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Why get Cisco certified?

12 reasons for seeking training and certification.

Why certify Get started

Certification levels

We offer five levels of network certification:

Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert and Architect, the highest level of accreditation within the Cisco Career Certification program.

Career Certifications


Both the CCENT and the CCT certifications serve as starting points for individuals interested in starting a career as a networking professional.


The Associate level of Cisco Certifications can begin directly with CCNA for network installation, operations and troubleshooting or CCDA for network design. Think of the Associate Level as the foundation level of networking certification.


The Professional level is an advanced level of certification that shows more expertise with networking skills. Each certification covers a different technology to meet the needs of varying job roles.


The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification is accepted worldwide as the most prestigious networking certification in the industry.

Architect Certification

Cisco Certified Architect is the highest level of accreditation achievable and recognizes the architectural expertise of network designers who can support the increasingly complex networks of global organizations and effectively translate business strategies into evolutionary technical strategies.

Have questions? Our certification community has answers!

Explore the power of the Cisco Learning Network's vibrant community to jump-start your certifications and lifelong learning goals.

Technical specialist certifications

The Specialist designation certifies the specific expertise of technical professionals, including those with Cisco Career Certifications at the associate, professional or expert levels. By earning specialist certifications, network professionals can enhance their core networking knowledge in technologies such as security, data center or video.

Many Specialist certifications align with the requirements of the Cisco Partner Specialization program.


The Collaboration Specialist certifications focus on Cisco Collaboration technology skills building and validation. These certifications and related training align closely with the on-the-job performance needs of Collaboration engineers, Unified Contact Center Enterprise engineers and networking professionals seeking to specialize in the planning, designing, implementation, and management of deployments.

Data Center

The Cisco Certified Data Center Specialist certification programs are practical, relevant, job-ready certifications aligned closely with the specific tasks expected of Data Center network professionals.

Internet of Things

The Cisco Internet of Things (IoT) certifications and training are job role based programs designed to help meet the growing need for specialized talent. This education portfolio provides Internet Protocol (IP) networking expertise, with a focus in automation, manufacturing and energy and future expansion to include equally transformative industries.

Network Programmability

The Cisco Network Programmability Specialist certifications enhance your networking skills through foundational networking knowledge and allow you to use your software skills to develop network applications in programmable environments.

Operating System Software

The Cisco Operating System Software Specialist certifications validate proficiency in Cisco internetwork operating systems.

Cisco IOS XR Specialist

Service Provider

The Cisco Service Provider Specialist certifications enhance your skills and ability to design, install, and support specific aspects of service provider networks. 

Digital transformation specialists

Business Architecture Specialists

The Cisco Business Architect Specialist certifications help prepare individuals for the journey to building strong business skills, acumen, and providing enabling tools.

Customer Success Specialists

The Customer Success Specialist certifications provide skills and knowledge to customer success managers who ensure that customers achieve desired business outcomes, and realize the value of their investment.

I need to recertify

Recertification is an important indicator to you and your employer that you have kept up with current trends in networking technology. You can renew a valid certifications as many times as you choose, but if you don’t renew before the expiration date, your certification becomes inactive.

To keep certifications current, you can recertify by advancing to the next level of certification or by completing the recertification requirements.

For details about your recertification requirements, visit your certification page in the Career Certifications section above.

Certification Duration
Entry-level, Associate-level, and Professional-level 3 years
Expert-level Certifications 2 years
Specialist certifications 2 years
Cisco Certified Architect 5 years

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And remember:

  • Cisco does not provide extensions. It is your responsibility to recertify on time.
  • We do send renewal email reminders to the email address in your Certification Tracking System profile, so make sure to keep your email address up to date.
  • Always review the 5-day Exam Retake Policy before scheduling any exam.

Renewal requires certification holders to register for and pass the appropriate Cisco recertification exam(s). In addition to passing the designated recertification exam(s), Cisco Continuing Education Program offers expert-level certification holders an alternative option to recertify by earning credits.

In order to recertify, certification holders must complete the recertification requirements prior to the certification expiration date. If an individual allows their certification(s) to expire, then the individual must repeat the entire certification process to regain their certification(s).

Visit the Cisco Career Certifications Tracking System to check the status of your certification(s).

Featured content

Evolving Technologies Domain Updates

Senior-level IT professionals need to keep pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape that help drive business outcomes.

Continuing Education Program

Expert-level certification holders can choose an alternative way to recertify by earning credits.

Get Cisco UCCE Training

Bring cloud and mobility features and APIs to your contact center.

Certification agreements

Candidates are required to acknowledge several agreements as part of their participation in the Cisco Certifications program, and to obtain and use marks and logos associated with the program.


Retired certifications

Upon the retirement of any certification, no new certifications will be issued nor will it be available for recertification. The certification will remain active until its unique expiration date held by the candidate.