A Quick and Easy Guide to the Most Popular Cisco Certifications

A Quick and Easy Guide to the Most Popular Cisco Certifications

Let’s break down everything you need to know to about the most popular Cisco certifications. Before we get started, you probably want to know why an IT professional would want to go through the trouble of studying for a high-stakes exam. To begin, Cisco is the world leader in network technology and provides globally recognized certifications. Those who earn these certifications land high-paying careers in a variety of industries and often get to choose where they work. This has motivated thousands of IT professionals to pursue Cisco engineering and train for success. If you’re interested in learning more, use this quick and easy guide to familiarize yourself with Cisco’s most popular certifications.

Cisco Certified Designations

Cisco offers certifications that range from entry level to Architect. Since the number of Architect-level practitioners is extremely low, we’ll keep the focus between the entry and expert levels. Here is the list of Cisco’s most popular certification designations.

  • CCENT: Cisco Certified Entry Network Technicia
  • CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate
  • CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional
  • CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert


The first certification everyone achieves before embarking on a career specialization is the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT.) This entry-level certification only requires one written exam and provides the groundwork for all future training.


The next level up from entry level is the Associate level; most commonly referred to as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA.) This is the most common certification level Cisco offers and can be achieved by successfully writing one to two additional exams. The best part of working on the CCNA is that students get to choose courses that map directly to the specializations they plan to pursue.


Cisco’s professional designation is the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP.) Advancing to the professional level from the associate level requires taking three to four additional courses within the same specialization. These Cisco specialists are capable of working independently on projects and often lead teams. The CCNP validates an advanced level of skill and is highly-demanded.


Those who achieve the Cisco-Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) are highly regarded in the world of IT and very hard to find. In fact, there are only about 40,000 of these professionals worldwide. Advancing from the CCNP level to the CCIE level requires taking one more written exam and successfully completing a lab. CCIEs are specialized experts who can lead large teams and manage complex infrastructures.

Summing It Up

Cisco provides incredible career opportunities if you’re willing to train and validate your expertise with written exams. KnowledgeNet provides authorized Cisco training courses for anyone who wants to get started on a professional career. If you’re interested in learning more about these live and self-paced training opportunities, visit KnowledgeNet.


Technology adopter. Doubles player. Pug lover. Martini drinker. Snow skier. And rabid reader.

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