Cisco to Roll Out New Wireless Certification

Individuals who are eager to find jobs as wireless professionals soon will have another certification to advance their career prospects.

This September, Cisco will officially debut the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Wireless certification. While associate- and expert-level wireless certifications have been around for some time, there was no mid-level option, a gap that the CCNP Wireless is intended to fill.

“[Prior to the CCNP Wireless,] we weren’t able to paint [a holistic wireless] career path for individuals,” said Fred Weiller, director of marketing for Learning at Cisco. “[With this certification,] we expect to encourage more people to get into the wireless career.”

Those who choose to pursue the credential will gain expertise in implementing wireless networks and will become well-versed in Cisco’s wireless LAN (local area network) technologies.

He added that the CCNA Wireless — a prerequisite for any of the wireless concentrations — was intended to help candidates boost their chances of landing a job. Even three weeks of intensive training on the topic could help, he said.

“Someone looking for a second career — maybe someone in the military or someone whose industry is suffering right now — or even someone looking for a first job can very rapidly get trained to a CCNA Wireless level and get in the job market,” Weiller said.

Before unveiling the CCNP Wireless, Cisco researched the job market to find out which roles are in demand, as well as how these job roles are expected to evolve during the next few years. The company found the demand for wireless professionals is growing by leaps and bounds. The particular skills demanded of these professionals include designing, implementing, securing and operating both wireless networks and mobility infrastructures.

“The wireless network continues to grow, in part because of the additional productivity that it brings to the world as a whole,” Reggie Nolasco, program manager at Cisco Systems, wrote on the company’s Web site. “Properly trained and certified individuals are needed to make wireless networks secure, cost-effective and reliable.”

Weiller said when he ran a keyword search for “network” on CareerBuilder.com a few days ago, he discovered about 27,000 job opportunities.

“Getting a [network] certification is a really good ticket to getting a job right now, and it doesn’t take four, five or six years of education or training to get to that point,” he said.

The formal announcement of and further details pertaining to the CCNP Wireless certification are expected to be released at an event in June.

– Deanna Hartley, dhartley@certmag.com

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Deanna Hartley

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