Online Cisco Certification Programs

Cisco Systems sells networking and communications products to companies around the world. Cisco hardware and software is so widely used that a fresh supply of certified technicians and experts is needed annually to install, maintain, and repair network systems across the globe. To this end, Cisco offers career training and certification exams that demonstrate to your employer your proficiency in the use of Cisco technology.

Available Cisco Certifications and Career Options

Cisco Systems offers three distinct levels of general IT certification--Associate, Professional, and Expert. The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) represents the highest level of achievement. In addition to these general certifications, you can enhance your core networking knowledge by earning specialist certification in one of several pertinent technologies, such as security, IP telephony, and wireless.

There's little doubt that IT and telecomm professionals are needed in virtually every industry across the board. Popular career tracks for graduates with Cisco certifications and related technology degrees continue to be database management, information and instructional technology, telecommunications management, and network technology. Like most IT professions, experience and education have a direct influence on professional opportunity and advancement.

Employment Outlook and Potential Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the telecommunications industry provided 973,000 wage and salary jobs in 2006. Wired telecommunications carriers accounted for 49 percent of all telecommunications jobs, 21 percent of jobs were with the wireless telecommunications carriers, and 15 percent were with cable and other program distributors. Employment is projected to grow by 5 percent over the decade through 2106, compared with 11 percent growth for all industries combined.

With respect to potential salary, most workers in the telecommunications industry were paid more per hour than other industries. The top earners in 2006 were non-computer electronics engineers with median hourly earnings of $35.28, network systems and data communications analysts earned $34.11 per hour, business operations specialists earned $32.28 per hour, and first-line supervisors and managers earned $26.37 per hour.

Typical Cisco Coursework and Online Study Options

Coursework varies widely with the types of certification sought. Certification training differs from traditional academic programs in that it excludes much of the prerequisite coursework that routinely frustrates college students. You can enjoy cutting straight to the career training that is most meaningful to you. Typical Cisco certification coursework includes:

  • Routing and switching
  • Storage networking
  • Data center certification
  • Network security
  • Voice and wireless technology

Cisco offers a wide selection of online study options for professionals who want to learn while they earn. You can complete your Cisco certification from any computer without setting foot on a traditional campus. This means no dreaded commute, increased affordability, and the benefit of a networked support structure dedicated to your success.