Cisco Certification Path: Take Your Networking Career to the Next Level

11 min read
cisco certification roadmap

The modern era of digitization brings massive opportunities for professionals to break into the computing and networking domain. But the reality is a little different when acquiring these opportunities. Gone are the days when you can depend on sheer luck to land your dream job without doing anything. However, no need to fret! Ever since Cisco came into existence, it is providing several certifications to embrace your career and goals.

Whether you’re a novice or a professional, it doesn’t matter! With the Cisco certification path, you can get your foot in the door of the rewarding career you dream about. Let’s jump straight into the blog for discovering everything you need to know about the Cisco Certifications roadmap.

Cisco Certifications Levels

Cisco provides certifications in five levels: entry, associate, professional, expert, and architect. Which certification you want to pursue depends on your current knowledge of Cisco networks and experience in the networking domain. If you’re not sure where to begin, explore the Cisco career path below!

Cisco Certifications Path: Entry to Expert Level

Below is the infographic of the Cisco Certifications roadmap, that will help you better understand the certification path.

Start with the Cisco Entry-Level Certifications

If you’re the one who is just starting your career in networking, then Cisco entry-level certifications are for you. Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) falls into this category. This certification is the best way to start your career and validate your skills in Cisco technologies and is also a stepping stone to achieving associate-level certifications (CCNA, CyberOps).

Enablement Path to Get Entry-level Certifications

In order to get CCST and other entry-level certifications, you have to pass the required exam.

Certification Required Exam
CCST Cybersecurity CCST Cybersecurity Exam
CCST Networking CCST Networking Exam

Flourish your Skills with Cisco Associate Level Certifications

After you complete the entry-level certification, the next step is to get the associate-level certification. CCNA, CyberOps Associate, and Devnet Associate certifications are included in this category and help you expand your knowledge. The associate-level certification opens doors to getting a professional-level certification.

Cisco Certified Networking Associate: CCNA certification covers a wide range of networking concepts including networking fundamentals, security fundamentals, IP services, automation, and programmability, and also validates your skills in managing advanced networks. 

Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate: Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate certification confirms the day-to-day, tactical knowledge and skills that Security Operations Center (SOC) teams need to detect and respond to cybersecurity threats. 

Cisco Certified Devnet Associate: This certification is your pathway to get into the networking automation domain. The Cisco Certified Devnet Associate certification validates your aptitude to implement basic network applications using Cisco platforms as a base and to implement automation workflows across the network, security, collaboration, and computing infrastructure. 

Read more: Is CCNA a Good Career? Perks and benefits of CCNA

Cisco Associate Certifications Enablement Path

Certification Required Exam
CCNA 200-301 CCNA
CyberOps Associate 200-201 CBROPS
Devnet Associate 200-901 DEVASC

Boost Your Expertise with Cisco Professional Level Certifications

Though CCNA or other associate-level certification is not a prerequisite for earning professional-level certifications. However, earning associate-level certification makes it easy to get professional-level certifications. Cisco provides a diverse professional path. You can choose the certification track according to your interest and career goals.

Cisco Certified Networking Professional Enablement Path

To get any Cisco professional certification, you have to pass one core exam and one concentration exam.

Cisco Certified DevNet Professional Enablement Path

Cisco Certified CyberOps Professional Path

Streamline Your Career with Cisco Certified Infrastructure Expert – CCIE

CCIE is the highest-level certification and is regarded as the benchmark in the networking domain. Getting a CCIE certification is definitely a hard nut to crack and it requires extensive networking knowledge, practical experience, and a challenging exam. To get the required practical experience you have to pass the lab exam.

Pathway to Become a CCIE Certified

Certification Core Exam Lab Exam
CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure 350-401 ENCOR CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 lab
CCIE Enterprise Wireless 350-401 ENCOR CCIE Enterprise Wireless v1.0 lab
CCIE Service Provider 350-501 SPCOR CCIE Service Provider v5.0 lab
CCIE Data Center 350-601 DCCOR CCIE Data Center v3.0 lab
CCIE Security 350-701 SCOR CCIE Security v6.0 lab
CCIE Collaboration 350-801 CLCOR CCIE Collaboration v3.0 lab
CCDE 400-007 CCDE CCDE v3.0 Practical Exam

Wrapping Up

The blog has provided you with complete insights into the Cisco certification path and how to accomplish it. Which Cisco certification route do you want to pursue, the blog has given you direction. Moreover, it is important to note that obtaining a previous-level certification isn’t a prerequisite for getting any higher-level certifications. Whether you’re starting or a seasoned professional, if you have career goals, Cisco certification gets you there. So, obtain your choice of certification, get your dream job, and start a thrilling career.

Frequently Asked Question

If we talk about the general order, it is common that you will start with the entry level and then proceed to the next level including associate, professional, and expert. However, it is not necessary to complete the prior level to attain the next one. If you have experience with the associate level or professional level certification, you can directly take them.

Cisco provides certifications on five levels:

  • Entry
  • Associate
  • Professional
  • Expert
  • Architect

Definitely. As we discussed above, there is no need to get a CCNA before CCNP certification. You can directly take CCNP certification. But before you appear in CCNP make sure that you have three to five years of experience in implementing Cisco network solutions. Moreover, our blog on CCNA vs CCNP can give you complete insights into these certifications and their differences. 

As of the current month, the average annual pay for a CCNA in the United States is $73,924 a year.

The entry-level certification is considered the lowest level. Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST networking and security) represents the lowest level of certification which covers basic networking knowledge.

No certification exam is easy until you have the required knowledge, appropriate preparation, and inclusive knowledge. It is important to note that the difficulty level does depend on the certification level. Entry-level certification is easy to get compared to professional or expert-level certification. However, which certification exam you are appearing in, make sure you have prepared inclusively for the exam. At Dumpsgate, you can get exam material for any Cisco certification exam for in-depth preparation.

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