Cisco: A Wealth of Certification Resources

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The widely respected Cisco Career Certifications can be a valuable addition to any network professional’s credentials. With more than 700,000 certifications issued to date, Cisco Systems offers a wealth of resources to support continuing success.

For people who are interested in becoming Cisco Certified Networking Associates, the CCNA Prep Center is a great place to start. More than 100,000 users to date have taken advantage of this bundle of free services available to networking professionals. The site provides relevant information, practice opportunities and encouragement as learners embark on their new career paths.

For those who have already obtained one or more certifications, Cisco offers the Cisco Certifications Community Web site. This online gathering place for more advanced learners contains a variety of informative and entertaining resources, with something for all certified learners, regardless of which Cisco certification they might hold.

“Technical professionals are looking for learning resources that will help them improve their marketable skills,” said Don Field, director of certifications at Cisco. “We’re pleased to offer learning communities on Cisco.com that meet the lifelong learning needs of those who are seeking certification and those who are already Cisco certified.”

These Web sites are designed to complement the many certification courses offered through Cisco Learning Solutions Partners and the Cisco Networking Academy Program around the world. Even though both sites contain valuable content and resources, access remains entirely free of charge.

Cisco Certifications Community
The Certifications Community is an exclusive portal for Cisco-certified individuals to use Cisco learning tools, access exam preparation resources and share knowledge about the certifications program. In its first year of operations, more than 50,000 members enrolled on the site. The Cisco Certifications Community is available to anyone with a valid Cisco certification.

To understand what the site has to offer, consider a typical university campus: The primary learning services usually consist of lessons offered by onsite teaching faculty in classrooms and lecture halls. But in addition to those core services are multiple supporting services, which might include student advisement, study groups, a library and computer labs.

The Cisco Certifications Community provides a similar suite of supporting services for learners in an online environment. Those services fall into six primary categories:

Overview – This area provides a quick view of the newest featured additions to the site, such as a new game or an upcoming Community TV show. The CCIE Corner is a collection of resources tailored to the learner who is working toward our highest-level certification. A recertification date reminder and live chat feature with customer service round out the section.

News and Information – This section includes the latest exam updates, program revisions or enhancements. Selected certification articles are listed currently from Cisco Press and Certification Magazine with more to come. Learning resources include key links to information about Cisco Learning Partners, authorized test delivery partners and more.

Exam Support – The Recertification Corner provides useful information for the learners who are due to renew their certifications. Quick learning modules, certification updates, simulation labs and additional content assist in exam preparation. Access to a variety of videos on specific certifications and specializations also can be found.

Discussions – Experts and tutors field learners’ questions on virtually any Cisco certification topic. Traditional online discussion groups and a new online-study-group feature further enable learners to discuss study tools and exam preparation topics with each another.

Games – This popular section of the site offers a growing list of learning games that present an engaging and entertaining way to learn. These games help reduce the intimidation factor while presenting key technical concepts.

Community TV – This offering enables certification holders to stay up-to-date on certifications and training by viewing 30-minute broadcasts of “Cisco Certifications Connect.” An expert host and guest panelists from the Cisco Career Certifications program discuss relevant topics and answer viewer questions live or on community discussion forums after the show. Archived shows from past broadcasts are readily available.

CCNA Prep Center
Strong demand for the entry-level Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) has led to the creation of the CCNA Prep Center. Designed specifically to assist those preparing for the CCNA certification, the site offers a wide range of resources to help individuals sharpen their skills. Access to additional material and training helps enable learners’ successful completion of their certifications.

CCNA certifications validate the foundation and apprentice knowledge of networking professionals. As a component of the Cisco Career Certifications Program, the CCNA Prep Center now includes several new features demonstrating Cisco’s ongoing commitment to the knowledge-sharing community.

Open to anyone with a free Cisco.com login, the CCNA Prep Center provides certification candidates with resources including practice questions, labs, simulations, tips, advice, success stories and peer-discussion forums. The CCNA Prep Center also allows learners easy access to information and formal training from Cisco Learning Partners. The Prep Center is organized into six primary sections.

Practice – Featured content includes practice questions for Introduction to Cisco Networking Technologies (INTRO) and Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices (ICND). These questions assist the learner in mastering specific CCNA-exam topic areas.

Subjects covered include: OSI model, layered communication, TCP/IP communication protocols, LAN technologies, cabling, switching methods, STP, VLANs, characteristics of routing protocols, advanced routing protocols, subnetting and IP addressing, troubleshooting, implementation and operation. Exam study resources and CCNA videos also cover topics such as ACLs, routed and routing protocols, IP addressing and VLANs.

The Prep Center also includes many challenging simulations for practice issuing necessary commands and solving problems. Remote labs and simulations also allow the learner to practice installing, configuring, and operating LAN and WAN networks.

Discussions and Advice – The “Ask the Tutor” tool was developed specifically for candidates seeking to complete their CCNA certifications. Visitors can ask technical questions and receive expert advice as well as peer input on discussion forums.

Live chat with a customer-service representative is offered for real-time certification-program support. Learners can get their questions answered about recommended training, exam preparation and more.

News and Information – This section offers updates on the CCNA certification program, selected articles and white papers address relevant topics to networking professionals on their way to a CCNA certification.

Games – Games, such as the “Binary Game,” teach important skills and reinforce the technical concepts necessary to achieve a CCNA certification.

CCNA TV – Monthly online broadcasts, designed specifically for CCNA candidates, focus on a variety of useful topics. The question-and-answer segment allows the live viewers to pose questions to the show panelists and a pop-quiz segment tests the audience knowledge.

Discounts and Offers – Special pricing on training from select Cisco Learning Solutions Partners and discounts from Cisco Press are available to CCNA Prep Center members.

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