Have you ever considered pursuing a career in information technology (IT) or IT support but found yourself unsure of where to start? I know how you feel; I started my career at Cisco in the Technical Assistance Center (TAC), talking directly with customers as a TAC engineer. I learned I needed the skills to communicate action plans, think critically, and troubleshoot to solve problems. This was in addition to developing networking skills (including some general operating system IT knowledge). If this sounds like something you’d like, keep reading because we have exciting news.

In the coming months, we will unveil a new entry-level Cisco certification called the Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) IT Support. The CCST IT Support certification is specifically crafted to cater to the needs of individuals eager to kickstart their journey in networking and rapidly enter the IT workforce with job-ready skills for entry-level roles in IT support. 

CCST certification prepares you to enter the demanding IT industry 

Entry-level IT support positions offer an excellent pathway to get familiar with the industry, develop essential skills, and eventually transition into more specialized roles within IT Networking and Network Engineering. The new CCST IT Support certification will prepare you for typical entry-level IT support roles that involve offering guidance and technical assistance to users dealing with hardware and software. These users can be internal members of a company or external customers. 

It’s no secret that IT support jobs are growing in popularity. In fact, the computer and IT sector is projected to grow much faster than the average of all occupations between 2022 and 2032.* Just look around at all the new technology springing up! The job market for computer support specialists is sure to grow as fast as technology, and their technical assistance will be critical to users who are navigating new hardware and software. 

Anyone who uses computers, the Internet, or digital technology will need an IT support specialist. From large corporate headquarters and IT companies to small call centers, you’ll have a wide range of options and industries that are sure to need this type of expertise.  

As an IT support specialist, your job responsibilities would include: installing or fixing hardware and software, resolving user issues, maintaining networks and computer systems, and saving the day as a help-desk technician. Communication channels for providing support range from phone and email to chat and social media. 

Hone your skills for entry-level IT support job responsibilities

Gaining this new entry-level Cisco certification will ensure you’re well-versed in the job-role skills needed to complete the common responsibilities in the tech industry. One of the unique aspects of this certification is you’ll not only develop technical skills, but you’ll learn to use interpersonal skills, such as communication, active listening, and expressing technical concepts. 

Other important skills and responsibilities associated with IT support specialists include: 

  • Troubleshooting hardware issues that involve ports and cables as well as connectivity and resource access issues. 
  • Troubleshooting operation systems and application issues, such as display settings and updates on Windows and MacOS operating systems and mobile device issues. 
  • Dealing with common threats to the end user, such as malware, phishing, and Personally identifiable information (PII) data. 
  • Leveraging a broad set of tools, including Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

The CCST IT Support certification clears a pathway to more advanced certifications 

The new CCST IT Support certification is also a perfect stepping stone that can lead you to internships and apprenticeships. And that’s not all; in addition to validating your knowledge and experience to build your qualifications, you’ll also have a clear pathway to progress to higher certifications (such as CCNA, Security, and CyberOps) and more advanced job roles. 

Cisco supports you through your entire career by equipping you with the skills to advance your career, earn top dollar, and be a leader in the tech industry. Plus, the Cisco Learning Network offers you the chance to learn more about Cisco’s learning portfolio and certifications available today and to get involved with our active tech community.  

Whether you dream of a career in the tech industry, enjoy helping people, or love solving problems, this new certification could be just what you’re looking for. With a CCST IT Support certification, you are not just gaining a qualification — you are unlocking the door to a rewarding and rapidly growing career in IT. 

Get ready for the CCST IT Support certification

Get ready to embark on your journey with Cisco’s CCST IT Support certification! The CCST IT Support exam goes live in June 2024, and the exam topics will be available in the coming weeks. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a difference in the tech industry. Take the next step and sign up to be the first to hear the latest CCST certification announcements.

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* Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer and Information Technology, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 6, 2023. [source]

Read next:

New Entry-Level Cisco Certifications to Start Your IT Career


Joe Clarke

Distinguished Engineer, Customer Experience

Customer Experience