This summer at Cisco Live, I was honored to be a part of Cisco’s new and updated certifications launch alongside my colleague, Susie Wee, senior vice president and CTO of Cisco DevNet. It was an exciting experience for us to hear Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins speak on behalf of our vision and bring our #CiscoCert and #DevNet collaboration to fruition. At the show, Susie and I spoke with analysts, members of the press, our partners, employees, and customers about the changes that we’re making to Cisco certifications and educational programs. We also partnered with Cisco Networking Academy to offer new courses to schools, colleges, and universities. This is one of the largest and most complex transformations during my 25 years in this industry. These updated certifications are designed to empower learners to take advantage of skills to make them more marketable, provide flexible learning and put them in a position to lead and succeed in their chosen fields.
Software skills will enable the future of networking
As the network has evolved to be increasingly more intent-based, featuring multi-domain solutions, programmability, and APIs, the way that we do business has changed. It’s created a fundamental shift in networking. And it impacts the skills that businesses need for today and tomorrow. That’s why our new and updated training and certifications are designed to teach networking and software development skills. They’re also designed to solve real-world problems for our customers. We know our customers are eager to take advantage of programmability and automation to maximize their own use of technology. We shared why we’re changing and details of the new program, and gathered feedback from our community.
Customers want the convenience factor
We also know that our customers crave convenience in the way that they learn new skills. They want to build skills for today’s IT landscape, want choice in how they navigate learning, and want a faster path to productivity and career advancement. Our new and updated training and certification suite was engineered to meet our customers’ needs for agility, value, and leadership. That’s why we’ve removed prerequisites, streamlined our training and certification paths, and added the element of choice to CCNP and Specialist certifications. And it’s why we’re letting our customers choose how they recertify. Our new and updated suite of Cisco certifications now includes:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)—one single, entry-level certification that covers a broad range of technology fundamentals for network engineers.
- Cisco Certified Network Specialist—allows the flexibility to pick up technology skills as needed. Once candidates pass one written, proctored exam on the way to CCNP or CCIE, they’ll gain incremental recognition.
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)—an enhanced professional-level certification that requires only two exams and allows the professional to focus in the specific area they choose. The first exam covers core concepts in a specific technology area including Enterprise, Service Provider, Data Center, Security, or Collaboration. The second is a concentration exam of the candidate’s choice from the same technology track, including the new DevNet concentration exams that will earn Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist along with the CCNP certification.
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)—requires only two exams. The core technology exam (required for CCNP) and the corresponding CCIE lab exam that demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge of the lifecycle of their chosen technology area from design and deployment to operating and optimizing.
- Cisco Certified DevNet Associate—a new, single, entry-level certification that covers software development, programmability, and automation for software developers.
- Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist—allows the flexibility to pick up software and automation skills as needed. Once the candidate passes one written, proctored exam on the way to Cisco DevNet Certified Professional, they’ll gain incremental recognition.
- Cisco Certified DevNet Professional—a new professional-level certification focused on building software and automation skills that requires only two exams and allows the professional to focus in the specific area they choose. The first exam covers core concepts in software development. The second is a concentration exam of the candidate’s choice.
Cisco’s new training and certification suite takes learning to the next level
The changes that we’re making to Cisco training and certifications are some of the biggest advancements we’ve made since the program’s inception more than two decades ago. We’re providing our customers, partners, and employees with the skills they need to enable the future of networking. Our new and expanded training and certifications provide the skills and the know-how to make that happen. It’s how we’re developing the next generation of network engineers and software developers. And we’re only getting started.
For more information about updates to Cisco training and certifications, please visit cisco.com/nextlevel.