There’s an IT certification for pretty much everything in this field down to the industry you are working for to apply this knowledge. Whereas it started with very few and they were all made by the equipment or software manufacturers specifically for their own products. CompTIA was the first to offer vendor neutral certifications that applied to no specific vendor covering many but focusing on the knowledge that applies to all of them. The problem with the certifications made by the vendors themselves is the answers don’t always reflect real world circumstances. For example, when taking a Cisco exam and you might get asked what the best routing protocol is to use in a network with over 32 routers. The correct answer on the Cisco exam would be EIGRP Cisco’s proprietary routing protocol. That only runs on their devices meaning you will be stuck using only Cisco routers until you redesign your entire networks routing architecture. Only Cisco can make changes to this protocol which slows down its progress and allows vulnerabilities to exist until reported or used in an attack. In the real world the answer would be OSPF since it’s an open-source routing protocol and works on all vendors routers not just Cisco’s. The code being open source it can be vetted by the entire community and vulnerabilities discovered before maliciously acted upon. The protocol can be improved upon by everyone and evolve much quicker.
Along with Cisco’s certifications they also offered accompanied classes and certification paths for every career in the industry including sales. Cisco’s intentions weren’t purely to help educate the future network/systems engineers. It’s another revenue stream for them and it promotes their products. If you’re trained in setting up Cisco products and after getting that certification(s). You get a job in the field which equipment vendor are you most likely to recommend? The one you’ve been trained in or another one that you will need to learn all over again. Even if it does cost a little or a lot more and they lock you in to using only their products through proprietary protocols. It’s what you spent several years training in plus they have a product, service and or solution for everything you’ll need. They also assist you with the entire process from the start with a rep who designs and selects every piece of equipment down to the cables to meet your specifications. Then engineers to help set it all up, extended warranties that will diagnose and replace any failed device. It might cost a lot more but from the engineer’s perspective it’s not their money it’s the companies money. Then you as the engineer have the nothing to worry about Cisco will take care of everything. That doesn’t mean there is no value in having these certifications. Cisco’s “CCIE” Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert is one of the most prestigious certifications in the IT field and is often compared to the PHD of computer networking. To obtain this certification you must pass seven exams of varying networking fields. Then perform a hands-on lab test in front of a panel of master CCIE certified engineers who also hold a CCIE teaching certification as well. In these hands-on labs, you are given a list of network/system requirements and the equipment to do it. You then have a fixed amount of time to accomplish all the requirements using the provided equipment all while being analyzed by the panel of master engineers. What makes this different from most certifications is that it’s not only a multiple-choice test that you can just memorize all the answers to. It is applied knowledge and leaves no way of cheating or faking it. It proves you know your stuff and can work under pressure to accomplish real-world network/systems set up.
This is why our engineers maintain certifications from multiple vendors including CompTIA who is vendor neutral in their exams. Which is also the way we run our business as vendor neutral where we don’t exclusively choose one vendor over another. Based on being taught using one vendor or another or on what makes us more money than another. A lot of IT services firms will maintain exclusive partnerships with one vendor or another in order to receive reseller discounts. All decisions should be based on what’s best for the customer and their needs. Some firms go as far as to mandate you use one piece of equipment or another even making you replace your current equipment in order to sign on. To make their job easier since they don’t need to learn how to support multiple vendors equipment and to get greater resellers discounts which are based on sales. We do maintain partnerships with our equipment vendor but none of them exclusively. Discounts benefit everyone lowering the overall project price but plays no factor in our selection process and we benefit the most from our partnership direct support channels. Which gives us early access to updates/patches, information on the latest upcoming product releases and support that your average consumer or non-partner has access too. Allowing us to diagnose then solve some of the most complex support issues quicker and done right the first time.
•Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
•Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
•Microsoft Certified Solutions Engineer (MCSE)
•VMware Certified Associate (VCA)
•VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
•Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
•Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
•Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
•Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)