What Types of Jobs Can You Get with Cisco CCNA?
8 May, 2024

Thinking about jumping into the networking world with a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, or maybe you have already begun your journey? Either way, you are probably curious about where this path can lead. Let’s break it down, starting from the basics of CCNA to the recent 2024 updates, and uncover the cool job opportunities it unlocks.

What Makes CCNA So Special?

At its core, the CCNA certification, an associate-level credential, is your golden ticket into the networking arena. It acts as the foundational course for anyone eager to delve into network systems — the vital pulse of our digital future. Whether you are looking to change careers or just boost your IT skills, the CCNA certification is a great starting point. It confirms a wide range of your abilities, from networking specifics to security and software development, providing a solid foundation for your career in IT.

The CCNA certification hooks you up with a solid base in a bunch of key networking areas that every IT pro needs to nail. Let’s dive into what you’ll get to master:

  • Networking Fundamentals

Get ready to flex your skills with networking gear and setups. You’ll tackle everything from fixing connectivity hiccups to keeping the whole network running smoothly.

  • IP Services

You’ll dive into setting up routes for different IP versions and get the lowdown on routing tables and how redundancy protocols keep things ticking without a hitch.

  • Security Fundamentals

Step into the world of cybersecurity where you’ll spot threats, beef up access security, and learn the ins and outs of making users wise to security practices.

  • Automation

The CCNA isn’t just about traditional networking; it’s about pushing into the future with automation. You’ll learn how networks can be managed with less hands-on fuss using APIs and smart config tools.

Fresh for 2024: What’s New in the CCNA Program

The CCNA certification has always been the go-to for IT pros looking to get a solid start in networking. Traditionally, it’s tackled the basics like setting up networks, getting devices to talk to each other (IP connectivity), and keeping things secure.

But, as we all know, tech never stands still, and neither does the CCNA. That’s why in 2024, Cisco decided to spruce things up a bit to keep the certification fresh and relevant. Every year, they take a good look at the program and tweak it to:

– Make things clearer and easier to get.

– Bring in cool new topics like AI and cloud tech.

– Kick out the old stuff that’s not really needed anymore.

For 2024, the updated CCNA is zooming in on:

– Cloud Technologies: It’s all about getting savvy with how clouds work in networks.

– Network Automation: Learning the tricks to make networks run themselves with some smart tools.

– Artificial Intelligence (AI): Using AI to boost network security and make things more efficient.

The update focuses on making small adjustments and improvements rather than completely revamping the program., ensuring you are learning skills that are not just current but also in-demand. This keeps you sharp and in tune with fast changes happening in the tech world today, and honestly, it ensures the CCNA remains a top-tier certification that’s all about gearing you up for the future of networking.

Getting Ready for the CCNA Exam

To earn your CCNA certification, you’ll need to pass the 200-301 CCNA V1.0 exam. It tests your knowledge on everything from basic network fundamentals to detailed aspects of security and automation. This exam costs $300 and lasts for about 120 minutes. You can take either at a testing center or online.

As for preparation, Cisco provides plenty of options. Whether you prefer a structured classroom setting with the “Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA) v2.0” course or more independent study using a wide range of online materials, Cisco has resources to suit your style. This ensures you are well-prepared to tackle the exam.

What Jobs Can You Land with a CCNA?

Once you are certified, the world — or at least the network — is your oyster. Here are some doors that might swing open for you:

Network Engineer

Dive into the heart of networking as a network engineer. This role is crucial — you’ll be setting up, securing, and managing networks that keep various devices communicating smoothly. Apart from basic upkeep, you are the person trusted to add the latest tech, automate routine tasks, and fix problems to keep things running smoothly without any interruptions.

What’s awesome about being a Network Engineer? They are always needed! As technology progresses, network engineers are the heroes keeping everything connected. If solving puzzles, staying on top of new tech trends, and explaining complex topics in simple terms sound like your kind of day, then this is the job for you. It’s a blend of tech smarts, communication prowess, and quick thinking.

As for the paycheck, in 2024, Network Engineers are raking in an average of $81,310 a year, according to PayScale. Beginners might earn about $56,000, but if you are experienced, you could be making up to $116,000.

