Cisco Certifications Overview & Get Certified Easily by Using PrepAway

Cisco is among the leading global vendors issuing networking certifications. Cisco credentials range from Entry to Expert level, and in the design area, to the Architect level. Due to the fact that Cisco products are widely used, the company certifies professionals to ensure that they are qualified to operate Cisco technological products and services. Cisco certifications are recognized by organizations all across the world, so they are totally worth pursuing.

The validity period for the Cisco certifications varies depending on the level of certification. There are five levels in Cisco credential program: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect. The credentials at the entry, associate, and professional levels have a validity period of 3 years while those at the expert level have an expiry period of 2 years. The architect-level certification, on the other hand, is valid for five years. After the expiry date, the recertification is required. It is necessary to keep you updated and relevant in the industry.


cisco certifications overview

For a better understanding of how the Cisco certification levels are connected to each other, let us track one of the most popular Cisco certification paths – Routing and Switching. We will see the path from its basic entry level up to the advanced expert level. The associated exams at each stage will also be highlighted. And, below we will show how could be a resourceful companion in getting ready for your Cisco exams.

So, here is an overview of the Cisco Routing and Switching path.


Table Of Contents

Entry level

  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) Routing and Switching

The current CCENT Routing and Switching exam is 100-105 ICND1. This test requires basic knowledge of computer functions and operating systems. No prerequisites are required.

  • Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) Routing and Switching

This certification does not require any prerequisites and is attained by passing 640-692 RSTECH exam. To pass this test, the candidate should know how to support Cisco switching and routing network devices.


Associate level

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching (CCNA R&S)

This level encompasses the routing and switching concepts and the technologies of network infrastructure. CCNA R&S can be attained by taking either two exams 100-105 ICND1 and 200-105 ICND2 or taking single composite 200-125 exam. This certification will equip you with the skills of core network engineer.

Professional level

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional Routing and Switching (CCNPR&S)

CCNP is a popular routing and switching certification which validates your ability to plan, implement, and troubleshoot wide area and local enterprise networks. A prerequisite to this certification is possessing a valid CCNA Routing and Switching or any CCIE credential. Achieving a CCNP Routing and Switching certification involves passing the following three tests: 300-101 ROUTE, 300-115 SWITCH, and 300-135 TSHOOT.

Expert level

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching (CCIE R&S)

This certification validates your expert-level skills in planning, operating, and troubleshooting network infrastructures. There are no prerequisites for the CCIE certification, but it is preferred that you have at least 2-3 years of experience in an appropriate IT field. Attaining the CCIE Routing and Switching certification requires you to pass 400-101 written exam and then Lab exam.

Why get Cisco certified?

Here are the reasons why Cisco credentials are so popular:

  1. Cisco certifications will give you an edge in the ever-intensifying competition for jobs. It is now becoming common knowledge among professionals that employers are more attracted to individuals that have certifications. In the job market, certifications are interpreted as a demonstration of determination. This is a highly valued quality at the workplace especially when it comes to running and completing projects.
  2. Attaining a Cisco certification is a way of proving that you actually possess the skills you have outlined in your resume. This speeds up the hiring process as employers can verify your skills on the spot.
  3. Certifications play the role of making sure your knowledge and skills are relevant and in line with the ever advancing IT technologies. This will ensure the security of your IT career since your skills won’t become obsolete soon. Cisco certification creates a solid employment guarantee for you since you will be able to maintain your productivity. In addition to this, some useful skills that you acquire during the certification process, for example, innovative thinking, will help you to be creative in solving complex and challenging problems.
  4. Having a Cisco certification will help to grow your career faster. In many organizations, people who have certifications generally experience a fast promotion process. This also comes along with a salary increment. Furthermore, since organizations are facing stiff competition from their counterparts, they are always willing to pay more and offer nice incentives to certified employees.

Passing Cisco certification exams

Acquiring Cisco certifications involve passing exams that require intensive learning. The official Cisco website facilitates this by offering e-learning materials, training programs, and practice exams. However, practice exams can also be acquired from other trusted websites such as PrepAway which has compiled its materials in a format that is easy to use. Visiting PrepAway is therefore the easy way to get ready for your certification exams.

Final remarks

Cisco certifications are highly regarded around the world, and hence investing your time and resources to acquire them is a step that will pay off way beyond your expectations. As mentioned above, obtaining these certifications have now been made easier by using PrepAway as your exam preparation companion.