Getting a Cisco CCNA certification is worth your time and money if you want to become a computer network professional. As information technology is growing and expanding the demand for qualified staff in IT industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade. By obtaining in a Cisco certified network associate certificate you have the potential to earn more and choose top jobs, especially if you get further Cisco certifications.

When it comes to median salary, networking professions ranked among the highest. The 2005 salary survey made by the Network World had listed an increase in the base pay of 5.1% for networking executives. The salary had reached a median of $110,620, according to the researchers King, Brown & Partners. And the ticket to this high-caliber job is Cisco certifications.

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What is Cisco CCNA Certification?

A Cisco CCNA certification, or Certified Network Associate certification, is the first step in Cisco certifications. From a CCNA certification, you move up to “Professional” and then “Expert” levels. Training in Cisco certifications can be completed at a college or university. While many schools offer courses on campus, more and more universities are offering online courses as well.

A CCNA certification shows that you have the skills and abilities in networking. Here training is imperative to get the skills that are necessary for the certification. When you enroll in a CCNA training program, you will learn basic skills in networking, including: design, installation, configuration, troubleshooting, maintenance, management and IP and non-IP Networks.

CCNA certification is the first rung on the networking ladder of the Cisco certifications. This level is best suited for help desk engineers, field technicians and beginning networkers. If you want to continue up the ladder and get further Cisco certifications there is the CCNP, Cisco Certified Network Professional and the CCIE, Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, as the highest certification level.

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How To Get a Cisco CCNA Certificate

In order to obtain a Cisco CCNA certificate, you must pass the CCNA exam that examines the following skills: a basic history of networking, basic network design, Cisco’s Internetwork Operating System, network security and management and many more.

There are several ways to prepare for the CCNA exam. You can study through one of the official Cisco learning partners, at a university or college, or online. Another online study option is Cisco’s e-learning system which offers a great deal of study materials and practice tests for free.

There is a fee to take the exam. It is generally $100 and must be paid either before the exam or on the day of the exam. You need to spend about two hours to take the CCNA exam. With about 78 questions you must answer about 80% of the questions correctly to pass the exam and get your certificate.

Since the CCNA certification is valid for three years, if you wish to renew your certificate, you need to take an official re-certification exam at the end of the three years.

As you can immediately see computer network expertise is a money-spinning asset. By obtaining a Cisco CCNA certification you can open the doorway to a high-caliber job and rewarding career.

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