. Because Cisco is a leading provider of infrastructure products, this certification confirms that a candidate is updated on developments and best practices in networking.
Cisco certified network associate (CCNA): A step up from Cisco’s entry-level certification, CCNAs can specialise in areas like cloud, collaboration, cyber operations, data centres, industrial and IoT, routing and switching, security, service provider, and wireless.
Cisco certified network professional (CCNP): After the associate level, the CCNP is a more advanced IT certificate in one of the above-mentioned focus areas. You can specialise in CCNP Enterprise, Data Center, Security, Service Provider or Collaboration.
Additionally, we share insights on what to consider when selecting a Cisco certification for yourself or your team.
Establish the baseline of your current experience level, professional aspirations and the specific sector of IT you are interested in, such as network operations or network design.
Choosing the right Cisco certification involves assessing your desire to specialise in certain areas, including but not limited to data centre applications and voicemail services. This is based on the recommendations of Georgia's Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA).
Questions on Cisco exams
How can you get a Cisco certification? We share insights on this and other questions related to Cisco certification exams.
You can achieve a Cisco certification by:
Familiarising yourself with Cisco products and solutions
Getting on-the-job experience with managing Cisco products and solutions
Booking and sitting a Cisco certification course with Lumify Work in New Zealand. You can join online or at one of our Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch campuses.
Preparing for the exam through self-study and reviewing course materials.
Scheduling to take the exam. Exams are separate from the course fee and must be purchased separately. Please get in touch with Lumify Work for a quote. Cisco exams, except for CCIE lab exams, are delivered through Pearson VUE.
Can you take the Cisco certification exam online?
You can take the exam online from your home or office. You can find the Online Testing FAQs document here.
How much does a Cisco certification cost?
And how much is a Cisco certification? You can look for a Cisco certification on the Pearson VUE Cisco voucher pricing page. Prices vary by level and by currency. Choose your country to find the cost of your exam.
The CCIE lab exam is delivered differently. Visit the CCIE Lab Exam page to learn about prices and locations.
Do Cisco certification exams expire?
How long is a Cisco certification valid? Cisco Associate, Professional, and Expert-level certifications are active beginning three years from the date certification is achieved. Each time you meet recertification requirements, your “active” status extends for an additional three years.
The Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) entry-level certifications are valid for a lifetime and do not have an expiration date. They do not require and cannot be used towards recertification.
How do you check your Cisco certification expiry date?
The certification process follows four steps: Preparation, Assessment, Validation and Recertification. Candidates must meet the requirements for recertification by the certification expiration date. Individuals with expired certification(s) must complete the full examination process again to earn active status.
Recertification can occur any time during the active period by advancing to the next level of certifications, earning continuing education credits or a combination of both. Learn more about Recertification.
To check if your Cisco certification is still valid:
Log in to your Cisco account on the Cisco Certification Tracking System (CCTS) website.
Click on the "Certifications" tab and locate the certification you want to check.
Click on "Details" and your certification's expiration date will be displayed.
You can also check the status of your Cisco certification in the Cisco Career Certifications Tracking System.