A Certified Cisco Network Associate (CCNA) certificate program can prepare students for the CCNA certification examination through the Cisco corporation. Typically, these programs can be completed in 1-2 semesters. A high school diploma or the equivalent is required for enrollment.
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Certification in Cisco Network Administration
Coursework in these programs cover theoretical and practical applications in regards to maintaining, managing, and troubleshooting computer networks and associated peripheral devices. Topics of study can include simple networks, virtual private networks (VPNs), IP addressing, configuring routers, and utilizing firewalls in a networked environment. Other courses might include:
- Routing protocols
- LAN switching and wireless networks
- Cisco IP telephony and IP configuration
- Network troubleshooting, maintenance and security
- Virtual LANs
Popular Career Options
Certification as a Cisco network administrator is a valuable credential in the career marketplace. Earning this certificate may boost a graduate's job prospects and help him earn a higher starting salary. Those holding the CCNA credential can be qualified to become:
- Cisco help desk engineers
- Field technicians
- Network administrators
Employment Outlook and Salary
As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of computer systems and network administrators is predicted to grow by 8% between 2014 and 2024, which is about average. In May 2015, these computer professionals received a median annual salary of $77,810, per the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
In some cases, students can transfer credits earned from the CCNA certificate coursework to associate or bachelor's degree programs in related subjects, such as computer networking. Other CCNA certifications that are available and that CCNA certificate programs can prepare networking professionals for can include CCNA Voice and CCNA Wireless, as well as a host of Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certifications, such as CCNP Security and CCNP SP Operations.
A CCNA certificate program trains students in essential skills such as networking, routing protocols, and virtual LANs. Graduates are prepared to take certification exams and can choose to go directly into entry level careers or transfer credits to another education program.