If you wish to start a career in the field of IT networking, then a CISCO certification will help build the needed skills. What I mean is; if you’re planning a career in Information Technology, acquiring an IT certification would be a wise decision. There are numerous types of certifications you can opt for, depending on the field you wish to enter.

CISCO Certifications are available for professionals in programming, networking, technical fields, and so on. CISCO is a company acclaimed for its hardware equipment. The systems from the company form the backbone of most of the computer networks around the world. The company formulated a system of certifications to test individuals on many aspects of computer networking.

There are seven CISCO certifications:

  • CCNA
  • CCDA
  • CCDP
  • CCNP
  • CCIE
  • CCDE
  • CCAr

These certifications are into five levels;

  • Entry Level
  • Associate Level
  • Professional Level
  • Expert Level
  • Architect

Now, let’s compare these certifications

CCNA Certification:

Cisco Certified Network Associate is an associate-level certification under Routing and Switching is an excellent step to start a career in the networking industry. You don’t need to know anything about networking. You will learn about the architecture, structure, and functions needed to support the operations and priorities of top organisations to small innovative retailers.

You will even get the chance to configure a network yourself, such as a simple LAN (Local Area Network). After completing this course, you will have a working knowledge of routing, switching, network applications and protocols. No prerequisites are required.

Attaining a Cisco Certified Network Associate will help you escalate investment in foundational networking and heighten the value of your employer’s network. The certification will validate your ability to install, operate, configure, and troubleshoot medium-sized switched and routed networks. Because the certification opens the door wide into the world of IT networking, it is considered one of the best certifications offered by the company.

CCDA Certification:

The CISCO Certified Associate or the CCDA is an associate-level foundation test. This certification will test professionals’ capabilities to design networks, like security, campus, and wireless systems. Achieving Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) certification validates that you have the up-to-date, fundamental network design skills required to create an enterprise network with the performance, availability, scalability and flexibility to meet rapidly evolving demands.

The Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) certification is Ideal for network design engineers, system engineers, and sales engineers and individuals who desire to deploy efficient network environments via an understanding of network design fundamentals.

The Cisco CCDA certification program focuses on design methodologies and objectives, addressing and routing protocols. As a CCDA Certified Network Professional you will be able to demonstrate the skills required to design basic campus, branch, data centre, security, voice and wireless networks using modern design practices.
Requirements for CCDA Certification
If you’re looking to take the certification must have a valid CCENT OR CCNA Routing and Switching OR any CCIE certification

CCDP Certification:

CISCO’s CCDP or Cisco Certified Design Professional is a Professional level certification. This certification is aimed at professionals who design, discuss, and create advanced addressing, security, routing, data centre, security, and IP multicast multi-layered architectures and enterprise.

Included in the certification is training on wireless domains and virtual private networking focusing on components of design for larger networks. The curriculum will include building multilayered switched networks and scalable internetworks, and the designing of network service architecture.

Achieving Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) certification confirms that you are a seasoned IT professional who has the progressive end-to-end network design expertise to ensure that networks deliver to today’s performance, availability and scalability requirements, while future-proofing investments.

Ideal for senior network design engineers, principle system engineers, network/solution architects and CCDA-certified professionals looking to build upon fundamental Cisco network design expertise, the CCDP certification program focuses on advanced addressing and routing protocols, WANs, services virtualization and integration strategies for multi-layered enterprise architectures.


Requirements for CCDP Certification
If you’re looking to take the certification CCDP, you must have a valid Cisco CCDA and CCNA Routing and Switching certification   OR   Any Cisco CCIE certification

CCIE Certification:

CCIE or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert is an expert level CISCO certification and one of the most desired among all the certifications. The certification validates your skills on an expert level in planning, operating and troubleshooting converged complex network infrastructure.

This certification equip you with knowledge and abilities which puts you on top of your field. Among all the professionals who hold CISCO certifications, only 3% have successfully attained the CCIE certification.

Though very expensive, the CCIE brings immeasurable bona fides to your resume because it’s the pinnacle of your certification pathway. Thought of as the PhD-level certification, the CCIE comes with a lot of clout among peers and employers.

CCDE Certification:

The Cisco Certified Design Expert or CCDE is an expert level IT certification offered by CISCO. The certification prepares a professional designer in the development of design solutions at the infrastructure level for a large customer network. It also ensures that the certified professionals will be able to address technically challenging network infrastructure design assignments

Achieving Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification confirms that you have the deep technical networking knowledge required to address the most technically challenging network infrastructure design assignments. It also confirms your ability to translate business needs, budget and operational constraints into the design of a converged solution.

Ideal for expert-level network design engineers, expert-level network leads of IT infrastructure teams, and expert-level network leads of architecture teams, the CCDE curriculum prepares designers to develop design solutions at the infrastructure level for large customer networks.  CCDE-certified network engineers are recognized for their expert-level knowledge and skills in network infrastructure design.

CCAr Certification:

Cisco Certified Architect or CCAr is one of the elite certifications provided by CISCO. Only a few privileged have been able to attain this certificate proving they are able to build, design and manage large global enterprise networks. The focus of the certification lies in the understanding of business strategies, and the translation of those strategies into technical infrastructural requirements

As a reputed IT certification, you will gain the knowledge necessary to design converged enterprise networks and learn additional concepts including enterprise campus, data centre, e-commerce, IP addressing and routing, security solutions, VPNs, IP multicast, and security in a borderless cloud environment.

This is an advanced course designed for CCNA and CCDA certified personnel or those with equivalent experience in routing and switching Cisco networks. You will learn how to apply Cisco network solution models and recommended design practices, to provide viable and stable enterprise internetworking solutions.

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