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hardware networking

Cisco Certified Hardware and Networking courses

Published On: 17 Mar 2010 | Last Updated On: 04 Oct 2012

CISCO certification is a highly respected and globally recognized Hardware and Networking certification program. The program involves study of  routing & switching,  computer design, network security,  Service provider, storage networking, voice and wireless network in hardware and computer networking. There are 5 different levels of certification: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert and the Architect level.

Course Details: -

There are seven different paths or tracks available to match ones job role or industry or interest.

Career Certifications

Certification Paths





Routing & Switching




CCIE Routing & Switching






Network Security


CCNA Security


CCIE Security

Service Provider




CCIE Service Provider

Storage Networking




CCIE Storage Networking



CCNA Voice


CCIE Voice



CCNA Wireless

CCNP Wireless

CCIE Wireless

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) validates the ability to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including basic network security. With a CCENT, network professional demonstrates the skills required for entry-level network support positions. 

The curriculum covers networking fundamentals, WAN technologies, basic security and wireless concepts, routing and switching fundamentals, and configuring simple networks. CCENT is the first step toward achieving CCNA,which covers medium size enterprise branch networks with more complex connections.

There is no prerequisite for this course. To become a CCENT, one needs to pass the 640-822 ICND1 exam and training for the exam is Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1).

Cisco Certified Network Associate(CCNA)

The Cisco Certified Network Associate CCNA validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size enterprise level router and switched networks. This includes design implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN.CCNA training includes basic mitigation of security threats, introduction to wireless networking concepts and voice,terminology and performance-based skills. This curriculum also includes the use of these protocols: IP,Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP),Serial Line Interface Protocol Frame Relay, Routing Information Protocol Version 2 (RIPv2),VLANs, Ethernet, access control lists (ACLs).

The CCNA certification is earned upon passing the ICND1 640-822 and ICND2 640-816 exams,the Examinees may take the exams separately or the single 640-802 CCNA composite exam. 

Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)

Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) validates knowledge required to design a Cisco converged network. A network professional certified with CCDA certification demonstrates the skills required to design routed and switched network infrastructures and services involving LAN, WAN, and broadband access for businesses and organizations.

The CCDA curriculum includes designing basic campus, data center, security, voice, and wireless networks. Prerequisites for taking up the CCDA exam is CCNA level knowledge and BCMSN level knowledge is needed to prepare for the CCDA certification exam. The CCDA certification is earned by passing the 640-863 DESGN examination and the training recommended is the Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions (DESIGN).

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) 

Cisco Certified Network Professional(CCNP) certification validates knowledge and skills required to install,configure and troubleshoot converged local and wide area networks with 100 to 500 or more end devices.A valid CCNA certification is required to obtain and maintain a CCNP certification.The CCNP is considered proof of having the ability to work with medium-sized networks with technology such as QoS, broadband, VPNs, and security-minded features. In addition to CCNA exams, professionals must pass either four separate exams, or a composite exam along with two separate exams.

Required Exams: -

  • 642-901 BSCI: Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI)
  • 642-812 BCMSN: Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN)
  • 642-825 ISCW: Implementing Secure Converged Wide Area Networks(ISCW)
  • 642-845 ONT: Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks (ONT)
  • 642-902 ROUTE: Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE)
  • 642-813 SWITCH: Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH)
  • 643-832 TSHOOT: Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks(TSHOOT)
  • The BSCI/ROUTE and BCMSN/SWITCH tests can be taken as one single composite test known as the 642-892 Composite

Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)

The CCDP certification is an advanced network design certification validating knowledge of Cisco devices and the way to interconnect them.Active CCNA and CCDA certifications are required to earn this certification.There are two exams in commonbetween the CCNP and CCDP (642-901 BSCI & 642-812 BCMSN) so that a CCNP and CCDA certified person can attain CCDP certification by passing a single test (642-873 ARCH).

Required Exams: -

  • 642-901 BSCI: Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI)
  • 642-812 BCMSN: Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN)
  • 642-873 ARCH: Designing Cisco Network Service Architecture


  • 642-892 Composite (BSCI and BCMSN)
  • 642-873 ARCH: Designing Cisco Network Service Architecture

Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP)

The CCIP certification is a professional certification covering the end-to-end protocols used in large scale networks.To attain this certification tests must be passed in the areas of routing,BGP,MPLS, Quality of service and the routing exam from the CCNP track(642-901 BSCI).

