What Is the Outlook for CCNA Jobs?

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is a credential used in the information technology industry. Holders of this certification have proven their ability to install, operate and troubleshoot medium-sized network routers and switches. Job prospects for network administration are good. Read on to learn more about the job growth and salary you can expect in the field. Schools offering Computer Networking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of CCNA Certification

CCNA certification holders have proven their ability to install, operate and troubleshoot medium-sized network routers and switches. In order to receive certification, students must pass a test offered through Cisco. Job prospects for network administration are good.

Important Facts About CCNA Jobs

Required Education Postsecondary certificate
Key Skills Computer competency, problem solving, critical and analytical thinking, sound judgment and decision making, multitasking, clear communication
Work Environment Primarily full-time with some overtime required
Similar Occupations Computer and information systems managers; computer hardware engineers; computer network architects; database administrators; information security analysts

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for networking computer systems administrators are expected to increase 8% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Part of this growth is due to the increasing use of the Internet and network technologies within the workplace. In addition, companies are expected to be upgrading their current technology to make it faster. The healthcare and computer systems design industries are particularly expected to demand these professionals. However, the BLS notes that other industries may experience slowed growth due to the use of cloud computing, which reduces the need for as many network administrators.

Improve Your Job Prospects

While the BLS does not report specifically on the job outlook for CCNA holders, the website indicated that those holding a bachelor's degree and certification might encounter better employment opportunities. Being knowledgeable in cloud computing can also improve your job prospects.

Salary Information

In May 2014, the BLS reported a median yearly salary of $75,790 for network and computer system administrators. Computer system design firms; management of companies and enterprises; employment services; colleges, universities and professional schools; and elementary and secondary schools held the highest employment levels of these professionals with annual mean salaries ranging from $65,280-$84,280. California, Texas, New York, Virginia and Florida had the highest levels of employment for network and computer system administrators. The BLS reported that the annual mean salaries for these states ranged from $79,970-$89,930.

Additionally, PayScale.com reported in December 2015 that most network administrators with CCNA certification earned between $40,160 and $78,255. Systems administrators with the certification earned between $42,136 and $81,303. While network engineers with CCNA certification earned between $46,872 and $94,904, certified senior network engineers made $69,342-$121,842.

Gaining Certification

If you hold CCNA certification, you've demonstrated intermediate-level proficiency in IT networking and have passed the necessary exam. While there are no prerequisites for taking the CCNA exam, it's recommended you take the Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) part one and part two courses. The exam covers topics in installing and operating small and medium networks, integrating network security, working with wide area network (WAN) technologies, and overseeing IP addresses, routes and traffic management. Certification is good for three years, and to recertify you should take and pass the appropriate exam.

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