Jobs Working with Cisco Technologies: Career Facts

Research what it takes to work with Cisco technologies. Learn about education requirements, responsibilities, job growth, and average wages to find out if this career is for you. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Cisco Technologies?

Cisco is an industry-leading technology company that focuses on networking and communication. Cisco products include both wired and wireless routers, as well as servers. As a network engineer or network administrator, the benefits of Cisco certification are crucial to remaining relevant in the field of networking technology. Network architects, also known as network engineers, design network infrastructure systems to meet the needs of a company. Network administrators oversee and manage the daily operations of the networks once implemented.

The CCNA Routing and Switching certification is one exam that promises to keep all aspiring engineers and administrators above the rising tide of technology. Five levels of certification are available for those who want to further advance their career working with Cisco technologies.

Keep reading to discover if this area of employment is for you.

Degree RequiredBachelor's; MBA may be required for network architects
Education Field of StudyComputer engineering,
electrical engineering
Key ResponsibilitiesAnalytical skills, communication skills, computer skills, problem-solving skills
Certification Levels Entry, associate, professional,
expert, architect
Job Growth (2014-2024)*8% for all computer systems and network administrators
9% for network architects
Average Salary (2015)*$82,200 for all computer systems and network administrators
$103,100 for network architects

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Options in Jobs Working with Cisco Technologies?

A common job title for professionals with Cisco technologies skills is a Cisco network engineer. In this position, you are responsible for providing customer support, designing and building networks using Cisco technology, monitoring the function of systems, troubleshooting issues, optimizing networks and implement changes.

Employers require applicants for Cisco network engineer positions to have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a computer-related field. You also need 3-5 years of experience working with Cisco networking and experience in technical support. Employers typically require you to hold certifications from Cisco to prove your abilities working with Cisco technologies.

What Certifications Are Available?

Cisco systems offer five levels of certification in eight different tracks ( The levels of certification include:

  • Entry
  • Associate
  • Professional
  • Expert
  • Architect

The Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification is an entry-level option, which requires no prerequisites. The CCENT serves as proof of your skills in network installation, troubleshooting and operation.

At the associate level, you have the option of the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or the Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA). The CCNA certification is proof of your abilities with troubleshooting, installation and operation of medium networks. The CCDA certification verifies your skills in network design.

Professional level certifications include the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP), Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP) and the Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP). The CCNP verifies your skills in advanced network planning, implementation and troubleshooting. The CCDP is proof of your knowledge of network design. The CCSP provides proof of your advanced skills in Cisco network security. The CCIP verifies your abilities with infrastructure management.

At the expert level, you can earn the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE), which validates your abilities in working with large networks. The expert level also offers the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in the various tracks available from Cisco. The architect certification available is the Cisco Certified Architect.

The tracks in which certification is available include routing & switching, design, network security, wireless, voice, storage networking, service provider and service provider operations. Many of the certifications available are offered with a speciality option in one of these eight tracks.

Where Can I Find Employment?

Jobs working with Cisco technologies may be found with companies who provide IT services to other business, organizations or government agencies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network architects and administrators can also find employment in computer design firms, financial firms and schools ( The BLS projected a 8% overall employment increase for network and computer systems administrators from 2014-2024, and a 9% increase for network architects the same decade.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Aside from Cisco-related careers, plenty of options exist for those with a bachelor's degree in computer science. Computer hardware engineers research and develop the components of computers, including circuit boards and memory devices. Information security analysts are responsible for monitoring an organization's computer networks for any outside attacks. Software developers create apps and programs that allow people and companies to perform their needed tasks as easily and efficiently as possible.

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