“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

You don’t have to be a genius to know that getting and staying certified is in your best career interest. In my last blog, I talked about how Cisco Learning Partners resemble travel agents who can help you better plan your Cisco certification journey. Now, let’s take a look at how Learning Partners can help you keep moving, stay balanced, and get the most out of your certification plans.

The value Cisco places in our Learning Partners and in certification is evident in our requirement that Partners who want to reach Cisco Gold Partner status must have CCIEs on staff. With that in mind, it’s easy to see that certification can only move your career plans forward. And moving forward with a Learning Partner is the best way to learn, certify, and recertify. Here’s how.

Cisco U. offers a smorgasbord of Learning Paths

Before you can certify, you probably will want to take some prerequisite or refresher training. By now, you’ve probably heard about Cisco U. This new digital learning experience is built around the learner, offering specialized and structured learning paths to guide you to the most appropriate route that will help you reach your career goals. And, of course, your Learning Partner can help steer you in the right direction here, too.

Cisco U. is like the banquet of learning options on your learning and certification journey. You can choose from a robust menu of learning paths, such as cloud, networking, security, and much more. But you aren’t driving blind in your selection. Cisco U.’s quick-start, pre-skill assessments, modular learning, advanced search, and a focus on goal-setting are designed to work for everyone’s unique journey. With personalized recommendations and feedback, plus learning in the moment of need, Cisco U. can guide you to the right role or solution, helping you grow your skills.

Learning Partners can help guide your Cisco U. training to align with your career goals. Not only that, they can also augment your Cisco U. training paths with in-person training and finally work with your certification goals to ensure success for your Cisco technical career trajectory.

Moving through the certification process

After you traverse your Cisco U. learning experience, you can look to your Learning Partner to show you the best way to follow your personal certification steps, some of which include review, study and train, connect, practice, and exam review.

  • Review: Prepare to take your exam by familiarizing yourself with the topics the exam will cover, as well as take an exam tutorial if you’re going for an Associate- or Professional-level certification.
  • Study and train: Once you know which topics will be on your exam, your Learning Partner can help you choose a study or training option that works for you. (Hint: Here’s where following those Cisco U. Learning Paths will have come in handy.)
  • Connect: You don’t have to study alone when you join the appropriate Certification Community on the Cisco Learning Network and work alongside others who are studying the same material.
  • Practice: You can even practice through Cisco labs, simulation tools, and sandboxes to reach your certification goals. Some examples include:
  • Exam review: Take a practice exam to test your readiness and to avoid surprises during the real thing.

If you’re already certified and want to recertify, you can keep your certification current and your skills sharp by participating in the Cisco Continuing Education program.

What’s more, Cisco U. offers you the chance to earn Continuing Education (CE) credits from quite a few Learning Paths in Cisco U. All Access as well as Cisco U. Essentials and even Cisco U. Free. You can earn CE credits on any eligible Learning Paths you finished after Cisco U. General Availability. You’ll need to score at least 80% on each post-assessment in your selected Learning Path to earn CE credits. And you can track your progress in the progress bar at the top of each Learning Path. All in all, Learning Partners and Cisco certification make a great pair to help you form solid strategies in upskilling for the tech career of your dreams. So start packing; it’s time to get moving and start this journey!


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Monique Rose

Learning Partner Program Manager