Network Administrator

This job has you making sure networks do exactly what they are supposed to do — consistently and securely. Network admins are all about setting up, updating, and troubleshooting to ensure everything runs seamlessly. They handle everything from deploying new systems and managing user access to ensuring security measures are tight.

Why being a Network Administrator is great? If you are into cutting-edge network technology and thrive on fixing critical issues, this role will keep you engaged. It’s all about keeping the digital wheels turning and pushing the tech boundaries as you go.

According to PayScale, in 2024, Network Administrators are earning an average of $65,233 annually. If you’ve got the experience, you could earn as much as $90,000, while those just starting out might start at around $46,000.

Technical support engineer

Technical Support Engineer is another great career path to consider with a CCNA certification. Here’s why:

– Network Expertise: The CCNA equips you with a strong understanding of networking fundamentals like protocols, troubleshooting, and configuration. This knowledge is crucial for diagnosing and resolving technical issues faced by users on a network.

– Problem-Solving Skills: A core aspect of the CCNA is developing strong problem-solving skills. Technical Support Engineers rely heavily on this ability to analyze user issues, identify root causes, and implement solutions effectively.

– Security Skills: CCNA includes training on how to secure networks. This helps Technical Support Engineers protect the network from security threats.

– Automation Skills: As networks grow more complex, knowing how to automate tasks is becoming more important. CCNA covers network automation, which can help engineers make networks more efficient.

In terms of salary, as of 2024, ZipRecruiter reports that the average annual pay for a Technical Support Engineer in the United States is $79,032. Salaries typically range from $58,000 to $98,500, with top earners making up to $116,500 per year.

Compared to Network Engineers or Network Administrators, Technical Support Engineers typically focus more on resolving user issues rather than designing or maintaining entire networks.

Help Desk Administrators share some similarities with Technical Support Engineers in terms of user support. However, Technical Support Engineers often handle more complex technical issues related specifically to networks.

Overall, the CCNA really sets you up well for a career as a Technical Support Engineer. It arms you with all the tech know-how, problem-solving and communication skills you need to excel in this fast-moving and super rewarding field.

Help Desk Administrator

As a Help Desk Administrator, you are the first person everyone turns to for technical issues, helping both clients and colleagues keep their systems running smoothly. This role isn’t just a job — it’s a stepping stone in a tech career. Here’s how the CCNA can supercharge your path:

– Solid Network Knowledge: Understanding networking basics like routing and switching from the CCNA is crucial because you’ll often deal with connectivity issues.

– Troubleshooting Skills: The CCNA sharpens your problem-solving abilities. You’ll learn to diagnose and resolve a variety of technical issues, skills that are essential at the help desk.

– Tech Communication: You’ll often explain complex tech problems to non-tech users. The CCNA helps you simplify tech talk, making it easier for users to understand their issues.

– Career Launchpad: Starting at the help desk with a CCNA shows you are serious about your IT career. It highlights your initiative and knowledge, setting you apart from others.

– Career Growth: The CCNA is just the beginning. It’s perfect for grounding your help desk work and paves the way for further specialization in fields like cybersecurity or cloud networking.

Beyond technical know-how, being a great Help Desk Administrator also means having awesome customer service skills, really listening to figure out issues, and working well in a team. Mixing these abilities with your CCNA knowledge sets you apart and gears you up for an exciting future in IT.

And just to give you an idea of what you could be earning: according to ZipRecruiter, as of 2024, the average yearly salary for a Help Desk Administrator in the US is $55,921. You are looking at salaries that range from $44,500 to $66,000, and the top earners in the field are pulling in up to $72,000 a year. This just goes to show there’s not only a solid demand for savvy Help Desk Administrators but also some sweet financial potential.

Why Bother with CCNA?

Well, it’s a no-brainer. The CCNA certification is more than just about nailing network basics; it’s your ticket to really making waves in IT. It not only sets you apart in the crowded job market but also shows potential bosses that you are the real deal when it comes to tackling their tough IT puzzles.

Every role you can land with a CCNA shows just how varied and exciting the opportunities are. From setting up networks to fine-tuning them for peak performance, the CCNA arms you with the skills needed for real growth in the tech field. Whether you are just dipping your toes in or ready to take your career up a notch, CCNA lays down the groundwork for massive professional development. So, why not take the plunge? Dive into the CCNA and see where this journey can rocket you!