1. Get a Cisco Certification
2. Consider an Internship
3. Get Cisco Live Labs to Build Experience While Studying
4. Accept Entry-Level Networking Positions
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
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.