Required Exams: -

  • 642-901 BSCI: Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI)
  • 642-642 QOS: Quality of Service
  • 642-611 MPLS: Implementing Cisco MPLS
  • 642-661 BGP: Configuring BGP on Cisco Routers
  • There are two composite exams that can be done in place some of the above.
  • 642-691 BGP+MPLS: BGP + MPLS Exam (composite in place of 642-611 + 642-661)
  • 642-892 BSCI+BCMSN: Routing + Switching Exam (composite in place of 642-901)

Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP)

The CCSP certification is an advanced network security certification.Candidates for the certification are tested for advanced knowledge of various Cisco security products.To attain this certification several tests must be passed in the areas of VPN, IDS, PIX firewall, Secure IOS, the Cisco SAFE, as well as having a CCNA or higher level certification. The common practice is to take four exams, one of which is selected from a list of electives.

Required Exams: -

  • 642-504 SNRS: Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches
  • 642-524 SNAF: Securing Networks with ASA Foundation
  • 642-533 IPS: Implementing Cisco Intrusion Prevention System
  • And one of the following:
  • 642-591 CANAC: Implementing Cisco NAC Appliance
  • 642-545 MARS: Implementing Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis and Response System
  • 642-515 SNAA: Securing Networks with ASA Advanced

Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP)

The CCVP is a certification covering all aspects of IP Telephony/VOIP networks and applications.

To attain this certification,five tests must be passed in the areas of Quality of service, Cisco VoIP, IP Telephony Troubleshooting, Cisco IP Telephony, and Gateway Gatekeeper and must have a valid CCNA Voice certification. 

Required Exams: -

  • 642-642 QoS: Quality of Service (QoS)
  • 642-436 CVOICE: Cisco Voice over IP (CVOICE v6.0)
  • 642-426 TUC: Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Communications Systems (TUC v1.0)
  • 642-446 CIPT1: Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager Part 1 (CIPT1 v6.0)
  • 642-456 CIPT2: Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager Part 2 (CIPT2 v6.0)

Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)

CCDE assesses advanced Network Infrastructure Design Principles and fundamentals for large networks. A CCDE can demonstrate an ability to develop solutions which address planning, design, integration, optimization, operations, security and ongoing support focused at the infrastructure level for customer networks.

Cisco Certified Architect

 Cisco Certified Architect is highest level of accreditation achievable within the Cisco Career Certification program. This prestigious credential recognizes the architectural expertise of network designers who can support the increasingly complex networks of global organizations and effectively translate business strategies into evolutionary technical strategies. There are no formal training programs available for the Cisco Certified Architect certification.

Responsibilities of the Cisco Certified Architect

  •  Lead creation and evolution of enterprise architecture
  •  Analyze technology and industry market trends
  •  Establish governing principles for Enterprise networks
  •  Selection of technology and products
  •  Identification of organization resource needs
  •  Lead the development of communication and education plan for enterprise network architecture

Candidates be a Cisco Certified Architect must also hold a valid Cisco Certified Design expert (CCDE) certification, validating their expert level design and business level skill set.

A Cisco Certified Architect gathers the business requirements and objectives necessary to produce a blueprint for an integrated, large-scale, complex, global network.They can translate business parameters and objectives into functional requirements for a network design. In addition, Cisco Certified Architects can clearly communicate and advocate proposed Cisco network architectures.


All Courses except CCIE and Specialist certifications are valid for 3 years and  CCIE certifications and Specialist certifications are valid for 2 years. Recertification requires re-taking the current exam previously passed, or passing a higher level examination

Career Opportunity

Cisco Career Certifications open up new IT networking career opportunities in industries, from fashion to film production, law, healthcare and in various other organizations.

The Cisco Career Certifications program provides the skills reqiured to work and become successful in today’s IT job market.The learning tools and resources that can lead to recognition, new job opportunities, and better compensation.

Job roles in cisco certification program

  • System administrator
  • Network administrator
  • System Engineer
  • Technical Engineer/Computer Hardware Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Technical support
  • Help desk technician/Network support technician
  • IT technician
  • IT administrator
  • Field service technician

Cisco Certification Institutes

Traditional educational institutions that teach Cisco skills are known  as "the Cisco Networking Academy". There are numerous Hardware and Networking institutes providing training including online training programs.

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