Network design professionals are some of the unsung heroes of the modern business world. With the enormous amount of important information that is transmitted daily over complex business enterprise networks, well-designed and secure network architecture is a must. The Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) credential verifies that a network professional has gained the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the field.
Skills gained during CCDA certification training
CCDA certification covers such fundamentals of network design as infrastructures and services on routed and switched local- and wide-area networks, business enterprise broadband access and service virtualization. Cisco encourages all applicants for CCDA certification to already possess knowledge of switching on Cisco networks that’s equivalent to the company’s Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Network Professional (CCNP) certification levels.
Here’s a quick rundown of subjects covered in the CCDA certification prep course:
Network design methodology
Structuring and modularization of network design using Cisco Enterprise Campus, Enterprise Data Center and Enterprise Architecture Design modules
Security solution evaluation
Implications and challenges of voice data transactions
Implications of wireless transmission
Designing remote access modules
Selection of appropriate routing protocols and network addressing plans for particular network designs
CCDA certification coursework lasts five days and takes place in a hybrid learning environment, making tandem use of classroom time and self-paced online instruction.
CCDA certification in the workplace
As a foundational credential, CCDA certification is tailored toward associate-level professionals in the network design field. Network design apprentices and IT workers who are switching specializations are likely to find this certification most useful. Cisco recommends that CCDA certification candidates have some amount of practical experience with the deployment and operation of networks built on proprietary devices before entering training.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job opportunities for computer network, systems and database administrators are expected to rise 30 percent between 2008 and 2018. Network systems and data communications analysts are in for an even more impressive increase in employment, with a 53 percent jump projected for the same period. Considering the national job growth average of 7 to 13 percent across all occupations, these figures reveal healthy job prospects for trained network professionals. CCDA certification can help IT professionals stay in high demand.
What’s more, Global Knowledge, an IT training firm showed strong numbers for Cisco Certified Design Associates in its 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report. Holders of CCDA certification reported a mean annual wage of $97,995 during the survey period.
CCDA certification: The bottom line
Rampant job growth and comfortable wages are just two of the many reasons to pursue CCDA certification. Network professionals can move up to higher-level credentials in network design, such as CCDP and CCDE certifications, to further enhance their job security and earning potential. Look into CCDA certification for a boost into a booming IT field with room to grow.