Certifications Lead to Success for Networking Academy Graduate

Disillusioned with his career in mechanical design, 27-year-old Claudio Sarto from Italy excelled in his networking studies to become a successful network engineer.

Switching Career Tracks

What do you do when you reach a dead end in your chosen career? In Claudio Sarto's case, he began seeking out new opportunities through the Internet. "Since 2002, I worked as a mechanical designer with 3D Solid CAD/CAM software," he recalls. "Because of no further personal development growth in my position, in 2005 I started looking for a new job in the IT sector, and I found the Cisco Networking Academy program at Europa through a job search engine."

Networking Skills and Qualifications

Sarto enrolled in several courses at the academy and started earning an impressive series of qualifications, which he continues to add to. "I currently hold the Cisco CCIE #19912 (Routing & Switching), CCNA , CCNP , CCIPTM, and Cisco Firewall Specialist certifications. I've also passed the CCIE Service Provider written exam and my lab exam is scheduled for later this year."

As a hands-on professional, Sarto was very impressed with the remote labs offered in his courses and the opportunity "to apply theoretical concepts to practical situations."

A Bold Move Pays Off

Sarto was so committed to gaining more experience in the networking field that he decided to leave his permanent job to complete a Cisco Italy internship in 2006. "In this period I had access to several resources and I think I learned a lot about networking and Cisco culture. Before the end of my internship, I went to Brussels and I passed the CCIE RS lab exam after my first attempt," he says.

Sarto's mixture of qualifications, knowledge, and in-depth experience has resulted in a new career where the sky's the limit. "I'm currently employed by one of the bigger Cisco Gold Partners in Italy. I'm involved in consultancy projects for enterprise and financial customers in the areas of routing, switching, WAN acceleration, dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM), security, VPNs, and firewalls," says Sarto.

When asked about future plans, Sarto emphasizes his focus on continual learning: "I'm interested in earning other certifications at the CCIE level, and also learning about new technologies involving data centers and virtualization."