How Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching Certification Skills Are Applied in Network Engineers’ Daily Tasks?
The roles of network engineers involve installing, servicing, and repairing computer data and communication systems. The CCNA Routing and Switching credential has some common skills that are vital to the optimal performance of a network engineer. They are communication, organizational, troubleshooting, analytical, and customer service skills. The CCNA R&S certification also equips a professional network engineer with the knowledge and abilities that are required to work on Cisco products and Microsoft Office Suite. It also gives them the capacity to utilize industry specific tools to carry out their tasks as network engineers.
The job of a network engineer is lucrative with high potentials to grow in the career path. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, network engineers and system administrators earned an average salary of $77,810 annually. This report was in 2015, which means there have been an increase in the average earning of these professionals. If you are looking for a highly paying job in the field of networking, the job of a network engineer is a good consideration for you. However, to get this job, you must be ready to display your level of knowledge and expertise. One of the ways to demonstrate this is to earn the Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching credential.
Skills required for the CCNA R&S certification
Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching is an associate-level credential that is designed to validate an individual’s capability to install, troubleshoot, configure, and operate medium size routing and switching networks. Verification and implementation of network connections to remote sites within WAN are also included. The curriculum of CCNA R&S entails the introduction to wireless networking terminology and concepts, performance based skills, and fundamental mitigation of security vulnerabilities and threats. It also includes using specific protocols, such as Serial-Line Interface Protocol Frame-Relay, IP, EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol), Ethernet, ACLs (Access Control Lists), and RIPv2 (Routing Information Protocol version 2). All these skills and knowledge are required to perform optimally as a network engineer in any organization.
Where can Network Engineers apply skills they gained for the CCNA R&S certification?
The skills and knowledge gathered while training for the CCNA R&S credential will come very handy in one’s day-to-day tasks as a network engineer. This is why it is highly recommended that you go through the certification content and understand the details of each of the set objectives before you sit for the exam. A comprehensive understanding of the skills and knowledge inherent in the content of the credential program will give you an edge over your non-certified colleagues. In addition, it will also stand you out among the crowd of job seekers. How would a network engineer apply his/her skills proved by the certification in his/her daily work?
- Installation and configuration of software and hardware
One major job role of a network engineer is to install and configure new software and hardware. This skill is expatiated in the certification content. As a matter of fact, it forms a large part of the exam that an individual will write to earn this credential. While installing and configuring software and hardware, a professional will also be able to provide technical support to people who use the system and network. In addition to this, he is also able to set up a maintenance plan, which will mitigate any faults or issue that might arise in the course of using the hardware and software that have been created.
- User accounts set up
The ability to set up network is a core skill that must be learnt in the course of preparing for the CCNA R&S certification exam. The network engineers with the credential can utilize their skills gathered while taking the training for this Cisco certificate to set up user accounts, passwords, and permissions to allow user access to a network. These professionals will also be able to ensure that network and system security is at the optimal level to prevent any unauthorized access. In addition to this, they can also use the skills learnt to discover network faults and proffer solutions to them easily.
- Initiative to train
Going through the certification process of CCNA R&S requires adequate preparation and study, which equips you with the knowledge and skills to train others. Working as a network engineer in an organization gives you the opportunity to teach other people within your field. A CCNA R&S certified network engineer can use his/her skills to provide training on new systems to other professionals in the industry while carrying out daily administration tasks in his/her department.
- Initiative to lead
The certification offers to prove the skills needed to become a leader. With the CCNA Routing and Switching certificate, a network engineer has the knowledge and expertise to plan and implement future developments in the field of networking. The ability to take initiative to plan ahead is required to become a successful leader, and you can bet that your line manager and other top executives notice this skill in you. By being consistent in delivering top notch service based on the abilities you have acquired from your certification program, you can be easily chosen for promotion and placed in the position of leadership in your organization.
How to obtain the CCNA R&S certification?
It is clear that you need the credential to become a high performing professional in your job role. In case you do not have the certification yet, you do not have to despair. It is better late than never. You can go through the process to earn your credential and become a certified professional in your career. To earn the Cisco CCNA R&S certification, there are some steps you need to take. Let us look at the process you need to overcome to earn your certificate.
It is important to mention that this Cisco credential does not have any official requirements, but it is recommended that you start your certification path with CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician). This is an entry-level certification that can be earned by writing and passing the 100-105 ICND1 (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices) exam. This test is actually a requirement for CCNA Routing and Switching. However, you should take it before you attempt the second exam that qualifies you for the certification. It is also recommended that you have about two years of working experience in the field of networking before you take the certification exam.
There are different methods you can use to prepare for your exam. You can opt for the self-study with resource materials and practice questions. There are also the online courses, specialized boot camps, or classroom programs, which are provided through various avenues. If you have already earned the CCENT credential, you can go ahead to take one single exam, 200-105 ICND2, to earn the Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification.
Earning the CCNA R&S certification is a sure way to become a better professional and increase your career potentials in the world of Information Technology. The Cisco credential validates one’s competence and knowledge in building, troubleshooting, and maintaining routing and switching of various medium sized networks. With this certificate, you can explore careers as a network engineer, a software developer, or a network administrator. There are a great number of opportunities that are waiting for you in the industry. The working terms of a network engineer are great as you have to work only from 37 to 40 hours a week. The salary potential is also very attractive with many other added incentives.