Top 6 Tips on How to Become a Cisco Network Engineer

Cisco Certification, CCIE, CCNP, CCNA , CCENT, Cisco Network Engineer, Ciso Live Labs, CCIE Certification, CCNP Certification, CCENT Certification, CCNA Certification,
The path to becoming a certified Cisco Network Engineer will involve a lot of hard work and dedication, but once you have achieved this goal, it will be well deserving of it. Cisco carries with it a reputation of being prestigious and sought after by network professionals and those that employ them alike. Following the correct path and undertaking the applicable training will make it a very achievable goal.

1. Get a Cisco Certification

This may seem as easy as enrolling in a Cisco Certification, For some companies just learning Cisco is not enough. Many enthusiastic Cisco Network Engineers opt to obtain a certification first and then study towards a bachelor’s degree, which is a requirement in many organizations.
This will also depend on the organization that you would like to work for. If they need a degree, then that is the way to go. If you are undecided on an organization to work for, a certification will be your greatest bet as this will allow you to build experience.

2. Consider an Internship

This is one of the best ways to obtain experience in networking. Cisco offers internships to graduate and undergraduate students to support them on their way to becoming Cisco Network Engineers.

3. Get Cisco Live Labs to Build Experience While Studying

There is nothing that is more stately on a CV than having experience. This cuts down on the amount of training that will need to be provided to get you into a fully working role and, thus, saves not only time but money. Even home-based knowledge is a plus. Getting to know the basics as far as setting up and maintaining a small network can prove to be very valuable, not only when you do start formal training, but if you decide to study a networking course.

4. Accept Entry-Level Networking Positions

It may seem that starting in a place where no experience is necessary and working your way up towards becoming a Cisco Network Engineer would take a very long time, but consider the fact that the knowledge that you will build up will have a significant impact on your studies later. This can allow you to offer training that will help you move through the ranks much faster and will, ultimately, give you a higher work ethic as well as a comprehensive understanding of the work that needs to be done.

5. Your Cisco Certification Path Starts with CCENT

  • The highest level of Cisco certification is CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert). The first step to take towards CCIE will be CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician)
  • Following CCENT, CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is usually the next step to take. This can be achieved by either choosing one, all-encompassing exam or to pass CCENT first and then take the second exam to become CCNA certified. If you do study yourself to have enough experience, you will be able to bypass CCENT by writing the one CCNA exam alone.
  • The next step will be CCNP (Cisco Certified Networking Professional). You will be needed to have passed the CCNA exam first before undertaking the training. CCNP has multiple areas of specialization that can be studied, meaning that you have the option of earning more than one CCNP.
  • CCIE is, as the name suggests, where you will become an expert Cisco Network Engineer. This is the most revered Cisco Networking Certificate.

6. Sharpen Your Soft Skills

Focus on some of the soft skills that will improve your ability to perform your role.  Soft skills are essential to building a solid career as a Cisco network engineer.
  • Communication Skills​​
    One of these essential soft skills is communication. There will be many situations in your career as a Cisco network engineer when you will need to interact with people who do not have the same level of technical understanding as you do. This means that you will have to know to interact in a language that the other party can understand.
    You will need to give easy-to-understand explanations that will allow others to support you in your work as a Cisco, network engineer. This could be in the context of obtaining funding for enhancements or improvement, or directly to discuss your work with senior management. As your Cisco network engineer career progresses, you may also find yourself in a position where you will need to train or develop more junior engineers; and this will also be significantly helped by outstanding communication skills.

  • Be a Problem-Solver​
    As a Cisco network engineer, you will need to be a practical problem-solver. Troubleshooting abilities are essential to the role, and there will also be times where you will be met with complex situations, issues, and problems that must be solved. A Cisco network engineer will need to be ready to think outside of the box and use their enterprise to discover the cause of the problem and provide viable solutions to resolve the issue.
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